Learn how to cook frozen peas with this easy recipe! Our simple trick gives you flavorful, tender seasoned peas every time. (Naturally Gluten-Free)
If you’ve been here a minute, you might have noticed we’ve been stepping up our side dish game in the last year or two! Between goodies like Gluten-Free Garlic Bread and Caesar Salad, to nailing everyday veggies like how to boil corn, crowd pleasing twice-baked potatoes, and simply seasoned green beans, we’re all about delicious, EASY side dishes!
And, when it comes to easy side dish recipes, there’s basically nothing easier than frozen veggies! I love frozen vegetables. They’re budget-friendly, easy to keep on hand, and frozen at their peak ripeness, so they’re full of both nutrients AND sweet flavor.
That’s what I love about frozen peas! This simple recipe for frozen peas is easy enough for a busy weeknight, but elegant enough for a holiday meal or special occasion. So how do I pack in so much flavor? It’s all in the technique.
And if you’re wondering what is best way to cook frozen peas? I’ll say this: it’s not what the package will tell you.
Here’s what you need to know about how to cook frozen peas perfectly every single time…
Simple Ingredients For The Best Frozen PEas:
- Frozen Peas. No need to thaw them! You can use any brand frozen green peas straight from the freezer. I love to stock up on organic peas when they go on sale at the grocery store–super affordable!
- Butter or Olive Oil. You don’t need much, but adding just 1-2 Tablespoons of butter (or olive oil for a vegan option) to your pan makes for better texture AND flavor. It’ll also help the seasonings stick!
- Some Simple Seasonings. For well seasoned peas, you’ll at LEAST need some salt and pepper. I love to add a garlic clove or garlic powder, but don’t miss our seasoning suggestions below for even more ideas!
What Are The Best Frozen Peas?
I love frozen petite peas, aka petit pois. (Trader Joe’s have a fan following, and I’m totally on board!). Beyond that, you really have your pick! Most standard frozen peas in the United States are sweet peas. Sweet peas of all different brands tend to taste similarly. Buy what’s on sale! (Keep in mind that other varieties of peas, like English peas, fresh peas, snow peas, and snap peas in their pods will cook differently than frozen peas)
The Best Way To Cook Frozen Peas, Step By Step:
The best way to cook frozen peas isn’t boiling. It’s sauteeing! You’ll sauté the frozen peas in a frying pan/skillet with some simple seasonings and they’ll have both the best texture and flavor. Yum! It’s may favorite way to make them, so here’s how to make sauteed peas:
- Melt Butter. Start by melting butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Cook Peas. Add frozen peas (no need to thaw!). Cook 6-8 minutes, stirring regularly, until the peas are a vibrant color of green, plump, and tender. If you taste one, there shouldn’t be any crunchy bite (a sign they’re underdone), and they shouldn’t be mushy (overdone).
- Taste & Season. Add garlic, salt, and pepper, then stir 30-60 seconds. Taste and add additional seasoning if desired–a pinch of sugar, more salt & pepper, or other fresh seasonings.
- Serve & Store. Enjoy seasoned peas right away, or store leftover peas in an airtight container. (The butter or olive oil will solidify and harden in the fridge–this is normal! It will easily melt again when you reheat leftovers.)
How To Steam Frozen Peas & Boil Frozen Peas:
If you don’t want to saute them (maybe you don’t have the right pan, or you need an option without added fat), you can absolutely steam or boil your frozen peas. The big secret is not to OVER cook them. The peas should look plump and a vibrant, bright green color. If they start to look slightly browned or olive-green, you’ve over-done it. Here’s how to use each of these two cooking methods:
To Steam Peas:
- Combine Peas & Water. Combine 1 bag of frozen peas and ½ cup of water in a medium saucepan. (If you have one, add a steamer basket to the pan, then pour 1 inch of water down below)
- Cover & Heat. Add a lid to the pan and cook over medium-high heat 4-6 minutes, or until the peas are heated through and vibrant green.
- Drain & Season. Drain any excess water. Stir in butter, salt, and pepper, to taste.
To Boil Peas:
- Bring Water To A Boil. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. (The water should be at a rolling boil, with bubbles all across the surface)
- Cook Peas. Add the peas to the water with a generous pinch of salt. Cook for just 2-3 minutes, or until the peas a vibrant green. (This may take 1 minute or two longer if your peas are super frozen).
- Drain & Season. Drain the peas by pouring them into a colander to let the excess water run away. Stir in butter, salt, and pepper, to taste.
Let’s Talk Seasonings! (How To Season Peas)
What seasonings are good on peas? Thankfully, you have a LOT of options with this frozen peas recipe! It makes it easy to change things up depending on what you’re serving them with. Here are a few variations to try for this easy vegetable side dish:
- Salt & Black Pepper. Don’t be shy! Even these simple seasonings make for very flavorful peas.
- Fresh Garlic or Garlic Powder. My favorite seasoned peas use a mix of fresh garlic, salt and pepper. But a little sprinkle of garlic powder is also a great option!
- A Tiny Bit Of Sugar. If you like, you can play up the natural sweetness in the peas by adding a small pinch of sugar. I prefer my peas with no added sugar, but follow your tastebuds!
- Lemon Zest. I love adding lemon zest to fresh veggies! Feel free to add a squeeze of lemon juice, too!
- Cheese! Try parmesan, feta…even Cotija! A little cheese is a great way to make seasoned peas.
- Onion. Saute some chopped onion before adding your peas!
- Fresh Mint. Minted peas are a classic. Add the fresh mint right at the end with the salt & pepper. (I skip the garlic!)
- More Fresh Herbs. Or, experiment with other fresh herbs–fresh dill, fresh chives, fresh thyme..whatever you have on hand!
FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Way To Cook Frozen Peas:
Can You Cook Peas From Frozen? So, do you need to thaw frozen peas before cooking? NOPE! That’s part of what makes them so great as an easy side dish. You can cook frozen peas straight from the freezer.
How Long To Cook Frozen Peas: If you’re sauteeing the peas, 6-8 minutes is usually perfect. Since the stove you use and the pan you use can have an impact on cooking time, it’s best to look for visual & sensory clues to know when the peas are done. They should be vibrant in color, plump, and when you bite into one, they should be tender but not mushy.
How Long Should You Boil Frozen Peas? If you’re boiling peas, stick with a quick 2-3 minutes for best results.
What Dinners Do Peas Go With? All kinds of dinners are great with peas! Choose from comforting classics like roast chicken, gluten-free meatloaf, pot roast, or glazed ham. Or serve them with easy weeknight dinners, like Rotisserie Chicken, Grilled Chicken, Glazed Salmon, Sloppy Joes, or Crispy Chicken Tenders.
⭐ Don’t forget to leave a star rating and comment below when you make our easy seasoned peas recipe. I can’t wait to hear how it goes!Print