Frozen vegetables are affordable and just as healthy as the fresh kind. “They’re usually flash frozen at the peak of their ripeness, so they maintain much of their nutritional value,” says Serena Poon, CN, a professional chef and certified nutritionist. If you don’t know how to cook frozen vegetables properly, however, they’ll never compare in terms of taste and texture.
Poon has a method for cooking frozen vegetables that never fails. When you roasting frozen veggies just as you would your fresh vegetables, there’s no discernible difference between the two.
“Roasting frozen vegetables is perhaps one of the easiest ways to cook them,” says Poon. “There’s no need to thaw out your frozen vegetables either—just place them on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil—I prefer avocado oil—and Himalayan sea salt, and roast for about 15 to 30 minutes, until crispy and brown. I also love adding garlic and fresh herbs for extra flavor.”
While roasting your frozen veggies is hands-down the best way to cook them, Poon says you can also pop them into the air fryer. “Air fryers make cooking crispy vegetables a simple task,” she says. “Toss your favorite frozen vegetables with avocado oil, Himalayan sea salt, and garlic powder, then place them directly in the air fryer and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes on 375 degrees. You’ll have delicious, crunchy veggies that the whole family will love.”
Poon says you may have to play with the timing a bit to get a perfectly crispy texture you love, so don’t be afraid to air fry your veggies for a few extra minutes if they’re not to your liking. And while this method works for all sorts of different options, her go-tos are broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussells sprouts. You can’t go wrong.
Try out the baking sheet hack for yourself by using the recipe below. Chef Nyesha Arrington says you don’t need to stick to the recipe—you can roast up any frozen veggies you already have on hand.
Sheet pan roasted vegetable hash
Note: You can use any combination of frozen vegetables you have on hand.
2 cups squash, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 large fresh beet, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 cup French Lentils, cooked
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp caraway
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Toss the cut squash and beets with melted coconut oil, garlic, ginger, and season with salt.
3. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until vegetables are golden, about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
4. Add tomatoes and cooked lentils, continue to cook about 10 minutes.
5. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
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