Oven steamed vegetables

I’ve got really into this idea recently. Basically, you just wrap some vegetables in an aluminum foil parcel and throw them in the oven with whatever else you are cooking. I’d seen this done a lot with fish and figured it would work well with vegetables — it does.

The difference from other methods of steaming is that it keeps all the flavor of the veggies sealed in. It also means you don’t need a pan (or pans) to cook your side, you just prepare your parcel (or parcels) earlier and put them in when your roast or whatever is almost done.

So far I’ve only tried the string beans and the zucchini described here, but I guess it would work with anything: carrots, broccoli, even spinach.


String beans

  • String beans, washed and tailed
  • Knob of butter
  • A small squeeze of lemon juice
  • A clove or two of garlic, crushed
  • A good pinch of Salt


  • zucchini, sliced wafer thin at a sharp angle — you want long slices not circles. A mandolin would be great for this, but as I don’t have one I use a potato peeler
  • A little olive oil — I use a spray container to coat the zucchini lightly
  • A generous squeeze of lemon juice, about half a lemon for four people
  • A pinch of salt


  • Aluminum foil — you could probably use a baking pan and cover it with foil, but you need a good seal.


  1. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on your work surface shiny side up.
  2. Place your prepared vegetables in a pile on top.
  3. Add the other ingredients and mix about.
  4. Cover with another sheet of foil shiny side down (or for small quantities fold the first sheet) and fold the edges to completely seal the parcel. Try to leave some room inside for the steam to circulate.
  5. Place the parcels in the oven for 15-20 minutes for beans depending on how crisp you like them, 10 minutes for the zucchini.
  6. If serving in a dish rather than straight to plate, heat the dish for a few minutes before opening the parcels and transferring.
  7. Take care when opening as hot steam will come out and remember to pour the juice from the parcel on top of the veggies in your dish.
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