How to Prepare and Cook Artichokes

Steaming whole artichokes is one of the tastiest and simplest ways to enjoy this spring vegetable. Our video shows how easy it is to prep and cook them for a healthy side dish.

  • By Jess Dang
  • June 8, 2017

Here in California, we’re lucky to have artichokes year-round. But these spiky green globes are at their peak from March to May and that’s when we like to enjoy them best.

Buying and cooking produce seasonally not only means that you get to eat them at their tastiest, but they’re cheaper when they are in season too. If you want to keep track of what produce is in season, you can download our free Vegetables by Month chart here and Fruits by Month chart here.

Even though it’s June now, I’m still seeing them at my local farmer’s market and I can’t resist a good artichoke.

Artichokes are very healthy and delicious, and they’re  simple to make, so I don’t want you to get intimated by this mysterious vegetable.

At first glance, it’s hard to figure out exactly how to eat this sucker and why you would even want to bother. However, according to several sources, the artichoke has some amazing toxin-kicking powers, especially for the liver.

I discovered this when I was diagnosed with a liver disease in 1999. Shortly after, I went through a tough round of interferon treatment, and my mom – a believer in natural remedies – often prepared artichokes for me. I am now cured so who knows whether it was the chemotherapy or the artichokes?

I clearly will never know, but I do know that artichokes are a great part of any healthy diet. Today, I still frequently cook artichokes and my favorite way to enjoy them is just steamed and dipped into some melted butter with lemon or a flavorful, quick “aioli.”

The video below shows you just how easy it is to prepare and cook artichokes using a steamer basket. It also shows how to make two of my favorite dipping sauces. Check it out here:


How to Prep & Steam Artichokes

Learn how to prepare and cook artichokes and make two simple dipping sauces in this short cooking video.

While I can easily snack on steamed artichokes with a simple dipping sauce any time of day, it makes for a different and fun side dish to go alongside any meal. It does take a bit of time to cook, but if you pop these onto the steamer basket first, you can cook the rest of your dinner, and they will be ready by the time the main course is done.

If you’re looking for a main course idea to serve with steamed artichokes, our Mediterranean Baked Orzo is a must. Pasta, veggies, and cheese come together for a hearty, vegetarian meal that is filling and satisfying. Get the full recipe below and make sure to snap a photo of your homemade Mediterranean dinner to share with us on Instagram with hashtag #cooksmarts!

Now go and make some steamed artichokes before the season completely passes!

Weeknight Recipe: Mediterranean Baked Orzo with Steamed Artichokes via @cooksmarts


This baked pasta dish is made with rice-shaped orzo, cheese and a Mediterranean tomato sauce. Because orzo are so small, they don’t need to be pre-cooked before baking. Serve with steamed artichokes and a simple pesto aioli on the side for a gourmet, vegetarian meal that even die-hard carnivores will love!

Get this Recipe Here

Note: This blog post was originally published in June 2013 and has been updated with new and helpful resources.

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Weeknight Recipe: Mediterranean Baked Orzo with Steamed Artichokes via @cooksmartsHow to Prep & Steam Artichokes | Cooking Video by @cooksmartsSide Dish Recipe: Steamed Artichokes with Pesto Aioli via @cooksmarts


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