Sauteed Peas and Beans

  • By Jackie Sun
  • September 8, 2014

Weeknight Side Dish via @CookSmarts: Sauteed Peas and Beans #recipe

One of the best things about living in California is the abundant produce found year-round. We’re all for eating seasonally, but sometimes it’s a little hard not to take advantage of what’s in the supermarket. Especially when we’re nearing the end of warm-weather season and we would do anything to hold on to the last bits of summer!

So when we came across some sugar snap peas, we knew we had to buy them, if only to relish in the feeling of summer a little longer.

Sugar snap peas are best in the spring time and are a cross between snow peas and English peas. In other words, the best of both worlds. They’re edible-podded, so they don’t require any shelling, plus they’re sweet and crisp. To keep them crisp, they don’t require a long cooking time, which is why this is such a perfect side dish.

We know school has already started, and in between making sure lunches are packed and trying to get to work on time, it can be hard to meal plan, much less get dinner on the table in record time once you get home after a long day.

That’s why we came up with 5 Tips for Packing a Healthy School Lunch and 5 Simple Dinners that Make Delicious Leftover Lunches.
Sauteed Peas and Beans #recipe via @CookSmartsBut when all you want is to get dinner on the table quickly and keep it healthy with some green veggies, then this saute is the perfect recipe to keep around, not only because it’s quick to make, but quite versatile.

We used sugar snap peas (to take advantage of it while we still could), and frozen lima beans because they’re great to keep in the freezer and super quick to cook. You could always substitute these peas and beans for green beans and frozen peas instead, or even use frozen carrots or corn to add some color to the dish.

Having frozen vegetables available in your freezer means that you won’t have to make up an excuse for not eating veggies. Frozen vegetables and fruits are also super healthy, because they are frozen at their peak and that’s when they are filled with the most nutrients.

As for the basil, which we added for that warm-weather feel, you can substitute with fresh in-season herbs, such as oregano, chives, thyme, or dill.

So, all in all, our tip of the day is to keep frozen veggies on hand for fast cooking and healthy side dishes! And did we mention…no chopping is involved?

Prepping Smarts:

The only chopping required for this dish is to dice an onion. But it can be done quite quickly and easily. Here’s how:


How to Chop & Dice an Onion

Learning how to dice an onion correctly will save you so much time in the kitchen.

Equipment Smarts:

Dishes are kept at a minimum for this side dish (which means less washing!), and a saute pan is all you’ll need.

For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our ‘Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools’

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Sauteed Sugar Snap Peas

This simple veggie saute is the perfect side dish to accompany any weeknight meal. Not only is it easy and quick to make, it's also super healthy, delicious, and versatile.

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 10 min

Total time: 20 min

Serves: 4


  • Onion - 1, diced
  • Sugar snap peas - 1 lb, trimmed
  • Lima beans - 1/2 cup, frozen
  • Basil - 1 sprig, leaves torn
  • Butter - 1 tbsp
  • Lemon - 1/2, juice of



  1. Onions / Snap peas – Prep as directed (kids can trim with scissors). (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)


  1. Heat a saute pan up over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then onions to heated oil with a dash of salt. Saute onions until softened, ~3 minutes.
  2. Add in snap peas and lima beans. Saute until snap peas are tender but still crunchy, and lima beans are warmed through, 4 to 6 minutes.
  3. Remove peas and beans from heat. Add in basil, butter, and lemon juice. Toss through and season with salt and pepper, if desired.


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