The Mistake To Avoid When You're Roasting Frozen Vegetables

While some recipe creators can be very persnickety about their vegetables, insisting that only the freshest and best will do for their creations, the fact is, not everyone has the time or resources either to grow their own produce or shop at the farmer's market every single day. We, on the other hand, feel that frozen vegetables — and frozen food in general — are a great boon to humankind and are trying our darnedest to debunk the myth that frozen produce is less nutritious than the fresh-picked kind.

Okay, maybe we're a wee bit defensive about the topic, but this is all a roundabout way of saying that, yes, it is perfectly fine to roast vegetables that come from your freezer instead of your garden. Still, there's no getting around the fact that frozen vegetables, once thawed, can be more watery than the fresh kind, which means that you don't want to add any more moisture to them as they cook. Doing so would be a big mistake.

Yes, that's right — roast those frozen vegetables dry; don't rub them with olive oil or melted butter. The reason for this is that adding a layer of fat to the outside would just trap the moisture inside instead of allowing it to evaporate into the oven. While it's okay to sprinkle on some dry seasonings like salt, garlic powder, or cayenne before you put your frozen corn or peppers into the oven, you should skip any type of sauce, as well.

Other tips for roasting frozen vegetables

One great thing about roasting frozen vegetables is that you don't need to bother thawing them first. Thawed vegetables may become soggy, at which point it's pretty hard to reconstitute them, but if you put them straight into a hot (400 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit) oven, they will start to cook as soon as they defrost.

In fact, you can even speed the process along if you pre-heat the roasting pan. Safety tip: If you're using a hotter oven setting, do not line your pan with parchment paper since it's a mistake (and a fire hazard) to use at temperatures above 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Depending on the type and size of the frozen vegetables you're roasting, they may take anywhere from 10 minutes to ½ hour to cook, but you'd be better off either going with just a single type or using items that are similar in shape and texture. One company, Pictsweet Farms, claims to have taken the guesswork out of the process by creating blends such as red potatoes and onions or Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, and onions where the frozen vegetables are all prepared in such a way that they'll finish roasting in 20 minutes. Reviews on this product vary, though, as the latter combination has a 3.6-star rating on Walmart's website. Some shoppers rave about how convenient and flavorful the product is, but one person said that, after roasting as directed, the vegetables "still somehow managed to be burned, yet mushy."