Buttery Peas Recipe (How To Cook Frozen Peas)


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This quick and easy Buttery Peas recipe shows you How to Cook Frozen Peas perfectly every single time. The combination of butter, onion, garlic, herbs, and spices is absolutely delicious!

Buttery Peas

Buttery peas is a simple and delicious green pea recipe with a small ingredient list, but big flavor.

There are tender pieces of diced onion and sautéed garlic flavoring this side dish. Plus, the sweet peas are coated in butter and cooked to perfection start to finish in just 10 minutes.

They’re quick enough for a last minute side dish, but they’re also delicious enough to serve for a holiday meal. If you’re serving it for a special occasion, I’d definitely recommend topping it with a little freshly grated parmesan.

If you love peas, be sure to check out two of our favorite pea recipes. Spring Pea Pasta with Burrata and Pasta with Peas are both delicious ways to use this vegetable.


Peas: Frozen peas are the way to go for this recipe. They’re affordable, easy to use, and always easy to find in the stores. I tend to look for brands that have more petite peas because I prefer the flavor and texture. They’re sweeter with a more tender skin, whereas the larger peas tend to be a little starchier with a tougher skin.

Butter: Cooking peas in butter makes such a difference. It really coats them in so much flavor and makes them so delicious.

Aromatics: A combination of fresh onion and fresh garlic adds lots of flavor to this side dish. I love the added flavor and texture using the fresh ingredients. If you like pearl onions, feel free to use that instead of diced onion.

Spices and Herbs: A combination of dried parsley, salt, and pepper adds the perfect seasoning to this dish. If there are any herbs that you’d really like to try, feel free! This recipe is super adaptable. Ones that I think would taste great are Italian seasoning, thyme leaves, or oregano.

Water: Adding a bit of water helps to steam the inside of the frozen peas so that you don’t have to cook them in too much butter. I find that if I skip the water, I have to double the butter, and then they’re too coated in butter when they finish cooking. You could also replace the water with chicken broth if you want to add extra flavor (or vegetable broth if you’d like to keep this dish vegetarian).

The labeled ingredients for buttery peas.

How To Cook Frozen Peas

To make this easy side dish that you can cook fully on the stove (without boiling peas!), start by heating a large lidded nonstick skillet. Then add the butter and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the butter has melted, add in the diced onion and saute until it starts to turn translucent. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)

Melting butter in a light colored skillet, then adding diced onion.

Add in the garlic and dried parsley, and saute until the garlic is aromatic.

Mixing in minced garlic and dried parsley to the melted butter in the skillet.

Add in the frozen peas, salt, pepper, and water. Stir to mix.

Adding frozen peas, salt, and pepper to melted butter in a skillet, then mixing.

Place the lid on the skillet, but leave it slightly cracked so that some steam can escape. Bring the peas to a simmer, and allow them to simmer until they’ve reached your desired doneness. Once they’re finished cooking, taste them and adjust the salt and pepper to your preference. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.

Buttery peas in the skillet after they've finished cooking.

Can You Cook Frozen Peas Without Defrosting?

Definitely! Peas are so easy to cook from frozen. I actually prefer frozen peas over fresh ones purchased in the store. The frozen ones are frozen at the peak of their freshness, so they don’t get as starchy or mushy as the fresh bagged ones in the store.

A side image of buttery peas in a small white dish.

Should You Boil Frozen Peas?

No! Peas are such a delicious vegetable, but they get such a bad reputation for being bland, gross, and mushy, and that’s entirely because we’ve all been dumping a bag of them into boiling water thinking that they’ll turn out well. That is not the way to get delicious peas, but if you saute them in butter, herbs, and spices, they’ll turn out beautifully.

How to cook frozen peas from scratch, served in a white dish.

What To Add To Peas For Flavor

I included parsley, salt, and pepper because they are good seasonings for peas. You can also try adding fresh mint (such a delicious combo!) or some crispy bacon pieces.

Buttery peas sauteed with diced onion and served in a small white dish.

Keep In Touch

I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime

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A Pinterest pin image with two pictures of buttery peas, and title text at the top.

Side Dish Recipes

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out all of our simple side dishes! Some reader favorites are:

Yield: 8 servings

Buttery Peas Recipe (How To Cook Frozen Peas)

The best buttery peas recipe to learn how to cook frozen peas.

This quick and easy Buttery Peas recipe shows you How to Cook Frozen Peas perfectly every single time. The combination of butter, onion, garlic, herbs, and spices is absolutely delicious!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 small onion (finely diced, about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 medium clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 pound frozen peas (about 3 cups)
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper (plus more to taste)


  1. Heat a large lidded nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the butter and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. 
  2. Add the onion to the pan. Cook until it starts to become translucent (about 3 minutes). Mix in the garlic and the dried parsley, and cook until aromatic (about 1 minute).
  3. Stir in the peas, salt, pepper, and water. Turn the heat up to bring it to just barely a gentle boil, then turn it back down to medium.
  4. Place the lid on, leaving it cracked slightly to release the steam, and let simmer until the peas have reached your desired doneness (about 5-7minutes).
  5. Once the peas have reached desired doneness, taste and adjust salt and pepper to your preference.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 72Total Fat: 3.1gCarbohydrates: 8.3gFiber: 2.7gSugar: 3gProtein: 3.1g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.


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Learn how to cook frozen peas that turn out delicious every time! These buttery peas will have everyone asking for seconds.

The best buttery peas recipe to learn how to cook frozen peas.

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