Roasted Frozen Broccoli? Yes, it can be done and yes, it’s actually GOOD! Try it alone or with this easy Asian sauce for a flavorful side dish.
Roasted Frozen Broccoli with an Easy Asian Sauce is one of those recipes that happened almost as an accident.
A few nights ago, I needed a side dish and I needed one fast. My pantry and freezer were almost empty, which is rare for me. But having just completed the manuscript for my second cookbook, I’d been cooking like a fiend and had used most of what I had on hand.
Except for a lone bag of frozen broccoli that had been left behind.
I thought about what I might make with it. I’d just created several broccoli recipes for the cookbook but I wanted something different (since that’s all I’d been eating for months). I adore roasted broccoli, the way it crisps up which adds so much flavor (just like brussels sprouts, amiright?).
Still…Roasted frozen broccoli??
It seemed like a recipe for disaster more than a recipe for a side dish I’d want to eat, let alone one I’d want to share here.
But I gave it a go.
The first batch was good. We ate it and enjoyed it. It’s softer than when roasting fresh broccoli, but I don’t see any way around that. It crisped up pretty well and I was relatively pleased.
But I wanted to do better. So I made it a few more times until I got the best roasted frozen broccoli possible.
The key is to start out with a preheated sheet pan. This will give you that wonderful sizzle and start the broccoli not only cooking immediately but releasing its water from having been frozen.
Another key step is to roast it at a very high temperature – 500 degrees! This is important because you really need it crisp up as fast as possible.
And finally, you want to briefly pull the pan out of the oven about five minutes after it first starts to cook. The frozen broccoli will release a lot of water which needs to be poured off (or soaked up with a paper towel, which I’ve found is easiest) so that it can roast and brown instead of steam.
Once the water has been released and discarded, this is when you’ll add the oil and seasoning. It’s also how you’ll get the best roasted frozen broccoli!
But I wasn’t done there. You can stop there and serve it as-is if you prefer, but we felt it still needed something more. (To be fair, I almost always feel that way about broccoli in general). I remembered that I had some of an easy Asian sauce in my refrigerator left from when I made these Crispy Baked Asian drumsticks. Perfect! We tossed that easy Asian sauce with the roasted frozen broccoli, and we had a winner!
Then the next night we made both the Asian drumsticks and the broccoli. With a little cooked white rice, it’s a perfect meal!
I would never have believed that I could make roasted frozen broccoli and have it turn out so delicious. Make it with or without the easy Asian sauce, but do keep this easy side dish recipe on file!
Roasted Frozen Broccoli with an Easy Asian Sauce
Roasted Frozen Broccoli? Yes, it can be done and yes, it's actually GOOD! Try it alone or with this easy Asian sauce for a flavorful side dish.
Roasted Frozen Broccoli
- 1 32 oz bag frozen broccoli florets
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp coarse salt
Easy Asian Sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp Sriracha, optional
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 500 F. When oven reaches temperature, place a sheet pan in oven for five minutes to preheat.
Remove sheet pan from oven and immediately put frozen broccoli on pan in a single layer. Return to the oven and cook for 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and pour off any accumulated water (I tilt the pan until all the water is in one corner and soak it up with a few paper towels). Once all the water is gone, drizzle the broccoli with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and toss. Return to oven and continue roasting another 10 minutes, or until broccoli is nicely charred to your liking.
Meanwhile, mix together all of the sauce ingredients except sesame seeds. Toss with cooked broccoli, top with sesame seeds and serve.