Whether you have an exploding vegetable garden or just found a great deal at the grocery store, it can be useful to know how to freeze zucchini! Here’s everything you need to know about storing frozen zucchini for year round usage.
Who loves zucchini? 🙋🏼♀️ Who loves having delicious, garden-fresh zucchini year round? 🙋🏼♀️🙋🏼♀️🙋🏼♀️
Well anyone who has ever had a zucchini plant knows that zucchini waits for no one. You want one zucchini every few days? Oh that’s cute, here’s seven all at once.
Fortunately, there are so many ways you can cook fresh zucchini – but what happens when you grow tired of eating it?
Did you know you can easily freeze zucchini for a later day? Let me show four quick steps to getting your zucchini prepped and into the freezer, so you can enjoy that garden-fresh zucchini all year!
Here’s what you’ll need
You just need one ingredient to freeze zucchini, along with a few kitchen supplies!
- Zucchini: Gather as many zucchini as you have, it’s freezing time! This guide also works well with other summer squash, like yellow squash.
- Supplies: You’ll also need a large stockpot, mixing bowl, slotted spoon, parchment paper, and a baking sheet (or plate).
Smaller zucchini have fewer and softer seeds as well as thinner skin. These will give you the best taste and texture and are perfect for blanching and freezing.
How to Freeze Zucchini
It couldn’t be easier to freeze zucchini for another day! First, we need to blanch it. If you aren’t familiar, this is a technique to help fruits and veggies retain a bright color and their nutrients. Often freezing can leave them looking dull, so we blanch in hot water and shock over ice to keep the zucchini looking fresh.
Step 1: Cut Zucchini
Slice zucchini into your desired shape (rounds, diced, or fries). Anything goes here!
Step 2: Prep
We’re going to blanch our zucchini to help preserve nutrients, texture, and color. So prep your blanching station by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Next to it, prepare an ice bath (a bowl full of cold water and ice cubes).
Step 3: Blanch
Add sliced zucchini to boiling water for just one minute! This will help deactivate the enzymes that lead to mushy zucchini post-freezing. Also, when veggies are frozen at their peak of freshness, they retain all nutrients. Frozen zucchini is just as nutritious as fresh zucchini.
Now fish out the hot zucchini with a slotted spoon and transfer to your ice water. This will immediately stop the cooking process!
Don’t leave it in the ice water for too long. Just make sure the zucchini is no longer hot, but it doesn’t have to be completely cool yet. We don’t want it to soak up excess water.
Step 4: Dry
It is important to pat the zucchini slices dry. Either use white paper towel or a clean tea towel. This will prevent frostbite on the zucchini in the freezer!
Step 5: Freeze
Line a baking sheet with parchment and set the dry zucchini in a single layer. Most frozen veggies you buy at the store are “individually quick frozen” which means exactly this – freezing in a single layer. This will help them not freeze into a single lump in your storage bag.
Did you know you can also freeze shredded zucchini? This works perfectly in zucchini bread and would be great for Zucchini Cheddar Bites. When you freeze it this way, make sure you write how much is in the bag – and make it easy on yourself and freeze it as your recipe needs, like 3 cups for the cheddar bites! You will need to thaw and squeeze out the excess moisture before using.
Once your zucchini is frozen solid, you can add it to zippered bags. Make sure and label with the quantity (if desired) and the date. Zucchini will last in the freezer for up to 4 months.
How to use frozen zucchini
While the blanching and shocking process help a bit with the texture, it will still lose some crunch in the freezer. You won’t want to be using it for any raw applications like fresh salsa or salad. But frozen zucchini is perfect for soups or stews even if they don’t originally call for zucchini!
- Make an Italian Style Zucchini Stew with your frozen zucchini. Cut your zucchini in half lengthwise and then half moons before blanching if you are making this recipe specifically. Then you don’t even have to thaw it before adding to the stew.
- You can also add frozen zucchini to your smoothies. It won’t add a lot of flavor but will get nutrients in! They will essentially act like ice cubes and as long as you have a high-powered blender the skin won’t be a problem. Try these strong-flavored smoothies when you reach for the zucchini: Spinach Nutella, Collard Green, or Tropical Kale.
- 1 zucchini
- Cut: Slice zucchini into your desired shape (rounds, diced, or fries).
- Prep: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Next to it, prepare an ice bath (a bowl full of cold water and ice cubes).
- Blanch: Once boiling, carefully submerge the zucchini under the water. Let boil for 60 seconds. When the time is up, use a slotted spoon to transfer the zucchini to the ice bath. Let sit in the ice bath for a few minutes to stop the cooking process.
- Dry: Transfer zucchini to a clean towel or paper towel, patting as dry as possible.
- Freeze: Arrange zucchini in a single layer on a parchment line sheet or plate. Freeze until solid, about 4 hours. Once frozen, transfer zucchini to an airtight container.