Skip Thawing Veggies in Pasta & Rice Dishes

For the most part I do agree with this tip from MyRecipes.com. When using frozen veggies like peas, corn, green beans, lima beans or anything cut very small in pasta or rice dishes there is no need to thaw. Typically, I look at how long the veg will take to cook and calculate when I need to throw them in the pot to get the best cook on them without leaving them over done.

The one vegetable that I do not feel this works so well with is broccoli. If the broccoli is cut up really fine then by all means follow the no thaw procedure. Many times though the florets are fairly large and because of the mass of them take too long to cook all the way through. Without thawing and perhaps even cutting them first will leave the outside mushy and the inside warm yet under cooked. Under or overcooked broccoli is just not appetizing.

Lately, I’ve been purchasing the bags of steam in the microwave broccoli from Sam’s Club that come 4 – 1 lb bags to a pack and use those for stir-fry or other dishes. These florets are always too large to just toss in the wok and expect them to cook through. Last time I tried that ALL my vegetables ended up over cooked and too soft leaving the stir-fry unappetizing. No body wanted to eat it and in the end I had to use the leftovers to make a soup that disguised the mushy veg.

When you’re cooking a pasta recipe that calls for frozen peas, there’s no need to cook the peas before adding them to the pasta. Many frozen vegetables and fruits, like peas, don’t need to be thawed before they can be used in recipes. The same goes for berries, corn, bell pepper strips, broccoli, florets, and cauliflower florets. These can be thrown right into hot woks, skillets, and pots. frozen mixed veggies Try this Kitchen Shortcut with Creamy Shrimp and Pea Pasta .

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Lucero De La Tierra (1216 Posts)

I'm a mom of two beautiful little girls, stay-at-home mom and blogger. I write about things that affect the everyday life of a stay-at-home parent or any parent for that matter such as parenting, relationships, discipline, the media, product reviews, giveaways, social media, food, cooking, gardening and anything else that might come my way.

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33 comments for “Skip Thawing Veggies in Pasta & Rice Dishes

  1. Danielle B
    January 12, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    I skip the thawing too. There really is only one recipe that I have that calls for frozen peas. But other than that, I really don’t like to use frozen veggies. Their nutrient content is very small in comparison with the fresh veggie.

    • January 13, 2014 at 10:46 am

      I’d have to disagree. In reading I’ve done it is shown that once the veg is harvested it starts to degrade nutritionally. Compared to vegetables and fruits that are frozen or canned at the peak of freshness “fresh” vegetables from the produce section many times end up being merely fiber, devoid of nutritional value. Between the harvest time, cleaning process and shipment which may take days if not weeks if coming from overseas and then sitting on the grocers shelf for weeks it doesn’t look good for “fresh” fruits and vegetables. To be honest even under refrigeration at home I can’t tell you how many pounds of produce I’ve had to throw out because it went to mush, forgotten at the bottom of a drawer. It does seem counter intuitive but I guess unless we are able to pick it from our garden and put it on the table the next best thing is actually frozen vegetables. I do prefer the texture of non frozen vegetables better though.

      Here is an article by a fellow blogger about the differences in nutritional content between fresh, frozen and canned foods http://www.mysnippetsofinspiration.com/fresh-frozen-or-canned-vegetables/

  2. Katrina A.
    January 22, 2014 at 1:00 am

    I’ve always just thrown in the frozen veggies. LOL Never even thought to thaw or precook them. Guess I am a cooking genius…hehhehe. But like you frozen broccoli never turns out right. I usually just put some in a glass cereal bowl, put a little water in the bottom of the bowl and microwave it for about 2, 2 1/2 minutes. Easy peasy.

    • January 22, 2014 at 9:02 am

      I do the same with my broccoli. I just found an infographic about how each type of cooking affects the nutritional content of the veg. It was appalling to see how much the broccoli degraded in the microwave. I’m gonna have to change my approach and try to do more steaming (I guess that means better planning on my part, oh boy).

  3. Shannon
    January 23, 2014 at 6:45 am

    I always just throw them in frozen. I love frozen veggies, very economical to buy especially when fresh is not in season and is overpriced.

  4. January 24, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    I find that the lima beans, of all the vegetables mentioned, are my achilles heel. They always take an inordinate amount of time to cook compared to the remainder of veggies in the dish.

  5. January 24, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    That is such a great time saving idea. I will skipping the thawing.

  6. February 14, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Great tip! I used to thaw them, but discovered I didn’t need too. And I use frozen veggies a lot because the nutrient value is as good if not better, and I got tired of throwing out fresh vegetables that had gone bad. Such a waste. I usually only use fresh veggies for salads and only buy what I can use over a 2-3 day period.

  7. February 14, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Yeah, I just toss them in. Thawing tends to make them overcooked.

  8. February 14, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    I skip thawing as well and even cook my shrimp right in with the pasta if I’m preparing a combined creation.

  9. February 14, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    I don’t usually thaw and just throw them in straight from the freezer. So much easier that way!

  10. February 15, 2014 at 12:15 am

    I rarely thaw mine either, especially if going into a dish that requires additional cooking time. I also love to use frozen peas to keep a salad cold when attending a pot luck meal.

  11. February 15, 2014 at 12:47 am

    I never thaw out my veggies, I just cook them straight from the freezer.

  12. February 15, 2014 at 12:55 am

    I wouldn’t have thought of that. Great time saver – thanks!

  13. February 15, 2014 at 2:21 am

    It is so much easier to just throw them in and not thaw them.

  14. February 15, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    I usually don’t thaw them. Saves time.

  15. February 15, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    frozen in the pot. I wouldn’t understand why someone would do it any other way but sometimes you have to spell it out. Very helpful article

  16. February 15, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    This is a great time-saving tip. I usually thaw the vegetables first.

  17. February 15, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    I don’t usually thaw but as you said broccoli is a killer :)

  18. February 15, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    I don’t do much cooking with frozen veggies but good tip. I also wanted to say I agree with your research on frozen veggies I’ve heard they are even better in nutrients.

  19. Laurie B
    February 16, 2014 at 6:07 am

    Couldnt agree more about the broccoli situation. I don’t thaw my frozen veggies either but I do broccoli. Thanks for sharing your opinion.

  20. February 16, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Thanks for the tip, this will save a ton of time!

  21. February 16, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Good to know. This can really be a fab time-saver when cooking!

  22. February 16, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    I usually have a bag of mixed vegetables that is for my soups. I also always have on hand frozen corn and peas. The peas and corn are the only frozen veggies I use in a non cooked dish. Like salsa for the corn and peas I throw into salads. The frozen veggies are usually in an ethnic dish or the soup so no need to defrost. I don’t even own a microwave LOL.

    • February 17, 2014 at 9:18 am

      It’s probably a good thing you don’t own a microwave. Although at times it is convenient after doing some research about it’s affects on food it does nothing beneficial nutritionally for the food you put in it.

  23. February 16, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Add me to the club that just throws things in frozen!

  24. February 17, 2014 at 1:02 am

    I so get tired of waiting to thaw my vegetables! So I’ve started doing the same thing, throwing them in.

  25. February 17, 2014 at 3:26 am

    I seldom thaw depends on what I am making. for most things tho I just toss in there. Like when I make fried rice since I toss them in at the last second I do thaw in warm water for a few minutes then drain and toss in there. but most I figure why waste the time and energy. I guess I was doing something right in the kitchen :) Thanks for the tips

  26. February 18, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Thanks for the tip! I’m going to start using frozen veggies and I hope the family like them. Yes we use canned veggies and I want to get healthier!

  27. February 18, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Great idea!! my husband won’t eat any cooked veggies, so I don’t use them much when cooking. BUT I eat them and make stuff like that for lunch so great tip for just me!

  28. February 18, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Depending on what it is and my desired degree of tenderness, I skip the thawing too. Anything to save time and steps!

  29. February 19, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    That’s a great tip. I don’t make peas a lot because my daughter doesn’t like them. But for most other veggies that I add to baked casseroles I never thaw them.

  30. February 21, 2014 at 10:49 am

    I honestly wouldn’t even question this because I would normally just toss in frozen veggies anyways. Frozen veggies are better for you than canned too which is a great addition to any meal!
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