Seared Sugar Snap Peas

Almost all the prep time in this recipe is taking the strings off the sugar peas. Once you have that done, the rest is easy.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 as a side


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound sugar snap peas, strings removed
  • 3-4 scallions or green onions, sliced on the diagonal
  • Salt
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Zest of a lemon
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Lemon juice to taste


1 Heat a large sauté pan on high heat for 1 minute. Add the olive oil to the hot pan and heat it until it shimmers, about 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar peas and toss to coat with the oil. Sprinkle salt over them and toss again. Allow to cook, undisturbed, for 1 minute.

2 Add the green onions and sprinkle with a pinch of sugar. Toss to combine. Let cook for 1 minute. Toss and cook untouched again, this time leaving everything undisturbed for 2 minutes.

3 Turn off the heat, mix in the lemon zest and mint, then add black pepper and lemon juice to taste. Serve at once.

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  • Colleen

    Fantastic! I used lime zest (no lemon in the fridge) and it worked really well. This is a really good recipe. And, you really don’t need to use butter – the olive oil works great on its own.

  • Jara

    Great recipes- easy & low fat – my favorites! I have a family member who is allergic to lemons & limes. What is a good substitute for lemon/lime juice and zest? Should I use vinegar or orange (which he can tolerate)?

    Orange s a great idea, just a little orange juice and zest. ~Elise

  • story

    Love the dish you used to photograph! Wishing I planted snap peas this summer….

  • Laurie

    Thanks for the recipe. I love sugar snap peas! We use them in our salads and in my stir fry recipe.

  • Jackie

    I made these for dinner this evening, alongside kafta with tzatziki, lettuce and red onion and homemade sourdough wheat pitas. Loved using the mint with peas, such a classic and perfect combination. Thanks for posting this!

  • mark

    I’m gonna try this, Elise try Burpee’s Sugar Daddy, compact and productive and best of all STRINGLESS !

  • Kelli

    This recipe sounds so delicious but my family refuses to eat onions or scallions :(. Will it hurt the recipe to omit them, or should I alter the recipe in any way? Thank you!

    Just leave them out, the peas will be fine. ~Elise

  • KimH

    Yummy!! One of my favs too. We never got enough to take in the house either but the garden was our schmorgisboard and we loved it.
    I cant seem to get sugar snaps to grow here in Ohio.. I think I’ll try again this year. ;)

  • Nancy Long

    we don’t really have the garden space to grow them, plus W. central FL is way to hot. Will be watching for them at the market though, one of our fav spring veggies.

  • Joanie

    Another great recipe! I can’t wait for my peas to be ready.

  • Kalyn

    I am crazy over sugar snap peas, no matter how they are cooked and I especially love the idea of using mint with them.

  • Natalie

    I LOVE snap peas. These would make a great side dish with an Asian dinner, or perhaps this sauteed shrimp pasta! Thanks for sharing.

  • mirjam

    My sugarsnaps never make it to the kitchen either, they’re just too delicious! But you’re right, when they’re ready in the garden, they must be on the market too… :)

  • Katrina

    These look so delicious!

  • Cooking fan

    HEALTHY! thanks alot Elise, I will try it this week and report back, looks very delicious, I hope you don’t mind if I pin it to my friends so they can enjoy it!

  • Alfredo

    Looking forward to trying this! I tried your recipe for broccoli with ginger and sesame and it came out brilliantly.

  • jmf

    Not sure if the timing works where you are but a similar and delicious recipe with snap peas is to saute with butter and garlic scapes (those curly queue top of garlic plants)…so yummy!