These butter peas are among the best and simplest green pea side dishes. This quick and easy method requires no defrosting - the peas go straight from the freezer to the pan.
Today’s butter peas are a quick, simple side dish that goes well with almost anything. All you need for making this easy recipe is a pan, frozen peas, a little butter, and one shallot (or small onion). And less than 10 minutes of your time.
And the result? Perfect buttery peas, vividly green and appetizing, and best of all, not mushy at all! Another great thing: This is probably the most suitable vegetable side for picky eaters.
Peas are a wonderful vegetable, aren't they? I grew up eating lots of green peas, mainly in the form of this delicious Romanian Pea and Chicken Stew, a pea recipe that my grandmother would cook at least once a month. Other favorite dishes include this fabulous Pea and Asparagus Risotto or this simple Pea Frittata, which I cook more often than you can imagine.
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- Sweet peas: I always use a bag of frozen peas for this recipe. Honestly, I haven't even seen fresh peas in their pods sold anywhere in the past 20 years.
- You can use either baby peas, also known as petite peas or regular peas. Both sorts are perfect. Petite peas are slightly more tender so they might be ready one minute earlier.
- Shallot or half a small onion for a little bit of extra flavor and texture.
- Butter: I like using salted butter for this pea recipe, but unsalted butter is fine.
- Broth or water: You will need a small amount of liquid; if it’s a light vegetable broth, chicken broth, or plain water, it’s up to you. Just adjust the taste accordingly at the end; the broth contains salt.
- Other ingredients: Fine sea salt and ground black pepper.
👩🏻🍳How to cook frozen peas in butter?
This is one of the simplest, quickest, cheapest sides you could make. I mean, vegetable side dishes are never a big issue, but these butter peas are particularly easy and fast to make.
Chop a small shallot or onion in about 30 seconds and prepare the whole dish in a medium saucepan for 6 to 8 minutes. That's it!
Cook the shallot.
Butter the peas.
- Fresh herbs like mint, parsley, and thyme leaves or frozen or fresh dill add lots of flavor to the simple buttered peas.
- Garlic: Leave the shallot and sauté minced garlic in the butter before adding the peas for extra flavor.
- Parmesan cheese: Grate some Parmesan cheese over these peas in butter sauce just before serving.
- Lemon zest: Some freshly grated lemon zest is a nice touch.
- Crumbled bacon or pancetta: One of our favorite variations. Cook and crumble some bacon or pancetta to mix with the peas.
- Toasted almonds or pine nuts: Toasted nuts add a delightful crunch; sprinkle them over the dish just before serving.
- Red pepper flakes: For a hint of heat, sprinkle some red pepper flakes over the veggies.
- Cream or cheese sauce: Transform the butter peas into a creamy delight by adding a splash of cream or a simple cheese sauce.
What to do with leftovers?
- Store leftover buttered peas in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or microwave, adding a bit of extra butter or a splash of water to refresh them.
- Add them to soups, stews, and rice dishes such as risotto or fried rice.
- Add them to frittatas or pasta dishes; they are perfect to include in a cream or tomato sauce.
- If you happen to make mashed potatoes, just stir some butter peas into the hot mash.
There is no need to defrost or boil the peas. Simply transfer them straight from the freezer to the pan, an easy side dish perfect to accompany any of your holiday meals.
Cooking time: Be mindful of the cooking time. Overcooking can make them mushy and dull in color. Cook them until they are just tender yet still retain a slight crunch.
Quality of butter: Use high-quality butter for better flavor; 82% fat. You might even try flavored butter like garlic or herb-infused varieties for an extra taste dimension, but make sure they are full-fat and not a light version.
Make sure not to overcook them. Cook just until they are tender yet still slightly crisp.
While the peas in butter sauce are best served fresh, you can prepare them ahead of time and reheat them gently over low heat just before serving. However, be cautious not to overcook them during reheating.
You can substitute butter with olive oil or a vegan butter alternative to make it dairy-free or vegan-friendly. Ensure the alternative used has a taste you enjoy.
🍽️What to serve with green peas?
Butter peas are a versatile side dish that suits many main courses. Chicken, fish, pork, beef, these simple peas go well with everything.
The Best Butter Peas (Cooked from Frozen)
- 1 shallot or ½ a small onion
- 2 tablespoons butter salted or unsalted
- 1 lb peas frozen, 450 g
- ¼ cup water or vegetable broth, 60 ml, Note 2
- fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- small bunch of parsley or dill
- Chop the shallot or the onion very finely.1 shallot
- Sauté: Melt the butter in a saucepan and sauté the shallot until translucent and softer, about 2-3 minutes. It should not get brown.2 tablespoons butter
- Cook: Add the peas, water, broth, and a tiny pinch of salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan, leaving a small crack open, lower the heat, and simmer the peas for about 3-4 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Do not overcook.1 lb peas / 450 g + ¼ cup water
- Check the salt, add freshly ground black pepper, and sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve immediately.fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper + small bunch of parsley or dill
- Peas: Baby peas, also known as petite peas or regular peas. Both sorts are perfect for this recipe. Petite peas are slightly more tender, so they might be ready one minute earlier; check.
- Vegetable or chicken broth or water: You will need a small amount of liquid; if it’s a light broth or plain water, it’s up to you. Just adjust the taste accordingly at the end; the broth contains salt.