Easy Minted Peas with Caramelised Onion

minted peas in bowl 3

Peas! We always have a bag of garden peas in our freezer. If the moment takes me, I may indulge in some fresh peas. But in my honest opinion, when it comes to garden peas, frozen is just as good! So handy to have in the freezer and whip out for a quick and easy, protein and micro-nutrient rich side dish. And great for sprucing up too- here is my slightly less traditional take on minted peas!

Why I love this dish

Whilst Remi and I are big on meal prepping and healthy cooking, we’re also big on budget cooking. We were saving for a house for the last year and a half, so it’s safe to say our weekly food budget wasn’t, and still isn’t, huge. Staples like tinned beans and frozen fruit and veg are always on our shopping list, as they are cheap, versatile, and keep for a long time.

A lot of people think that buying tinned or frozen foods leaves little room for variety, but I strongly believe that variety is the spice of life! Despite eating healthy 80% of the time, I really wouldn’t manage eating the same meals over and over again (tofu and broccoli every night? No thank you!).

I love pimping up frozen veggies, and this is why I love this dish so much. It uses incredibly simple ingredients, throws together in no time, and tastes like it’s been given far more effort than it really has! Frozen peas, red onion, butter, mint, and a dash of smoked paprika is all it takes. 

I love these peas on the side of my crispy potato topped vegan pot pie – minted peas and pie, two traditional English flavours!

How to make these minted peas

The process for making these peas is super simple. Heat the oil in a large pan over a low-medium heat. Using a stainless steel or cast iron pan here results in the best caramelised onion, but non stick will work if that’s what you’ve got. Add the sliced onion and stir to coat in the oil. Now, the onions need to be cooked for around 10 minutes at first. Stir them 3-4 times during this period, but don’t get too stir-happy, you want a bit of that burntness in the bottom of the pan. 

After 15 minutes, add a tsp or 2 of water or wine. Give it a stir to bring up all of the dark bits from the bottom of the pan. Again, leave for 15 minutes, adding liquid and stirring 3-4 times. If the liquid is not disappearing, don’t add anymore.

Add the paprika to the pan, give it a stir, then throw in the frozen peas. Increase the heat to medium, and continue to stir for around 5 minutes, until the peas are hot through and the liquid has evaporated. Add the butter and mint, stir, season, and serve. Voila! If you prefer, you can give them a little bit of a smash here with a fork, but I like them whole.

Easy 15 minute method

What makes this dish extra special for me is slowly cooking the onions. Whilst I don’t have the patience for proper caramelised onions, this half hour version is manageable for me. If you have the time, follow this technique and you won’t be let down . If you are in a rush, you can do a simple fried onion rather than caramelising. Just add the oil over a medium-high heat, and fry the onions for 5 minutes until soft and golden, then move on to the next step. This method makes an easy 15 minute side dish!

Can I use fresh peas?

If fresh peas are what you have, then go for it! As frozen peas are already blanched, they only really need defrosting and heating through. If you’re using fresh peas, I would add a drop of water to the pan with them. Cover for a few minutes to allow them to steam a little.

minted peas in bowl 2

How long do minted peas keep for?

These peas will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge. However, they’re so easy to make, I just whip up a fresh batch when I fancy them! If you want to, freeze for up to 3 months and reheat in a pan over a low-medium heat.

Need some more tasty side dish ideas?

Try this easy garlicky roasted kale, for some healthy yet delicious greenery. If grains are more your style, give this 15 minute almond and coriander couscous a go! These vegan savoury muffins are also a great alternative to bread.

minted peas in bowl 3

Easy Minted Peas with Caramelised Onion

Chloe from Forkful of Plants
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine English
Servings 2
These smokey minted peas are the perfect easy side dish recipe for frozen peas. A super versatile, alternative take on a classic side.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large red onion sliced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 160 g frozen green peas
  • 1 tbps vegan butter
  • 10 g mint finely chopped


  • In a fry pan, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the sliced onion and stir to coat in the oil. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring 3-4 times, leaving the onion to cook undisturbed between stirring.
  • After 15 minutes, add 2 teaspoons of water to deglaze the pan. Stir well, making sure to scrape up any bits from the bottom. Cook for a further 15 minutes, adding a teaspoon of water and stirring 3-4 times during.
  • Add the paprika, stir to coat, then add the peas. Increase the heat to medium then cook, stirring, for around 5 minutes until the peas are hot through.
  • Add the butter and mint and stir through until the butter is melted. Season well.


NOTE ON COOKING THE ONIONS: If you are in a rush, you can do a simple fried onion rather than caramelising. Just add the oil over a medium-high heat, and fry the onions for 5 minutes until soft and golden, then move on to the next step. This method makes this an easy 15 minute side dish!
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