How to Sauté Vegetables. Sauté is a method of high-heat cooking which evaporates water out of vegetables giving them a more concentrated taste. The goal when you sauté is to evaporate the water out so the vegetables get crisp instead of soggy. Mushrooms, broccoli, bell peppers, squash, green beans, onions and carrots are all ideal.

Things You'll Need

Use a good salute pan. The pan you use must be large enough so all ingredients fit without being crowded. The pan should have a flat bottom, straight sides and be made of a material which conducts heat well, such as copper or anodized aluminum.

Fill the bottom of the pan with a fat. You can sauté vegetables in any oil, butter or meat stock.

Heat up the pan. After the fat goes into the pan, put the pan on the stove over high heat. Use this time to cut your vegetables into bite size pieces. The smaller the pieces, the quicker they will cook.

Place the hardest vegetables into the pan first. The harder the vegetable, the longer it takes to sauté. After placing the vegetables into the pan, allow them to sit in the pan for several minutes to caramelize or brown.

Move or toss the vegetables after several minutes. When the vegetables have caramelized, you must move the vegetables frequently to prevent burning. With practice, you can pick up the pan and toss the vegetables, but simply stirring them is sufficient.

Remove from heat when the vegetables are tender. Most vegetables take 3 to 5 minutes to sauté. Hard vegetables, such as potatoes, take longer.


  • Cut harder vegetables into smaller pieces and softer vegetables in larger pieces to make the cooking times more similar.

  • Season the vegetables with fresh-squeezed lime juice, lemon juice or orange juice. Soy sauce is another popular choice.

  • Serve sautéed vegetables over steamed rice.