14 Frozen Vegetable Brands, Ranked Worst To Best

Whether you're searching for more greens in your diet or trying to save on your grocery bill, frozen vegetables can be an excellent substitute for fresh produce. The produce department is home to its share of budget-friendly veggies, but few can compare with the low prices of frozen selections. Plus, you can use frozen vegetables for soups, stews, and casseroles year-round when seasonal vegetables are out of stock. And while the nutritional value of frozen vegetables may vary, some — like broccoli and corn — have been associated with higher vitamin content than their fresh counterparts.

You may think all frozen vegetables are more or less the same, but there are substantial differences in quality and taste from brand to brand. No one wants to bite into flavorless peas and carrots with their Salisbury steak, or worse, encounter alien flavors and textures from Franken-veggie cuts. Thus, we sought to find the best frozen vegetables available, stacking dozens of varieties against each other in fierce competition. So go ahead and let those lackluster lima beans catch freezer burn — you won't need them once you've read our ranking of the best frozen vegetables.

14. TJ Farms

No words can effectively convey just how abhorrent TJ Farms' frozen vegetables are, although we could fill a novel with our grievances. Look, there's nothing wrong with purchasing food at Dollar Tree stores — we love a good $1.25 box of cheddar whale crackers — but we strongly advise against tempting fate and consuming vegetables from TJ Farms. If you're sorely in need of vegetables next time you stop by your local Dollar Tree, do yourself a favor and opt for canned instead. You can thank us later.

If there were ever an award for the most misleading product photos of all time, TJ Farms' frozen vegetables would be guaranteed winners. We were reluctant to take a bite, as the carrots and peas looked ashier than the streets of Pompeii in 79 AD. Meanwhile, the stir-fry vegetables emerge from their package a bizarre shade of radioactive chartreuse, like a vintage jar of pickles dyed with liberal amounts of Yellow 5. Upon tasting them, they emit a spark of strange saltiness that fades in seconds. Both of TJ Farms' veggie products have an acrid, tannic taste we can't quite put our finger on, and it lingers on our tongues like a slow burn. All in all, it's an experience we'd never like to revisit, and we cannot stress how much we questioned whether this product was actually intended for human consumption. If you haven't gathered, these offenses and more condemned TJ Farms to the lowest depths of our rankings.

13. Great Value

Great Value is Walmart's generic brand and offers conventional and organic options in its frozen vegetable line. Although Walmart may not be the most ethical grocer in town, it does the job for those looking to save a few bucks. Our local Walmart only carried a few frozen vegetables, so we chose Great Value's conventional California Style blend and an organic mix from the sparse selection.

Unfortunately, nothing about Great Value truly stuck out to us beyond an artfully broken carrot coin. The vegetables were all somewhat average, although we noted that the green beans in Great Value's mixed vegetable blend tasted remarkably similar to the canned variety. Strangely, most of Great Value's vegetables had a slight soapy aftertaste.

But most concerning of all was the inconspicuous wheat cross-contamination warning on both Great Value's conventional and organic frozen vegetables. Many people are gluten sensitive or intolerant, and it alarmed us that an affordable, healthy staple for many budget-conscious shoppers — frozen vegetables — could quietly contain significant allergens. As such, Great Value received one of the lowest scores in our ranks due to potential cross-contamination, limited variety, and forgettable flavors.

12. Simply Nature (Aldi)

Admittedly, we tend to put organically farmed produce on a pedestal, so we were pleased to come across Simply Nature. The brand is known to Aldi shoppers as its in-house organic label, and it features a small collection of products, from frozen broccoli to butternut squash. Initially, we had high hopes for Simply Nature, but they disappeared during the taste test. Right off the bat, the green beans looked a little sickly and tasted just as sad. We found the peas weren't much better, with shriveled skins and a dull, unpleasant flavor. And though the corn was refreshingly sweet, it couldn't make up for the rest of the medley.

Simply Nature's sweet potatoes looked nice enough at first glance, a sunset orange display of generously-cut cubes. To our bitter disappointment, however, they were watery and flavorless, with a fibrous, stringy texture. Eventually, we uncovered some passable potato pieces scattered throughout the mix, but trying to distinguish between the two was a nightmare. True, Simply Nature caught our eye, but we weren't moved by the products we sampled, and the brand's range is meager. With this in mind, we placed Aldi's organic line toward the lower end of our list.

11. 365 (Whole Foods Market)

At roughly $3 per bag, we expected great things from 365, the store brand of health food giant Whole Foods Market. Our local Whole Foods Market seemed a tad empty in 365's section of the frozen aisle, however, leaving us with limited options for our taste test. After some contemplation, we settled on its stir-fry blend and fire-roasted corn — an unusual offering in the frozen vegetable sphere.

From a distance, 365's frozen vegetables look perfectly fine. But through closer inspection, it's apparent that they're extremely soggy, bordering on waterlogged. The worst offenders are the red pepper strips — they're so mushy it seems they've practically liquified. Virtually every veggie in 365's stir-fry blend has a burst of flavor, but is disgraceful, texturally speaking.

We moved on to the fire-roasted corn and were thrilled to try a slightly different variation of a frozen veggie standard. The corn niblets didn't have the pleasing crunch of fresh kernels that other brands managed to capture, but we suspect this may have been due to boiling them in water, per 365's suggestion. Despite this, their fiery, smoky flavor was a welcome change, even if the corn could have been sweeter. To our chagrin, 365's stir-fry mix stayed in our minds long after our taste test for all the wrong reasons. Between its lackluster quality and high-priced veggies, 365 sauntered off with one of the lowest scores in the competition.

10. Green Giant

Beloved for decades by millions of consumers who associate its gargantuan mascot with all things vegetable-related, it's hard to fathom the Green Giant representing less than stellar quality. Though it brings us no joy to say it, our taste tests revealed that the mighty Green Giant had fallen considerably.

To keep our testing methods consistent, we needed to source plain frozen vegetables from Green Giant, which presented a challenge. These days, the bulk of Green Giant's frozen veggies are spiced and sauced to perfection to appeal to consumer palettes. After a lengthy search, we obtained the adorably compact "Nibblers" corn cobs and a riced cauliflower medley.

The Giant's Nibblers caught our eye with their sunny, plump appearance, but each bite was disappointingly mealy, sludgy, and bland. Moreover, the cauliflower rice was just so-so, even with sliced green onions in the mix. Despite our disappointing encounter with the Green Giant this time around, the line received satisfactory marks for its contributions to the realm of frozen vegetables, from zucchini spirals to cauliflower-based veggie tots.

9. Pics (Price Chopper)

Founded by the Golub family in 1932, Price Chopper was originally known as Central Market when it first opened its doors in Schenectady, New York. After undergoing several rebrands over the years, Price Chopper has become well-known up and down the East Coast for its plentiful quantity of generic products and frequent sales. Price Chopper and its sister chains, Market 32 and Market Bistro, offer store-brand alternatives to just about everything — but the frozen vegetable line is particularly impressive. With products ranging from soup vegetable mixes to whole potatoes available in the freezer aisle, Price Chopper's "Pics" had one of the most well-stocked frozen departments on our list.

From Pics' extensive selection of frozen produce, we selected the mixed vegetables and California blend. Unfortunately, the mixed vegetables didn't look great when we removed them from the packaging — Pics' corn and carrot pieces had unsightly imperfections and tasted a little drab to boot. The saving grace of the mixed veggie trio was its green beans, which were delightfully sweet and crisp. And though Pics' California blend featured less-than-stellar broccoli florets, we enjoyed its crunchy, fresh cauliflower and highly-snackable crinkle-cut carrots. Overall, Pics' quality may have been a tad inconsistent, but we have to hand it to the line for its low prices and a vast array of options.

8. Bird's Eye

Bird's Eye is surely one of the most recognizable brands in your grocer's freezer section, founded at the turn of the century by Clarence Birdseye. Like other frozen vegetable purveyors, Bird's Eye has broadened its line to include seasoned vegetables, recipe starter kits, and more. We chose a corn, asparagus, and carrot medley alongside their stir-fry mix to put the brand to the test.

Bird's Eye's water chestnuts are the star of the show in the first mix, providing a refreshing, delicate crunch and mildly sweet flavor absorbed from the surrounding vegetables. Still, the carrots are a little softer than others we've tried, missing the distinctive bite we adore in lightly cooked root veggies. The broccoli falls just short of greatness, but the sugar snap peas are by far the best of the bunch, with garden-fresh, peppery flavor. In the second blend, Bird's Eye's asparagus is unremarkable, while the bicolor corn tastes bright, and sugary, and has a good amount of crunch. All in all, we have to say that Bird's Eye is one of the more dependable brands we've tried, if not the most extraordinary.

7. Good & Gather

To some, Target serves as a retail therapy getaway destination — but for many consumers, the department store is a convenient source for food shopping in particular. Target's grocery department has grown over the years to include fresh produce, meat, and, of course, frozen vegetables. But did the Red Dot meet the target for delivering frozen vegetables worthy of our top spot?

Interestingly, Good & Gather provided us with some of the best — and worst — vegetables of all. The sweet potatoes were some of the most memorable frozen veggies on our list, thanks to their smooth, creamy flesh and deliciously chewy bite. Even though we opted to steam them, they had a pleasantly parched exterior resembling that of cubed, baked potatoes. In a stunning upset, however, Good & Gather's Italian Style Blend contained a variety of truly terrible produce. From the rubbery carrots to the woody broccoli, there wasn't much to like about this mix. Worst of all was the zucchini, which had an intensely bitter quality and equally grim texture. Still, thanks to its reputation — and outstanding tubers — Good & Gather snagged a slightly higher-than-average score.

6. Hannaford

Unless you're from New England, you may be unfamiliar with Hannaford. The regional grocery chain has been in business for nearly 150 years and sells a number of products under its own Hannaford label. In our quest to find the best frozen vegetables around, we picked up Hannaford's Prince Edward vegetable mix as well as the stir-fry blend.

Truth be told, we weren't too keen on trying the stir-fry blend after our adventures with Whole Foods Market's uninspired version. Sadly, it was quickly determined that Hannaford's stir-fry blend also suffered from a glut of lifeless, soggy red pepper fragments. Also worth noting was the abject lack of broccoli, a vegetable that prominently featured on the stir-fry's package.

Once we tried Hannaford's Prince Edward mix, however, we felt we could forgive Hannaford for its crimes in the stir-fry sector. The carrots and wax beans were more visually appealing than they were tasty, but we were smitten with Hannaford's green beans. The Canadian-grown green beans are in a league of their own, with exceptionally tender flesh and fat, juicy seeds. Though Hannaford's green beans were outstanding, its stir-fry scores dragged it down a few places on our list.

5. PictSweet

Hailing from Bells, Tennessee, PictSweet Farms boasts a broad range of products in its frozen vegetable line. Recently, it's even added an assortment of seasoned vegetables for the air fryer, like Mexican Street Corn. For our taste test, we picked up two unflavored options: Steam'ables Corn, Broccoli, Carrots and Sugar Snap Peas and Steam'ables Edamame in the pod.

Our first batch of Steam'ables Corn, Broccoli, Carrots and Sugar Snap Peas was, quite frankly, obliterated by the steam within its parachute-like package. If you like crisp, colorful vegetables, you'll want to shave the cooking time down by a minute or two. Even after reducing our cook time for a second batch, we still felt these vegetables came out a touch too withered — a shame, considering their top-notch flavors.

On the other hand, PictSweet's edamame is a nice change of pace from your standard frozen vegetable. The bright green beans burst from their pod with a satisfying pop, and the briny sea salt adds a nice dash of flavor. They may not be quite as delicious as freshly steamed soybeans, but they're a decent snack to quell an edamame craving. Thus, due to its first-rate produce and eclectic product range, we gave Pictsweet a commendable score in spite of its dodgy cooking instructions.

4. Hanover

Established in 1924, Hanover's mascot may not be quite as distinctive as, say, the Green Giant, but the company is renowned for its high-caliber produce. Hanover proudly distributes a purple, silver, and gold line of premium frozen vegetable selections, featuring everything from Indian spiced cauliflower to creamed spinach.

Based on first appearances, we were impressed by Hanover's frozen veggie offerings. Retailing for around $3 per bag, we felt the slightly greater-than-average price for these veggies was well worth it. The asparagus we tried was a definite improvement over other brands', and a good approximation of freshly steamed stalks. Furthermore, Hanover's corn and lima beans were firm, tender, and sweet — everything you would want from the historic pairing known as succotash. Both products we tried were excellent and seemingly harvested at the peak of freshness, and the brand overall has a wide variety of frozen veggie products to choose from, granting Hanover a respectable place in our frozen vegetable lineup.

3. Stahlbush Farms

Of all the frozen vegetable lines we chose to try, Stahlbush was the one we looked forward to most. A staple of natural food co-ops and health store freezer shelves, Stahlbush's sustainably-farmed frozen vegetables have some of the most handsome (and biodegradable) packagings on the market. The cost, on the other hand, isn't quite as appealing — at just over $4 a bag, they were the most expensive vegetables on our list. We tested the brand's tri-colored carrots and super-sweet corn to see whether the higher price was justified.

First, we prepared the tri-colored carrot blend, a mixture of purple, orange, and white root veggies. The color of purple carrots is from anthocyanins, and it bleeds extensively, like a freshly dyed Easter Egg in too-close proximity to its crate mate. Though Stahlbush suggests boiling or microwaving, steaming may be a better option to preserve the respective colors found in each carrot disc.

Texturally, we found Stahlbush's carrots were closest to the real deal — in fact, the first bite was almost indistinguishable from the crunch of a farm-fresh, softly steamed carrot. What's more, Stahlbush's corn made the grade in every category, from its jumbo-sized kernels to its addictive sweetness, creaminess, and crunch. While Stahlbush Farms' frozen vegetables may carry a premium price tag, we can confirm that they're well worth the cost.

2. Trader Joe's

Like Aldi, Trader Joe's has something of a cult following with many grocery store shoppers. When we examined the selection of frozen veggies, it was clear to see why. The chain offers plenty of eclectic options at reasonable prices — we picked up its Foursome Vegetable Medley and Organic Rainbow Cauliflower for just under two and three dollars, respectively.

Trader Joe's arguably sells some of the most beautiful frozen vegetables on the market, as the contents of each pack come quite close to what you see on the label. We were most excited to try the purple cauliflower, a sweet, crunchy variety with a tinge of floral flavor. To our surprise, the green cauliflower resembled Romanesco, both in its appearance and taste.

Trader Joe's foursome medley was virtually perfect aside from its peas, which weren't the most tender we've tried. Of the foursome, its corn was best of all, with a good amount of snap and creamy, sweet flesh. In fact, Trader Joe's cauliflower and corn were both good enough to warrant several additional bites. It seems there's a new hopeful for the Trader Joe's hall of fame, as the brand earns second place in our frozen vegetable ranking.

1. Season's Choice (Aldi)

Aldi is something of an enigma in the grocery store world — it's a well-known fact that there are many incredible items on the store's shelves, but popular Aldi products can be difficult to find due to seasonality, limited editions, and low stock. While we loved the low price of Season's Choice, Aldi's generic line of frozen vegetables, we weren't thrilled with the store's limited selection in the freezer section. To test the quality of Aldi's frozen vegetables, we opted for classic broccoli florets and a mixed vegetable medley.

As soon as we prepared the vegetables, we instantly understood the powerful effect Aldi has on many of its diehard customers. Aesthetically, Aldi's mixed veggies pass all of our tests with flying colors, and it's hard to believe that they were among the most economical options in our ranks. They're vibrant, plump, and well-formed, whereas other frozen vegetables often appear dull, desiccated, or outright flattened. In terms of taste, the cubed carrots are on par with Stahlbush Farms, which is no small feat. Furthermore, Season's Choice broccoli had some of the most impressive frozen florets of the many that we sampled. The stalks were pleasantly sweet, and the florets were full of lush, densely-packed buds. Considering its fair price, at $0.97, Aldi's frozen broccoli is hands-down the best that we've tried, almost interchangeable with tender, flavorful broccoli fresh from the garden.