5 Vegetables That Freeze Well — Plus How to Do It
When it comes to my weekly farmers market haul, sometimes my eyes are bigger than my stomach — or at least bigger than my capacity to eat green beans in a single week. When I find myself with a surplus of vegetables, I look to the easiest, most tried-and-true way of putting them up: freezing!
The method for freezing most vegetables is the same: Blanch, freeze in a single layer on a sheet tray, and pack up in a labeled, airtight container until you’re ready to use them.
Not all fruits and vegetables appreciate a trip to the freezer, but the ones that do can be a lovely reminder of warm, sunny days once the weather turns chilly outside. Here are a few vegetables (and a fruit!) that can withstand the cold.
Broccoli is one of the best vegetables for freezing because, once it thaws, it’s pretty close to its original blanched state, meaning it’s ready for sheet pan bakes, stir-fries, and pasta dishes. To thaw frozen broccoli, place it in a bowl with warm tap water for a few minutes, and drain the water when you’re ready to cook.
You can and should freeze your own corn, which pops off in abundance during the height of the summer and then disappears for the rest of the year. Although frozen corn won’t have the same snappy texture as its freshest self, the flavor will be preserved for about a year, just in time to re-up. Frozen cobs of corn can go directly into boiling water (or a butter bath), while corn frozen off of the cob is perfect for adding to soups or this cheesy Korean corn dip.
Oh, zucchini: We see so much of you during the summer that we might not want to freeze you for later. (JK, we love you, zucchini!) If you’ve got a few zucchini plants in your garden (or a neighbor with a green thumb), you can indeed freeze zucchini. Just blanch chopped zucchini in unsalted water, spread it out on a sheet tray (I like these quarter trays) to freeze, and then pack it up in labeled, airtight containers. When you’re ready to welcome zucchini into your life again, you’ll find the frozen version works especially well in casseroles and soups.
Green chiles like Hatch chiles, poblanos, and Anaheim peppers can be frozen. In our method for freezing chiles, the peppers are first blistered, either in the broiler or on the grill, and left to steam in their own heat before being peeled, seeded, and chopped. The peppers can then be stored in small containers or an ice cube tray in perfect little portions for adding to frittatas, chili, or even bread.
Green beans are one of the easiest vegetables to preserve by freezing, as our guide to how to freeze green beans shows. Just trim the ends, blanch them in unsalted water, and then freeze them in a single layer. Easy! I keep mine in a plastic zip-top freezer bag and pull out a handful at a time, as I need them, for recipes like lemon herb pasta salad, Greek-style green beans, and garlic-butter chicken thighs.