How to Freeze Peppers
Spicy, sweet, mild — peppers of all kinds are a staple to have on hand. However, if you buy a big pack or grow more peppers than you know what to do with, you may be wondering if you can freeze peppers.
The answer is yes! Freezing peppers is easy. However, as you may imagine, frozen peppers don’t defrost the same crisp texture as fresh peppers, so you’ll only want to freeze them if you’re going to use them for cooking.
How to Freeze Peppers
No matter what kind of pepper you’re freezing (bell pepper, jalapeno, serrano, etc.), the process is relatively the same. When choosing peppers to freeze, make sure that they’re fresh and crisp. Avoid freezing peppers that are soft, and keep an eye out for any mold.
If you’re freezing spicy peppers like serranos, jalapenos, or Thai chiles, you can cut the peppers up if you want, but you don’t have to. If you are chopping them, you may want to wear gloves since the spice can irritate your skin (especially if you rub your eyes!)
1. Wash your peppers and dry them thoroughly.
2. Remove the seeds and the core.
3. Slice the peppers into whatever shape you’d like. They can be diced, sliced, or even whole with the top cut off if you want to make stuffed peppers.
4. Place the cut peppers in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Place in the freezer until frozen. While some people recommend twelve hours, I typically find that a couple hours is enough to prevent them from sticking together.
5. Transfer to a freezer-safe plastic bag, making sure to remove as much air as possible.
6. Write the date on the bag and place it in the freezer. Your frozen peppers will be good for about 6-8 months.
Can you freeze whole peppers?
Yes, though keep in mind what you’d like to use them for.
If you plan on making bell stuffed peppers, you can freeze them whole. Simply cut off the top and remove the seeds and core. You should not freeze whole bell peppers if you’d like to use them sliced or dice — cut them up before freezing.
Spicy peppers like serranos can be frozen whole or sliced, depending on how you plan to use them. You can also preserve them by drying them.
Can you freeze sliced peppers and onions?
Yes! This is convenient if you plan on using sliced peppers and onions in fajitas or soups. Onions do not have to be blanched before freezing, so use the same process as mentioned above. You may even want to portion your sliced onions and peppers into the amount you commonly use for recipes to make it easy to grab out of the freezer and throw in your dish.
Do you have to blanch peppers before freezing them?
You don’t have to blanch peppers before freezing them like you do with most vegetables, making the process quick and easy. Simply wash your peppers, slice them, flash freeze them, and put them in a freezer-safe bag.
How to Use Frozen Peppers
Your peppers are frozen. Now what?
You can either thaw your peppers before throwing them in a dish or cook from frozen. If you’re thawing the peppers, make sure they thaw completely, dump out any excess water, and pat the peppers dry. If you’re cooking them from frozen, you can add them directly to the pan or pot you’re cooking in.
We don’t recommend thawing frozen peppers and eating them plain, since they’ll be slightly mushy. Here are a few of our favorite ways to use frozen peppers:
- Stews and soups
- Stir frys
- Pasta sauce
How to Freeze Other Foods
We hate wasting food, so if something is about to go bad or we have more than we know what to do with, we throw it in the freezer! In addition to freezing peppers, we like to freeze:
- Bananas: Perfect to throw in a smoothie or protein shake!
- Apples: Great for applesauce or to add to your oatmeal.
- Cilantro: Throw in soups or fajitas.
Typically, you’ll find my freezer stocked with meat and fruit that was on sale, which makes it easy to cook up something interesting mid-week without having to run to the grocery store. Frozen peppers and meat are also great to throw in the slow cooker if you don’t want to wait for them to thaw!
How to Freeze Peppers
- Cutting board
- Freezer bag
- Wash your peppers and dry them thoroughly.
- Remove the seeds and core.
- Slice peppers into your desired shape.
- Place peppers on cookie sheet and freeze until hard. This typically takes a few hours. The purpose is so that the bell pepper pieces don't stick together.
- Transfer to a freezer-safe bag. Label with the date and freeze for 6-8 months.