5 Frozen Veggies to Always Have on Hand (and How to Use Them)

updated May 1, 2019
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Among the essential staple foods I keep on hand in the kitchen at all times (I’m looking at you, olive oil, grains, and canned tomatoes) are frozen vegetables. I’m not talking about a single bag, but a selection of a few different veggies. Not only are they economical, but they also won’t go bad anytime soon. Keep them tucked away in the freezer and you can rest easy knowing that quick side dishes, wholesome dinners, and hearty breakfasts are just an arm’s reach away.

1. Broccoli

Frozen broccoli can do just about everything the fresh stuff can do, and sometimes even faster. If you love roasted broccoli as much as I do, it’s imperative you know that frozen florets can go straight from the freezer into a hot oven. It’s a game-changer. In addition to an endless variety of sides, frozen broccoli is the ingredient that gives scrambled eggs and frittatas a boost, rounds out grain bowls, treats pizza to some greens, and blends up quickly into a fresh pesto for pasta night.

Recipes with Frozen Broccoli

2. Peas

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to weeknight dinner prep, shelling fresh peas is not in the cards. Quickly heat a serving of frozen peas on the stovetop or microwave and you’ll find that they’re wonderfully tender, with just the right amount of bite. From salads and bright-green dip, to veggie-studded pasta and falafel, there are more ways to put these little green veggies to work than you might imagine.

Recipes with Frozen Peas

3. Corn

Since really good fresh corn is only in season a few months of the year, frozen makes it easy to eat peak-season corn all year long. If you’re a DIY-er through and through, perhaps you have some of last summer’s fresh stuff cut from the cob and stashed in the freezer? Don’t worry if you don’t — a bag of the store-bought stuff will work just as well to round out those burrito bowls in your meal plan, or to make a bevy of quick sides, salads, and comforting soups.

Recipes with Frozen Corn

4. Spinach

Frozen spinach isn’t a substitute for your lunch salad, but it can come to the rescue from morning through night. Once thawed, it can be worked into quiches, frittatas, dips, and pizza toppings. Or pull it from the freezer and stir it directly into soups, curries, or a pot of pasta. Steamed and tossed with garlic and lemon, a package of frozen leafy greens is also your ticket to a quick weeknight side dish.

Recipes with Frozen Spinach

5. Edamame

You don’t have to go to your favorite sushi joint or wait for takeout to snack on edamame. They’re technically a legume, but since they’re stocked amongst all the frozen veggies, we think they count. These protein-packed pods heat up in minutes on the stovetop and, beyond snacking, we love adding them to grain bowls, stir-fries, pastas, and veggie burgers.

Recipes with Frozen Edamame

Your turn! What frozen veggies do you keep stashed in the freezer, and what’s the most creative way you put them to work?