How to Freeze Zucchini (Sliced, With & Without Blanching)
Need an easy and minimal way of preserving zucchini? Try freezing it! Zucchini is rich in nutrients like Vitamin A, fiber, and antioxidants, and it’s also an excellent vegetable to freeze for soups or healthy side dishes.
Can You Freeze Zucchini?
You can freeze zucchini raw, cooked, whole, shredded, sliced, or cut them into zoodles. But it’s essential to keep in mind how freezing affects zucchini. Freezing zucchini and many other vegetables (like strawberries, cherries, blueberries, and peppers) changes and breaks their cell structure because the water in the cells expands once frozen.
For example, after zucchini defrosts, the water melts and changes the texture of the overall vegetable, aka it gets mushier. Keeping this textural change in mind, you want to be mindful of how to use zucchini after preserving it in the freezer. Some of my favorite ways to cook with frozen zucchini are in a veggie fajita or stews and soups.
Can You Freeze Sliced Zucchini?
My favorite way to freeze zucchini is to slice it before freezing because it makes future recipes effortless. The key to freezing sliced zucchini is pre-freezing it for one hour on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper before transferring slices to a bag. Pre-freezing prevents the zucchini slices from sticking together because they’re in a single layer.
After pre-freezing, I put them in an airtight container like a Tupperware container or Ziplock bag. Removing as much air in the container as possible reduces the potential freezer burn. This can stay fresh in your freezer for up to one year.
What About Freezing Whole Zucchini?
While you can certainly freeze whole zucchini raw, I would not recommend this process of preserving them because it’s harder to use them in recipes or process them after defrosting. For example, you will have to wait to defrost whole zucchini before cooking, and defrosted zucchini is also mushier and harder to handle.
Is It Better To Freeze Zucchini Without Blanching?
Blanching zucchini is recommended before freezing because it slows (or stops) the natural enzyme that makes it ripen after harvesting. Blanching helps keep the color, texture, and flavor intact while frozen. After cooking both raw and blanched frozen zucchini, I couldn’t tell the difference. To save time, I like to freeze raw zucchini slices.
The Best Way To Freeze Zucchini & Squash
The best way to freeze zucchini and squash is by slicing raw veggies into ½-inch rings and pre-freezing them on a tray to prevent them from sticking to each other, then transferring them to freezer bags. This is a great way to speed up future sauteed zucchini or squash side dishes.
What Is The Best Way To Preserve Zucchini?
The best way to preserve zucchini is by freezing them because they last up to one year in the freezer with minimal effort. You can prepare raw zucchini for the freezer by slicing them or cutting them into zoodles.
- knife and cutting board
- Parchment paper
- Sheet pan or plate
- Ziplock bag or airtight container
- 1 medium zucchini
- Wash the zucchini under running water.
- Cut the stem and tail off the ends of the zucchini.
- Slice into ½-inch thick rings.
- Line a sheet pan or plate with parchment paper.
- Place the zucchini rings in a single layer on the parchment paper, ensuring they don’t overlap.
- Place in the freezer for at least one hour.
- Transfer the frozen zucchini to a Ziplock bag (or air-tight container) and remove as much air as possible.
- Mark it with today’s date and store for up to one year or until it has freezer burn.