Sometimes, frozen veggies get a bad rap. But I’m here to set the record straight: they’re actually super nutritious and delicious! So today, I’m sharing the best frozen vegetables to buy.
I definitely recommend stocking your freezer with frozen veggies, especially when fresh veggies are out of season. It makes dinner time so much easier. When you need a quick and healthy side dish, you can just grab a bag of veggies and roast away! (For some tips, here’s how to roast frozen vegetables.)
Are frozen vegetables healthy?
You might be surprised to hear that generally, frozen vegetables and fresh vegetables are equally nutritious. It’s true! Vegetables are usually frozen at their peak ripeness, in order to keep their taste and nutrients intact.
In fact, frozen veggies are often healthier than canned vegetables. This is because they’re not as processed and have less additives.
It also depends on how you cook the veggies. Roasting them (as opposed to boiling them) retains their nutritional value better. Plus, they’ll be less soggy and more crispy that way. It’s a win win!
Microwaving them is also perfectly fine, especially if you’re crunched on time.
Another benefit to frozen veggies: they’re often already cut up/ready to cook, so you’ll spend less time prepping them!
Which frozen veggies are the best to buy?
Now, let’s talk about the best vegetables to buy frozen. Because not all frozen veggies are created equal!
Here are some of my favorite types of frozen veggies (the ones that cook the best from frozen):
- broccoli (perfect for throwing into casseroles or in mac and cheese)
- cauliflower (great with my lemon baked salmon)
- asparagus (I love this in my crustless veggie quiche)
- brussels sprouts (these honey miso roasted brussels sprouts are a winner, especially for the holidays)
- mushrooms (great for throwing into pasta dishes! Especially since fresh mushrooms go bad so quickly. Here’s some mix & match pasta recipe inspiration)
- peas (Riese and I actually like to eat these frozen as a snack! Or these are great thrown in pasta dishes, too)
- bell peppers (these would be super tasty in breakfast tacos! I just recommend cooking them separately & draining the excess water so they don’t get too much moisture in the eggs)
You can also buy dark leafy greens (like kale and spinach) frozen. Just remember that they will retain some of the water from freezing. So, it’s best to either use them in certain dishes (like smoothies or soups), or make sure to drain the excess water after cooking before you add them to a dish.
(Frozen spinach would be great in this popular banana spinach smoothie recipe!)
For step-by-step instructions on how to roast some of these veggies, check out these posts:
- How to Roast Frozen Broccoli
- How to Cook Frozen Brussels Sprouts
- Roasting Frozen Cauliflower
- How to Cook Frozen Asparagus
The best part: none of these methods require thawing! Just toss into the oven directly from frozen and roast them up.
Recipe Ideas for Frozen Vegetables
Some vegetables, like spinach and cauliflower, go wonderfully in smoothies. You don’t even have to thaw or cook them first! Here are some delicious mix & match smoothie recipes to get you started.
I also really love using frozen vegetables in stir fry – I usually buy a basic frozen stir fry veggie mix (unseasoned/flavored) that has bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Once my protein is nearly cooked, I dump the frozen veggies in, cook a little longer until the veggies soften, then add one of the sauces in my Healthy Stir Fry Recipes post before serving over rice.
And here are some more tasty recipes that would be perfect with frozen veggies (either in the dish itself, or with a side of roasted veggies):
- Sheet Pan Maple Curry Chicken
- Orange Ginger Salmon
- Instant Pot Maple Mustard Chicken
- Veggie Scrambled Egg Muffins
- Easy Minestrone Soup
- Veggie Egg Casserole (Frittata) with Smoked Salmon
- Lentil Chili
I hope this post has gotten you inspired to stock up on frozen veggies! I find it especially useful to have them on hand during the winter, when fresh vegetables are harder to come by (and when I’m making more soups and baked dishes). But really, they’re great to have for any season!
Have you made any meals with frozen veggies before? What’s been your favorite so far? Let me know in the comments!
And if you liked this post, you may also like my Healthy Pantry Staples post – it even includes a bunch of 15 minute dinner ideas using mostly pantry items!