How to Freeze Brussels Sprouts So You Can Savor Them All Year Round

published Sep 21, 2022
How to Freeze Brussels Sprouts

Follow these steps for freezing Brussel sprouts, so you can enjoy them whenever you want — and none go to waste!

Serves4 to 6

Makesabout 1 1/2 pints

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
someone peeling sprouts on uctting board
Credit: Photo: Dane Tashima; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

Whether you grow them in your own garden or just bought way too many at the market, you’ve probably wondered if Brussels sprouts can be frozen. Like most vegetables, these members of the cabbage family can be frozen and it’s a great way to preserve their flavor and nutrition, as well as allow you to enjoy their sweet, nutty taste anytime you want.

Plus, you’ll be getting some of the prep required to cook Brussels out of the way before you freeze them, which means you’ll need to spend less time prepping them when it comes time to cook them. Read on for our step-by-step guide to the best — and easiest — way to freeze Brussels sprouts, plus a few of our favorite ways to use them.

How to Freeze Brussels Sprouts

The best way to freeze Brussels sprouts is to quickly blanch them, before freezing individually and then packing in freezer bags for longer-term storage. This process requires a few steps, but it helps preserve all the sweetness in those little cabbages and keeps them from turning mushy. Here’s a breakdown of how to prep, blanch, and freeze Brussels sprouts.

Tip: Seek out firm, compact Brussels sprouts and, if possible, look for ones that are all about the same size, so they can be blanched in one batch.

1. Prep the Brussels sprouts for freezing.

If your Brussels sprouts are still attached to the stalk, cut them off. Trim and discard the root ends and remove any wilted or yellow outer leaves. If you suspect insects might be hiding under the inner leaves, soak Brussels sprouts in a salt or vinegar solution (1 to 3 tablespoons of vinegar or salt per gallon of water) for about 30 minutes then rinse thoroughly. Otherwise, simply wash sprouts under cold running water.

2. Sort and blanch the Brussels sprouts.

Group Brussels sprouts by size, which will affect blanching time. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice water. Blanch small sprouts for 3 minutes, medium for 4 minutes, and large for 5 minutes. Plunge the blanched sprouts in the ice water to stop the cooking process, then move them to a clean kitchen towel and pat dry — you want them as dry as possible before freezing.

3. Freeze on a baking sheet.

Spread the cooled and dried Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet and freeze for about an hour.

4. Transfer to resealable plastic freezer bags.

Once the Brussels sprouts have firmed up in the freezer, transfer them to one or more resealable plastic freezer bags, label and date the bags, and freeze for up to a year. (For a more eco-friendly option you can either reuse the freezer bags or try a freezer-safe reusable bag.)

Tip: If you don’t have space in your freezer for a baking sheet, place the Brussels sprouts directly into resealable plastic freezer bags and lay the bags flat in the freezer until fully frozen. Avoid overpacking the bags and try to keep the sprouts in a single layer.

How to Use Frozen Brussels Sprouts in Recipes

Frozen Brussels sprouts will thaw quickly at room temperature, so you don’t need to plan far in advance to use them. After a few minutes they’ll be ready to roast, sauté, grill, or braise, and more. Because they’ve already been blanched, frozen Brussels sprouts won’t work as well in raw salads or slaws, where their crunch is essential, but that softness will be ideal for slow cooker recipes, as well as soups and stews. Try them in these recipes.

How to Freeze Brussels Sprouts

Follow these steps for freezing Brussel sprouts, so you can enjoy them whenever you want — and none go to waste!

Makes about 1 1/2 pints

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 pound

    Fresh Brussels sprouts

Equipment

  • Large pot

  • Large bowl

  • Baking sheet

  • Resealable plastic freezer bags

  • Marker and freezer tape for labeling

Instructions

  1. Prep: Cut Brussels sprouts off the stalk if needed. Trim and discard the root ends and remove any wilted or yellow outer leaves.

  2. Wash: If bugs are a concern, soak the Brussels sprouts in a salt or vinegar solution (1 to 3 tablespoons of vinegar or salt per gallon of water) for about 30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Otherwise, simply wash sprouts under cold running water.

  3. Sort and blanch: Sort Brussels sprouts into small, medium, and large. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice water. Blanch small Brussels sprouts for 3 minutes, medium for 4 minutes, and large for 5 minutes. Plunge the blanched sprouts in the ice water to stop the cooking process then move them to a clean towel and pat dry.

  4. Freeze on a baking sheet: Spread the cooled and dried Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet and freeze for about 1 hour.

  5. Transfer to resealable plastic freezer bags: Transfer the Brussels sprouts to resealable plastic freezer bags, label and date the bags, and freeze for up to one year.

Recipe Notes

Frozen Brussels sprouts thaw quickly at room temperature so in a few minutes they'll be ready to use in recipes.