Preparing Artichokes

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Preparing artichokes can be an intimidating task, but it doesn’t have to be. Once you know a few simple techniques, you’ll be enjoying these green orbs in no time!

Preparing Artichokes | Good Cheap Eats

Artichokes are definitely an interesting vegetable. Technically, they are the large bulb of a thistle plant. They tend to intimidate people. They’re green and prickly and altogether weird looking.

But, they are a treasure of fun and yumminess! Don’t be intimidated about preparing artichokes. You can prepare this delicious vegetable that the whole family will love.

(Just tell your kids that Eeyore would eat them, and they just might try them.)

Globe artichokes, considered to be the “true artichoke” are cultivated mainly in California’s Central Coast. We had them growing wild behind our house last year here in San Diego. We watched them carefully, waiting for harvest time, but someone else was watching them, too, and beat us to them!

Artichokes are a seasonal vegetable, peaking from March to May. I consider $1.50 to be a decent price, so I bought twice as many recently when they were $0.88 each here recently.

Artichokes are also available frozen or canned. But, I think eating them fresh is a fun adventure.

Preparing Artichokes | Good Cheap Eats

I never ate an artichoke until I was 20 years old, but I’ve loved them ever since. Hubs can take ’em or leave ’em which is fine with me. More for me! Slowly but surely, my children have acquired a taste for artichokes, so it’s fun to have friends in my munching.

Preparing Artichokes

Artichokes are super easy to prepare.

1. Cut off the stem end so that it can rest flat on the plate.
2. If the leaves are prickly, cut off their tips, as shown above.
3. Boil or steam until leaves pull away from the bottom easily.
4. Serve with melted butter or herbed mayonnaise. Check out these artichoke dipping sauces for more flavor.


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How to Prepare Artichokes
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: artichokes, steamed artichokes
Servings: 4
Calories: 60 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  1. Cut off the stem ends so that each artichoke can stand on its own.

  2. Cut off the very top of the artichoke. If the leaves are poky, cut off their prickly tips. You don’t want to get hurt eating an artichoke! After you’ve trimmed the leaves, the artichoke should resemble a flower.
  3. In a large pot of boiling water or in a pot of hot water with a steamer basket inserted, boil or steam the artichokes until an outer leaf pulls away from the bottom easily. The time this takes will depend on the size of the artichoke. Check it after fifteen minutes and then every five minutes until the artichokes are tender.
  4. Serve the cooked artichokes with melted butter or a dipping sauce

Recipe Notes

Promptly store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.

Nutritional values are approximate and based on 1 artichoke.

Nutrition Facts
How to Prepare Artichokes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 60 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 120mg5%
Potassium 474mg14%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 17IU0%
Vitamin C 15mg18%
Calcium 56mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Preparing Artichokes | Good Cheap Eats

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Sharon says

    Okay here’s my question … How do you EAT them?

    • Jessica says

      @Sharon, you peel off the leaves and scrape the meat off with your teeth. LOL. Yes, really. Usually meatiest near the center. Yummy!

  2. June says

    Hi Jessica, I’ve been too busy to read any blogs for many weeks, and I missed you!

    I am intimidated by artichokes, so I buy canned hearts, but I am now going to buy some fresh ones. Thanks for the tutorial! Happy Spring ~ j

    • Hi June! The newsletter must have brought you back! I’m so glad. Yes, you can totally do artichokes. They are super easy!

  3. Deb says

    Try cooking them in the pressure cooker. They come out tender and not soggy, which is a problem I’ve always had with steaming and boiling.

    • Thanks for the tip! How long did you do them?

      • Deb says

        It depends on the size. Once the pressure cooker is up to pressure and jiggling, I cook a small artichoke (about 2 1/2 to 3 inches) for about 20 minutes. The largest ones, I cook for up to 35 minutes.

        You also need to quick release or cool the pressure cooker. Don’t let the pressure cooker sit to cool naturally or you’ll have very mushy, over-cooked artichokes. Every pressure cooker is different on how you cool them quickly. Mine, you lift the jiggler half way to let the steam out. The one we had when I was growing up, you put under a drizzle of cool water in the sink.

        • Good to know. Thanks! I have a Power Cooker (like an instant pot), so I’ll have to experiment.

  4. Sue says

    I’m going to share my husband’s secret ingredients to GREAT artichokes: lemon & garlic. He prefers them a little more garlic-y than I do, but just throwing in a whole lemon (cut into wedges) amps up the flavor big time! Hubby tosses in 1-3 garlic cloves; I prefer 1 clove and it doesn’t overpower the overall taste.

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