When it comes to frozen vegetables, there’s a variety of ways that you can prepare them, and how to cook frozen vegetables is one of the top questions we get asked!
When it comes to cooking Tommy’s Superfoods, the best bet is always to check the cooking instructions on the package, but if you’re looking for more detail, we’ve got answers to all the frequently asked questions when it comes to cooking frozen vegetables, right here.
How Long Does it Take to Cook Frozen Vegetables?
The cooking time for frozen vegetables depends on the method you’re using to cook them. While some cooking styles, like roasting, might take longer, they also gives your veggies a different flavor profile that is likely worth the extra time. But for busy nights, there are simple ways to get vegetables on the dinner table in less than 10 minutes. Here’s a basic comparison of cooking time based upon cooking method – keep in mind this may vary based upon the vegetable and how small or large it has been cut:
- Sautéed frozen vegetables: typically take 5-7 minutes
- Steamed frozen vegetables: can take anywhere from 2-10 minutes, depending on the vegetable
- Roasted frozen vegetables: typically takes 20-25 minutes with a flip halfway through
- Grilled frozen vegetables: the time varies based on vegetables, but typically takes between 5 and 10 minutes
Can You Defrost Frozen Vegetables Before Cooking?
Typically, the best practice when cooking frozen vegetables is to not defrost first. Frozen vegetables shouldn’t be defrosted because they can lose their crunchy texture. Additionally, defrosting frozen vegetables can cause them to lose the flavor and nutrients that are sealed in from their freezing process, especially if you defrost them a day or two prior to cooking.
The bottom line: DON’T defrost frozen vegetables before you prepare them and add them to your meals.
Can you eat frozen vegetables without cooking them?
It may be tempting to throw some Super Greens in your next smoothie or defrost Fiesta Quinoa for a cold quinoa salad, but don’t do it! Unless labeled as ready to eat (like many frozen fruit products), frozen vegetables are not prepared foods and are not safe to consume without cooking first. All Tommy’s Superfoods frozen vegetables should be cooked prior to eating.
What Is the Best Way to Cook Frozen Vegetables?
While there’s not one way that everyone loves best for cooking frozen veggies, we recommend cooking them on the stovetop as the “best” method of cooking. Sauteeing frozen vegetables on the stove top guarantees the best texture and flavor. As a secondary option, you could roast them in the overn or even cook them on the grill. All three of these options are going to result in better tasing veggies than if you boil, steam or microwave them.
Quick How-to Sauté Frozen Vegetables
Cooking vegetables in a skillet is a great way to prepare them quickly, and maintain the great taste, texture, and nutrients that your veggies deserve. To sauté your vegetables here’s what to do:
- Pour your bag of frozen vegetables into a skillet over medium-high heat
- Add one tablespoon of olive oil (or cooking oil of your choice) to the pan and stir
- Cook, uncovered, for 5-7 minutes, until heated through, stirring occasionally
Quick How-to Grill Frozen Vegetables
Grilling vegetables is perfect for backyard barbecues or family dinners during Summer vacation. What’s even better, there’s no mess to clean up in the kitchen! For tasty grilled veggies, here’s what you should do:
- Pop your frozen veggies into some tin foil or a vegetable basket with a little bit of olive oil
- Place them on the grill and cook on a medium to medium-high heat
- Stir or flip the vegetables throughout cooking to avoid sticking or charring
Quick How-to Bake or Roast Frozen Vegetables?
Baking or roasting your frozen vegetables is another option for easily prepared additions to any meal. Here’s how to roast your frozen vegetables in the oven:
- Pre-heat your oven between 400 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit
- Coat your roasting pan with a thin layer of olive oil, and put it in the oven while it heats up (having a hot pan helps the veggies defrost and cook more easily!)
- Toss your veggies in a bit of olive oil or coconut oil, and then add them in a single layer to your roasting pan
- Cook for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through
How Do You Steam Frozen Vegetables?
We’re the first to say, if you’re steaming frozen vegetables, you’re doing it wrong, but we know that lots of people still want to know how to steam frozen veggies. It’s one of the top questions asked on Google! So if you are planning to steam frozen veggies, here’s how to ensure they come out best:
Steam on the Stovetop
- Place just two or three inches of water at the very bottom of your pot or pan
- Once the water has come to a boil, place a steaming basket or sieve over the water – making sure that the basket is above the boiling water. If necessary, remove a bit of the water.
- Once your basket or sieve is in place, add your frozen vegetables and then cover the pot or pan with a lid.
- Watch your veggies closely – the may cook faster than you expect and nobody likes army green broccoli!
Cooking times for steaming on the stovetop will vary, so here’s a chart with some veggies and their optimal steaming times:
Mistakes to Avoid When Cooking Frozen Vegetables
Now that we’ve covered the various options for preparing frozen vegetables, here are some common mistakes to avoid when you cook frozen vegetables. Doing any of these can take away the flavor, texture, and important nutrients that make frozen vegetables so great.
1. Don’t Boil Your Vegetables
One way we don’t recommend cooking your frozen veggies is by boiling them. Boiling frozen vegetables can make them limp, soggy, and flavorless. This can happen if you prepare them in the microwave too, so try to avoid steaming your veggies in the microwave.
2. Don’t Just Focus on Lunch or Dinner
Frozen vegetables are an easy way to add healthy elements to more than just your lunchbox or plate at the dinner table. Since they can be prepared easily, and portioned out and saved for later, you can have frozen veggies at every meal of the day – yes, even breakfast!
3. Don’t Forget to Re-Seal Packages Tightly
If you’re keeping your frozen vegetables in a plastic bag or another bag with a Ziploc seal, it’s important to make sure they’re sealed tight. If not, you can get freezer burn on your vegetables, which doesn’t make them unsafe to eat, but it can affect the way that they taste and their texture. We recommend using reusable glass or freezer proof plastic containers to lock out air.
4. Don’t Get Stuck at “Side Dish”
It’s true that frozen vegetables are convenient, but that doesn’t mean they have to be used in boring meals, and there’s no reason to delegate them to the corner of your plate! There are lots of options for different vegetables in the freezer aisle, and plenty of ways for you to incorporate them into any kind of recipe. So don’t focus on just your typical vegetable side dishes when frozen vegetables can be the main attraction of your plate.
Need More Cooking Tips?
If you’re ready to dive deep into the world of frozen vegetables, we’ve got lots of tips for you! Whether you want recipes, more ideas on how to cook frozen vegetables, or more information on frozen food, you can find it on the Tommy’s blog.
What’s your favorite way to cook frozen vegetables? Leave us a comment and let us know!