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How to Freeze Zucchini

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When zucchini decides to make its appearance in the garden, it comes in fast. Just a few zucchini plants can turn into mounds of zucchini on your countertop. And while this can give you plenty of inspiration for sauteed zucchini and onions, fresh zucchini muffins, and grilled zucchini, you may eventually burn out on zucchini recipes. So, how do you freeze zucchini for use later? It’s easy, so let’s get started!

How to Freeze Zucchini

Unfortunately, zucchini isn’t as easy as some other summer favorites, like blueberries. (Find out how to freeze blueberries, too!) Learning how to freeze zucchini requires knowing about enzymes that will cause your frozen zucchini to discolor. In order to be sure this doesn’t happen, dropping chopped zucchini in boiling water for a few minutes ensures your zucchini will be lovely and green when you pull it out of the freezer. This simple blanching process is used for many vegetables before they can be stored in the freezer. So let’s get started freezing zucchini to use later! (Be sure to check out the video at the end for the full process!)

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Step One:

Get a large pot of water (unsalted) on to boil. (I love enamel coated cast iron dutch ovens, but if you need something lighter, go for it!) While waiting for the water to boil, go ahead and chop up your zucchini into half inch chunks. This is a great size to use in minestrone in the winter. Once your water has reached a boiling point, drop in your cubed zucchini and let boil for just 2-3 minutes. You’re not trying to cook the zucchini, just kill off those enzymes. 

zucchini chopped on a cutting board

Step Two:

While your zucchini is in the pot, prepare a large bowl of ice water and set to the side. (I love this HUGE stainless steel bowl for ice baths. It holds a huge amount of veggies and is very light.) Drain your zucchini in a colander and immediately dump into the ice water. Give the zucchini five minutes or so to cool completely in the ice water. huge stainless steel bowl full of chopped zucchini and ice water

 

Step Three:

Return zucchini to the colander to strain off any excess moisture. While zucchini is draining, go ahead and prepare your freezer bags or containers by marking with the date. This way, you’ll know just how old the zucchini is and what bag/container you need to use first. If you have a Food Saver system, you can also prepare your bags for vacuum sealing. 

Step Four: 

Use a large spoon and transfer zucchini from the colander into freezer bags/containers. I like to put enough in each bag for a single meal use, this way I’m not trying to thaw out a partial bag. Place your bags flat in the freezer for easier storage, and be sure they’re label side up! 

chopped zucchini ready for the freezer in quart ziploc bags

When to use frozen zucchini

Zucchini from the freezer won’t be as versatile as fresh zucchini, so skip trying to make zoodles. But frozen zucchini is great for putting in soups and stews in the winter. Try this recipe for Easy Minestrone by Two Peas and their Pod. Also, if you shred zucchini and freeze it, then it’s perfect for muffins and breads. 

And freezing zucchini to use later in the year is just one of the garden goods I like to store for later. Here are some more ways to preserve the harvest:

How to Freeze Blueberries

How to Freeze Okra

How to  Freeze Green Beans

How to Freeze Zucchini

How to Freeze Zucchini

Freezing zucchini to use later in the year is quick and easy. So no matter if you're growing an abundance of zucchini in the garden, or got an armload from the Farmers' Market, freezing zucchini is a great way to have it on hand in the fall and winter.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Difficulty Easy

Materials

  • Zucchini

Tools

  • Quart Ziplock Bags (or Food Saver Bags)
  • Sharpie
  • Colander
  • Large Bowl
  • Dutch Oven (or large pot)

Instructions

  1. Place a large pot of water on to boil. While water heats up, chop zucchini into small chunks.
  2. Add zucchini to boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes. While zucchini is boiling, place ice and water into a large bowl and set a colander in the sink.
  3. Drain zucchini and immediately dump into ice water bath. Allow zucchini to cool in ice water bath for 5 minutes.
  4. Drain zucchini. Label quart bags with a permanent marker and begin to fill the bags with cooled zucchini.
  5. Place bags flat in freezer and take out as needed!

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I'd love to hear from you

sara

Tuesday 14th of July 2020

Hi, thanks for this post. I froze some zucchini last year in plastic zip top bags and when I used it several months later, it all had an awful taste - it tasted like the plastic bag. Has this ever happened to you?

Courtney

Sunday 19th of July 2020

Hi Sara! I'm so sorry to hear about your zucchini's taste. I haven't had this experience, but perhaps it was the type of bag? You could definitely try some containers instead or a different brand of bag. I hope this helps!

Elinor Hildner

Tuesday 20th of August 2019

My broccoli is coming faster than I can eat it. Can I use the same process to freeze broccoli or Brussel sprouts? By the way, when I freeze most vegetables, I freeze before bagging in plastic. If I need a few pieces I don't have to thaw the whole package. I live alone and seldom prepared large batches.

Courtney

Tuesday 20th of August 2019

Yes, you can freeze broccoli, but you must blanch it for a few minutes first. And there are a few different ways to freeze brussels sprouts, so here's a good article: https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-freeze-brussels-sprouts-3062011 Good luck!

I'd love to hear from you

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