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4 Ultra Common Frozen Vegetables (& 4 Recipes for Each of Them)

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Oh, haven’t you heard? It’s all about the freezer these days. Your fridge’s squat cousin packs a more powerful punch than it lets on. Yeah, yeah, we know that it can make ice cubes and keep ice cream, but the ice box is so, so much more than that. Actually, it often gets a bad rap—an Arctic wasteland where food goes to be forgotten. But perhaps, a cognitive shift is in order. The freezer shouldn’t be a last resort but a resource, a place you turn for inspiration, ingredients, advice (sure, why not?).

How to Make Your Freezer Work For You
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How to Make Your Freezer Work For You

Freezer friendly vegetables get the cold shoulder. They’re shriveled and dusted with ice and don’t hold a flame to their bountiful Farmers' Market counterparts as far as looks go. But in one realm, they do reign supreme: durability. They’re easily accessible and deserve recognition. Plus, studies show that vegetables are just as nutritious frozen as they fresh. So here’s a guide for all you who have a bag of frozen vegetables in the freezer and just don’t know what to do with it. And for the rest of you, maybe it’s time you jump on that train.

Peas, Please

These little green morsels freeze terrifically. So well, in fact, that they're kinda like the poster child of frozen vegetables. Scoop out however many you want into a sieve and run under cold water before using. These will save ANY boring stir fry.

Lemon-Mint Peas with Burrata and Breadcrumbs

Lemon-Mint Peas with Burrata and Breadcrumbs by Lily Hughes

Spiced Uzbekistani Plov (Pilaf) With Herbs, Scallions & Peas

Spiced Uzbekistani Plov (Pilaf) With Herbs, Scallions & Peas by Kukla

Minty Pea Purée on Toast

Minty Pea Purée on Toast by Gena Hamshaw

Farro Risotto with Sausage, Mushroom, Peas, and a Poached Egg

Farro Risotto with Sausage, Mushroom, Peas, and a Poached... by Erin McDowell

Get Corny

Corn is only available for such a brief, bright, and beautiful window. During summer, I advise you to get your hand on as many ears as possible. The rest of the year, however, we're not as lucky. Unless, of course, you keep a bag of frozen kernels in your fridge. Pop those puppies out and fold them into a variety of veggie laden dishes all year long.

Kevin Gillespie's Creamless Creamed Corn with Mushrooms and Lemon

Kevin Gillespie's Creamless Creamed Corn with Mushrooms a... by Genius Recipes

Corn Fritters with Cheddar and Scallions

Corn Fritters with Cheddar and Scallions by Alexandra Stafford

Cold Vegetable and Noodle Salad with Ponzu Dressing

Cold Vegetable and Noodle Salad with Ponzu Dressing by Sarah Jampel

Yotam Ottolenghi's Sweet Corn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce

Yotam Ottolenghi's Sweet Corn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce by Genius Recipes

Silly For SPinach

When it comes to frozen vegetables, spinach reigns supreme, so supreme that some recipes actually call for frozen over fresh. I keep a bag in my fridge at all times for scooping into smoothies or curries or rice or pasta or into casseroles or as a side or under fish... you get the idea.

Spinach Madeline

Spinach Madeline by Food52

Saag Paneer

Saag Paneer by Merrill Stubbs

Punjabi Buttermilk Stew with Spinach Dumplings

Punjabi Buttermilk Stew with Spinach Dumplings by Shveta Berry

Spanakopita Grilled Cheese

Spanakopita Grilled Cheese by Alexandra V. Jones

Carrot Top

Frozen carrots, admittedly, aren't as versatile as their other frozen friends. Opt for frozen carrots when pureeing or braising or mixing—dishes where carrots aren't the star and you don't need to preserve their beautiful shape.

Carrot Chickpea Couscous Salad

Carrot Chickpea Couscous Salad by Kendra Vaculin

Roasted Carrot Harissa and Crème Fraîche Crostini

Roasted Carrot Harissa and Crème Fraîche Crostini by gingerroot

Maple Braised Rabbit And Carrots

Maple Braised Rabbit And Carrots by aargersi

Roasted Carrot Soup

Roasted Carrot Soup by Reeve

How do you freeze? Tell us your techniques in the comments section.

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Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Vegetable, Weeknight Cooking