Who knew? You can roast frozen broccoli and it comes out browned and crispy, not mushy in the least! Here's how to do it.
Frozen vegetables are such a lifesaver. If you're like me and you're tired of food waste, a great way to prevent that is to buy fewer fresh veggies but stock up on frozen ones.
The convenience is unparalleled - they're already cut and cleaned, and in many cases, you can cook them from frozen. Most importantly? You can actually crisp them up in a hot oven. My concern was that they would turn out mushy, but I find that they actually turn out browned and crispy.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty side dish. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Frozen broccoli florets: They typically come in 1-lb. bags. Sometimes the bag contains, in addition to the florets, tiny crumb-like pieces. Discard those - they will burn in the hot oven.
Olive oil spray: It's fine to drizzle the florets with olive oil and use your hands to mix it in if you prefer. I find that spray is simply the most convenient.
To season: I like to use kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and dried thyme.
How to roast frozen broccoli? It's super easy. The detailed instructions are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of the steps:
You start by preheating your oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Next, open up two bags of frozen broccoli florets and spread the florets evenly on the pan, discarding any tiny crumbs.
Spray the broccoli liberally with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings.
Place in the oven and bake until browned in spots. This should take around 30 minutes, but oven temperatures vary, so start checking after 25 minutes. And if needed, keep roasting until the florets are as browned as you'd like them to be. In my old oven, it took 40 minutes.
Variations and substiutions
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- Instead of olive oil spray, you can drizzle the broccoli with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and use your hands to coat it evenly. Melted butter is another tasty option.
- If you like spicy food, you can sprinkle the broccoli with ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes prior to baking.
- Try sprinkling the cooked broccoli with bacon bits, grated parmesan, or both!
Frequently asked questions
Yes! I was skeptical too until I tried it. The broccoli comes out surprisingly browned and crispy. I assumed that it would steam rather than roast, but it really does roast given a hot enough oven and enough time spent in that oven.
It depends on the recipe. When I don't want it to release water into a dish, such as with this broccoli quiche, I do prefer to thaw it first and drain it well. But when roasting in a hot oven, you can actually cook it from frozen.
I like to bake it in a 425°F oven for about 30 minutes. Since oven temperatures vary, yours might take more or less time than that. Start checking after 25 minutes and be prepared to keep it in the oven for as long as 40 minutes.
This is actually one of those rare recipes where I don't recommend keeping leftovers. Even though the freshly baked broccoli emerges from the oven nice and crispy, it turns mushy and soggy after spending a night in the fridge. So try to only make as much as you can eat right away.
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Easy Roasted Frozen Broccoli
- 2 lb. frozen broccoli florets
- Olive oil spray
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Arrange the frozen broccoli florets in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Liberally spray the florets with olive oil, then sprinkle them with kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and dried thyme.
- Bake the broccoli florets until browned and crispy, about 30 minutes. Serve immedaitely.