With a few bags of vegetables in the freezer, you’re already halfway to dinner. No need to wait around for thawing: Cooking broccoli from frozen is super simple.
No need to feel bad about cooking with frozen vegetables instead of fresh. Because they are usually frozen the same day they’re picked, the vegetables in your supermarket’s freezer case may well have as many or more nutrients than the ones in the produce aisle.
THAW FROZEN BROCCOLI IN HOT WATER
If you’re using frozen broccoli in a stir-fry, frittata, casserole, or quiche; as a filling for calzones; or a topping for pizza, it’s a good idea to bring the broccoli to the same temperature as the rest of the ingredients for even cooking. Simply dump the broccoli in a bowl, cover with hot tap water, let sit for a few minutes, then drain off the water. To speed up the process even more, change the water a few times, draining it off as soon as it gets cold, and filling the bowl back up with hot water. Since manufacturers briefly blanch broccoli before freezing it, it’s actually partially cooked already!
BLANCH FROZEN BROCCOLI IN BOILING WATER
Two to four minutes in salted boiling water is all frozen broccoli needs to become bright green and tender.
ROAST FROZEN BROCCOLI
You can roast frozen broccoli exactly the same way you would fresh broccoli: Toss it with olive oil and seasonings and roast it at a high temperature until it’s browned in spots and tender all the way through.
MICROWAVE FROZEN BROCCOLI
Pour a bag of broccoli into a microwave-safe dish with a lid and add about ¼ cup water. Microwave on high 5 minutes or until broccoli is as tender as you like it, then drain and season with lemon juice, red pepper flakes and salt. Scatter with toasted nuts or drizzle with cheese sauce.
COOK FROZEN BROCCOLI WITH PASTA
In the mood for a quick and easy bowl of pasta with broccoli? Add the frozen broccoli directly to the pot of boiling pasta about three minutes before the end of cooking time. Drain the pasta and broccoli together in a colander then sprinkle with Parmesan and breadcrumbs. (This is also a great way to add a boost of nutrition and color to packaged mac and cheese or instant ramen.)
COOK FROZEN BROCCOLI IN SOUP
No need for any thawing or cooking in advance when adding frozen broccoli to a soup recipe. Just stir the broccoli into the pot and let it simmer until tender.
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