The Best Frozen Peas, Please

The best frozen peas are probably petite peas—that was my main takeaway after microwaving umpteen bags and bowls of the little green legumes for this taste test. I tried everything from big fat sweet peas to steamable peas you don’t even have to remove from the bag to cook, and petite peas consistently had the best taste and texture. But even within that category, there’s a lot of variation in flavor (or lack thereof). I know it seems like all frozen peas would pretty much be the same, but they aren’t.

In this taste test, we were looking for frozen peas that are silky rather than mealy. We wanted a lot of intact peas, too—bags with too many desiccated, brown, or otherwise subpar peas were dinged. Most of all, we wanted flavor. Too many frozen peas taste like almost nothing. We weren’t necessarily expecting farm fresh flavor, but some earthy sweetness went a long way. If you’re in the market for the best microwave frozen peas, we’ve done the leg work. These are the best frozen peas at the grocery store.

best frozen peas green giant

Best Sauced

Green Giant Sweet Peas in Butter Sauce

These Green Giant frozen peas are very big and very saucy. That might sound scary, but hear me out: The sauce is light and buttery rather than being gelatinous or phony tasting, and the peas are big without being mealy. Yes, you could butter your own peas, but I suspect if you made them this buttery with butter alone, you’d be turning an otherwise wholesome side dish into a fat and calorie bomb. These frozen peas are weirdly low fat and low cal, despite being saucy and indulgent. These are the best frozen peas if you need a quick weeknight side you can just toss in the microwave. The savory sauce also seems like a good way to get kids to eat their peas.




best frozen peas petite peas

Best Neutral

 Birds Eye C&W Petite Peas

Regular Birds Eye steamable peas didn’t make our list because they were too big and mealy, but Birds Eye C&W peas (which don’t come in a steamable bag, sadly) are good stuff. They’re small and slick and burst in your mouth as you eat them. These are less earthy tasting than other petite peas on this list, but they’re neutral tasting in a good way. These are the best frozen peas to add to boxed mac and cheese; your kids will love the texture without having to contend with too much vegetal flavor. These are a textural experience first and foremost.




best tasting frozen peas

Best Earthy

Flav R Pac Petite Green Peas

These frozen peas have a garden fresh flavor. Have I ever eaten peas straight from a garden? No, but hush up and let me talk here. Right out of the microwave (I heated these in a bowl with a little bit of water), these are excellent. They’re very small and silky, but they’re deceptively flavorful, too. Flav R Pac petite peas don’t have as much sweetness as other varieties, but that earthy quality kept me coming back for bite after bite. These are the best frozen peas to sautee with a little bit of butter and some diced onion.




best frozen peas sweetest peast

Best Sweet

Great Value Sweet Peas

When Great Value says “sweet” peas, they’re not lying. I honestly checked the ingredients for sugar after I took a bite. These are the sweetest peas we tried, but they’re pretty great all around. They come in a bag you can simply toss in the microwave without dirtying a bowl, and the texture of most of the peas is great. These are pretty large peas so, yes, there are some mealy guys in there, but the flavor makes it forgivable. These are the best frozen peas if you like ‘em sweet and I think that makes them perfect for a savory preparation, like pasta and peas with some prosciutto or guanciale.




best frozen peas trader joe's petite peas review

Best of the Best

Trader Joe’s Petite Peas

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If you want to avoid mealy peas, buy petite. Trader Joe’s petite peas are about as perfect as it gets. They’re earthy up front and then sweet on the finish—you really get the best of both worlds in every bite. The texture is outrageous, too—these are very silky and poppy. Most impressively, there were almost no shriveled peas in this bag! Don’t confuse these with Trader Joe’s organic frozen peas—they’re not as good. Buy these and you won’t be disappointed. They’re the best frozen peas for pretty much any purpose.




Other products we tried: Birds Eye Sweet Peas, Birds Eye C&W Early Harvest Petite Peas, Signature Select Green Peas, Good & Gather Steam in Bag Sweet Peas, Good & Gather Organic Steam in Bag Peas, Woodstock Organic Petite Peas, Earthbound Farm Organic Peas

About the Author

Gwynedd Stuart

Gwynedd Stuart, Sporked’s managing editor, is an L.A.-based writer and editor who spends way, way too much time at the grocery store. She’s never met an Old El Paso taco or mozzarella stick she didn’t like.