From soup to side dishes, adding frozen vegetables in your everyday diet can easily increase the intake of important nutrients that your body needs. Vegetables can be a great source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.
One of the best and simplest ways to cook frozen veggies is by using the microwave.
How do you microwave frozen vegetables? Use microwave-safe dish, add small amount of water and cover the dish with a lid. Microwave for 1 to 5 minutes on medium power setting until the veggies are tender.
Once microwaving is done, drain the water completely and season the veggies as desired.
It is completely safe to microwave vegetables no matter whether they are fresh or frozen, we will discuss about everything you need to know in this article. As a result, every meal you prepare with frozen vegetables will make your dish even better.
Below we have discussed the right way to cook frozen veggies without making them soggy. Read on for answers to frequently asked questions about the best frozen vegetable microwave tips to apply to your recipe.
Is microwaving frozen vegetables bad?
No, microwaving frozen vegetables is not at all bad. The frozen veggies retain loads of nutrients and when microwaved the cooking time and temperature are easier to control.
In fact, microwaving is one of the healthiest cooking method to use for cooking frozen veggies.
Frozen vegetables are packed right after they are freshly picked from the field. According to resources, it has been suggested that when you pull vegetables out from the freezer, they remain packed with the same amount of nutrients they had when harvested.
Microwaving them can be a great choice as the cooking method since it only requires a minimal amount of time with a splash of water to generate steam. Because of this, a very little amount of nutrients seep out of the veggies.
Hence, cooking frozen veggies in the microwave is more likely to retain all the goodness and nutrients in it than other cooking methods like sautéing, steaming and boiling.
How you cook frozen vegetables without getting soggy?
To avoid sogginess, cook the frozen veggies in microwave with least amount of water. Also, ensure that you are draining the water completely once it is cooked.
Pour some frozen veggies into a dish which is completely microwave safe and cover with a lid. Add a tablespoon or two of water into the dish and put the lid on.
Adjust the water content as little as possible based on the amount of veggies you are microwaving. The frozen veggies already contain enough water from ice and internally that you do not need to as much water.
However, dense veggies like root vegetables are known for having less water content itself, so increase the water amount you add when microwaving.
Now, microwave it for specific time from 1 to 2 minutes. The time and power setting can actually differ from one vegetable to another.
Once you notice that the vegetable has become tender, just like the way you want it, drain the water completely, season and serve.
Now, season the veggies with some salt, lemon juice and pepper. It will be perfectly ready to consume and you won’t taste any sogginess. The important key to avoid soggy texture of vegetable is the amount of water intake and immediately drain the water afterwards keeps them nice and crisp.
Best frozen vegetables to microwave
Some of the best frozen vegetables that you can microwave are – carrots, corn, broccoli, spinach, peas, asparagus, green beans, cauliflower, snap peas and zucchini. These veggies are great ingredients to make any meal filling.
As mentioned above, microwaving the frozen veggies can be a great option to consider as they retain more nutrients than other cooking methods.
Here are some details about the best frozen vegetables to use in a microwave oven:
- Carrots: Frozen carrots are a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C. Besides that, it is also packed with some essential nutrients. It will take about 3 minutes to microwave frozen carrots to make them tender.
- Corn: Being a great source of protein, carbs and fiber, frozen corn can be an excellent addition to your everyday diet. It will take about 2 to 3 minutes for the frozen corn kernels to become tender in the microwave oven at high.
- Broccoli: One of the easiest frozen vegetables to microwave is broccoli. It not only tastes amazing, but also contains high amount of beneficial nutrients. It takes about 4 minutes to microwave the frozen broccoli.
- Spinach: Frozen spinach is another great source of minerals and vitamins. It is a popular choice among the leafy veggies and it only takes 1 to 2 minutes to cook in the microwave oven.
- Peas: Seasoned peas taste great with roasted meat and mashed potatoes. Frozen peas will take about 3 minutes to get perfectly tender in the microwave oven.
- Asparagus: Lay the frozen asparagus on a dampened paper towel and put them into a microwave-safe dish. Now, microwave on high for about 3 to 4 minutes to be completely steamed.
- Green beans: Green beans are quite a healthy choice that you can include in your diet. Simply steam it in the microwave for about 1 minute, and then season it with salt and pepper.
- Cauliflower: Who doesn’t like steamed cauliflower on the side of a salad or roasted meat? Well, frozen cauliflowers takes about 4 minutes in the microwave.
- Snap peas: Filled with quality nutrients, frozen snap peas can be a great choice for a healthy side dish. Easily microwave snap peas for about 4 minutes and enjoy.
- Zucchini: Being a good source of nutrition, frozen zucchini can be another option too. It will take about 4 minutes to properly cook in the microwave.
Tip to microwave frozen vegetables
Once you know the best frozen veggies for microwaving, here are some of the important tips to microwave frozen vegetables:
- Use the exact amount of water, preferably lesser in this instance, to avoid sogginess.
- Only use a microwave-safe dish to microwave frozen vegetables.
- Keep the lid of the dish closed while microwaving frozen vegetables to trap steam and speed up the process.
- Check the tenderness after 1 or 2 minutes, and then decide how much more to continue nuking.
- Don’t microwave vegetables for longer time than necessary in order to avoid sogginess resulting from being overcooked.
- Avoid leaving vegetable in the cooked water, instead drain the water immediately after microwaved.
- For crunchier veggie, microwave frozen vegetables in a dish without water.
- For perfect bite, steam frozen vegetables in a covered dish in the microwave with only a little water.
Depending on the texture you would like to achieve for your dish, the microwaving timing should be adjusted accordingly. Ensure the water is no more than the bottom third of the frozen vegetables should be submerged.
Best way to microwave frozen vegetables
Using microwave to cook vegetables are quite easy. However, without any precautions, it is very easy to get a mushy and soggy result which is not pleasant to eat.
Here are some steps to follow to microwave frozen vegetables in the best way possible:
- First take as much as frozen vegetables and place in a microwave-safe container or microwave steamer that comes with a lid.
- If there is no lid available, covering with a damp paper towel is a better option than using microwave safe plastic wrap.
- Pour a little bit of water into the dish. The most recommended amount is one or two tablespoon, but it can depend on the amount and the type of frozen vegetable you are microwaving. Make sure the veggies are not submerged more than one third of the way.
- Place the dish of frozen veggies into the microwave oven and put the lid on. Then continue to microwave it for 1 or 2 minutes on medium power.
- Check the veggies if it has become soft and tender. If required you can continue to microwave it for 1 minute increments until done.
- Bring out the dish and drain the water completely.
- Season and serve the veggies on a plate along with seasonings and sauces of your choice.
Microwaving frozen vegetables not only thaws them quickly, but also steam them so it is ready to eat. If you are trying to avoid making a mushy vegetables to add to your side dishes, use adequate water amount and check the correct cooking time for best result.
Microwaving Frozen Vegetables: Final Thoughts
Frozen vegetables are budget-friendly and save time to cook a meal ready in a couple minutes with touch of a button. When done right, microwaving frozen vegetables can avoid rubbery, mushy, or slimy texture.
Simply toss frozen vegetable in a microwave-safe container with a lid and add one or two tablespoon of water to help the steam process.
Cover the bowl with a lid, paper towel or plastic wrap, and microwave for 1 to 2 minute. Check to see if they are nuked and done, and if necessary continue heating for 30 seconds to 1 minute increments.
Avoid boiling frozen veggies since they can lose nutrients and become mushy and waterlogged. So, use these microwave tips for the correct way to microwave frozen vegetables to create delicious dish every time.
Serve the cooked and seasoned vegetables to your family immediately after heating. They will surely love the healthy and tasty microwaved frozen veggies.