Don’t you hate throwing away food?
It’s kind of like throwing away money.
The thing is, you probably never intend to throw away food when you buy it. But here’s the usual scenario:
You go to the grocery store and, with perfectly good intentions, buy fresh veggies. When you get home, you only use some of that beautiful produce and by the time you want to use the rest of it, it’s gone bad.
This is why I mostly use frozen veggies. They save money over the long run and the nutritional breakdown between fresh and frozen veggies shows they are comparable (1).
The problem with frozen vegetables is that sometimes the texture can be off or they can taste a little bland. That’s why I’ve become kind of a ninja when it comes to preparing frozen veggies.
One of my favorite uses for frozen veggies is to roast them, especially during the fall and winter. They caramelize, which makes them sweet and delicious, plus they get a little crispy. So good!
And even better is the fact you can roast them straight-up from their frozen state. No thawing required!
The Secret to Perfectly Roasted Veggies
Here’s the trick: You have to preheat the pan AND the oil to prevent your veggies from getting soggy as they thaw in the oven.
Last weekend I had a terrible case of insomnia so I got up super early and decided to get my grocery shopping done … and that meant I had to go to Walmart because it was the only store open. I am not a huge fan of the produce section at my local store, so I hit the freezers for my veggies.
Bonus: I scored a 5-lb. bag of California blend veggies (carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower) on sale.
When I got home, I roasted the whole bag and had veggies on-hand for several days.
This method will work with nearly every kind of veggie, but keep in mind that thicker/bigger veggies (like broccoli) will take longer to roast than small veggies (like sliced carrots or green beans).
How to Roast Frozen Vegetables
- Line 1 or 2 rimmed baking pans with foil (to help with cleanup later).
- Put 1-2 tablespoons of high-heat oil (such as coconut oil or avocado oil) on the pans.
- Place pans in oven heated to 425 to 450 degrees to preheat. (I like hotter ovens for thicker/bigger veggies.)
- Meanwhile, coat the frozen veggies in a small amount of fat/oil. The oil not only helps with taste but also can help your body better use the micronutrients contained in the veggies.
- When the oven is heated, CAREFULLY remove the pans from the oven and make sure the oil is equally dispersed in the pan.
- Add the veggies in a single layer.
- Place pans in oven.
- Cook for 30 to 45 minutes (again, thicker/bigger veggies take longer to cook). Carefully stir the veggies every 15 to 20 minutes to ensure even roasting.
- When done, remove from oven and season with salt/pepper/herbs/spices.
How To Serve Roasted Veggies
Roasted vegetables make a delicious side dish, and they taste even better the next day.
Personally, I do not like microwaving leftover roasted vegetables because they get mushy, so I usually heat them in a pan on the stove. It’s a win-win: it only takes a few minutes, and they taste better.
You can use them cold in a salad sprinkled with goat cheese, dried cranberries, and vinaigrette; make a warm salad with greens and chicken or shrimp; or top them with an egg (one of my lunchtime faves).
Seriously, roasting your frozen veggies will make you appreciate your grocery’s freezer section!