To be a chef you need to be part artist, part hard worker and part scientist. To really understand cooking it is important to understand the science behind behind the recipes. En papillote is a French term and a cooking method that means “in paper.” You guessed it, today we are cooking our ingredients inside paper, not just any paper, but parchment paper that is designed for food and can withstand high temperatures.  We are creating a tightly sealed paper parcel where the vegetables will cook by steam. Steam is a versatile moist cooking method where liquid is vaporized into steam. The steam carries heat to the food and cooks the food. Steaming food preserves many of the nutrients and seals in the flavour. Try using different combination of herbs, vegetables, and even spices to create your very own veggies en papillote.

Yield: 4 parcels
Preparation Time: About 20 minutes
Baking Time: About 20 minutes



  • 16 snap peas
  • 1 cup (250mL) English peas
  • 1 small carrot, sliced thinly into rounds
  • 1 baby zucchini, sliced
  • 4 knobs of butter
  • ¼ cup (50mL) fresh herbs, torn to pieces (basil, thyme, chives, parsley, mint, or a mixture)
  • Pinch of salt and freshly crack pepper
  • 4 ice cubes


  • 4 parchment paper or foil squares (about 30 cm square)
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Baking sheet



1. Preheat the oven to 190 C (375 F).

2. Place 4 pieces of parchment or foil on your work surface.

3. Trim the snap peas by snapping the stem end and pulling off the stringy thread along the edge. Place 4 snap peas in the centre of each parchment square. Throw out the stringy bits.

4. Split open the English pea pods by twisting the pod and popping the peas right on to the parchment pieces. Make sure each packet gets about the same number of peas.

5. Cut the carrot into thin rounds and place them on the peas.

6. Cut the baby zucchini in half from stem to tip. Place the zucchini flat side down on the cutting board and cut into thin half-moons. Add to the veggies on the parchment.

7. Pile the veggies up in a bump. Place little pieces of butter on top of the veggies.

8. Pull the herb leaves off the stems and compost the stems. Tear the leaves into little pieces on top of the veggies.

9. Sprinkle a little salt and freshly cracked pepper on top.

10. Place 1 ice cube on top of each pile of veggies.

11. Fold the parchment over top of the veggies and fold the edges together. Fold the edges again so no air can escape.

12. Place the packets on a baking sheet.

13. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

14. Remove from the oven and place the packets on plates.

15. Snip the packets open with scissors and peel the paper back. Be careful of hot steam as you open the packet.

16. Enjoy right away.

Tasty Tip

  • Many different vegetables can be placed in the packets.  Try corn, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, …





Gather your ingredients.

Peel back the stems of the snap peas.

Claw & saw the carrots into thin circles.

Here we have a regular zucchini, cut lengthwise in half. Cut again into thin slices, or half moons.

Pick the herb leaves off the stems and tear into small pieces. Today we are using thyme, parsley and chives. Chives are tough to tear, so you will need to use your knife or kitchen scissors to cut the stems into thin slices.

Building the en papillote parcels is easy and fun. Here we are starting with the peas.

Put all the veggies in a pile. Don’t forget to season with salt & pepper, and perhaps a spice or two if you want to experiment.  Place a knob of butter or a teaspoon of olive oil on top of the veggies.  Ice is the chef trick. We need some moisture for the steam to develop inside, but if you try to add water onto a flat surface, chances are it’s all going to drip out.

Fold over the parchment paper.

Start by folding the corner like this.

Continue to fold right against the pile of veggies inside.

Continue to work your way around the veggies forming a tight seal.

Here is the finished parcel!

Steam inside an oven at about 375 F (190C) for 15 to 20 minutes.

Very carefully open the the parcel using a fork as there will be hot steam coming out of the parcel. Bon Appetit!


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