Let’s talk about how to cook frozen vegetables!
I’m about to blow your mind because did you know you can roast veggies straight from frozen? Without thawing them first?
I know, great right?! It’s a super convenient way to bring a healthy side dish of roasted veggies to the table (without worrying about your veggies going bad before you can cook them).
I love having frozen veggies on hand to add nutrition and substance to a meal, especially when we don’t have fresh veggies nearby. But until recently, I always assumed that frozen vegetables needed to be boiled or steamed.
Good news: no one ever has to suffer through a meal of bland, mushy cooked veggies again, I promise. (See also: How to Love Vegetables.)
Okay, let’s get straight to the details, shall we?
Can you fry frozen vegetables?
The answer: YES! You can fry frozen vegetables completely. They don’t require much prep time either! Besides, they taste good so much better than microwaved or steamed frozen Vegetables.
Here are the main steps for cooking frozen vegetables (this will work for most vegetables – details below):
- Take the vegetables out of the freezer (do not thaw!). (If the veggies are frozen in one big block, be sure to chop them up before cooking.)
- Arrange in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet or baking sheet
- With olive oil + spices (salt, pepper and garlic powder – or use your favorite dried herbs and spices!)
- Roast them in the oven until slightly crispy
As far as the cooking time is concerned, of course every type of vegetable has a specific roasting time. I’ll break that down in a bit, and at the bottom of this post is the official recipe/how-to for roasting frozen veggies!
Seasoning ideas for frozen vegetables
For seasoning, I mostly use just salt, pepper, and granulated garlic for an easy roasted vegetable seasoning. For cauliflower, I usually add a pinch of red pepper flakes and dried thyme to the mix. With the asparagus, I like to add red pepper flakes and fresh lemon zest.
Seasoned salt, Italian seasoning, and really just about any other seasoning would work well here too!
Are frozen vegetables as healthy as fresh vegetables?
Yes, frozen and fresh vegetables generally have the same nutritional value! This is because frozen vegetables are often picked and frozen at their peak of ripeness, which helps preserve their flavor and nutrients.
Frozen vegetables are also often included healthier as canned vegetables. (That’s because they’re not as processed and contain fewer additives.)
The way you prepare the frozen vegetables also matters. Roasting them (as opposed to cooking them) is better for preserving their nutritional value.
Check out this post on the best frozen veggies to buy when planning your meal!
The best frozen vegetables for cooking
There are certain roasted frozen vegetables that turn out better than others. For example, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus are great options.
(Frozen Root vegetables like butternut squash or carrots might also work well with this method. But I would advise against roasting frozen Peas, which might get very mushy before they get crispy!)
Here are specific instructions for roasting frozen cauliflower.
Roasted cauliflower goes with almost anything! Try it as an accompaniment to my Orange Ginger Salmon or in one of my Mix & Match pasta dishes.
Here are specific instructions for roasting frozen broccoli.
Roasted broccoli is a staple in our household. Toss some broccoli with butternut squash mac and cheese, or as a side to salmon or chicken. Also delicious in casseroles.
(Here’s one of my favorite chicken recipes: Instant Pot Maple Mustard Chicken.)
Here are specific instructions for roasting frozen asparagus.
I love roasted asparagus to accompany my Lemon Baked Salmon or in a crustless quiche with goat cheese. It’s such a delicious spring vegetable that goes so well with so many main dishes!
The Brussels sprouts
Here’s a guide to roasting frozen Brussels sprouts.
I used to think I didn’t like Brussels sprouts, but turns out I just hadn’t roasted them because roasted Brussels sprouts are amazing. I love how crispy they get when toasted! They go perfectly with my gluten-free chicken fingers or vegan stuffed sweet potatoes.
Check out my Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Honey Miso recipe for a delicious glaze to add to your roasted Brussels sprouts!
You can also roast or sauté frozen green beans! Here is how to cook frozen green beans.
These Lemon Garlic Beans are a delicious and easy side to any meal! I love roasted green beans alongside this Glazed Chicken Meatloaf, this Slow Cooker Honey Lemon Chicken, or this Instant Pot Pork Roast.
How do you keep frozen vegetables from getting mushy?
The key to keeping frozen veggies crisp while frying is not Thaw them first!
Thawing frozen vegetables adds too much moisture to the vegetables and softens the vegetables before they even have a chance to cook. However, if you roast them straight from the freezer, that moisture can evaporate quickly in the heat.
I hope you found this post helpful and that you are now a frozen vegetable roaster! Who knew cooking frozen veggies could be so easy (and delicious)?! It’s such an easy way to quickly add extra nutrients to your weeknight meals.
(Here’s more vegetarian cooking inspiration: Herb and Garlic Roasted Vegetables and Maple Cinnamon Roasted Vegetables).
What is your favorite vegetable to cook? Have you ever roasted a vegetable straight from the freezer?
Let me know in the comments and be sure to tag me @fANNEtasticfood on social media if you try this method!