How to Cook Frozen Peas & Make Them Taste Better?
Frozen peas are one of my favorites when I am in a hurry. They are very versatile, easy to cook, and incredibly convenient to combine. Still, if you are new to cooking frozen food, you may face a challenge when cooking frozen peas because there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Frozen peas are often in my kitchen, and I’ve gathered quite an experience when it comes to cooking them. Although they are effortless to handle, you may feel confused about why they don’t turn out as expected. So, in this article, I will make things easier for you and tell you everything you need to know about cooking frozen peas. Let’s see how to cook frozen peas and make them taste better!
How to Properly Cook Frozen Peas?
Frozen peas are relatively easy to cook, but if you don’t know the proper way to prepare them, you may end up disappointed with a dry and flavorless dish. Cooking frozen peas is a short and simple process, but you do need to follow a series of steps to do it successfully.
The first step of the process is to thaw your frozen peas. Cooking them frozen is a huge mistake and will result in dry and hard peas. Also, peas don’t need long to cook, so if you cook them while frozen, they will dry out in a blink.
You can thaw your frozen peas in the fridge or just rinse them under cold water if you are in a hurry. Don’t let them thaw at room temperature because they will get soggy and will likely fall apart when cooked.
If you soak the frozen peas before cooking, do so in cold water. Soaking isn’t a necessary step, but I never skip it because it is a helpful method to get rid of any impurities. A few minutes in cold water is more than enough.
The next step is preparing the water. If you want, you can season the water with salt, pepper, or herbs. I like to add a few drops of oil so that the peas are smoother and richer when cooked. Still, if this isn’t something you feel like doing, you absolutely don’t have to add anything to the cooking water.
Then you need to boil the water before adding the peas. Never add the peas to cold water and let them cook gradually — this will result in a soggy and possibly drippy dish because the peas will be oversaturated with liquid.
Bring the water to a boil and add the peas. Once you’ve added them, reduce the heat to medium and let them cook for three to five minutes. Don’t overcook the peas because they will become mushy and very unappetizing.
I usually let them cook for about five minutes and remove them from the water the second they are done. Drain the peas to remove the extra liquid, and you’re done.
If you want, you can season them afterward. I like to season them with salt, pepper, and butter, but you can add whatever seasoning you like.
If you want to add your peas to another dish, you can either cook them separately or add them directly to the dish, depending on what you make. If you want to add peas to a stir-fried dish, you can add them directly to the dish without cooking them beforehand.
If you want to add the peas to a dish that needs oven-baking, it’s better that you cook them and add them to the dish shortly before taking them out of the oven.
Cooking Frozen Peas in the Microwave
It is possible to cook frozen peas in the microwave, but if you have time, cook them on the stove since the microwave can sometimes give the peas a somewhat unpleasant note. Still, with good seasoning, it shouldn’t be an issue.
The process is very simple and not much different than regular microwaving. Place your thawed peas in a microwave–safe bowl and add a cup of warm water to it. Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe lid and pop it into the microwave.
I usually microwave the peas for about three minutes, but the length of the microwaving depends mainly on the type of your microwave; some models are stronger than others. So, the first time you cook your frozen peas in the microwave, make the cycles two minutes long and check the condition of the peas after each cycle.
Cooking Frozen Peas in the Oven
Cooking frozen peas in the oven is a very simple method with excellent results. Still, you need to prepare the peas beforehand so that they turn out tasty.
After you thaw the frozen peas, pour them into a bowl and add oil, salt, and pepper. Mix the peas until they are equally greasy. Preheat the oven to 400 °F, i.e., 200 °C, for about ten minutes.
Spread the peas on a baking tray covered with parchment paper and pop them in the oven. Roast them for about ten minutes and check their condition and let them cook for ten minutes more.
I like to add other veggies when oven-cooking frozen peas, so I often make them with onion rings and garlic cloves.
Cooking Frozen Peas in a Pan
Cooking frozen peas in a pan is basically stir-frying them, and they turn out delicious. Heat up oil or butter in your pan and add your thawed peas inside. I like to add chopped onions and grated carrots to give the peas more flavor.
Once you’ve added the peas, let them sizzle for about a minute and stir to prevent them from sticking to the pan. Cook them for about five or six more minutes until they are tender.
If you add other veggies to the pan, add the one that takes the longest to cook first, cook it halfway, and then add the peas.
Why Are Your Frozen Peas Hard After Cooking?
Sometimes your frozen peas can be hard even though you cooked them. In this case, there may be obvious and less obvious reasons, and knowing what happened will prevent this from happening again.
The most apparent reason for hard peas is undercooking them. When peas are undercooked, they are hard and taste raw. If this is the case, return them to the pot, pan, or oven to finish cooking.
Another reason why peas turn out hard when cooked is overcooking them. They will be overly dehydrated and very dry, which means they will be hard. This usually happens when you cook them in the oven.
Depending on how overcooked they are, there may be nothing you can do to fix them if they are past the point of no return. If they seem like there is still hope, you can always mix them with some sauce to plump them up as much as possible.
The quality of the peas also plays a massive role in how they will turn out after cooking. Sadly, you cannot know this unless you are a pea expert. So, if you did everything right and they still turned out hard, the poor quality of the peas may be the reason.
You can try seasoning, sauces, or adding peas to another dish to fix this.
Your peas may be hard after cooking if they are old as well. So, check the expiration date on the package before buying the bag of frozen peas.
What Is a Good Seasoning for Frozen Peas?
As versatile as peas are, they are also somewhat demanding when it comes to seasoning them. Their earthy flavor doesn’t seem to go with just any seasoning, and you need to get it just right if you want to have delicious peas — and here are some of the best seasonings.
Butter and Salt
If you don’t feel particularly creative, go simple and season your peas with butter and salt. This seasoning is one of my favorites for peas. You just can’t go wrong with this one, and your peas will be deliciously creamy and savory.
Lemon and Herbs
I season my peas with lemon and herbs when I pair them with fish, and they are delicious. Make a mixture of lemon and herbs, maybe some salt, and a drop of olive oil. Add this seasoning to the peas and enjoy your zesty meal.
Garlic and Parmesan
If you want to make your peas fancier, season them with garlic and parmesan. Once your peas are done, add garlic powder and stir them so that they are equally garlicky. Then cover them in parmesan and mix them nicely.
Do this while they are still hot so that the parmesan softens and melts over your peas. You can also pop the peas in the microwave or the oven if you want the parmesan to melt completely. I also usually combine them with some pasta or gnocchi, and they are delicious!
How to Make Frozen Peas Taste Better?
Making your frozen peas taste better requires only a bit of effort and a sprinkle of creativity. See the ideas below for inspiration.
Cook With Aromatics
Cooking your peas with aromatics such as onions or garlic will enhance their flavor and make them irresistibly delicious. If you cook your peas in a pan, saute the onions, garlic, or both before adding the peas.
If you use the oven, top the peas with onion rings and garlic cloves. Add garlic cloves and onion chunks to the water if you cook your peas on the stove. If you cook the peas in the microwave, add powdered onions or garlic, not fresh.
Make Them Creamy
A little heavy cream goes a long way with peas, so make your dish creamy by adding some heavy cream to your peas. No matter how you cook your peas, if you want to make them creamy, pour the peas and heavy cream into a pan and cook them on medium head for a few minutes.
I also like to add parmesan once I remove the pan from the stove.
Using broth instead of water is a great way to up the flavor of your peas. It works just like cooking them with water, so you don’t need to change anything in the cooking method.
Cooking Frozen Peas the Easiest Way
- 1 Saucepan
- 1 lb Frozen Peas
- ⅔ cup Chicken Broth (you can use any type)
- Take your frozen peas out of the freezer, and put them into the fridge to thaw.
- Once they've thawed, take a saucepan, put the broth in, and put it to boil.
- When the broth starts boiling, put in the peas, reduce the heat to medium, and let it cook for 3-5 minutes.
- When the peas are done, drain them, and that's it! Now you can combine them any way you like!