Last updated on
8 Weeks of Easy Family Dinners E-Cookbook!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
Frozen vegetables are one of the most economical, readily available ways to add more veggies to your diet. These simple tips will teach you how to properly season and cook frozen mixed vegetables for the best tasting sides, and how to add them to all sorts of recipes when fresh isn’t an option.
Let’s face it, one bad experience with frozen corn can ruin all frozen veggies for you for life. But when you know how to cook frozen vegetables the right way, it makes all the difference. Follow these tips and I’ll have you dancing down the freezer aisle at the supermarket in no time!
Table of Contents
While fresh vegetables are the optimal choice, they’re not always the most practical. They can be expensive, the quality can vary and your favorites might be seasonal and hard to find, especially right now. Plus if you rely on delivery services for your groceries, the quality of produce can vary immensely.
Frozen is an excellent alternative, for a variety of reasons which may vary from family to family.
They can be kind of blah, so here’s a little trick I learned for making frozen veggies taste better. This simple hack will yield a great tasting, budget-friendly side dish. Plus, while the recipe below is for a mixed veggie bag, this will work for almost any freezer vegetables you can find.
Once you learn how to cook your veggies like this, you’ll never turn your nose up at the freezer aisle again!
Generally frozen vegetables will last 8-12 months if properly stored in a sealed, airtight container. Always check for a “use by” date because it can vary by brand or type. They can be refrozen if they defrosted a bit, but they may get ice crystal and clump together and this can affect the quality and flavor.
Vegetable freezing began as a convenience. Generally, vegetables are frozen at the peak of freshness, immediately after harvesting, so they retain most of their nutrients.
Canned vegetables have additives and preservatives that frozen ones don’t, making them the less healthy choice. Frozen packages occasionally do contain extra sugar or salt, so it’s important to read the labels and look for the USDA “U.S. Fancy” shield to find the most nutrient-rich products.
Most often, thawing is not needed. You can toss them into your pan in their frozen state. If all you want to do is heat them up, use a steamer. Just don’t boil – this will add moisture and make your veggies mushy.
There are definitely a few varieties of mixed veggies, but the most common is just a combo of carrots, peas, corn, and green beans. There are also mixed bags of stir fry veggies and Italian style.
Different vegetables can require different treatments and cooking methods, depending on their flavor, texture, and water content. For example, a lot of vegetables, like frozen broccoli florets, cauliflower, and even zucchini can be roasted straight in the oven or the air fryer. Toss them with some olive oil and seasoning (like salt and pepper), spread them in a single layer on a hot baking sheet pan, and roast at 450 degrees. Roasting times will vary.
Add frozen corn, peas, or mixed veggies to your favorite soup, stew, and smoothies without even thawing them. For casseroles like my Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole, stir fries, and fried rice, thaw in the microwave or in the fridge before adding.
I use frozen veggies in a lot of recipes:
Storage – When storing leftover veggies, it’s important to let them cool first. Then store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Freezing – While you technically can refreeze them, I wouldn’t recommend it. The texture just won’t be as pleasing the second time around.
Reheating – Reheat in the microwave for 30-60 seconds.
Use your Air Fryer!