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How to Prepare Sugar Snap Peas

By Jenny Harrington ; Updated September 21, 2017

The mild, sweet flavor of sugar snap peas is a crisp addition to salads, stir-fries and a variety of other dishes. The peas are harvested while the pods are still green and tender, when the peas are full-size. Sugar snap peas are a cool-season vegetable, reaching maturity in late spring and early summer. Properly preparing the peas prior to eating or storing ensures that they will be at their peak flavor when served.

Pick sugar snap peas when the pods are 2 ½ to 3 inches long. Harvest in the afternoon after the morning dew has evaporated off the plants.

Place the peas in a colander and rinse them under cool, running water. Scrub lightly to remove any dirt on the pods, taking care not to damage them.

Locate the string-like fiber on one end of the pod and pull it off. Cut off each end of the pod with a sharp knife. The string and ends are fibrous and difficult to chew.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, using enough water to cover all of the sugar snap peas. Add the peas to the water and boil for three minutes.

Remove the peas from the boiling water with a slotted spoon, then plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process immediately. Remove the peas from the water and spread them out on a paper towel to dry.

Place the dried peas into a freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to three months. You can keep the bags in the refrigerator for up to one week.


Things You Will Need

  • Colander
  • Knife
  • Pot
  • Bowl
  • Paper towels
  • Freezer bags


  • If you will be serving the sugar snap peas immediately, there is no need to blanch them in boiling water first.
  • When cooking peas, steam them or only cook them enough to heat them; otherwise they will loose their crisp texture and sweet taste.


  • Do not attempt to can sugar snap peas, as the heat from the canning process ruins the texture and flavor of the peas.

About the Author


Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.