Stringy Peas? How to Cook Sugar Snap Peas Like a Pro

They’ve Got Strings

Are you wondering why sugar snap peas are labeled “stringless,” when it seems like all you get is strings after cooking them?

It’s not the peas. It’s you. (Sorry!)

There are many foods that I am not expert at making, but I am a darned good pea maker! The secret is the cooking time.

Crunch Time

All types of peas (fresh, frozen, or in the pod) taste one hundred percent better if they are cooked just a bit. 

I learned by trial and error that overcooking sugar snaps makes them stringy. Even now, I often want to cook them longer than I should.

We are so conditioned to want to cook vegetable to death but less cooking time means the veggies retain more of their vitamins and polyphenols.

Of course, everyone’s stove is different. Even the definition of “boiling water” varies from cook to cook. So, start with the basic recipe below and then adjust as needed.

Here’s how to make perfect sugar snap peas so that they stay true to their “stringless” identity.

Perfect, Stringless Sugar Snap Peas

They really are stringless, as long as you don’t overcook them!
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: International
Keyword: legumes, peas, snap peas, sugar snap peas
Servings: 4
Calories: 25kcal
Author: A. JoAnn


  • 8 oz. sugar snap peas raw
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. butter or olive oil


  • Rinse and set aside raw snap peas.
  • Fill a medium saucepan with enough water to fully cover peas. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cover.
    Bring the pot to full boil.
    Rinsed in a colander, snap pea pods are added to rapidly boiling water.
  • Remove lid and add the snap peas to the boiling water.
    Cook for about 60-70 seconds. Taste test.  Peas should still be crunchy, with only a tiny bit more “give” than when they were raw. The peas will continue to soften, so err on the side of a more firm pod.
  • Turn off heat and drain pea pods in a colander.
    Once drained, empty the pea pods into a serving dish.
  • Add a small bit of butter or olive oil (1/4 tsp.) and mix to distribute.
    Serve delicious, stringless, snap peas!

If you like this recipe, try our snap pea and radish salad with honey-baked feta. It’s yummy!

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Author: A. JoAnn

Here is where I share the beauty I find in everyday life; and the humor, too!

10 thoughts

  1. I’m so glad that you found this post useful. Once you’ve aced cooking snap peas, you’ve found a veggie kids will actually eat!

  2. Thank you! I followed your advice and peas we’re perfect!

  3. Yes! I would taste test a bit earlier than 1 minute, as the pods are thinner than snap peas.

  4. I would guess that you could use the microwave. Maybe start with 30 seconds.

  5. Would this apply to snow peas (mangetout) as well, do you think?

  6. That’s so great. We had some, too. They are so tasty at this time of year

  7. I hate those strings. It ruins the peas!!! Aunt J, can you cook them in the microwave and not get the nasty strings? Then you don’t have to clean a pot.

  8. Thanks for the tip. Made a batch tonight and they were perfect!

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