15 Ways To Add More Flavor To Frozen Broccoli

Frozen broccoli is a convenient and healthy option to stock in your freezer. Like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower, broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that contains protein, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and other nutrients. Bags of frozen broccoli come in various sizes, allowing families to customize how much they buy based on their needs. Some people are broccoli lovers who enjoy eating it meal after meal, while others prefer to stock it in the freezer if they happen to need it. No matter which camp you fall into, you might be hunting for a few mouthwatering ways to add more flavor to frozen broccoli.

From cooking methods like roasting and air frying to pairing it with ingredients such as lemon juice or nutritional yeast, here is a range of delicious options to make frozen broccoli the delightful star of any dish. You don't have to worry about flavorless broccoli ever again. Whether you boil, roast, microwave, or fry them, there are a lot of methods to improve their flavor. These tips will have you popping out of your seat to open that package of frozen broccoli for your next meal.

1. Roast frozen broccoli for a slightly charred taste

Even without any seasoning, roasting frozen broccoli can be a simple way to add flavor due to the oven's crispy, charred effect. Dump the broccoli right out of the bag on a sheet pan, then put them immediately in the oven. Don't give them time to thaw out, as this can mess with the texture of the roasted broccoli. On those days when it seems you ran out of everything, including olive oil and salt, this method gives flavor because of the charred and browned broccoli pieces.

This is a splendid way to use a frozen bag of broccoli since you open it and dump it on a pan — roast on a high temperature of 450 F for around 15 minutes. High temperatures cook it quickly and remove the moisture, so it has a crispier consistency. You can season the veggie however you wish, whether you're in the mood for salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, or anything else. This is an excellent method to master a crisp texture while giving it layers of flavor with the level of char and any other seasonings.

2. Pair frozen broccoli with soy sauce for a salty, umami kick

Soy sauce is excellent by itself or with other ingredients to give frozen broccoli a salty, umami addition. It has a strong salty taste, so you don't have to drench the broccoli to give it flavor. You can even find low-salt soy sauce if sodium is a concern. Make a stir fry with frozen broccoli, mushrooms, and bell peppers, and make a sauce with soy sauce, mirin, and oyster sauce for a complex, tangy meal.

Try making soy chicken and broccoli. Follow the steps to cook the chicken and saute the frozen broccoli. Once the chicken and broccoli are cooked, add the soy sauce mixture. This delicious and complex meal is flavorful since the soy sauce mixture can reach every nook and cranny. If you're looking for a way to season broccoli by itself, create the soy sauce mix for the broccoli and omit the chicken; serve with your protein of choice on a bed of white rice.

3. Boil frozen broccoli in broth to soak up flavor

Broths and stocks are jam-packed with flavor from getting simmered over a prolonged time with various vegetables or meat. Make homemade chicken stock or use a store version. The homemade one is a wonderful way to use up veggie and chicken scraps. Vegetables, chicken, turkey, beef, or other varieties of broth have a nuanced flavor that can enrich frozen broccoli. Boil the broccoli in broth by getting the broth stock to a boiling point, reduce the heat, and then drop in your desired amount of broccoli.

Leave the broth as is, or include additional seasoning. The broth provides a mild flavor, so you could always add extra ingredients such as garlic powder and fresh cracked pepper. If you want a soupy broccoli dish, you can keep the broccoli in more liquid. For those who don't like the excess liquid, strain it once it's cooked, or use the leftover broth to boil potatoes for mashed potatoes. Boiling in broth is a speedy way to enhance the taste of frozen broccoli without much effort. Poke the broccoli with a fork to determine if it's tender; time will vary based on how big the broccoli florets are.

4. Give it a zest of lemon for a citrus twist

Try using lemon when you want to brighten a dish. Roasted broccoli and lemon zest are a refreshing way to cook your frozen green veggie. You only need a few ingredients to make citrus roasted broccoli, including frozen broccoli, high-heat oil, salt, and lemon zest. In this case, you're not using lemon juice. Instead, you'll use the zest for more concentrated, less liquid seasoning. Mix all the ingredients, then cook them on a baking sheet in the oven.

This refreshing dish is an excellent side to a protein like salmon or chicken. If you want it to be roasted, increase the temperature and leave it a few minutes longer, but keep an eye on it every step of the way. This quick, inconvenient, healthy vegetable blends the acidic nature of the lemon. This light side won't leave you feeling heavy, like if you had you or if you're using something like cream or a lot of cheese. This is a balance for when you are in the mood.

5. Sprinkle grated Parmesan on top of frozen broccoli

While you can undoubtedly use packaged, pre-ground Parmesan cheese, fresh Parmesan will have the best flavor. This cheese has a complex taste that's usually a bit nutty and sharp, which makes a mouthwatering umami addition to the broccoli. Shred the cheese using whatever cheese grater you have at home; if you're using a four-sided grater, use one of the finer sides since you don't want to use the larger portion for big shreds of Parmesan cheese.

Cook your broccoli however you prefer. When roasting, pan frying, or air frying the veggie, you can add the Parmesan cheese on top during the cooking process to allow it to melt and get slightly brown and crispy. For boiled or steamed broccoli, add the cheese after you drain the water to enable the Parm to soften against the heat of the vegetables. This cheesy addition is flavorful, though not overwhelming, but you could mix in some salt, pepper, and garlic powder for extra flavor.

6. Mix frozen broccoli in garlic butter

As solo ingredients, butter and garlic can jazz up frozen broccoli, but mixing the two makes them a vibrant duo. There are a few tips to consider when making the best garlic butter, such as using fresh roasted garlic. This can heighten your broccoli due to the nuanced flavors once the garlic is cooked. Fresh garlic has a strong flavor, but roasting it mellows it out a little while and gives it a complexity you can't replicate by chopping raw garlic and mixing it with the butter.

Roast the head of garlic for 30 minutes until it's soft and easily spreadable. Squeeze out the garlic and mix it in a food processor with your butter for a marvelous roasted garlic butter. Once your broccoli is cooked, mix it with the garlic butter to melt against the broccoli's heat. If you like the slight kick of fresh garlic, make a garlic butter sauce by incorporating grated garlic into melted butter to pour over the broccoli. Add a speckle of salt, pepper, onion powder, or fresh herbs like parsley.

7. Punch up the flavor by roasting the frozen broccoli in pesto

Pesto is a decadent, thick sauce that can enrich pasta, meats, and, of course, frozen broccoli. Whether you make it from scratch or buy it from the grocery store, think twice before cooking the pesto. Rather than baking or cooking it with the broccoli, stir it in once it is cooked. It will warm up against the heat of the broccoli without overcooking it. Pesto is an absolute delight, but if you want to add more flavor to store-bought pesto, consider adding sun-dried tomatoes for a change in taste and color.

Pesto broccoli can be eaten alone but would be great mixed with chicken for a filling meal. Toss in the pesto after steaming or roasting your broccoli. The pesto doubles up on the broccoli's greenness but gives it flavor from the mix of olive oil, pine nuts, and basil for a herby but rich sauce. Eat this vegetable dish as a side, add it to a pizza, or include it in a salad.

8. Brighten the taste and flavor with turmeric and pepper

Combined with the broccoli, the turmeric and black pepper have a host of health benefits that make this a super nutritious vegetable dish. These ingredients are flavorful alone, but pepper is an ideal partner for turmeric since turmeric's curcumin needs the peperine from the pepper to be sufficiently absorbed in the body. That said, even if you don't pair them together, they individually have anti-inflammatory properties.

This isn't neon-colored by any means, but the turmeric does give the broccoli a slight yellow-orange tinge. Mix your ingredients, then add the seasoned broccoli to the air fryer. Leave it with the salt, pepper, and turmeric, or provide additional complexity by mixing in garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano. This delicious and nourishing vegetable dish complements just about any meal. While the air fryer is a quicker way to cook, you can always roast it in the oven.

9. Enhance the taste by marinating the broccoli before cooking

Who says you can't marinate frozen broccoli? You'll often see a call for marinades in dishes like chicken or beef, so why not use the same method to impart flavor to this frozen green cruciferous veggie? For those who are a bit dubious, the frozen broccoli's taste gets enhanced by giving it time to marinate. Rather than marinating them straight from the freezer, allow them to thaw. To do this, keep the broccoli in its unopened packaging, thaw it in the fridge overnight or in a bowl of cold water, and then add it to the marinade.

Use your favorite steak marinade recipe, or consider a more herbal dressing with wine vinegar and your favorite herbs, like Italian seasoning. or with oil, vinegar, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic. The marinade improves the taste of the broccoli without the need to exert yourself. Just toss in the marinade ingredients, let the broccoli sit for at least 30 minutes, and then pop it in the oven when ready. Don't stop at broccoli. Marinate a few of your favorite frozen veggies, like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.

10. Use nutritional yeast to give frozen broccoli a cheesy flavor without dairy

Use nutritional yeast to deliver a cheesy flavor to frozen broccoli without dairy. This is a terrific option if you're lactose intolerant, vegan, or don't want to eat cheese in a particular meal. It's convenient to keep nutritional yeast in your pantry, not only because of its taste but also a great way to get extra vitamins and minerals — it's high in vitamin B12, which is common in niacin, riboflavin, and other nutrients.

It looks unassuming but is nutty, cheesy, and filled with nutritional value. Vegans use this flaky treasure since it can provide a cheesy flavor to many dishes without adding cheese or dairy, but anyone can use it since it acts like any other seasoning. Use this as one of the simple ways to add more flavor to frozen broccoli since you don't have to chop or cut anything. Just bust out of your pantry, sprinkle, and mix with oil and garlic powder. You can pop it in the oven or the air fryer to let the broccoli cook and get it crispy.

11. Provide spiciness to frozen broccoli with red chili pepper flakes

If you find frozen broccoli gross and bland, you might want to spice things up with a hint of red chili pepper flakes. They provide a hint of color as well as a lovely kick. They're not overwhelmingly spicy, which can be an alluring quality if you're not the biggest fan of piquant foods. These little red bits can turn your broccoli into an exciting vegetable dish with one little shake and can be evenly distributed throughout the broccoli. If you like the heat, simply add more pepper flakes or complement it with a dash of cayenne pepper, but it's entirely based on how hot you can handle it.

Bake or air fry the frozen broccoli, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, but you could also include smoked paprika and garlic powder. Add this to stir-fried vegetables or your favorite pasta dish. Try it with fresh minced garlic and olive oil for a simple, comforting, filling pasta. While you could use other spicy ingredients like fresh chili peppers, the flakes are great because you don't have to chop or have the fresh ingredients on hand.

12. Air fry frozen broccoli coated in your preferred oil

Air fry frozen broccoli with your oil of choice to give them a crispy texture and nuanced flavor. Plenty of cooking oils include coconut, grapeseed, olive, peanut, and more. This is perfect if you're a home cook who wants to use what you have without going to the store for one ingredient. Pick an oil based on your preference, tasting notes, or nutritional value to cook your frozen broccoli and give it a crispy texture without working too hard.

Air fry frozen broccoli coated in your selected oil. It takes around 10 minutes to air fry frozen broccoli, making it a quick vegetable side dish. But if you prefer extra crispy, you can leave it a little longer. It would be best to watch it so it doesn't burn, but you can take the same approach to roasting it. Dump the frozen broccoli directly from the freezer, toss it with oil and other seasonings like garlic salt or Cajun seasoning, and let technology do the rest. This is the perfect way to switch up the texture if you're not a fan of mushy vegetables since the oil helps to fry and crisp them up.

13. Add frozen broccoli to your favorite pasta dish

When in doubt about how to find ways to flavor broccoli, toss it in your favorite pasta dish to absorb the flavors you use to season your meal. You can mix chopped frozen broccoli into macaroni and cheese so it has the gooey, cheesy goodness. Thaw the broccoli ahead of time and chop them into small pieces so they can warm up against the heat of the pasta, or if they're still frozen, you can opt to cook them along with the pasta for a few minutes.

The green veggie gets seasoned with butter, cheese, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, Alfredo, heavy whipping cream, marinara, or whatever you end up flavoring the pasta with. If you like simple buttered noodles, cook the frozen broccoli with the pasta, drain it, and add butter or salt to taste. There is no wrong way to combine these ingredients since it turns into a tasty broccoli pasta dish. Add your seasonings and sauce of choice, and have fun with the pasta shapes as well, whether you want spaghetti, penne, or rotini.

14. Throw ranch mix in with the frozen broccoli

Ranch dressing is a favorite seasoning for vegetables such as carrots, celery, and broccoli. You'll see this combination in plenty of party platters and served on the side of chicken wings. To give your veggies a similar taste, consider employing powdered ranch mix rather than the liquid version. Instead of dipping broccoli in ranch, the dry variety gets into the nooks and crannies for all-over flavor. Combine the ranch mix with your oil of choice, and then coat the broccoli.

This is an unexpected but delicious combination. You know the duo works because you've had the nostalgic taste before, but not powdered ranch and roasted broccoli. You can use an oven or an air fryer to get a flaky texture. In addition to the seasoning itself, you can look at the ingredients on your powdered ranch and add herbs for a more potent punch, such as powdered garlic, onion, or dill. It has a creamy taste thanks to the buttermilk in powdered ranch, but it's not as heavy as the liquid version. Mix up game-day snacks by serving crispy ranch broccoli alongside chips and other classics.

15. Let frozen broccoli absorb flavoring by dropping it into soup

Dropping this cruciferous veg directly into soup is one of the easiest ways to add more flavor to frozen broccoli. It's straightforward since you don't have to do anything fancy to the broccoli itself. Prepare your soup as directed, whether you're making a robust lentil soup or a mish-mash soup using whatever you can scrounge from your freezer and pantry. However, frozen broccoli goes particularly well with a vegetable soup that includes other veggies. Try adding broccoli and zucchini into a veggie for a hearty minestrone.

Include other frozen veggies like frozen cauliflower or green beans into a veggie-forward soup that's delicious and nutritious but also convenient. No need to wash and chop a bunch of fresh veggies. You can eat soup any time of the year, but it's exceptionally cozy on a cold evening. Prepare and cook classic broccoli cheddar soup in under an hour for a creamy and filling meal with carrots, onion, and potato, not to mention a good amount of cheese. Since any soup has seasoning, tomatoes, cream, or whatever you flavor it, the broccoli soaks in all the delicious tastes.