How to roast frozen broccoli. Frozen broccoli is cheap and convenient but how do you cook frozen broccoli so it actually tastes good? Roast it in the oven! This is a quick and easy recipe for busy nights when you want a healthy vegetable side dish.
Why Frozen Broccoli?
Really? Frozen broccoli? For many years, I was very much of the mindset that fresh vegetables were always better than frozen, and I never, ever cooked with frozen veggies. However, I have recently come to appreciate the benefits that frozen vegetables bring to the table. Why would you use frozen broccoli instead of fresh?
- Convenience – this is the number one benefit in my opinion. Rather than having to wash, dry and chop it up, I can just open a bag and the broccoli is ready. It really cuts down on prep time for those insanely busy evenings.
- Inexpensive – Depending on the season, frozen broccoli is usually cheaper than fresh.
- Stays fresher longer – ever buy a head of broccoli, forget to make it, and have to throw it out? This is another area where frozen is better – it stays good in the freezer for 8-12 months if properly stored!
- Nutritious – most people think fresh vegetables are always better than frozen. But often, frozen is as good or better than fresh. This is because frozen vegetables are picked and frozen at the peak of ripeness, where fresh produce is often picked before it gets ripe, Then it spends days being transported to the store, sitting in the store waiting to be purchased, and then sitting in your fridge waiting for you to cook it. Over time, the vegetable loses nutrients, while the frozen vegetables nutrients have been locked in the whole time.
Is frozen broccoli as good as fresh?
Based on all of the reasons I listed above, I think that frozen broccoli has quite a few things going for it But does it taste as good as fresh broccoli? When I started roasting frozen broccoli in the oven, I was surprised that is tastes almost as good as fresh broccoli. I do think that fresh broccoli wins in this category. But the difference is so small that the convenience factor wins out most of the time, so I still bake frozen broccoli almost as often as I bake fresh broccoli.
How to roast frozen broccoli
Roasting Frozen Broccoli couldn’t be easier. Here are the steps:
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
- Open the bag of frozen broccoli. Pour the broccoli into medium sized bowl.*
- Drizzle the broccoli with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Toss to fully coat the broccoli in the oil.
- Transfer the broccoli to the sheet pan, then roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
- Broccoli is done when it is tender and the edges/bottoms are browning and caramelized.
- If you want, you can finish the broccoli by zesting a lemon over it and then following with fresh grated parmesan cheese.
*Note – If you want to save yourself an extra dish to wash, you can skip the bowl and toss the broccoli in the oil directly on the sheet pan. However, it is a harder to get the frozen broccoli fully coated in the oil because the temperature makes the oil thicker and less viscous. I find it works much better if you do this in a bowl before transferring the broccoli to the sheet pan.
Do you need to thaw frozen broccoli before cooking?
No, for this recipe you do not need to thaw the broccoli. You cook it from frozen! Another win for convenience.
You don’t need anything fancy for this recipe, the most important tool is a sheet pan – I like THESE because they are heavy and distribute the heat evenly.
More side dishes you will love
- 16 ounces frozen broccoli
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 lemon optional
- 2 TBSP parmesan cheese Optional
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, add the unthawed frozen broccoli, drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat the broccoli in oil.
- Transfer the broccoli to a sheet pan, spread the broccoli evenly across the pan so there is space between each piece of broccoli.
- Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until broccoli is tender and getting brown and caramelized in spots.
- Remove from oven, immediatly zest the lemon over the broccoli, then grate the parmesan cheese over the broccoli if using. Slice the lemon into wedges and squeeze some lemon juice over the broccoli. Serve with additional lemon wedges if desired.
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