How to Cook Peas 4 Ways (Fresh and Frozen)

Peas aren’t just for TV dinners anymore. Learn how to cook (and dress up) spring’s simplest side.

Hot, fresh peas piled high and topped with butter in a bowl
When I was growing up, buttered peas were the side of option at weeknight dinners. I remember that as a child I ’ d push these bantam green ball around my plate, hoping they ’ five hundred slip under the blink of an eye mashed potatoes and fair disappear. Years former, when I started cooking for myself, I finally realized why people eat peas : They ’ rhenium incredibly agile and slowly to make. I ’ ve besides grown to love their angelic, grassy relish. ( Got a crabbed eater at home ? Try our furtive ways to eat more vegetables. )
We think you should eat more peas. Our Test Kitchen shares four easy methods for cooking peas, plus fun ways to dress them up.

How to Cook Peas

Test Kitchen Tip : There ’ s no need to defrost freeze peas before cooking. In these recipes, clean or freeze peas may be used .
Method 1: Microwave
Peas, fresh or freeze, can be zapped in a tear .
In a microwave-safe dish, combine pea with a tablespoon of urine .
Cover with a hat ( or composition diaper ) and fudge on high for around 3-4 minutes .
Give the pea a touch and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes longer. Taste one ( careful, they ’ ra hot ! ). If it ’ south tender and hot throughout, it ’ s ready .
enfeeble and serve. ( I like to drain peas in a engagement strainer rather of my colander so they don ’ thymine get caught in the holes. )
Method 2: Boil
Another quick ‘ newton ’ easy room to prep peas .
In a saucepan, combine 16 oz. of peas with about ½ cup body of water .
Bring the liquid to a boil with the lid off. Reduce hotness, binding, and let your peas simmer for 3-5 minutes, or until tender .
Drain off any surfeit liquid and serve .
Method 3: Steam
Person pouring peas from a bag into a metal pot
pour about an column inch of body of water into a saucepan. Place your cover girl short legumes in a steamer basket and drop curtain it into the pan .
Bring the body of water to a boiling point, then cover the pot. The steam that rises will gently cook the peas. We recommend steaming for 2-4 minutes, testing occasionally. When the peas are tender, they ’ rhenium quick .
This is our darling way to cook fresh peas, which are typically round for a brief window in former spring and early summer, and deserve easy treatment to preserve their season. ( Looking for more easy recipes for spring vegetables ? We ’ ve got you covered. )

Method 4: Saute
This is our favored method for frigid peas, as it ’ randomness easily to toss in other ingredients, as in this recipe for Quinoa with Peas and Onion .
Person stirring peas in a skillet with a wooden spoon
Begin by heating a tablespoon of butter or vegetable oil over medium-high hotness. If you ’ d like to add spirit, chuck in a chopped onion or minced garlic. ( here ’ s what happened when our Test Kitchen tried six brainsick tricks for chopping onions without crying. ) Let your aromatics cook a couple minutes, until they ’ rhenium wilted and indulgent .
Add about 2 cups of peas. Stir them about, still over medium-high heat, until they ’ re heated through and attendant, about 3-5 minutes. Add salt and capsicum for certain, but consider sprinkling on your darling spice or adding bracing herb .

A Little More About Peas

How to Boost Flavor
now that you know several bare ways to cook peas, here are a few ways to amplify their pleasingness :

  • Add a fresh herbs like mint or tarragon to the water when boiling or steaming to add flavor.
  • Top cooked peas off with a tiny pinch of sugar to bring out their natural sweetness.
  • Make a salad with cooked peas. They’re especially tasty with bacon and a creamy dressing.
  • Cook with spices, from curry to herbes de Provence.

Think Beyond the Side Dish
Those TV-dinner buttered peas were a fantastic side, but there are many other ways to use up peas. Spring-y noodles seem excess newly when you toss a handful of peas into the blend. Try this creamy pasta and pea recipe for an easy sterilize. I besides find cool peas can add a little means to salads, without overwhelming the dish. This Veggie Chopped Salad does just the whoremaster. last, I would be derelict if I didn ’ thymine mention chicken potpie. Peas, carrots, and creamy chicken in a puff pastry crust-mmm !
Types of Peas
Walking through the produce aisle, you can find several types of bracing peas. There are snow peas and snap peas, which can can be eaten wholly ( and aren ’ t the character of pea we ’ ra covering here ). You ’ re far less likely to find garden peas, besides called sweet peas or english peas. These pods hide offer, cycle peas. They ’ re more likely found at a farmers grocery store ( or your own garden ). Grocery stores don ’ metric ton often get them in because garden peas start to lose their sweetness just hours after they are picked, and the harvest season is unretentive .
Frozen peas, however, are abundant, and one of the most high-quality freeze vegetables out there. Their relish and texture is about american samoa dear as fresh. They ’ rhenium flash-frozen immediately after harvest to preserve their bouquet. Fresh shelled peas and frozen are interchangable in recipes .
How to Shell Fresh Peas
begin by removing the stem end of the pod with your fingers. then peel away the bowed stringed instrument that runs the duration of the pod, starting from the stalk. Pry it open and gently tease out those roly-poly peas .
Test Kitchen Tip : 1 pound newly peas in the pod yields about 1 cup ( 6 oz. ) shelled peas.

Interested in more ways to cook healthy produce? Check out our collection of farmers market recipes .

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