Don't fear the spear.
Look, we’ll admit it. We can get down with frozen Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower, so we’re just going to go ahead and add frozen asparagus to that running list. Why? Even though frozen produce might get a bad name among anyone who values the food that they cook at home, we like to think that there’s a time and place for it all. Plus, there are dishes and methods that we use to prepare these frozen foods that actually make them quite delicious—i.e., nobody will ever ask if your food came from the frozen aisle. Your secret is safe with us. For exciting ways to jazz up a bag of frozen asparagus that doesn’t include steaming it in said bag and seasoning it with your own saltwater tears, here are our favorite ways to put these frozen spears to good use.
Garlic and Butter
Okay, any home cook will agree that garlic and butter are going to be able to save just about anything, and this holds true with frozen asparagus. If you’re looking to jazz up the skillet even further, throw in some scallions and bacon/pancetta, or top the veggie side with fresh herbs, a chimichurri, or gremolata. Before you plate your spears, hit the serving dish with a smear of Greek yogurt or labneh. How freaking good does that sound?
Watch Now: How to Grill Asparagus
Yeah, that’s right. Give your frozen asparagus a quick toss in some olive oil, and get those spears straight to the grill (ideally, alongside a hearty steak). Wait ‘til you’ve got the picture-perfect sear marks, and season them with salt and pepper once they’re off. Dinner. Is. Served.
Contrary to popular belief, frozen vegetables can and should be roasted. We know the bag says to steam them...don’t. Give them a good rub in your cooking fat of choice, salt, pepper, and slide your rimmed baking sheet full of ‘em into a hot oven (let’s say 425°) and cook them until they’re nice and charred. Yes, the fresh stuff is obviously ideal for this cooking technique, but don’t write off the option of roasting frozen veggies until you give it a whirl.
Make an Asian-Inspired Stir Fry
You know what ingredients asparagus loves? Chili, garlic, and soy sauce. So don’t deprive those frozen spears of such a righteous experience; go ahead and toss these frozen veggies, along with whatever else you’ve got, into a hot wok and go to TOWN.
Quiches and Frittatas
To make up for the copious amounts of heavy cream and butter that you ought to be adding to this brunch staple, go ahead and balance that out with some green. Specifically, frozen asparagus! If any of your brunch guests quiz you about the origin of your veggies, tell them to leave because you don’t have time for their pretentious BS, mmmkay? You made a damn good quiche, and that’s all that matters.
Pasta Bakes and Casseroles
The same logic that’s used for quiches and frittatas applies here—there’s already a lot of dairy going into the concoction, so brighten up the whole situation with a hearty helping of vegetables. Plus, it’s a nice change of pace if you’re always relying on kale or spinach for that burst of green.