Yes, You Can Freeze All That Zucchini — But Remember This Step First

updated Jul 6, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

We’re rolling into the season where — love it or hate it — zucchini is everywhere. It’s growing like a weed in your vegetable garden, piles are overflowing at the farmers market, and websites like ours are bombarding you with recipes to try to help you get a handle on your haul.

It’s all fun and games until August hits and you’ve truly had enough of this summer squash. Here’s a novel idea, though: Freeze it. Zucchini will seem a whole lot more exciting to cook when it’s January and you’ve eaten nothing but the other kind of squash for months. It’s incredibly easy to do, but there’s just one important step not to skip in the process: Blanch your zucchini before freezing it.

Always Blanch Zucchini Before Freezing It

Sure, you could just cut your zucchini into slices and freeze as is, but it’s totally worth the effort to blanch it first. And later on when you pull that zucchini from the freezer, the texture will be better for it. The reason this is such an important step is that it ensures the zucchini stays vibrant in color, retains its nutrients, and keep its proper flavor and texture later on when cooked.

If you’re not familiar with blanching, it’s a basic cooking technique that involves submerging food in a pot of boiling water, letting it briefly cook for just a minute or two, then transferring it to a bowl of ice water to shock it and stop the cooking process.

Learn the process: How to Blanch Vegetables

How to Blanch and Freeze Zucchini

So once you’ve sliced zucchini to freeze it, before you do anything else, blanch it — but just for a minute. You don’t need to cook it through. Then remove the slices from the ice water, pat them dry, and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer and allow the zucchini to freeze solid — this will take about 20 minutes or so. Then transfer the slices to a freezer bag and tuck the bag away in the freezer for your future self. You can use the frozen zucchini straight from the freezer in everything from stir-fries to stratas.

Get the full method: How To Freeze Zucchini