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  • Writer's pictureJolanta Nowobilski

A Guide On How to Use Your Frozen Fruits and Vegetables


A lot of us think that the only way to use frozen produce is to either boil or microwave them. While those are solid options, there are so many other ways to explore these delicious, budget-friendly foods. Learning different ways to use frozen fruits and vegetables is a great way to get started learning to cook and also get out of a cooking rut.


warm bowls of an orange soup topped with seeds and parley in wooden bowls on a wooden table
warm bowls of an orange soup topped with seeds and parley in wooden bowls on a wooden table

Add Them Into Soups


I love my vegetable soups, but I don't love how it takes so much time to chop everything (since I usually make a double batch for my family). Adding frozen veggies to your soups is a great way to use them, especially if you are just learning to cook.


Some ways to add your veg into soups:


- Add the veg after the other (liquid) components have come to a boil and continue cooking (see my Creamy Broccoli Soup recipe for inspiration)


- Add your leafy greens, like spinach, about five minutes before the end of the cooking process of your soup or stew (this is one of the ways I like to make dal palak if I forgot to buy fresh spinach)


- Add frozen peas and carrots (or other smaller cut veg) to your favorite canned soup or stew and microwave together for a quick and easy lunch (you may need a longer cook time than what is recommended on the can)



a tray of roasted rainbow carrots
a tray of roasted rainbow carrots

Roast Your Frozen Veggies....


Roasting is one of the most delicious ways to celebrate vegetables. It's even easier using frozen vegetables because you don't have to worry about any chopping.


To make this, follow the normal instructions for roasting whatever veg you are roasting. For example, if I want to roast frozen cauliflower, I just google "roasted cauliflower floret recipes" and use the same oil, seasoning, time, and temp for my frozen cauliflower.


Disclaimer: I will say that because of the moisture content of the frozen vegetables, they don't get as deeply caramelized as with fresh veggies. I would also say, though, that they get 85% of the way there which, for no chopping required, is a great trade-off to me.


Some ways to use roasted frozen veggies besides just a side:


- as a component to a Buddha Bowl or salad


- added into a curry


- added to your favorite pasta sauce (with your favorite pasta of course!)




pear almond frangipane tart on a white granite surface
pear almond frangipane tart on a white granite surface

...And Roast Your Frozen Fruit!


If you've never had roasted fruit in any form, it's definitely a treat to try out! Unlike frozen vegetables, you may want to extend the roasting time, but everything else is the same. King Arthur Baking has some great suggestions on how to do this (and even more ways to use roasted fruit!).


Some ways to use roasted fruit:


- top your morning porridge or pancakes with it


- add to a yogurt or parfait


- it's very delicious topped with a creamy dessert like vanilla ice cream or pudding




a purple smoothie bowl decorated with granola, blueberries, and a mint sprig in a decorated white bowl
a purple smoothie bowl decorated with granola, blueberries, and a mint sprig in a decorated white bowl

Make Smoothies Out Of Your Frozen Produce


I know this is *the* most common way to use frozen fruit, but I wanted to share some more specific additions that are game changers in how I make my smoothies and smoothie bowls.


Some ways to switch up your smoothies:


- add frozen zucchini if you want a similar creaminess that banana brings without adding sweetness (or banana flavor) to your smoothies


- experiment with spices! (ginger is a favorite of mine)


- add (preferably unsalted) white beans to your smoothie if you're looking for a way to add protein without protein powder




boiled asparagus on a shallow white dish with a pat of butter on top
boiled asparagus on a shallow white dish with a pat of butter on top

If You're Going To Boil or Microwave Them.....


When my brain needs a break, my go-to side is microwaving some frozen veg, and calling it a day. I also like boiling or microwaving my vegetables when I have a particularly saucy dish that needs extra help in sopping up. On days I have more time and energy, I like to spruce them up a bit with a sauce, seasoning, or adding them to recipes.


Some ways to spruce up your boiled or microwaved veg:


- making frozen veggies into a dip (like my Pea Pesto Spread recipe)


- adding to a filling (like my Spinach Stuffed Shells recipe)


- tossing in a favorite salad dressing or sauce



an action shot of a vegetable stir fry in a wok
an action shot of a vegetable stir fry in a wok

Think Twice About Frying


I would avoid attempting frying frozen foods, not from any health perspective but a safety one. With all of that extra moisture that would be reacting to the oil, it would be a total splatter fest that could be painful and leave marks. If you have found a safe way to do this, more power to you (and share with me because I need to know).




These are just the some of the many ways that frozen produce has helped out in my kitchen. I'm curious to hear from you! What are your favorite ways to use any frozen produce? Let me know in the comments!



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