When Is It OK to Use Frozen Vegetables?

The frozen veggies we love and how to use them.

Published Jan. 24, 2023.

You can’t beat the convenience and affordability of frozen vegetables. But will it ruin a dish to use them in place of fresh vegetables?

Well, it depends. Some frozen vegetables make great stand-ins for fresh. Low-moisture, starchy vegetables such as peas, corn, lima beans, edamame, and potatoes (like hash browns) are excellent frozen options. They stand up well to the freezing and thawing process without their flavor and texture suffering too much. Plus, have you ever had to shell fresh peas? Frozen all day for me, please! 

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So what do you make now that you’ve got a freezer full of frozen veg? Here are some of the Cook’s Country team’s favorite ways to use them:

  • Tater Tot Hotdish is the holy grail of casseroles. It features an ultracomforting combination of a savory beef and vegetable filling topped with crispy tater tots. Frozen peas, corn, and tots all work best here.
  • This Edamame Salad with Mint and Pecorino is an unexpectedly delicious way to use frozen shelled edamame. The plump, hearty legumes are blanched and then tossed with funky Pecorino, fresh herbs, and a lemony dressing for a lively, punchy salad.
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  • Frozen spinach works even better than fresh in this Greek-inspired Spinach Rice; thawed and squeezed spinach incorporates seamlessly when folded into steamed rice (cooking fresh spinach with the rice caused the rice to cook unevenly). A topping of scallions, mint, lemon, and feta cheese makes it a vibrant, attention-stealing side dish.
  • Southern-Style Baby Lima Beans couldn’t be simpler: Render bacon; add frozen baby lima beans, an onion, broth, water, and seasonings; and then simmer until the beans are supertender and the broth is silky and smoky. Easy, homey, and perfect for converting any lima bean skeptics in your life.

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