Buttered vegetables is a simple and easy side dish that goes well with so many different main dishes. Pick your favorite vegetable combination and grab some butter, salt and pepper, and I’ll teach you the way of getting perfectly steamed vegetables.

These mixed veggies are a great side dish for my chicken dijon, lemon honey glazed salmon, or Mississippi pot roast recipes.

Close up photo of Buttered Vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower florets, and carrots.

Why This Recipe Works

  • This recipe is easy to follow and breaks down the proper method of steaming vegetables. Following my steam times you’ll get the perfect cook on the carrots, broccoli and cauliflower so you don’t have any mushy vegetables.
  • Buttered vegetables is a great side dish for any meal and is an easy way of preparing vegetables your kids will love. Getting all the nutrients you and your family need at dinnertime has never been easier!
  • Customize this recipe by swapping out different vegetables for your favorite ones.

Ingredients

Ingredients used to make buttered vegetables on a white cutting board.
  • Carrots: Washed, peeled and cut in rounds. Alternatively you can use small baby carrots, however cook time will be slightly longer.
  • Broccoli: Washed and cut into smaller and equal sized florets.
  • Cauliflower: Washed and cut into smaller and equal sized florets
  • Salt & Pepper: Amounts will depend on your likeness.
  • Butter: Add the butter to the hot vegetables so it melts and distributes throughout the vegetables.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Wash, peel (for the carrots) and cut the vegetables.
Chopped cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots on a white cutting board.
  1. Add bout 1-1.5″ inches of water to a medium pot. Place a steamer basket in the pot (the basket is optional; if you don’t have one no worries, you can continue without it). Add the carrots, cover, and steam for 2-3 minutes.
Sliced carrots in a steamer basket that's nestled in a large pot.
  1. Add the broccoli, and cauliflower. Cook until fork tender but slightly crisp. We don’t want them mushy. (about 6-8 minutes more.)
A large pot full of cut broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.
  1. Drain water from the pot.
Freshly steamed broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots in a black pot.
  1. Put the vegetables in a serving bowl and add the butter. Stir to combine.
  2. Season the buttered vegetables with salt and pepper. Serve right away.
Buttered Vegetables in a large serving bowl with cubes of butter over the top.

Recipe Tips

Mix things up with different combinations of vegetables:

Store leftover vegetables in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

FAQs

How do you steam vegetables with butter?

First, prepare the vegetables. Steaming can be done with a steamer basket (put the steamer basket in the pot, fill the pot with about 1-1.5 inches of water and put the vegetables in the steamer basket). However, if you don’t have a steamer basket, you can still steam the vegetables following the same instructions, just without the steamer basket in the pot.

What can I use instead of butter for vegetables?

Drizzle a bit of olive oil on the vegetables, stir, then add salt and pepper.

How can I make my veggies taste better?

First, be sure you aren’t overcooking your vegetables. Overcooked vegetables are mushy and most all of the natural flavor has been cooked out (you’ll notice when you drain a pan and the water is really orange from the carrots or green from any green vegetables). Cook the vegetables until they are just tender to the fork, but still have a bit of resistance. Colors should still be bright. Overcooked vegetables are dull in color and very soft. Add butter, salt and pepper to bring out natural flavors.

Buttered Vegetables featuring broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots in a serving bowl.

More Vegetable Recipes

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a rating and review, or scroll below the recipe card and do so there. 

A bowl full of steamed and buttered broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.
Print Review
5 from 5 votes

Buttered Vegetables

Simple buttered vegetables is a STAPLE side dish in our home! My kids love steamed mixed vegetables that have been topped with butter and sprinkling of salt and pepper. This is a universal vegetable side dish that can be served with any meal.
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
 

  • water
  • 3 large carrots - cut into disks, about 1/4" inch thick
  • 3 cups broccoli - cut into florets
  • 3 cups cauliflower - cut into florets
  • 5 tablespoons butter - cut into cubes (allows butter to melt faster)
  • kosher salt - to taste
  • freshly cracked pepper - to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a medium pot add enough water to go up the sides about 1-1.5" inches. Place a steamer basket in the pot (see notes). Add the carrots, cover, and steam for 2-3 minutes. Remove the lid and add the broccoli, and cauliflower. Cook until fork tender but slightly crisp, about 6-8 minutes more. Watch and continue testing the vegetables with a fork to determine desired doneness.
  • Drain water from the pot. Transfer the vegetables to a serving bowl and add the butter and stir to combine. The butter should melt quickly amongst the steaming hot vegetables. 
  • Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy warm. 

Notes

Steamer basket: You do NOT have to use a steamer basket to make this recipe. If you don’t use a basket you should still follow the recipe as written.
Testing for doneness: Once I added the broccoli and cauliflower I steamed the vegetables for 8 minutes. This time will vary depending on multiple factors: 1) how big are the florets. 2) your desired doneness level. 
Butter: You can adjust the amount of butter you use to your liking. 
Variations: Mix things up with different combinations of vegetables … 
Storing: Store leftover vegetables in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 126kcal (6%)Carbohydrates: 9g (3%)Protein: 3g (6%)Fat: 10g (15%)Saturated Fat: 6g (30%)Trans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 25mg (8%)Sodium: 138mg (6%)Potassium: 411mg (12%)Fiber: 3g (12%)Sugar: 3g (3%)Vitamin A: 6589IU (132%)Vitamin C: 67mg (81%)Calcium: 47mg (5%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat
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