10 Minute Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon

Say hello to this super easy sugar snap peas with lemon side dish. This sugar snap peas recipe is my go-to side dish recipe when I don’t have a lot of time for preparing a healthy side dish. It comes together in 10 minutes and can be paired with so many of your favorite entrees.

Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon | This Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon is a 10 minutes recipe that makes a healthy and delicious side dish. | A Sweet Pea Chef

Do you struggle with making dinner?  For many, it’s relatively easy to think of the main entree and to keep it clean and healthy. But, for some reason, people run out of ideas when it comes to side dishes and so they stick with the classic options that are not always healthy. You know…fries, mashed potatoes, white rice, pasta, all those usual suspects.

Does this sound familiar?

While these options may be tasty, they are not always very healthy or nutritious. And, while I still like to enjoy them every now and again, on a regular basis, I prefer healthier and more nutritious side dishes, like this sautéed sugar snap peas recipe.

If you’re anything like me, you love to eat fresh, raw snap peas right out of the bag.  Guilty. As. Charged.  If so, I’m pretty sure you’ll very much enjoy this side dish.  It’s the next best thing.

These little snap peas are SO delicious.  And this sugar snap peas recipe is simple, flavorful, and super easy.

The lemon zest adds the perfect strong, yet delicate, flavor to the sweet, crunchy snap peas.

Sometimes, if I have it on hand, I also like to throw in some fresh thyme leaves right at the end to add some extra oomph to the snap peas.

All in all, this recipe for snap peas makes a great side dish and takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish.  Winner!

A bowl of sugar snap peas ready to be used to make Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon.


Okay — wondering what snap peas and snow peas are and how they’re different?  Snap peas and snow peas are both members of the legume family. Also, both of them are climbing plants and are related to garden peas. They are similar, but not the same.

The most noticeable differences are their look and their taste, but the recommended cooking styles for snap peas and snow peas are also different from the cooking style of garden peas.

Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Snap peas, or sugar snap peas, are basically a cross between garden peas and snow peas. The whole pod is edible and they have a crunchy flavor and sweet taste.

What to do with snap peas:

  • Eat them raw as a snack <—- LOVE!
  • Use them to make simple side dishes, like this sugar snap peas with lemon
  • Slice them diagonally and toss in a salad for extra crunch.

Snow peas, also known as Chinese pea pods, are flat and they have very small peas inside. They have a mild flavor and, as in the case of snap peas, the whole pod can be eaten.

What do to with snow peas:

  • Eat them raw as a snack.
  • Use them in stir-fries.

Separated ingredients that will be used to make Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon including sugar snap peas, lemon, olive oil, salt, and pepper.


Ok, snap peas are delicious but what are the snap pea health benefits? I mean…are snap peas healthy?

Thanks for asking.  You know I love ya!

Snap peas are healthy, yes.  And they also have numerous health benefits.

Wanna talk about them? Yeah? Ok.  Mwah.

Snap peas…

  • Are high in fiber, which means they help your digestive system to work properly and they regulate your blood sugar levels.
  • Are low in calories. One cup of snap peas contains only 60 calories.
  • Are fat-free and they contain folate. Folate helps to lower the levels of amino acids in your body.
  • Are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C boots our immune system and prevents cold and flu.
  • Contain carotenoid. Carotenoid promotes eye health.
  • Contain calcium. Calcium is good for bone health.
  • Contain iron, which can help in combating anemia.

Snap pea nutrition per serving  (serving size – 1 cup)

  • Calories – 60
  • Fat – 0
  • Cholesterol – 0
  • Potassium – 0
  • Carbs – 10.5g
  • Dietary fiber – 3g
  • Sugars – 4.5g
  • Vitamin A – 8% of the recommended daily dose
  • Vitamin C – 18% of the recommended daily dose
  • Calcium – 6% of the recommended daily dose
  • Iron – 13% of the recommended daily dose

As you can see, sugar snap peas are undoubtedly good for you.

Oooohhhhh SNAP!  (Had to!)

Close up of the sugar snap peas in the pan while being sauteed.


I like to buy snap peas that are already de-stringed because it makes them just that much easier to prepare.  And… because I can be a little lazy with things like that.  At least I’m honest, right?

However, if you want to learn how to trim sugar snap peas, I can teach you. When I’m not lazy, I do it myself. So don’t worry I know how to do it.

How to trim sugar snap peas:

  1. Start with a snap pea in one hand and a paring knife in the other hand.
  2. Make sure the inside curve of the pod faces you.
  3. Sever the top of the snap pea and you’ll see a tough string that runs along the pod.
  4. Pull that string out.

That’s it. There’s no need to remove the other string but you can do it if you want.

See? It’s not hard and I know it isn’t but it takes time and, sometimes, I really don’t have that much time on my hands.

Bwahahaha: sometimes!

View from above of the Sugar Snap Peas being sauteed in the pan.


If you’re not the type of person who enjoys raw snap peas, you’ll need 2 things:

  1. learn how to cook snap peas
  2. snap peas recipes

This sautéed sugar snap peas recipe is my top recommendation, but if you learn how to cook snap peas, you’ll have tons of delicious options.

Sugar snap peas are best when they are briefly cooked. Cooking them for too long means ending up with soggy and bitter snap peas. Bleh! You don’t want that so make sure you don’t overcook them.

Perfectly cooked snap peas are green and they maintain a slight crunch.  Basically: You want them to — snap — when you bite into them.

Now here are some cooking options for you:

  • Sauté them for 2 or 3 minutes with olive oil. Season them with salt and pepper and enjoy them. Or, if you want more flavors, use my sugar snap peas recipe.
  • Grill them for 2 or 3 minutes on each side. Season them with salt and pepper and serve them as a side dish.
  • Roast them in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. You can season them with lemon zest or parmesan for extra taste.

Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon in the pan ready to be transferred to a plate with a wooden spoon. The Sugar Snap Peas were garnished with lemon slices..


Lemon zest is the perfect addition to making snap peas and I LOVE it in this sugar snap pea recipe.

Speaking of lemon zest… Do you know how to zest a lemon properly?

First, you should know that zesting lemons can be done with many kitchen tools like…

Secondly, follow the steps below if you want to zest a lemon properly:

  1. Wash the lemon thoroughly.
  2. Dry the lemon with a paper towel.
  3. Make sure that when you’re zesting the lemons, you’re taking off only the yellow part. The white part is bitter and you want to avoid grating it.
  4. Tip: to prevent the lemon zest from sticking to the zester or grater, wrap the tool in plastic wrap before grating.  When you’re done, pull the plastic wrap from the grater and shake it to transfer the lemon zest to a plate.

If you want to use a vegetable peeler or a paring knife to zest lemons…

  1. Carefully peel thin slices of lemon skin. Make sure you stay peel only the yellow layer.
  2. Chop finely.

Sauteed sugar snap peas garnished with lemon slices ready to be served.


This sugar snap peas recipe is proof that side dishes can be healthy and delicious at the same time. Also quick and easy to make. Do I have other similar side dish recommendations? Of course I do. Here they are:


This Lemon Roasted Asparagus recipe is another side dish recipe that is ready in 10 minutes.

Close-Up of Asparagus topped with Parmesan Cheese on a Cookie Sheet Covered Pan After Roasting

Gotta love these 10-minute recipes, am I right? But that’s not all. This recipe is also easy to prepare, it does not require many ingredients, it tastes super yummy. Oh, the clean up is also super easy. Get the recipe.


This Garlic Parmesan Green Beans recipe is not another 10 minutes recipe. It is a 15 minutes recipe.

Horizontal image of the garlic parmesan green beans. Close up to show texture and grated parmesan.

Green beans are delicious and crunchy, easy to cook and, when paired with garlic and parmesan, they make an amazing side dish for your favorite main dish recipes. Get the recipe.


You cannot have a healthy side dishes list without a broccoli recipe. So here’s my Roasted Broccoli recipe.

Roasted Broccoli | A healthy and delicious vegetarian side! www.asweetpeachef.com

The flavor and texture of this baked broccoli are amazing and I know this side dish will become one of your favorite side dishes. Get the recipe.

5 from 2 votes
Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon | This Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon is a 10 minutes recipe that makes a healthy and delicious side dish. | A Sweet Pea Chef
Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon
Prep Time
3 mins
Cook Time
7 mins
Total Time
10 mins

Say hello to this super easy sugar snap peas with lemon side dish. This sugar snap peas recipe is my go-to side dish recipe when I don’t have a lot of time for preparing a healthy side dish. It comes together in 10 minutes and can be paired with so many of your favorite entrees.

Categories: Dinner, Healthy Recipe, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian
Difficulty: Easy
Keyword: snap peas, sugar snap peas, sugar snap peas recipe
Servings: 5 cups
Calories: 79 kcal
Author: Lacey Baier
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb fresh sugar snap peas
  • 1 tsp lemon zest, freshly grated
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.

  2. Add the snap peas and toss to coat. Cook snap peas for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

  3. Add the lemon zest, salt and pepper (and thyme, if you wish) and cook an additional 3-5 minutes, until the snap peas begin to puff up and are crisp, yet tender.
  4. Serve immediately.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 79 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Sodium 295mg12%
Potassium 226mg6%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 1235IU25%
Vitamin C 68.7mg83%
Calcium 49mg5%
Iron 2.4mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post contains affiliate links for products I use often and highly recommend.

Lacey Baier

Hey there! I’m Lacey Baier and I’d like to welcome you! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, as well as cleanish, my clean-eating supplement brand. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

14 thoughts on “10 Minute Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon

  1. Delicious! I squeezed some of the lemon juice over the peas, in addition to the zest. I loved the way the peas weren’t mushy, crisp and tender. The peas I had did not require stringing but I always check several before cooking them.

  2. My daughter made honey lemon chicken for dinner. I had picked up a of sugar peas from Walmart the other day. I grabbed the bag and start to take off the tips and strings when I found out there were no strings. Checked the bag and they were stringless! Delicious recipe. Loved them with the chicken and extra long basmati rice.

  3. Okay, somehow I can’t find the recipe anywhere. I see the difference between sugar and snap and how to zest a lemon but where is the sugar snap pea with lemon 10 minute recipe?

    1. If you still haven’t found it… At the top of the page is a button that says something like Jump to Recipe. Try that. Good luck!

  4. Did you know that Healthy Choice makes a Cafe Steamer frozen meal called Cafe Steamers, sweet Sesame chicken and they include snow peas, but they do Not De=string the pea pods… I almost choked on the strings, and even did hve to pull a couple strings from my throat…
    they get too soggy, too, and can slip down someone’s throat.. I agree with you that snow peas should be lightly cooked, adn have some Crucn (instead) Meanwhile they all should BE De-Stringed before cooking, as the straings Can be caught in yoru teeth or worse, caught in your throat..

    would appreciate it, if you amended your blog/ recipes to Recommend! destringing them if going to cook them! it takes a bit of time and effort but then no one could choke onthe sttrings… thank you…
    BTW, when I used to cook them from scratch, I always did de string them!

    PS: I AM going to call HC about this issue, too. I think they should be de stringed always. no matter how they are cooked.

  5. We just tried these tonight. I only had dried thyme powder, but it came out wonderful! My son requested seconds. 😀

  6. We eat snap peas like they’re going out of style..can’t wait to try your lemon snap peas!! Have a great Christmas Lacey!

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