What Are The Best Foods To Steam?

If you are looking for a new way to cook food that is economical, fast, and easy and preserves the flavor and nutrients of the food being cooked, steaming is one of the best cooking methods. 

However, you might not know what kinds of foods you can steam, which is what we will discuss. 

First, let’s look at the best foods to steam.

18 Best Foods To Steam

There are many foods you steam with a steamer, but here are the 18 best foods we happily recommend.


One of the easiest foods to steam are carrots, which, if thinly sliced, will take between 6 and 8 minutes to cook. 

Simply peel your carrots, slice, and steam, all within about 10 minutes. 

Carrots are incredibly healthy, loaded with beta-carotene, vitamin A, calcium, and vitamin K, and therefore have many health benefits.



Another easy-to-steam food is cauliflower. If the cauliflower florets are of average size, expect them to take around 6 minutes to steam until ready. 

Cauliflower contains plenty of fiber that is good for the digestive system and plenty of B vitamins that serve many purposes in the human body. 

Cauliflower is also rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants, which also have a variety of health benefits.


Bright green asparagus spears can also be steamed; if they are relatively thick, it should take about 6 minutes. 

Asparagus contains various nutrients, including vitamins K, C, and A, fiber, and folate. 

As a result, weight loss, a boosted metabolism, lower blood pressure, and many other benefits can be reaped from eating asparagus.


Broccoli is another healthy and easy-to-steam vegetable that works well as a side to any protein. 

Average-size broccoli florets will take around 5 minutes to cook thoroughly in a food steamer. 

Broccoli is one of the healthiest foods available, as it contains various vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and bioactive compounds, which contribute to the healthy functioning of the human body.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are also a fantastic food to cook in your food steamer; they take up to 10 minutes and are easy to prepare. 

They contain many vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial substances, such as antioxidants. 

They are excellent for preventing high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and various types of cancer.

Green Beans

Green beans are also a highly healthy vegetable that is very easy to steam, as they take just  5 minutes. Just remember to cut the ends off both sides. 

Green beans contain high amounts of vitamins K and B, calcium, and other minerals. As a result, green beans are excellent for maintaining heart and bone health. 

Green beans also contain high amounts of vitamins A and C, folic acid, and fiber, which have specific health benefits.


Steaming spinach is another excellent option because leafy greens take around 5 minutes to steam. 

Spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense foods, as it contains very high quantities of vitamins C, K, and E, potassium, iron, and magnesium. 

In terms of health benefits, spinach is one of the best foods.


For a nutrient-dense food, kale is another excellent option, and just like spinach, it should take around 5 minutes to steam. 

Kale is even denser in nutrients than spinach, with extremely high amounts of vitamins C, K, and B, iron, and other minerals. 

Kale is one of the best foods for weight loss, heart health, and other health goals.


steam peas

If you are looking for something quick and easy to cook in your food steamer, green peas take just 3 minutes to steam. 

In addition, peas are incredibly healthy, as they are rich in vitamins C and E, antioxidants, and zinc. 

They also contain smaller amounts of vitamins A and B and other trace nutrients. 

As a result, peas are excellent for reducing inflammation and the risk of chronic conditions and preventing heart disease and diabetes.


Although not everybody enjoys the taste of artichoke, it is an extremely healthy food; moreover, you can steam it. 

Regarding the time required to steam an artichoke, it is one of the lengthier vegetables to cook, as it can take 25 or 30 minutes to cook thoroughly in a steamer. 

Artichokes are full of many different vitamins and minerals and can decrease bad cholesterol, regulate blood pressure, improve digestive health, ease symptoms of IBS, lower blood sugar, and more.


Although potatoes aren’t the healthiest food you can eat, they contain carbohydrates and trace amounts of vitamins and minerals. 

Moreover, potatoes can be eaten with virtually every meal. 

However, if the potatoes are relatively small, they will take up to 20 minutes to steam.

And if they are larger, they may take up to 30 minutes thoroughly cook in a steamer.


Although turnips are not the first thing you would think of putting in a steamer, it is possible to steam them, but be aware that they will take as long as potatoes, if not longer. 

However, turnips are relatively healthy as they contain various vitamins and minerals that can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of chronic conditions.


If you are looking for a good side dish to any meal, there’s nothing better than rice (or brown rice). It will take about 20 minutes to cook in a steamer. 

You can always cook white rice, as this is what most people prefer; however, brown rice is healthier.


steam buns

One of the tastiest foods to cook in a steamer is the Chinese steamed bun, a dough filled with meat and vegetables. 

Making them properly should take around 15 minutes to steam and qualify as a complete meal. 

Then, dip them in soy and hot sauce for an extra kick.


If you enjoy seafood, try steaming shrimp, which should take no longer than 6 minutes. 

However, the crab will take 20 to 30 minutes to steam, depending on how large the crabs are.


If you prefer fish over seafood, this is another option, with most average fish pieces taking between 10 to 15 minutes to steam thoroughly. 

But, of course, fish is one of the healthier meats.

Related: How To Steam Fish In A Bamboo Steamer.

Pork and Beef

You can always steam pork and beef if you like red meat. 

However, depending on how thick the meat is, it may take between 20 and 50 minutes to cook and become tender.


Dumplings are another great food to steam, as there are dozens of different varieties. 

Moreover, dumplings only take a few minutes to steam, making them a quick meal option.


As you can see, there are many foods you can steam, including vegetables, meat, and other dishes.

Here is our related article about what you can cook in a steamer.