There's nothing like a good veggie roast, but sometimes after a long day, you need your veggies and you need them now. Here are five tips for when you need to know how to cook vegetables faster, so you can get your veg-head on in a flash.

1. Chop Them Up

flour, lard, cream, milk, dairy product
Chiara Maras

Smaller pieces of vegetables will cook more quickly than larger, whole vegetables or large chunks. To cook vegetables faster, chop into small, even pieces. For roasting lots of veggies, like squash, cruciferous veggies, and potatoes, chopping into 1 or 2-inch pieces will help speed up the cooking process. 

2. Boil Away

sweet, milk, water, soup
Kai Huang

Boiling is one of the most effective means of heat transfer, and therefore one of the fastest methods of cooking foods. Because the vegetables come in direct contact with boiling water, heat is transferred effectively and foods cook more quickly than other methods, like roasting, in which heat is circulating around the foods, rather than in direct contact with it.

Potatoes, carrots, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, corn, and cauliflower all boil well.

3. Get Steamy

herb, cabbage, broccoli, vegetable
Katherine Baker

Water vapor (steam) is another highly effective means of heat transfer. Steaming vegetables in a pot with the lid on creates a mini steam room. Water molecules that have surpassed boiling point turn to steam and come in contact with the food. Then, they touch the food and condense back to liquid, releasing high heat in the process. 

Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green beans, asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, zucchini, bok choy, and many other relatively sturdy vegetables steam well. 

#SpoonTip: For microwaving and steaming, you can speed up the water boiling process by using a water boiler or in a glass Pyrex in the microwave. 

4. Use Your Microwave (The Right Way)

beans, tea, beer, coffee
Leanna Smith

You can quickly and effectively cook vegetables in the microwave if you do it the right way. Chop your veggies into even pieces and place in a microwave-safe dish and cover with a microwave-safe lid, plate, or plastic wrap.

Add a small splash of water to the dish and microwave in 30-second increments for 90 seconds to 4 minutes, depending on size and vegetable. 

For whole potatoes and squash, poke with a fork and microwave on high for 6-12 minutes, depending on size, stopping to check doneness frequently to avoid overcooking. 

This tutorial gives more info on microwaving potatoes.

5. Do a Quick Stir-Fry

saute, sprouts, meat, brussels sprout, pepper, vegetable
Shalayne Pulia

Heat a medium fry pan on the highest heat for a few minutes, then add a bit of oil. Add chopped vegetables, a small splash of water and cover the pan with a lid (this will create a mini steaming effect). Cook for 4-5 minutes until veggies are tender.

Next time you're short on time and don't want to compromise your veggie intake, use some of these tips and tricks to have your veggies and cook them too.