How to Freeze Strawberries

published Jun 3, 2024
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overhead shot of strawberries  on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer; Styling: Tom Hoerup

Strawberries are the best. They’re good in almost anything: You can stir them into baked goods, top pancakes with them, throw them into smoothies, or just enjoy them by themselves. When you want to preserve berries at the peak of their flavor, the best way to do it is in the freezer. Freezing is also a great way to make the best of not-so-perfect berries, which are good candidates for cooking and baking projects, rather than eating on their own.

The next time you go berry picking, or just grab too many at the grocery store and find yourself with more berries than you know what to do with, here’s how to freeze them so none go to waste. 

How to Buy Strawberries

Look for strawberries with a deep red color, shiny skin, and green tops. Avoid berries with brown, wilted leaves or any that are bruised. Pick berries that are red all the way through, not ones with white or green tips. Check the bottom of the container for excess liquid, which may be a sign that some of the berries are bruised or rotten.

How to Freeze Strawberries

Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer; Styling: Tom Hoerup

1. Remove the tops. Hull the strawberries or just simply slice the tops off.

Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer; Styling: Tom Hoerup

2. Cut the strawberries. How you chop them up is really up to you. I tend to quarter medium-sized strawberries, but you can slice or dice them up if you want instead. Think about the way you would use them and cut accordingly. For instance, if your favorite muffin recipe calls for diced strawberries, go with that!

Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer; Styling: Tom Hoerup

3. Freeze strawberries in a single layer. Once the strawberries are cut up, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. It’s important not to stack the strawberries or have them packed together, as you want each piece to individually freeze. Pop the tray into the freezer and freeze until the strawberries are solid.

Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer; Styling: Tom Hoerup

4. Transfer to freezer bags. Transfer the frozen strawberries to freezer bags for long-term storage. Because each piece was frozen individually, they won’t stick together and you can take out just what you need.

It’s best to use frozen strawberries within a few months, and make sure to press any air out of the bag after you take any out so the rest don’t get freezer burn.

Should You Freeze Strawberries with Sugar?

Freezing strawberries after tossing them in sugar can help to preserve their color and texture. However, it also limits how you can use them. While sugared strawberries might work well in a strawberry milkshake or strawberry-rhubarb streusel bars, they might not work as well in a vinaigrette or in a recipe that doesn’t call for extra sweetener, like a smoothie. Sugared strawberries can also throw off the balance of sweetness in a recipe, so if you’re planning on adding them, you may need to adjust the amount of sugar you use.

How to Use Frozen Strawberries