25 Perfect Ways to Prepare Frozen Peas
When it comes to multipurpose produce, frozen peas definitely make my short list. They break apart easily, making them something you can use a bit at a time, and they provide a bit of color and nutrition when your fresh veggie supply is running low. Need some frozen peas ideas to get you motivated? Try these 25 on for size. (See also: 25 Cheap and Tasty Frozen Broccoli Recipes)
When it comes to pulling off dinnertime style on a shoestring, risotto is a real winner. It’s suitably elegant and easily jazzed up with a number of affordable ingredients, frozen peas included. This pea and Pecorino risotto from the people at BBC demonstrates that point nicely.
2. Breakfast Fried Rice
In addition to being a great way to use leftover cooked ham, breakfast fried rice can be dressed up easily with frozen peas, carrots, and a few scallions. Simply add cooked rice to some scrambled egg, chopped ham, and minced garlic in a bit of cooking oil, and toss in the thawed frozen peas to steam through.
3. Moldable Ice Pack
It might be hum-drum, but having an extra bag of frozen peas in the freezer makes a great addition to your home emergency kit if you’re missing the standard-issue ice pack. It isn’t the greatest idea to refreeze food after it’s been thawed, so if you use your frozen peas for this purpose, it’s a good idea to prepare a meal with them after they’ve defrosted.
4. Layered Salad
5. Pasta Salad
One of the most flexible ways to cook pasta is to whip up a chilled noodle salad. It keeps well in the fridge, typically tastes better after sitting for a bit, and is an easy way to feed crowds of varying sizes. This bacon and ranch pasta salad uses frozen peas.
6. Veggie Curry
It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of international cuisines. Both their flavor and affordability are appealing, and they certainly allow for entertaining on a budget. This coconut chicken and vegetable curry recipe from PBS keeps things on the right financial track by stretching out the poultry with frozen peas and other ingredients.
7. Canned Fish Casserole
It’s no secret that canned foods can be as helpful as frozen when you need to prepare meals on the fly. That’s why having tuna fish or other ocean goodies like canned salmon can be the perfect addition to frozen peas when it comes to putting together a quick casserole to serve with a salad or some steamed greens. Find a recipe your family favors, and make it part of your emergency meal prep plan for when you're busy.
8. Creamed as a Potato Topper
Simple potato ideas are something I tend to gravitate towards. Topped, chopped, or twice baked, spuds are a great shoestring produce resource to have on hand. Make a white sauce seasoned to taste, and add a handful or two of frozen peas to top it off. Add some bacon bits for flavor and flair, and you’re in business for those midweek evenings when all efforts at maintaining a schedule seem to fail.
9. Steamed as a Simple Side
Whether you accent them with pearl onions and sliced mushrooms or simply steam them in the microwave right out of the bag, frozen peas are one of those simple side dishes that will take you literally seconds to prepare.
10. Dress Up a Carbonara
If you want to add some color to your carbonara or other simple noodle dish, then frozen peas can be a great way to go. To gain inspiration, simple make a list of your favorite ways to prepare pasta and see which ones could benefit from the addition of a little green.
11. Pureed as a Soup
You don’t have to start with dried split peas in order to enjoy a basic pea soup. Thawing the frozen variety to puree along with other simple items makes for a fast and nutritious dinner as well. Choose some of your favorite soup garnishes to dress up the end result, and dinner is served!
12. Couscous Add-In
Because couscous is so quick to prepare, it only stands to reason that you’d want something as fast as frozen peas to use as an add-in when you are attempting a variation on this side dish. This couscous and peas recipe from Canadian Living shows you how to whip up this meal item easily.
13. Pesto-Style Pizza Sauce
If you’re trying to hide some extra veggies in your pizza sauce, then this recipe for combining the flavors of pesto with frozen peas might be just what the doctor ordered, especially if you are trying to tempt the taste buds of younger, picky eaters.
14. Party Spread
Speaking of cooking for kids, it’s been my experience that they are huge fans of anything you can dunk, dip, or spread onto a cracker or piece of party toast. This alternative hummus recipe from Serious Eats uses frozen peas to provide just that.
15. Pot Pie
If you find yourself out of frozen mixed vegetables and still need to put a dinner pie on the table to use up that leftover poultry, you can always go with chopped onions, carrots, and a half a bag of frozen peas. The result will taste similar and still be on budget.
The cool thing about quiche is that it can be enhanced with nearly any frozen or leftover vegetable, including peas. This scallion and pea quiche filling recipe from Big Oven is a great example of that. Try pairing it with some baby spinach and sliced tomatoes along with your favorite salad add-ins for a simple dinner that’s big on style.
17. Ramen Enhancement
When it comes to easy ramen recipes, tossing some frozen peas into the bowl and heating up an otherwise basic envelope of this university favorite is about as simple as it gets. As with the couscous idea mentioned above, the peas are quick-cooking. This makes them well suited to a meal you only want to spend about three minutes or so preparing.
18. Stuffed Appetizer Pastries
Stuffed, savory pastries are present in the cuisines of many countries, including India. These samosas can be prepared with frozen peas for an affordable party snack. Serve with a main meal of red lentil curry over rice with some fun toppings and a spiced iced tea.
19. Pea Pakora Pockets
If you’re a fan of falafel but want to try something different, these pea pakora pockets from the BBC make a fantastic vegetarian sandwich that’s based in real food rather than processed imitation meats. I think I may try these myself next weekend.
20. Pea and Bean Salad
If you like something besides macaroni in your chilled salads and prefer to land on the side of protein rather than processed flour, this salad recipe featuring frozen peas, broad beans, bacon, and feta might be just the ticket. Try serving it in lettuce cups or alongside some grilled or stuffed mushroom caps.
21. Maximize Your Mac and Cheese
Whether you are preparing the boxed variety or dressing up a baked mac and cheese to serve with some gourmet sausage links and a veggie dish, frozen peas are a simple way to take things to the next level nutritionally and visually.
22. Make Your Own Baby Food
It doesn’t take a culinary degree to make your own baby food, and frozen peas provide an excellent platform with which to try your hand at the process. Simply thaw and puree them when you’re ready. You can even use smaller, narrow-mouth canning jars to make up a half-pint batch at a time that will keep in the fridge.
23. Yogurt and Pea Dip
Need a new idea for your next party? Try this yogurt and pea dip from Jamie Oliver. You can serve it with cut veggies or pretzels for a simple snack to serve your guests when they first arrive.
24. Potatoes and Peas
Growing up in New England, this dish was something I ate a great deal of in my youth. Prepared by stewing potatoes and peas in a combination of milk, cream, and butter, it’s popular in this region of the United States. Interested in trying it out for yourself? This creamed peas and potatoes recipe from Yummly will help you get started.
25. High-Nutrient Breakfast Smoothie
Traditional green smoothies are a bit more than I can stomach. I don’t, however, mind tossing in a handful of green veggies when I’m making a berry-based smoothie that will easily mask the flavor. This blueberry sunrise smoothie from our very own Deals Editor Ashley at (never home)maker uses frozen peas to accomplish just that.
Clearly, frozen peas have more to offer to the home cook than many people realize. They are a simple, convenient produce item that stores easily without the stress of having to use them all up within a day or two. This makes them way more friendly for those with crazy work and family schedules.
What are your favorite ways to enjoy frozen peas?