Let’s talk about how to cook frozen vegetables!
I am about to blow your mind, because did you guys know that you can roast vegetables directly from frozen? Like, without defrosting them first?
I know, awesome right?! It’s a super convenient way to get a healthy roasted vegetable side dish on the table (without worrying about your vegetables going bad before you get a chance to cook them).
I love having frozen veggies on hand to add nutrients and substance to a meal, especially if we don’t have any fresh vegetables around. But until recently I always just assumed that frozen veggies had to be boiled or steamed.
Good news: no one ever needs to suffer through a meal of bland, mushy boiled veggies again, I promise. (See also: How to Love Veggies.)
Okay, let’s get right to the details, shall we?
Can you roast frozen vegetables?
The answer: YES! You can totally roast frozen vegetables. They don’t require much prep time, either! Plus, they taste so much better than microwaved or steamed frozen veggies.
Here are the main steps for cooking frozen vegetables (this works for most types of vegetables – more specifics below):
- Pull veggies from the freezer (do not defrost!). (If the vegetables are frozen in one large block, be sure to break them up before cooking.)
- Arrange in a single layer on a sheet pan or baking sheet lined with parchment paper
- Toss with olive oil + seasonings (salt, pepper, and garlic powder – or use your favorite dried herbs and seasonings!)
- Roast them in the oven until slightly crispy
As for cook time, each type of vegetable has a specific roasting time, of course. I’ll break that down shortly, and you can see the end of this post for the official recipe/instructions for roasting frozen vegetables!
Seasoning Ideas for Frozen Vegetables
For seasonings, I mostly use just salt, pepper, and granulated garlic for a basic roasted veggie seasoning. For cauliflower, I usually add a pinch of red pepper flakes and dried thyme to the mix. With asparagus, I like to add red pepper flakes and fresh lemon zest.
Seasoning salt, Italian seasoning, and really just about any other spice would work well here too!
Are frozen vegetables as healthy as fresh vegetables?
Yes, frozen vegetables and fresh vegetables are generally equal in nutritional value! This is because frozen vegetables are often picked and frozen at their peak levels of ripeness, which helps preserve their flavor and nutrients.
Also, frozen veggies are often healthier than canned vegetables. (This is because they’re not as processed, and they have less additives.)
The way you cook the frozen veggies also matters. Roasting them (as opposed to boiling them) is better for retaining their nutritional value.
Check out this post on the best frozen vegetables to buy for help with your meal planning!
The Best Frozen Vegetables to Cook
There are certain roasted frozen vegetables that turn out better than others. For example, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and asparagus are all great options.
(Frozen root veggies, like butternut squash or carrots, could also work well with this method. But I’d stay away from roasting frozen peas, which could get really mushy before they’d get crispy!)
Here are specific instructions for roasting frozen cauliflower.
Here are specific instructions for roasting frozen broccoli.
Roasted broccoli is a staple in our household. Throw some broccoli in with Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese or as a side with salmon or chicken. It’s also delicious in casseroles.
(Here’s one of my favorite chicken recipes: Instant Pot Maple Mustard Chicken.)
Here are specific instructions for roasting asparagus from frozen.
Here are instructions for roasting frozen brussels sprouts.
I used to think I didn’t like brussels sprouts, but it turns out I just hadn’t had them roasted, because roasted brussels sprouts are awesome. I love how crispy they get when roasted! They go great alongside my Gluten Free Chicken Fingers or Vegan Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.
Check out my honey miso roasted brussels sprouts recipe for a yummy glaze to add to your roasted brussels sprouts!
You can also roast or saute green beans from frozen! Here’s how to cook frozen green beans.
These lemon garlic string beans are a delicious and easy side dish for any meal! I love roasted green beans alongside this Glazed Ground Chicken Meatloaf, this Slow Cooker Honey Lemon Chicken, or this Instant Pot Pork Roast.
How do you keep frozen vegetables from getting soggy?
The key to keeping frozen vegetables crispy when roasting is to not thaw them first!
Allowing frozen veggies to thaw adds too much moisture to the vegetables, and softens the vegetables before they even have a chance to cook. But roasting them directly from frozen allows that moisture to evaporate quickly in the heat.
I hope you found this post helpful, and that now you’ll be a frozen veggie roasting machine! Who knew it was so easy (and delicious) to cook frozen vegetables?! It’s such an easy way to quickly add some extra nutrition to your weeknight meals.
What are your favorite veggies to cook? Have you ever roasted a veggie directly from frozen before?
Let me know in the comments, and be sure to tag me @fANNEtasticfood on social media if you try this method!