How to Cook Frozen Peas (the RIGHT way)

4.97 from 53 votes

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You have been cooking frozen peas wrong your entire life. Green peas should not be boiled! You can have sweet, creamy peas in less than 10 minutes. Try them tonight!

Green cooked frozen peas in a bowl topped with butter

The best way to cook frozen peas

I hate to break it to you, but you have been cooking peas wrong your entire life. Peas should not be boiled! Using our improved method, you can have flavorful, creamy peas in less than 10 minutes. Try them tonight!

Ok, I admit, I am totally guilty of ripping open a bag of frozen peas and throwing them into a pot of boiling water 5 minutes before dinner and serving them as a side dish. I have never hated peas, but I have never loved them. They have always just been an easy side dish but they have never been anything special. Until I went to Epi’s (My favorite restaurant in Meridian, Idaho).

On Thursdays, Epi’s offers free peas as an additional side dish to any meal and people specifically go there on Thursdays JUST for the peas. Strange right? But, after trying it I understand why. Her peas, just like everything else on the menu, are amazing. Like, they are craveable. PEAS. The boring vegetables that no one cares about can actually be seasoned to the point of actually being delicious.

Basic Tips for Delicious Green Peas on the Stovetop

  1. Don’t boil! Just don’t do it. I know the package tells you to, but don’t. Trust me.
  2. Add a little sugar to the peas. It’s ok, it won’t taste weird and it will bring out the natural sweetness.
  3. Don’t add salt until ready to serve. Salting them too early can dehydrate them and they (obviously) won’t be as sweet. Salt them after they have cooked and you can salt to taste.
Green peas in a bowl topped with butter

Add a Little Mint

If you want to try something different, and dare I say, “fancy,”  try coarsely tearing up a few mint leaves and throwing them in the pan with the peas while cooking. Leave the garlic and sugar out and just cook them with mint and butter. The mint infuses the peas with a fresh and delicious flavor that you are sure to love! It kicks dinner up a notch with very little effort. Try it with Easter dinner!

Some answers to common questions about peas

What is the difference between petite peas and regular peas?

Petite peas are usually smaller, sweeter, and more delicate than regular peas. Regular peas are meatier, but the skin on them is a little tougher.

What is the best way to season frozen peas?

If you are using our method for cooking frozen peas, just a little sugar, salt, and pepper is all you need. If you want to make the peas a little more fancy, try adding some mint (see notes above).

Fresh peas or frozen peas?

Believe it or not, frozen peas taste better than fresh when cooking. Why? Frozen peas are flash-frozen at the peak of ripeness. You can depend on the sweetness and soft texture. Store bought fresh peas tend to become more firm and starchy from the time they are picked to the time they are purchased. Unless, they are picked fresh from your own garden, frozen peas are the way to go!

Want to learn more about the taste difference between fresh and frozen peas? Cook’s Illustrated has a great explanation HERE. It’s definitely worth a quick read.

Now that you know all about peas – it’s time to make them! If we’ve convinced you this is the “right way,” you will also want to check out our tutorials on How to Cook Frozen Corn, and How to Cook Hash Browns. Yum!

Other Pea Recipes to Try

Try some of our other favorite recipes with peas!

Cooked Frozen Peas in a skillet with a spoon scooping up some peas

How to Cook Frozen Peas (the RIGHT way)

4.97 from 53 votes
You have been cooking peas wrong your whole life. Peas are supposed to taste GOOD– here’s how to do it.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6




  • Combine peas, butter, sugar, and garlic in a medium-sized skillet.
  • Cook at medium heat until butter is melted and peas are heated through, about 5-7 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Remove from heat, drain off any liquid, add salt and pepper. Serve.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 171kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 4gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 105mgPotassium: 190mgFiber: 4gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 933IUVitamin C: 31mgCalcium: 25mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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  1. I loved the idea. As a Brazilian I always start everything with fried garlic. Good to know the time to cook but I will skip the sugar. I always avoid sugar even in small quantities since it gives you inflammation. Thank you for the recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    I have hated peas all of my 58 years and then today I tried your recipe! OMG!!! I love them! So much so that I will now buy peas often! They are delicious! Lol They taste nothing like peas! And I used monkfruit sweetener instead of sugar! I’m even thinking about adding the ingredients to green beans!!!

    Thanks so much for sharing your delicious recipe! May God bless you!

  3. 5 stars
    Amazing! The pea recipe my toddler will eat willingly. I used unsalted butter, so added 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp salt. Perfectly seasoned. Thank you for the amazing recipe.

  4. What is butter salted, sweet cream? Is this just 6 tbsp Salted butter? Or is it 6 tbsp Salted butter and 6 tbsp sweet cream? Or is it 6 tbsp Salted butter OR 6 tbsp sweet cream? What is sweet cream? Thanks in advance!

  5. Hi. So if I was wanting to “dress this up” for Easter- you’d suggest the mint. But skip garlic/ and sugar, then- just do butter and mint? Thanks!

  6. 5 stars
    This is by far my favorite way to serve peas! Made them for a New Years dinner party and my a couple of my guests asked how I made them because they like them so much! I also made this recipe for Christmas with my family. I made a separate bowl of green beans along with this pea recipe. Surprisingly, the peas were gone but the green beans had a few leftovers! Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe!

  7. 5 stars
    This recipe takes peas over the top! My PICKY other half gobbled them up so I knew they were a winner!! Thank you for the delicious recipe.

  8. This recipe puts the peas over the top! My VERY picky other half gobbled them up and said how much he loved them!! Thank you so much for your wonderful recipe

    1. I’m not sure what Becel margarine is, so I can’t say one way or another, but let us know how it goes if you try it!

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