After years of trial and error, I’ve developed the definitive guide on How to Cook an Artichoke! From trimming to steaming, here’s how to have the most tender, perfectly cooked artichokes every single time with no fuss. Great for eating just the way they are or for using in any recipe you want!

Plated artichokes are placed next to lemon slices.

Artichokes are one of those veggies that tend to intimidate people. They’re oddly shaped, need to be trimmed prior to cooking and require a pretty lengthy steaming process. With all of that being said – they’re WAY easier to make than you may think!

I’m here to squash those negative preconceived notions that this veggie is anything less than basic. To trim an artichoke, you’ve just got to get rid of the tough outer leaves and any possible thorns (yours might not even have any). Then, cut a little off the bottom so it can stand up straight.

After that, you just need to toss it on a steamer rack with some garlic and lemons in the boiling water and let it do all the work for you! The end result is tender, well cooked artichokes that have just a touch of natural flavors from the aromatics in the water. So easy and foolproof!

Artichokes have been sliced.

Ingredient Notes

Here’s what you’ll need to make the very best artichokes! For exact measurements, keep on scrolling down to the recipe card.

  • Artichokes – They must be washed and trimmed prior to cooking!
  • Garlic and Lemons – Both of these will be added to the boiling water so that the steam infuses the artichokes with natural flavors as they cook. Note that FRESH is BEST! Use real garlic cloves and sliced lemons if you can, not pre-minced garlic or bottled lemon juice.

How to Cook an Artichoke

Take a quick sneak peek at just how easy this process really is:

  1. Trim. Remove the tough outer layers of the artichokes. If there are any sharp thorns, make sure you carefully snip those off as well. Then, slice off half an inch from the top of the artichoke as well as the stem so your artichoke can sit flat on a plate.
  2. Prepare the water. Place a steamer rack in the bottom of a pot. Fill with just 2 or 3 inches of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Get ready to cook. Place the artichokes in a single layer on the steamer. They need to be stem side up. Add your garlic cloves and lemon slices to the water.
  4. Steam the artichoke. Lower the heat to low, close the lid and steam the artichoke for about 40-60 minutes.
  5. Make sure it’s cooked. You can check to see if your artichoke is fully cooked by sticking a knife into the stem end of it. If the knife goes in easily, the artichoke is cooked. You can also just pull a leaf off of it – if it releases easily, you’re good to go!
  6. Enjoy! Remove the artichoke(s) from the steamer. Serve with butter or use in your favorite recipe. You can throw away the lemons and garlic.

If you want a quicker process, dust off the Instant Pot and make these Instant Pot Artichokes.

An artichoke is sliced to reveal a fully cooked center.

How To Store Cooked Artichokes

You can keep your cooked artichokes stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about 2-3 days. Make sure they are fully cooled to room temperature prior to storing! If the artichoke still warm, condensation will form in the container which is a breeding ground for bacteria AND it will ruin the consistency of your artichoke.

Can I boil an artichoke?

Here’s the deal – I’ve tried boiling and I’ve tried steaming. As you can see from this recipe, steaming is my preferred method! Boiling an artichoke is a little like drowning it. They always turn out soaking wet since the water pools in all of the leaves. Plus, I’ve noticed that steaming the artichokes (especially with lemons and garlic) really infuses them with flavor without making them soggy.

A single artichoke leaf is being dipped into butter.

Enjoy some of my favorite artichoke recipes!

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An artichoke is sliced to reveal a fully cooked center.

Get the Recipe: How to Cook Artichokes

Don't be intimidated by these delicious spring vegetables! This easy recipe guides you through steaming whole artichokes to tender perfection, then enjoying them leaf by leaf with a simple butter dipping sauce. Learn how to prepare,cook, and eat artichokes like a pro in no time!
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  • 4 artichokes, washed and trimmed
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon, sliced


  • 1 stockpot


  • Trim the artichokes by removing the tough outer leaves and snipping of any sharp thorns. Cut 1/2 inch off the top of the artichoke and cut off the stem so the artichoke sits flat on a plate.
  • Place the steamer rack in the bottom of a stockpot or Dutch Oven and fill with 2-3 inches of water.
  • Bring the water to a boil of medium high heat.
  • Arrange the artichokes in a single layer on the steamer rack stem side up.
  • Add the garlic and lemon to the water. Reduce the heat to low, close the lid and steam.
  • Cook the artichokes for 40-60 minutes.
  • Check the artichokes for doneness by sticking a knife into the stem end of the artichoke. If the knife goes in easily without resistance, the artichokes are done. Alternatively, you can pull off a leaf and if it releases easily they are done.
  • Remove the artichokes and serve with melted butter or use in your favorite recipe. Discard the lemons and garlic.
Calories: 72kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 0.3g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g, Sodium: 121mg, Potassium: 523mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 23IU, Vitamin C: 30mg, Calcium: 69mg, Iron: 2mg