This simple recipe for Sesame Snap Peas might just be the perfect green veggie side dish! Crisp-tender, healthy, fresh snap peas are sauteed quickly with sesame oil and soy sauce, for a fast and flavorful dish with oodles of flavor.

up close shot of cooked sugar snap peas arranged in a silver colored skillet

An Easy Sauteed Snap Peas Recipe

If there’s one thing that being a busy parent has taught me, it’s that everyone should have a few super-simple, super-fast recipes up their sleeve. If those recipes are healthy and kid-friendly, then that’s even better! This easy recipe for a sesame snap pea side dish checks all of the boxes. 

Made in literally about ten minutes, this is a quick green veggie that has a pleasant, nutty taste, thanks to sesame oil and a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds. Soy sauce gives the dish an umami depth of flavor, and salt and pepper finish it off. Definite Yum!

Are Snow Peas and Snap Peas the Same Thing?

Snow peas and snap peas are often used in the same kinds of recipes, so you may be wondering if they’re the same veggie. The answer is, almost! Sugar snap peas (AKA snap peas) are a cross between regular peas, which are very rounded and have to be shelled, and snow peas, which are flatter and are eaten without shelling. 

You need to try this recipe for Garlic Parmesan Sugar Snap Peas!

The result? Snap peas are tender, sweet, crisp, and rounded, with edible pods – so there’s no need to shell them before cooking and eating. You can use snap peas in any recipe that calls for snow peas, and vice versa.

cooked sugar snap peas arranged in a silver colored skillet

What You’ll Need

Aside from fresh snap peas, the only ingredients that you will need are simple seasoning and flavoring items that you probably keep in your kitchen already! Here’s that list:

  • Sesame Oil and Avocado Oil: The sesame oil is crucial for flavor, but you can use any neutral cooking oil in place of the avocado oil: peanut, vegetable, or whatever you like! 
  • Snap Peas: The star of the show! Make sure they’re washed and dried well, so the oil doesn’t spatter too much when you cook them.
  • Soy Sauce: I prefer low sodium soy sauce, but you could substitute regular soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste.
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds: For garnishing the dish.
raw fresh sugar snap peas arranged in a silver colored skillet.

How to Make Sesame Soy Snap Peas

Since this recipe comes together so quickly, it’s helpful to make it after any other dishes on the menu are done, or close to done. That way your sugar snap peas won’t get cold while you finish making another recipe!

  1. Saute the Snap Peas. In a medium or large skillet set over high heat, add the avocado oil and sesame oil, and let them heat up for a few seconds. Once the oil is hot, add the snap peas. Turn down the heat slightly and saute the snap peas for about two minutes, shaking the pan to cook them evenly. 
  2. Add the Soy Sauce and Let the Snap Peas Rest. Once the two minutes is up, stir in the soy sauce and let that cook for another twenty seconds or so. Take the skillet off the heat, and cover it with a lid or a piece of foil. Let the snap peas rest for five minutes. This gives the flavors a chance to take in.
  3. Enjoy! At the end of five minutes, stir the snap peas and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Depending on your soy sauce, you may not need much (or any) salt. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve warm.
cooked sugar snap peas arranged in a silver colored skillet

Tips, Hacks, and Variations

This easy side dish is so simple, and so fast, you really can’t go wrong. Still, I do have a few tips to share, and some easy ideas for tweaking the recipe. Read on, and bon appetit!

  • Discard the Strings: Sugar snap peas are great, because you don’t have to shell them – but you should take a minute to check the pods for strings. Snow pea pods typically have a tough string, similar to celery string, across one side. Just pinch the edge and pull the string away before cooking.
  • Dry the Peas: If your peas are damp or freshly-washed when you add them to the hot pan, the water and oil will create spatters which can make a big mess, and even worse, cause burns! So make sure to dry the peas well with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel before cooking.
  • Sesame Snap Peas: Since snap peas and snap peas are so similar, feel free to swap them if needed.
  • Lemon-Garlic Snap Peas: For another fun flavor profile, try using olive oil and a little minced garlic, instead of sesame oil. Replace the soy sauce with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a bit of salt, and enjoy!
  • Chicken and Snap Peas: Make an ultra-quick homemade version of this classic stir-fry by sauteing thinly-sliced chicken with salt and pepper, and then add the cooked chicken to the snow or snap peas for the final minute or so of cooking. Drizzle with additional sesame oil and soy sauce to make the recipe saucier.

Serving Suggestions

Snap Peas and Snow Peas are often served with Asian-inspired dishes, and they’re definitely perfect with anything in that style. You can also serve them with your favorite beef, pork, chicken, or vegetarian entrees. Truly a versatile side dish! 

  • Beef: I love these easy Asian Beef Skewers with chunks of tender steak and juicy bell peppers. Snap peas make a mouthwatering side, and keep things low-carb.
  • Noodles: A big, satisfying bowl of Garlic Peanut Noodles makes an easy dinner with tons of umami flavor. Serve it up with sesame sugar snap peas for a vegetarian meal that’ll make your mouth water!
  • Shrimp Fried Rice: I don’t know about you, but just the thought of shrimp and snap peas is making me hungry. Such a perfect combination of sweet, bright flavors! This easy Shrimp Fried Rice is better than takeout, and goes beautifully with a sesame-scented dish of fresh veggies.
cooked sugar snap peas arranged on a dinner plate with chicken thighs placed next to them.

How to Store and Reheat Sesame Snap Peas

  • Like most veggie sides, this is easy to store. Just pop your sesame snap peas into an airtight container or food storage bag, and refrigerate for 4 to 5 days.
  • Reheat snap peas in the microwave, or warm them up in a covered skillet over low heat.

Can I Freeze This Dish?

  • Definitely! Frozen, cooked snap peas have a surprisingly long shelf life, staying fresh in the freezer for 10 months or more! Just cool them down, place them in freezer bags, and press out as much air as possible before sealing. Mark them with the date, and freeze.
  • You can reheat directly from frozen if you keep the temperature low and avoid scorching them!


cooked sugar snap peas arranged in a silver colored skillet


Sesame Snap Peas

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time3 mins

Resting Time5 mins

Total Time15 mins

Crisp-tender, fresh snap peas are sauteed quickly with sesame oil and soy sauce, for a fast and flavorful dish with oodles of flavor.


  • Heat the avocado oil and sesame oil in a frying pan set over high heat.

  • Add the snap peas to the hot oil; turn down the heat to medium-high, and cook for about 2 minutes, shaking the pan and tossing the snap peas as needed.

  • Stir in the soy sauce and cook for 20 seconds.

  • Remove from heat; cover and set aside for 5 minutes.

  • Stir and taste; season with salt and pepper, if needed.

  • Garnish with sesame seeds.

  • Serve.

Nutrition Facts

Sesame Snap Peas

Amount Per Serving

Calories 116
Calories from Fat 63

% Daily Value*

Fat 7g11%

Saturated Fat 1g5%

Polyunsaturated Fat 2g

Monounsaturated Fat 4g

Sodium 437mg18%

Potassium 269mg8%

Carbohydrates 9g3%

Fiber 3g12%

Sugar 5g6%

Protein 4g8%

Vitamin A 1233IU25%

Vitamin C 68mg82%

Calcium 52mg5%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Keywords: easy side dish, healthy side dishes, how to cook snap peas, how to cook snow peas

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