When it comes to crunchy, sweet vegetables, snow peas are at the top of the list.
Whether you’re making a stir-fry or adding them to your favorite salad, these little green gems can really make a dish shine.
But what do you do when you don’t have access to fresh snow peas?
Fortunately, there are plenty of substitutes that can give your dishes an equally delicious flavor and texture.
In this article, I will be discussing seven of the best substitutes for snow peas so that you can keep cooking even if there aren’t any in sight!
What Are Snow Peas?
Snow peas are a type of edible-pod pea that is widely cultivated in many parts of the world.
They have flat, crisp pods that can be eaten raw or cooked and are characterized by their sweet flavor and tender texture.
Also known as sugar snap peas, these tasty legumes are available year-round but peak in springtime when they’re most tender and flavorful.
Snow peas are typically sold fresh with their small round seeds still inside the pod.
They should be firm to the touch with no signs of yellowing or wilting, which indicates they’ve passed their prime.
When preparing snow peas for cooking, it’s best to trim off the stem end before adding them to your dish; this helps reduce any potential bitterness from occurring during cooking time.
Snow peas can be enjoyed either raw or cooked—they make a great addition to salads or stir-fries!
When cooked correctly, these delicate pods will retain their bright green color and crunchy texture without becoming soggy or losing flavor.
The 7 Best Substitutes For Snow Peas
Snow peas are a crunchy and sweet vegetable, and they can be difficult to find in the supermarket.
If you’re looking for an alternative, here are seven great substitutes for snow peas:
1 – Sugar Snap Peas
Sugar snap peas are a great alternative to snow peas.
They have a similar texture and sweetness, but with even more crunch.
They can be eaten raw in salads or cooked in stir-fries, stews, soups, curries, and pasta recipes.
To substitute sugar snap peas for snow peas in recipes, just follow the same amount given by the recipe’s instructions for snow peas and make sure to add more heat if necessary since sugar snaps need less cooking time than snow pans.
Some good recipes where sugar snaps can work wonderfully would be: Chinese-Style Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry; Shrimp & Sugar Snap Pea Pasta; Baked Salmon with Honey Mustard Sugarsnap Peas; One Pot Orzo with Roasted Vegetables and Sugarsnaps Sauce; Creamy Chicken & Sugarsnap Pie.
2 – English Peas
English peas can be a great substitute for snow peas.
They have a sweeter flavor and firmer texture, which still gives you the crunchy effect similar to snow peas.
One of my favorite English pea recipes is the simple Sautéed Peas with Garlic and Mint.
All you need are some olive oil, garlic, broth, honey or sugar, and mint for seasoning!
Another dish that works great with English peas is an Italian-style pasta salad by tossing spaghetti with an olive oil-based dressing along with some chopped vegetables like cherry tomatoes and bell peppers.
The sweet taste from the English peas will nicely balance out the flavors of this dish.
Or if you’re looking to impress people at a dinner party, try making your own Gnocchi filled with cheese and topped off with a yummy sauce made using butter or cream mixed together with some fresh herbs plus sautéed mushrooms—or whatever seasonal vegetables happen to be in season such as zucchini or asparagus—and garnished with your freshly cooked English peas!
3 – Green Beans
Green beans are a good alternative to snow peas and can be used in recipes that call for the latter.
Green beans have a similar sweet-but-tart flavor, minimal starchy taste, and crisp texture with bright color.
For example, you can make stir-fry dishes using green beans instead of snow peas and serve them over cooked vegetables or rice.
You could also add some fresh herbs like parsley or thyme for extra flavor.
You can even blanch them (boil briefly) before sautéing them with other ingredients such as peppers, onions, garlic and ginger.
Add sauces such as soy sauce or teriyaki sauce for added flavorsome punch!
4 – Broccoli
Broccoli can provide a similar texture and mild, sweet flavor to the dish when used instead of snow peas.
The rich green color of the vegetable will go well with many dishes and it has just as much crunch while providing your meal with essential nutrients.
Broccoli can pair deliciously in stir-fries, pastas, soups or salads.
For example, you could use broccoli in place of snow peas for a vegan pasta primavera recipe that features various vegetables in a creamy Parmesan sauce.
5 – Cauliflower
Cauliflower is a great substitute for snow peas due to its similar taste and texture.
Cauliflower has a mild, nutty flavor with an almost sweet aftertaste and a crunchy texture when cooked.
It makes sense to use cauliflower as an alternative in stir-fries, soups, salads, vegetable roasts, and curries where you would otherwise need snow peas.
You can even prepare the cauliflower just like you would the snow peas by steaming or lightly boiling it until it’s slightly crunchy.
6 – Asparagus
Asparagus makes for a great alternative to snow peas as it is also crunchy and fresh.
Asparagus also has its own mild, sweet taste but with earthier and more herbal notes than snow peas.
When would it make sense to use asparagus instead of snow peas?
Grilling is one such application.
The slight char that comes with grilling the asparagus stalks gives them an even better flavor, while the tough skin makes them chewy and delicious.
Additionally, roasting or sautéing are other viable options to give the asparagus a bit of extra flavor before serving.
7 – Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are a great alternative to snow peas, especially when you don’t have access to fresh snow peas.
They have a similar mild and sweet taste with a crunchy texture.
They can be used raw in salads, or cooked in stir-fries, pasta dishes, and other recipes where snow peas might typically appear.
Because bell peppers come in many colors – green, red, orange, yellow – they can also add an extra bit of color to your dish which is not something that snow peas would normally provide!
In conclusion, snow peas can be difficult to find in the supermarket, but there are plenty of alternatives that can give your dishes a similar flavor and texture.
Whether you’re looking for a crunchy and sweet vegetable for a stir-fry or a salad, the seven best substitutes for snow peas include sugar snap peas, English peas, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and bell peppers.
The 7 Best Substitutes For Snow Peas
- Sugar Snap Peas
- English Peas
- Green Beans
- Bell Peppers
- Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
- Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.