Give Bland Peas A Satisfying Crunch By Simply Roasting Them

Though peas can offer a world of culinary possibilities, being at once sweet and savory, they are often served as a boring side dish with butter or hidden inside creamy casseroles. However, peas are deserving of so much more, and roasting them is one of the best ways to put these humble vibrant veggies back in the spotlight.

Roasting is a cooking method that elevates the flavor of essentially all veg with little to no effort. The indirect, convective heat caramelizes and sweetens the surfaces, causing the peas to undergo the Maillard reaction, and produce a pleasant-looking brown crust on each individual pea. Try the same in a pan, and you'll be left with a mushy mess. Imparting flavor but also texture, roasting transforms even the most under-seasoned and lackluster peas into something totally crave-able.

After prepping and seasoning the peas, scatter them in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast at 350° Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes or until they've turned golden and crisp. If you're pressed for time, you can also pop peas into an air fryer, taking care not to overcrowd the tray.

Get as creative with roasted peas as you please

Fresh, canned, or frozen peas can all be used, given you prep each properly. For instance, prior to roasting, fresh peas benefit from blanching, whereas frozen peas are best thawed. The most important thing to remember for this method is that every type of pea should be blotted dry to ensure the crispiest possible outcome. Since this may prove easier said than done, we recommend using freeze-dried peas as a way to guarantee crunchy peas without the risk of chewiness or shriveling.

While a dry exterior helps peas reach their crispy potential, it also allows seasoning to adhere to them better. After lightly coating the peas with olive oil, feel free to play with flavor. Experiment with a spoonful of spices like paprika, ground cumin, garlic powder, or everything bagel seasoning. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice, splash of liquid smoke, or drizzle of hot sauce could also amp up complexity, so long as you use these wet ingredients sparingly.

As for how best to enjoy crunchy roasted peas, they're a great snack for munching on the go or even as a unique substitution for mixed nuts during happy hour. The audibly crackling beads even make for a flavorful topping on fresh salads, rice pilaf, or even scattered on a dolled-up crostini. All in all, crisp roasted peas are always a great idea!