5-Minute Snow Peas with Lemon Zest

Snow peas are a cold weather crop so they are harvested in Spring and Fall. Since the seeds aren't fully mature, they have a mild, sweet delicate flavor.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes
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Recipe Rundown

You only need 5 ingredients and hot skillet to get these sautéed snow peas on the dinner table in a flash.

snow peas sautéed in skillet with lemon zest and olive oil

After a long winter, I eagerly await fresh spring offerings, especially snow peas. When I can grow them, I’m usually one to simply eat them right off the vine but then I feel guilty because I know I really should share with the rest of the family.

So here’s a proper recipe and a reason for us all to gather and enjoy together.

Now, snow peas are such a fun raw snack so I wouldn’t dream of distracting from their subtle virtues: their crispness, their mild sweetness, their lovely color.

This is one simple recipe but don’t let that fool you. It packs a punch (especially if you can sneak in some minced mint or tarragon right at the end).

Snow Peas vs Snap Peas – What’s the Difference?

Snow peas have a flat pod with tiny, premature peas inside whereas sugar snap peas are more rounded with larger peas. Since their flavors are quite similar, you can easily use them interchangeably in this recipe.

5 Basic Ingredients for Sautéed Snow Peas

There’s just salt, freshly ground black pepper, olive oil (or butter) and a squirt of lemon juice right at the end. And don’t forget the zest.

Cooking Tips for Snow Peas

Definitely get your pan nice and hot from the start. You don’t want the food to steam too much. Just a quick toss with some fat will bring out the color a bit and will intensify the flavor while preserving the crunch.

After only a couple of minutes of tossing the snow peas in the skillet, you finish the snow peas off with a small amount of acid from the lemon to really make the green color deepen.

These are so pretty, you can’t NOT want to pop them in your mouth.

Serving Ideas

If you’re looking for a few sides to throw together. You can make a great meal with a protein side:

snow peas sautéed with olive oil and lemon

5-Minute Snow Peas Recipe

Snow peas are a cold weather crop so they are harvested in Spring and Fall. Since the seeds aren't fully mature, they have a mild, sweet delicate flavor.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: snow peas
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 79kcal
Author: Chef Sara Furcini


  • 16 ounces 1 bag snow peas
  • olive oil or butter
  • sea salt
  • lemon zest and juice
  • freshly ground black pepper or red chile flakes optional


  • Prep the snow peas. Grab any hard stems and pull to remove any thick fibers that might be unpleasant to eat.
  • Sauté, season, and serve. Heat a skillet over medium heat and coat with a glug of olive oil (about 1 tablespoon). Add the snow peas and stir occasionally cooking just a few minutes. Season with salt (pepper, too, if you’d like) and shave some lemon zest over top (a quick squirt of lemon will brighten the green color even more). Serve as a bright, crisp side to salmon or enjoy as-is!


Serving: 11/2 cup serving | Calories: 79kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 227mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1233IU | Vitamin C: 68mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg

Photography by Adam Rahman

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