Learn How to Cook An Artichoke with a helpful guide for this unique vegetable!
Here is everything you need to know about the uniquely delicious artichoke! Fresh artichokes are a full hands-on eating event! Similar in flavor to asparagus but with a mild, nutty flavor, artichokes can be easily made in so many ways and they always add an impressive flair to any table! They can be stuffed, steamed, boiled, or pressure cooked. Even a microwave or an air fryer can cook an artichoke. It’s easy, so why not give it a try!
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What is an Artichoke?
Classified as a vegetable, artichokes are the immature flower buds of a thistle plant which can be boiled, air fried, baked, or steamed.
Ingredients and Variations
ARTICHOKES: Look for full and heavy artichokes with tightly packed, dark green leaves (some purple leaves are okay) that are without blemishes or bruises. Pull off any discolored or torn leaves before preparing and cut off any long stems before cooking.
How to Cook an Artichoke
Here is the basic method to prepare artichokes for cooking:
- Add lemon juice to a bowl of cold water large enough to hold the artichokes.
- Rinse the artichoke and trim the bottom of the stem so that it’s level.
- Cut about 1″ off the tops of each artichoke.
- Using scissors, cut off the spiky tips on each leaf then place them in the lemon water.
On the Stovetop:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add whole prepared artichokes and simmer for 20-40 minutes or until leaves are easily pulled off.
- Drain cooked artichokes upside down in a colander, on a clean towel or on paper towels.
In the Microwave:
- Place prepared artichokes in a microwave-safe dish with an inch of water.
- Cover with plastic wrap and cook/steam on high for 7 – 10 minutes.
- Check for doneness by easily peeling off an outer leaf or by inserting a toothpick into the bottom.
- Drain cooked artichokes (as above).
In the Instant Pot:
- Place prepared artichokes (season as desired) in the Instant Pot, stem side down.
- Seal the lid and cook: Small for 10 minutes, medium for 15 minutes, and large for 25 minutes.
- Quick release the pressure or for softer artichokes, let the steam naturally release.
In the Air Fryer:
- Artichokes cook more evenly in the air fryer when they are cut in half vertically.
- Place prepared artichokes (season as desired) and cook, cut side down in a single layer in the air fryer until they are crispy (about 12 to 15 minutes).
How to Serve Artichokes
- Serve artichokes whole or cut them in half vertically. Pull off an outer leaf and bite down halfway pulling it between your teeth to remove the flesh. When the artichoke leaves are gone, scrape off the fuzzy needles with a spoon and eat the ‘choke’ in the center.
- Ordinarily, artichokes are dipped into mayonnaise or aioli. But we also love easy-to-make zesty dip recipes like this Greek yogurt dip, veggie dip, tzatziki, garlic hummus and everything bagel dip.
- Artichokes are tasty sides to all kinds of main dishes! Add them to this elegant dijon chicken, or a pork loin roast with pears. They’re also a great side with a reverse sear prime rib!
Keep cooked artichokes covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat them in the microwave or remove the choke (AKA heart) and use it in a salad, a wrap, or make a hot artichoke dip. Freeze cooked and cooled artichokes in a zippered bag for up to 8 weeks. Raw artichokes should not be frozen because they will turn black.
Other Tasty Appetizers!
- Oven Roasted Asparagus – like tiny artichokes!
- Baked Zucchini Sticks – crispy and delish.
- Potato Wedges – simple appetizer or side.
- Baked Kale Chips – a healthy snack.
How To Cook An Artichoke
- 4 artichokes
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt if boiling artichokes
- Add lemon juice to a large bowl and fill with enough cool water to cover the artichokes once they are prepared. Set aside.
- Wash artichokes and remove any loose leaves.
- If boiling the artichokes, bring a large pot of water, with salt added, to a boil.
- Meanwhile, prepare artichokes.
- Lay an artichoke on its side on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, trim the stem end of the artichoke so that it is flat with the bottom. Remove about 1" from the top. Using kitchen scissors, trip the top of all spiky leaves straight across. After each artichoke is cut, add to the lemon water.
- Rinse artichokes and add to boiling water, bottom side down. You may need to pop them under the water every now and then. Cook for 20-40 minutes*, or until a leaf comes out easily.
- Remove from the water and drain upside down in a colander, on a tea towel or paper towel.
- Serve with garlic aioli, mayonnaise, or melted butter.
- Microwave Instructions:
- After rinsing artichokes, arrange in a casserole dish. Add 2 Tablespoons of water to the dish. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.
- Cook 7-10 minutes* or until a leaf comes out easily. If your microwave does not have a turn table, turn the dish around after 5 minutes.
- Remove from the dish and drain upside down.
- *Cook time will vary based on the size of the artichokes. Typical sized artichokes, about 8-9 ounces before trimming, will take about 20-25 minutes to boil, and 7-8 minutes in the microwave.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.