5 Frozen Vegetables You Should Buy This Spring, According to Chefs and Culinary Pros

published Mar 18, 2022
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In Portland, Oregon, my hometown, I saw early hints of spring. Small pockets of sunshine burst through the clouds, coupled with 55-degree days, as I drove to the store for a grocery run. It continued for several days, giving me just a peek into what would soon be. Now, with just a few days until spring officially begins, I’m dreaming of the seasonal produce. But guess what? Spring produce shouldn’t only be about the fresh stuff. That’s right: The frozen stuff certainly has its place!

In fact, I reached out to some chefs and professionals in the food industry to see what frozen veggies they buy in the spring — and five things came up over and over again. (Some of these experts even have a favorite brand to name drop.) Spinach, peas, artichokes, and more — these are the top five vegetables that got nominated.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

1. Spinach

“I always have frozen spinach in my freezer; it makes for a quick side dish (my 16-month-old daughter loves it with a squeeze of lemon juice), as a filling for ravioli along with fresh ricotta, or to make a savory cake with ricotta (again, best partner for spinach), eggs, and pecorino.” — Giulia Scarpaleggia, chef, cookbook author, and writer

Credit: Joe Lingeman

2. Artichoke Hearts

“Artichoke hearts! The frozen are way better than the canned ones. Make your own quick marinade with lemon, olive oil, garlic, and herbs for an antipasto platter or toss them in a creamy, lemony pasta.” — Althea Potter, chef and owner of The Flavor Society

Credit: Joe Lingeman

3. Corn

“I’d say one of the vegetables I buy almost exclusively frozen is good ol’ corn. I always have bags in my freezer, ready to pad out soups, stews, and casseroles. When I buy corn on the cob I also stash the cobs in the freezer after cutting off the kernels — it’s a great way to add sweetness and complexity to ramen and chowder broths.” — Heather Arndt Anderson, author and food writer

Credit: Joe Lingeman

4. Peas

“The classic, green peas! They are so nutrient-dense that it always feels like a kind thing to my family to defrost some and add them to a meal. My mom likes to make gyoza with them.”— Lola Milholland, chef and owner of Umi Organic

Credit: Kelli Foster

5. French Green Beans

“I love the long French green beans from Trader Joe’s. Add them to soups and stews, or I toss them in a skillet with sautéed onion, a splash of stock or water, and, when warmed through, shower them with toasted almonds and lemon zest.” — Anne Byrne, food writer and cookbook author

What frozen veggies do you stock up on come spring? Tell us in the comments.