How I cook frozen peas – Garlic Buttered Peas

Make frozen peas fabulous with this recipe for garlic buttered peas! A quick side dish that goes with everything, the peas are sauté-steamed in garlic butter, rather than boiling separately. Easier, tastier, never mushy and so tasty you’ll become known for them. 🙂

    Bowl of Buttered peas

I tend to shy away from sharing basic recipes like today’s Buttered Peas. Too easily distracted by more exciting-sounding dishes. Pierogis! Crispy chicken burgers! Chocolate cream pie!

Yet, the irony in all this, of course, is that I make these peas a gazillion times more often than I do Basque Cheesecake. A staple side dish, quick to make but totally restaurant-worthy. Though, posh restaurants might pod their own rather than buying frozen. I guess they don’t buy into the whole snap-frozen thing like I do? 🙂

Frozen peas for Buttered peas
Pot of Buttered peas


I am a bit of a frozen vegetable snob. You’ll never find store-bought frozen broccoli or onion in my freezer. But you will always find peas. Because they are good!

How to make buttered peas
  • Frozen peas – Cook from FROZEN, not thawed! Well, it’s fine if they are thawed but there is no need to.

    Baby vs regular – The recipe works for either. Baby peas (called petite peas in some countries) are slightly sweeter with a slightly softer skin. I am partial to these but won’t hesitate to use regular peas.

    Fresh – You could also put me to shame by making this recipe with freshly podded peas. 🙂

  • Butter – For lovely buttery flavour. Substitute with other oil of choice – extra virgin olive oil is my next pick, coconut oil for a tropical / Indian vibe.

  • Garlic – It just makes everything that much more delicious. Fresh please! Give the jarred stuff a miss – it’s sour and wet so you can’t sauté it properly and the flavour barely resembles the real deal.

  • Salt and pepper – Seasoning. Peas need it!

How I cook frozen peas

To cook from frozen, just add the tiniest splash of water which helps steam-sauté them faster. The water evaporates by the time the peas are cooked.

  1. Sauté garlic – Melt the butter then sauté the garlic until very light golden in medium heat, around 30 seconds.

  2. Tip the frozen peas in with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of water which creates a steamy environment to cook the peas a little faster. The water evaporates in a few minutes, leaving behind just tasty butter!

  1. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring every now and then, or until the peas are heated through. Frozen peas are cooked before freezing so they don’t need to be cooked!

  2. Serve – Done and ready to serve! Pour into a bowl or put straight onto dinner plates.

    Delicious to eat as is – I challenge you to stop at one spoonful – but suggestions for dressing up are below!

Close up of Buttered peas recipe

Dress them up

For every day, buttered peas are terrific just as they are. The garlic and butter go a long way to make peas a whole lot more interesting!

But, if you’d like to step it up a notch or just feel like doing something different, here are some suggestions:

  • Mint them – Toss through finely chopped fresh mint. Mint and peas is a classic! Add however much you want, to your taste.

  • Lemon – Stir through lemon zest for beautiful lemon flavour, or juice for tang.

  • Shower of parmesan – As with many things, a mound of freshly grated parmesan will turn this into a show-stopping side!

  • Clarified / browned butter instead of ordinary butter – for even more intense buttery flavour.

  • Spice it – Add some curry powder, cumin, coriander, or other spice of choice into the butter, for a touch of extra flavour.

  • Crunch it – Finish with a big handful of store-bought crispy Asian Fried Shallots or pangrattato (from this recipe), for great texture!

But that’s enough from me. What about you? I know you’ve got a stack of other creative (easy!) ways to dress up a bowl of peas. Share, share! – Nagi x

Watch how to make it

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Photo of Buttered Peas recipe - great way to cook frozen peas

How I cook frozen peas – Garlic Buttered Peas


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Recipe video above. Make frozen peas fabulous with my recipe for buttered peas! A quick side that goes with everything. Don’t boil the peas – cook from frozen in garlic butter. Easier, tastier, bright green, never mushy and never watery!


  • Sauté garlic – Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds until light golden.

  • Cook – Add frozen peas, salt, pepper and water. Turn heat up to medium high and cook for 5 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the water is evaporated, the peas are hot and coated in the tasty garlic butter.

  • Serve – Tumble into a bowl and serve!

Recipe Notes:

1. Peas – Baby peas (also called petite peas) are slightly sweeter and slightly more tender skin than regular peas. But by no means do I have a negative thoughts about regular peas!
2. Dress up peas – Finely chopped mint stirred through at the end, a shower of parmesan (oh yes!), lemon zest and/or juice, a pinch of cumin or coriander powder stirred into the butter (or other spices of choice). Fresh herbs of choice, chopped and stirred through at the end. So many options!
3. Leftovers will keep for 4 days in the fridge, or freezer for 3 months.
Nutrition per serving assuming 6 servings.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 129cal (6%)Carbohydrates: 12g (4%)Protein: 5g (10%)Fat: 7g (11%)Saturated Fat: 4g (25%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 18mg (6%)Sodium: 199mg (9%)Potassium: 212mg (6%)Fiber: 5g (21%)Sugar: 5g (6%)Vitamin A: 847IU (17%)Vitamin C: 34mg (41%)Calcium: 26mg (3%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

More sides

Life of Dozer

Snippet from today’s recipe video!

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