Transforming frozen vegetables into a side or main dish that the kids actually want to eat can be a challenge, but these 10 ideas are here to help. Learn the best ways to cook frozen vegetables for the best flavor, texture and results!
How to Cook Frozen Vegetables
Serving frozen vegetables doesn’t need to mean eating soggy, mushy veggies—and there are some techniques you can rely on to make cooking them quick and easy. These methods are the ones we use regularly and ones you can try to mix things up if you’re in a frozen veggie rut.
Are frozen veggies as nutritious as fresh?
Let’s tackle this common question right off the top! Yes, they are. They are frozen at the peak of ripeness and so they are actually often more nutritious than fresh. There usually isn’t anything added to them so you don’t need to worry about added salt or additives.
1. Roast Frozen Vegetables
You can roast vegetables including broccoli, green beans, peppers, and cauliflower as you would fresh vegetables. The method is very similar to roasting fresh, though you may need a few extra minutes to ensure you get all of the liquid out.
TIP: Find our Roasted Broccoli here.
2. Steam or Saute
You can steam or saute any frozen vegetables and typically there are instructions for each one on the package. With either, try not to overcook them and remove from the heat as soon as they’re warmed through and tender to avoid mushy veggies.
3. Blend into Soup
Adding broccoli, cauliflower, and peas to blended soups like Broccoli Cheddar Soup is an easy way to use frozen veggies. You can also add corn to chili and mushrooms to Chicken Noodle Soup or Wild Rice Soup.
4. Stir into Pasta
You can add peas to Pesto Pasta, broccoli to Sausage Pasta, cauliflower to Marinara Sauce, mushrooms to alfredo or marinara sauce, and you can blend warmed frozen butternut squash or sweet potato into marinara sauce too.
5. Stir into Grains
Try making Cheesy Rice with Corn or stirring chopped frozen spinach into rice. (My one year old loves rice with spinach and cheese right now!)
6. Cook in a Simmer Sauce
Simmering frozen cauliflower, sweet potato, or peas in an Indian Simmer Sauce like tikka masala, adding a few cups of cauliflower florets to Butter Chicken or tomato sauce is a great option for an easy way to add more veggies to a meal.
7. Add to Eggs
Almost any frozen veggie pairs well with eggs, so try adding them to an omelet, Egg Muffins, or a frittata. I prefer to thaw them in warm water, pat them dry, then chop them up before adding them to egg recipes to make sure they aren’t too moist.
8. Use in Savory Pancakes
Adding frozen corn, mixed veggies, chopped broccoli, or cauliflower to Savory Pancakes (with or without cheese) is a yummy and new way to try. We like these with salsa and ketchup, though you can choose another dipping sauce if you prefer. To make: Whisk together 1 cup milk, 1 large egg, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Add a 10 ounce bag frozen mixed veggies (carrots, corn, and peas) and ½ cup shredded cheese (optional). Cook like any pancakes in a well greased pan, cooking each side for 3-4 minutes, and serve with butter, sour cream, or a favorite dipping sauce.
9. Add to Smoothies
Frozen cauliflower and frozen avocado can be added directly to smoothies. They both add nutrients and creaminess without adding any veggie flavor.
10. Serve with a Dip
I love using frozen cauliflower in my easy Cheese Sauce and then serving it with additional steamed frozen veggies.
11. Blend into Mac and Cheese
Frozen cauliflower works well in Cauliflower Mac and Cheese and frozen butternut squash works well in Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese.
12. Serve with a Dip
You can make plain frozen veggies taste better when cooked and served with a dipping sauce like Peanut Sauce, pizza sauce, salsa, BBQ, ranch, ketchup, Tahini, or another favorite sauce.
Best Tips for Cooking Frozen Vegetables
- Avoid cooking them too long and stop cooking as soon as they are warmed through and tender.
- Season to taste with salt and butter or oil when cooking them plain.
- Serve with dipping sauces to add flavor.
- Sprinkle shredded or grated cheese on plain cooked frozen veggies.
- Simmer in tomato sauce or another simmer sauce.
- Blend into mac and cheese.
- Blend frozen cauliflower or avocado into smoothies.
- Add to eggs, omelets, egg muffins and more.