Steamed artichokes are so easy to make and so tasty that you will fall in love with this delicious vegetable.
When steamed artichokes melt in your mouth, they are creamy and with a mild flavor, slightly nutty, and a little sweet.
Check out our how to cook artichokes guide!
What to expect
Steamed artichokes are artichokes that are first cleared of their harder leaves, then steamed for 30 to 40 minutes, and enjoyed with a drizzle of olive oil or with some mayo.
Despite being extremely simple to make, steamed artichokes are absolutely delicious, soft, and buttery. You'll be able to fully taste the artichoke flavor, at its best, unadulterated, pure.
To learn more about artichokes check out our guide on how to cook artichokes with our best artichoke recipes. If you're curious about steaming other veggies, take a peek at our steamed asparagus recipe that takes just 10 mins to cook.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Artichokes: try to get some fresh artichokes. We recommend the freshest artichoke for this recipe as they are less "hairy" inside and more tender.
An artichoke is fresh when it's 1) heavy, 2) squeaky when you squeeze its head/leaves, 3) toned, not floppy, especially the stalk, 4) it has a uniform colour, with no dark spots.
- Aromatics: optional, but we recommend adding a couple of bay leaves and a couple of mint leaves in the steaming water. It adds a nice aroma to the steamed artichokes.
- Seasoning: salt, black pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon and some fresh flat-leaf parsley are our favorite seasonings to add on top of the steamed artichokes just before serving.
You can also serve them with some mayonnaise if you prefer. Check out our recipe for homemade vegan mayo.
You'll need a pot with a lid and a steamer basket. If you don't have a steamer basket you can steam them without. In this case, follow our recipe for braised artichokes 'carciofi alla romana', it's equally easy and delicious.
How to make steamed artichokes
Clean the artichokes first
Here's our full guide on how to clean and cook artichokes. Before touching the artichokes, brush your hands with lemon or use gloves to prevent your hands from getting brown.
Remove the harder and woodier outer leaves of the artichoke with your hands. Then trim the stem, and peel it.
With your thumbs gently open up the center of the artichoke exposing the core of the choke, then with a teaspoon remove the fuzzy core.
Put the clean artichoke in a bowl with cold water and lemon so that they don't turn black.
Note: some like to remove the choke after the artichoke is cooked. You can definitely do that, but I think it’s very annoying to do that operation while you are eating. So I'd remove the choke before cooking the artichoke.
Steam the artichokes
Add about an inch or 2.5 cm of water to the pot, add some aromatics like mint or bay leaves if you like, place the steamer basket in, arrange the artichokes on the basket, face down, and cover with the lid.
Bring the pot to a simmer and steam until the artichokes are soft. It can take between 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the artichokes.
To check if they are done, slide a small knife through the base of the artichoke. If it slides easily, the artichokes are done steaming.
How to serve steamed artichokes
To serve them, take them out of the pot, place them on a plate, and you can add some freshly squeezed lemon juice, a pinch of salt, some pepper on top.
Sprinkle with some freshly chopped parsley or mint, a drizzle of olive oil, or, if you prefer, dip them in our 1-minute vegan mayo or in any other dipping sauce.
How to eat steamed artichokes
You can eat three parts of steamed artichokes: the stem, the heart, and part of the petals.
Now, depending on how well you cleaned them, you might still have some rough petals around the artichoke. If you do, then eat them one by one.
Peel off one petal at a time, hold it with the tips of your thumb and index fingers, then put it in your mouth and scrape the flesh off with your teeth.
This is kind of fun to do, and the leaves are packed with antioxidants like no other veggie, but it's gonna be a little messy, I warned you.
Then when you reach the softer petals, you can just either eat the artichoke with a knife and fork or with your hands.
I like to remove the petals from the heart. Then first I eat the petals, they are super soft. Then all I am left with is the heart, and trust me, that’s one of the most delicious things ever!
And because we cleaned out the choke before, you don't have to worry about that, and you can just dig in and eat the whole thing.
Another delicious way of eating steamed artichokes is to cut them open in half, arrange them on a plate, then season them with finely chopped flat-leaves parsley, a little garlic, olive oil, salt, and a squeeze of lemon.
Store steamed artichokes in the refrigerator for a couple of days. The best way to reheat steamed artichokes is to warm them up in the microwave for 2 minutes.
Add some freshly squeezed lemon juice on top, a drizzle of olive oil, and if you have it a sprinkle of chopped parsley.
More artichoke recipes
- How to cook artichokes with our best artichoke recipes
- How to cook with artichoke scraps
- Roasted artichokes
- Pan fried artichokes
- Braise artichokes - Italian style artichokes
- Artichoke pasta
For many more side dishes ideas, check out our sides category page.
- steamer basket
- 5 artichokes
- 1 lemon
- 2 leaves mint or bay leaves (optional)
- 2 tablespoons vegan mayo
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 twists black pepper
- 1 handful parsley chopped
- Fill up a large bowl with cold water, then squeeze the juice of a lemon in it. Set aside.With a serrated knife, cut off the top spiky ⅓ of the artichoke and remove tough outer leaves. Trim the stem down to 2 inches and peel it.
- With your thumbs, loosen up the head of the artichoke exposing the choke. With a knife or with a sturdy teaspoon, remove the choke - the fuzzy central part.
- Put the artichoke in the bowl with the lemon water to prevent discolouration and browning.
- To a large pot add 1½ inches of water and the bay leaves or mint. Put the steamer basket into the pot, then arrange the artichokes on the steamer basket, head down.
- Cover the pot, bring to a simmer, and steam until tender. It can take from 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of your artichokes. Pierce with the tip of a pointy knife to check doneness. The knife should slide in easy.
- Serve with a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, a pinch of salt and black pepper, or dip in vegan mayo.