I had an “Ah-ha!” moment last week that I just had to share with you. I always thought frozen broccoli wouldn’t work well for roasting because it’s just too wet (it is blanched in hot water before freezing and frozen vegetables tend to seep water after thawing because ice crystals poke holes in the cell walls). I mentioned this in my Quick Garlic Parmesan Broccoli post a couple weeks ago and a friendly commenter mentioned that they roast frozen broccoli all the time and it turns out great (this is why I love to hear your thoughts and experiences). So, I thought it was time to try Oven Roasted Frozen Broccoli for myself!
Seriously, learning that roasting frozen broccoli actually works well might be one of my favorite discoveries this year. Not only is frozen broccoli generally less expensive than fresh broccoli, but it’s already washed and chopped, which takes out half the work. So, is it too wet to roast? NOPE. The edges of the broccoli still develop a nice gentle brown color that gives that slightly smoky roasted flavor, and the rest of the broccoli maintains a nice level of moisture and a good amount of tooth/bite. I *almost* like it better than oven roasted fresh broccoli, but each is its own beast, so it’s hard to compare the two.
Not only is the texture of the Oven Roasted Frozen Broccoli fantastic, but because it’s blanched (partially cooked) before freezing, it roasts even faster than fresh broccoli, making this an insanely simple side dish for just about any meal. I seasoned my broccoli with Montreal Steak Seasoning (coarse ground salt, pepper, red pepper, and maybe fennel?), but you can customize the seasoning to be whatever your heart desires. I think lemon pepper would be great, as would chili powder, smoked paprika, and cumin. Play with it! :)
Oven Roasted Frozen Broccoli
- ½ lb. frozen broccoli florets $1.00
- 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
- ½ Tbsp Montreal steak seasoning $0.07
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the frozen florets out over the baking sheet (no need to thaw).
- Drizzle the olive oil over the florets, then sprinkle the Montreal steak seasoning over top. Toss the florets in the oil and seasoning until everything is evenly distributed (it's okay if a lot of it falls onto the baking sheet, it will be stirred and redistributed again later).
- Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Take the baking sheet out and use a spatula to stir the broccoli and redistribute the oil and spices. Return the baking sheet to the oven and roast for another 10 minutes, or until the broccoli develops the amount of brownness desired. Serve hot.
Step by Step Photos
I like to make this broccoli in small batches because it’s super easy and it’s best right when it comes out of the oven. For 2-3 servings (depending on how much you like), I’ll use 1/2 lb., or half of this bag. Also, start to preheat the oven to 400ºF before you begin so that it’s fully up to temp before the broccoli goes in.
Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment (this makes for fast and easy cleanup). Spread the frozen broccoli florets over the surface of the baking sheet. There’s no need to even thaw them. Just dump them right out of the bag onto the baking sheet.
This is the seasoning I used with it. It’s quite delicious. The bottle doesn’t specify exactly what’s in there, but I know there is coarse ground salt, coarse ground pepper, maybe some red pepper, and I think I see some fennel. There might also be some dehydrated onion flakes? At any rate, you can use whatever seasoning you like, but be sure to add a little salt if your seasoning doesn’t already contain it, like mine.
Drizzle about 1 Tbsp of olive oil over the broccoli, then sprinkle 1/2 Tbsp of the Montreal steak seasoning on top of that.
Toss the broccoli in the oil and spices to distribute them over the surface. It’s okay if a lot of it ends up on the parchment instead of the broccoli, because it will be stirred later and the seasoning will stick better then (as opposed to now when it’s frozen).
Roast the broccoli in the fully preheated oven for 20 minutes, then take the baking sheet out and give the broccoli a good stir. The spices should stick to the broccoli a little better now. Return the sheet to the oven and roast for another ten minutes, or until the edges are browned to your liking. Serve immediately.
I served this Oven Roasted Frozen Broccoli with my Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes and a little rotisserie chicken. This is my new favorite “cheat” meal (“cheat” because the rotisserie chicken is store bought and I can make all the sides really quickly).