How to Cook and Eat Artichokes—and 4 Artichoke Recipes to Make ASAP

Artichokes may be one of the most versatile vegetables in the produce section.

Minimal arrangement of one artichoke standing alone. Beautiful three shaded of green background.
Photo: Ivana Cecez/Getty Images

Artichokes are beautiful vegetables, and are even more delicious to enjoy when they are steamed, grilled, braised, or fried. But let's be honest, most of us walk right past them in the grocery store because they seem so intimidating to cook. While preparing artichokes may be a labor of love, cooking them is fairly simple, and once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to effortlessly whip them up whenever you get an artichoke craving.

Rest assured—if cooking artichokes isn't for you, there are many other ways to include them in salads, appetizers, and main dishes. Most grocery stores sell canned, jarred, and frozen artichokes that are already cut, which makes meal prep a breeze. Not only are artichokes delicious, they're also loaded with vitamins and minerals, and have countless nutritional benefits. Keep reading for more info on artichokes, as well as some incredible recipes to enjoy them in.

What Are Artichokes?

The artichoke is a thorny, flowery-looking vegetable that may seem a bit intimidating when purchased whole. What makes them unique, is that they're technically immature flower buds of a thistle that are harvested before they blossom.

Artichokes are also one of the world's oldest vegetables, having originated in the Mediterranean region hundreds of years ago. Nowadays, about 80 percent of artichokes in the U.S. come from California, while Italy, France, and Spain supply the rest. This is one of the reasons why you might notice a high price tag on some of these beautiful green plants.

Artichoke Nutritional Benefits

Since artichokes have been around for centuries, they've been known to have countless medicinal and nutritional benefits. Not only are artichokes loaded with antioxidants, but they're packed with fiber, vitamins C and K, and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron.

Artichokes are also known to regulate blood pressure, lower blood sugar, and improve both liver and digestive health. Studies show that consuming artichokes regularly can also help lower "bad" LDL cholesterol and increase "good" HDL cholesterol.

How Long Do Artichokes Stay Good For?

If you are purchasing whole artichokes, they will stay fresh for about five to seven days in the refrigerator. You can also try to extend the shelf life of an artichoke by spraying it with a little bit of water and sealing it in a plastic bag before you pop it in the fridge.

How to Cook and Eat Artichokes

Cooking artichokes whole can be a bit of a tedious process, which is why many people prefer to buy canned or jarred artichokes that are already cut into halves or quarters. Here's how to prepare a classic steamed artichoke:

  1. Slice the top of the artichoke. Use a sharp knife or a bread knife to cut about an inch off the top of the artichoke.
  2. Remove the small leaves at the base. You may notice that there are smaller leaves at the base of the artichoke. Pull those off, since you won't be able to eat them once they are cooked.
  3. Trim the stem. The inside of the stem is one of the tastiest parts of the artichoke, but it's important to trim off any excess to get rid of the bitterness. As a good rule of thumb, try to leave about an inch of the stem.
  4. Rinse the artichoke. Run each of your artichokes under cold water for a few seconds to ensure they're clean. Make sure to pull some of the leaves back so water can get into the harder-to-reach spots.
  5. Prepare to steam the artichoke. Fill up a large pot with a couple inches of water and aromatics, like garlic, lemon slices, and a bay leaf. This will help give the artichoke more flavor. Then, place the artichoke in a steaming basket within the pot, cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Let the artichoke steam for about 25 to 35 minutes, until the leaves are soft and tender.

Artichoke Recipes

While there's nothing wrong with a steamed artichoke, once you get the basics down, feel free to test your culinary skills and have a bit more fun with the tasty veggie, courtesy of the following artichoke recipes.

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Artichoke Dip

Artichoke Dip Recipe
Caitlin Bensel

There's nothing better than a savory, decadent artichoke dip, and this version is on the lighter side because it calls for Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, cream cheese, and sour cream. And the best part is, it takes only 15 minutes to whip up.

02 of 04

Artichoke, Rosemary, and Garlic Frittata

Artichoke, Rosemary, and Garlic Frittata
With a carton of eggs, dinner possibilities are endless: make an omelet, shakshuka, or our favorite, a frittata. Garlic-infused oil and a jar of marinated artichokes pack in major flavor. Get the Recipe:Artichoke, Rosemary, and Garlic Frittata. Sarah Karnasiewicz

Frittatas are a great option for a healthy and easy weekday breakfast, and they can be prepared ahead of time, which is truly a time-saver. Have your friends over for brunch and impress them with this flavorful, herby artichoke frittata, or make it for your family to enjoy all week long.

03 of 04

Artichoke Crab Cakes

Artichoke Crab Cakes
Every bite of these crispy crab cakes is filled with juicy crabmeat and tangy artichoke hearts. We add just enough breadcrumbs to hold the patties together, but not too many that you can’t taste the crab. Feel free to stir together the mixture and shape the patties ahead of time, then fry them in the skillet just before serving. Get the recipe:Artichoke Crab Cakes. Grace Elkus

This unique twist on traditional crab cakes is perfect as either an appetizer or main course. The marinated artichokes add brininess and texture, which really sets this dish apart from your standard crab cake. These crab cakes are also great to make ahead of time, and can be stored in the refrigerator until you're ready to fry them up.

04 of 04

Crispy Chicken Cutlets With Artichoke Dressing

Easy chicken recipes - Crispy Chicken Cutlets With Artichoke Dressing
Greg DuPree

Chicken cutlets are always a fan favorite, but adding a lemony, cheesy artichoke dressing truly makes them out of this world. The dressing is quick and simple to throw together, and can be used for many other things, such as a salad-topper or served over a crusty piece of toast.

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