Skip to main content
Cooking Tips

Yes, You Can Char Frozen Vegetables

Gone are the days of limp and soggy frozen veggies. Here’s how to do it. 
By Published Oct. 24, 2022

Frozen vegetables and I have a love/hate relationship. They’re a quick, easy, and convenient vegetable option.

But they always turn out limp. And soggy.

. . .or so I thought.

Introducing: skillet-charred frozen green beans. That’s right: Frozen green beans coated in blistered char. Who knew?

Sign up for the Notes from the Test Kitchen newsletter

Our favorite tips and recipes, enjoyed by 2 million+ subscribers!

This recipe comes from our upcoming Modern Pantry cookbook. The original method comes from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe using fresh green beans.

Our talented test cooks specifically engineered it for frozen. And it really works.

The recipe couldn’t be simpler. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a clean, dry skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add 1 pound of frozen whole green beans in a single layer and cook, without stirring, until the beans are softened and charred.

And voilà—the result is a flavor and texture I never knew could come from frozen vegetables. Consider my mind blown.

This technique works for frozen corn as well!

Frozen veggies for the charred, yummy win.