Easy peasy. That’s what we think of this simple spring side dish made fresh garden peas and fresh mint. And the taste is as surprising as the side dish is easy to make. It can be made with fresh garden peas or that frozen bag of peas that you used to ice your shoulder. If you prefer a side dish that stays put on the plate rather than something that threatens to go roly poly all over the place, simply mash the peas ever so slightly with a wooden spoon or potato masher.–Renee Schettler

*Can I use other kinds of peas?

This recipe is also swell when made with sugar snap peas (you know, those sweet-as-candy cousins to the garden pea that have a crisp, edible pod that requires no shelling). Just swap the same amount for garden peas. Do not attempt to mash them, though.

White bowl of fresh peas with mint.

Fresh Peas with Mint

5 / 2 votes
To make these fresh peas with mint, peas are sauteed quickly in butter until cooked through, scooped in a bowl, and sprinkled with fresh mint, salt, and pepper. Fifteen minutes tops.
David Leite
Servings4 to 6 servings
Calories189 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time15 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter, plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds green peas in the pods*, shelled (or, in a pinch, a 10- to 16-ounce | 300 to 450 g package frozen peas)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • In a sauté pan or skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the peas and heat, stirring, until just cooked through but not soft or mushy, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Transfer the peas to a serving dish, strew the mint over the top, and season with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, add a little (or a lot) more butter and stir to combine. Serve at once.
The Winemaker Cooks: Menus, Parties, and Pairings

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 189 kcalCarbohydrates: 25 gProtein: 9 gFat: 6 gSaturated Fat: 4 gMonounsaturated Fat: 2 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 15 mgSodium: 10 mgFiber: 10 gSugar: 10 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2010 Christine Hanna. Photo © 2010 Sheri Giblin. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This recipe spells spring! Very easy and quick and it lets the ingredients shine. The mint works very well with the peas, it’s not overpowering at all, but just adds a little subtle flavor. Very nice. It takes a little time to shuck the fresh peas, but it’s so worth it. And if you’re lucky, like me, youèll find fresh shelled peas at the grocer.

This recipe is like spring in a dish—perfect for telling winter where it can go for another nine months. The hardest part is shelling the peas, which is to say that this is super easy and almost meditative. Overall, a healthy, fresh dish for when you’re in a hurry.

Peas and butter—great! Add mint (vary the amount as desired), and you’ve created a new and delicious flavor profile. Try it, you’ll definitely make these again. And again.

This was a lovely dish with very subtle flavors. I was so excited to find fresh peas, but I didn’t realize how long it would take to shuck them—maybe I’m just not a good shucker? The labor was worth the effort, however, for fresh peas made this dish. I’ve made this two times in the last two weeks, once with frozen peas, and again putting forth the effort for fresh because the result was that much better. I also added a little garlic to the butter and loved it even more.

This recipe delivered exactly what I expected. Unfortunately, I didn’t have access to fresh spring peas, but I used organic frozen ones that were still good. Next time, I might try this with olive oil to lighten it for an everyday dish, although the butter was delicious on the sweet fresh peas with mint.

This recipe illustrates the virtues of simplicity, and the wisdom of letting good ingredients speak for themselves. It is what is says it is: just peas dressed up with only a bit of butter, mint, salt, and pepper. If you want a way to showcase peas and mint, this is a pretty surefire way to do it.

Since I unfortunately don’t live in a part of the country where we have fresh peas at this time of year, I had to use frozen ones. While I’m sure fresh would have been ideal, frozen worked beautifully—I let them defrost in the fridge for a few hours before using them so I didn’t have to cook them longer than the recipe directed. The result was wonderful, and a hit with everyone at the table. The mint really came through, and there was just enough butter to bump up the flavor without making everything too greasy. I’d definitely make these again—particularly when fresh peas arrive at the market. The only thing I’d do differently next time is add a bit of lemon juice to brighten up the flavors a bit. Otherwise, it’s a winner.

Mmmm. Fresh peas quickly cooked in butter with a dash of mint (I’d prefer slightly less next time), salt, and pepper. What could be better and more evocative of spring? As long as fresh peas are available, this will be on my dinner table often.

Fresh peas are my signal that spring finally has arrived. Prepared in this simple way with the richness of butter and brightened with mint, there’s no better way to enjoy them. Should your garden be overflowing with a bounty of peas, an easy way to vary this recipe is to toss in a handful of sliced radishes with the peas, or add them with the mint and leave them crisp.

Shelling the peas takes a few minutes, but it’s worth it. Though, with a yield of about 2 cups of fresh peas, this recipe definitely won’t stretch to make 6 servings for those of us hungry for spring’s tender vegetables.

I really loved this simple recipe for the classic pea and mint combination. The author is correct in saying that all the peas need is a quick sauté in butter, and a little mint, salt, and pepper. I used frozen, defrosted peas that were delicious, so I can only imagine how much better it would have been with freshly shucked peas! The recipe says you can use finely chopped or torn, fresh mint, but I think finely chopped works better, as it distributes among the dish.

I really wanted to use fresh peas for this, but it’s too early in the year. Instead, I thawed 3 cups of frozen peas and sautéed them in the melted butter. The addition of mint wasn’t overpowering, as I had initially feared. I’m anticipating late spring so I can try this recipe again with fresh peas. Next time, I may stir in an extra tablespoon of butter, just as the mixture comes off of the heat.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Thank you very much for sharing it. It sounds incredible! I never heard about this recipe before. I will definitely try it at home myself.

    1. Not only is it lovely as can be in terms of taste, but it’s sooooooo easy! Do let us know how it goes. Oh, and prepare to accept accolades from everyone at the table…