How to Freeze Vegetables

Freezing Vegetables

Whether you had a plentiful garden harvest or found a great sale at the store, freezing is a quick and simple way to preserve your vegetables. To make sure your frozen vegetables have the best quality, make sure to read through our directions on freezing vegetables before you start.

Preparing Vegetables Blanching Time
Select young, tender spears.
Trim off scales and tough ends. Cut, if desired.
Small spears - 2 minutes
Medium spears - 3 minutes
Large spears - 4 minutes
Beans (Broad, Green, Wax, or Lima)
Broad: Wash, shell, sort by size, and rinse.
Green or Wax: Wash and snip ends. Cut, if desired.
Lima: Harvest while seed is green. Wash, shell, sort by size, and rinse.
Small - 2 minutes
Medium - 3 minutes
Select young, tender beets.
Wash and trim tops, leaving 1/2 inch of stems and tap roots to prevent bleeding of colour during cooking.
Cook in boiling water until tender.
Cool quickly in ice water. Peel; remove stems and tap roots. Cut into slices or cubes or grate coarsely.
Small - 25 - 30 minutes
Medium - 45 - 50 minutes
Select firm, tender stalks with compact heads.
Wash; remove leaves and woody portions.
Cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces.
If insects are present, soak broccoli in a solution of 4 tsp salt to 4 quarts (4 L) water for 30 minutes before blanching.
Water blanch - 3 minutes
Steam blanch - 5 minutes
Brussels Sprouts
Select green, firm, compact, insect-free heads.
Wash thoroughly; trim and remove outer leaves. Sort by size.
Small - 3 minutes
Medium - 4 minutes
Large - 5 minutes
Wash; discard tough outer leaves.
Cut into thin wedges, coarsely shred, or separate into leaves.
Suitable for cooked dishes only.
1 1/2 minutes
Raw carrots will keep for several months if left unwashed and stored in a cold storage room or washed, placed in paper towel-lined perforated plastic bags in the refrigerator.
If freezing, select young carrots of a coreless variety.
Wash; peel or scrape.
Small, whole - 5 minutes
Diced, sliced, or julienned - 2 minutes
Select compact heads.
Wash and trim off leaves.
Cut into 1 inch florets.
If insects are present, soak florets in a solution of 4 tsp salt to 4 quarts (4 L) water for 30 minutes before blanching.
3 minutes
Wash and cut into 1 inch pieces.
Suitable for cooked dishes only.
3 minutes
Chard Stems
2 minutes
Remove husk and silk. Wash and trim cobs.
Cool very quickly in ice water.
Cream-style: After blanching, cut kernels from cob halfway through the kernel. Scrape cob to remove the juice.
Corn on the Cob: After blanching, leave whole. Under blanching may cause a grass-like taste.
Whole Kernel: After blanching, cut kernels off close to the cob.
Small cobs (1 1/4 inches or less in diameter) - 7 minutes
Medium cobs (1 1/4 - 1 1/2 inches in diameter) - 9 minutes
Large cobs (over 1 1/2 inches in diameter) - 11 minutes
Freezing not recommended due to flavour changes and strong odour in freezer.
Greens (beet, chard, kohlrabi, spinach, turnip)
Select tender leaves.
Wash; trim off stems.
Water or steam blanch - 30 seconds or just wilted
Wash, drain, and pat dry with paper towels.
Chop, if desired. Do not blanch.
Wrap small portions in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer bag. May darken on thawing.
Select tender kohlrabi.
Wash and cut off tops and roots. Peel.
Tiny kohlrabi may be left whole.
Cut larger kohlrabi into 1/2 inch cubes.
Cubed - 1 minute
Tiny, whole - 3 minutes
Trim and split lengthwise; wash thoroughly to remove grit.
Do not blanch.
Slice; package in small amounts.
Double wrap to prevent odours in the freezer.
Mixed Vegetables
Blanch each vegetable as recommended.
Combine as desired.
Select mushrooms with tightly closed caps.
Wash and trim. Do not soak.
To prevent darkening, dip in a solution of 1 tsp lemon juice to 2 cups water.
Sauté small batches in butter for 4 minutes, chill in the refrigerator, and freeze.
Freezing not recommended except in cooked dishes. Blanching and freezing result in a poor texture and a very strong odour in the freezer.
Bulb onions store best in a cool dry place.
Select tender parsnips. Wash.
Peel; cut into 1/2 inch slices or cubes.
Parsnips keep well in the ground until the ground freezes; store in a cold storage room.
2 minutes
Peas (edible pods: Chinese, Snow, Sugar; & Green Peas)
Edible Pods:
Select bright green, flat, tender pods. Wash.
Remove stems, blossom ends, and any strings.
Green Peas:
Select young, tender peas.
Wash, shell, and rinse.
Small pods - 1 1/2 minutes
Large pods - 2 minutes
Green peas - 1 1/2 minutes
Peppers (Bell & Hot)
Wash, halve, and remove seeds.
Do not blanch.
Finely chop or slice in thin rings.
Suitable for cooked dishes only.
Hot Pepper Caution: Hot peppers cause severe skin and eye irritation. Wear rubber gloves when handling hot peppers and avoid touching any exposed skin.
Freezing not recommended due to poor texture and flavour.
Cooked mashed potatoes may be frozen for short periods of time. Expect significant flavour and texture changes.
Homemade French Fries:
Select mature potatoes; store for 30 days.
Wash, peel and cut into strips.
Rinse; dry thoroughly. Deep fry small quantities in hot oil for about 5 minutes or until tender but not brown.
Drain on paper towels; cool and freeze.
To serve, bake on a cookie sheet at 475°F until browned.
Spaghetti Squash
Wash, halve, and remove seeds.
Steam or bake until tender.
Remove strands of the squash using a fork.
Squash, Summer (Chayote, Pattypan, Vegetable Marrow, Zucchini)
Wash and cut into 1/2 inch slices.
Cool on paper towel-lined trays in the refrigerator.
Zucchini may also be grated and frozen unblanched for baking. Measure and label quantity. Use when barely thawed to minimize moisture loss. Do not drain before using it.
Steam blanch - 3 minutes
Squash, Winter (Acorn, Butternut, Hubbard, Pumpkin)
Wash, halve, and remove seeds.
Steam or bake until tender.
Scoop out pulp; mash or puree.
Cool quickly. Package in desired amounts.
For pumpkin puree, simmer to desired consistency.
Sweet Potatoes
Wash and cook until tender.
Cool and peel. Leave whole or slice. May also be mashed while hot; cool and freeze.
Select firm, ripe tomatoes.
Wash. To remove skins, dip in boiling water 30 seconds and ice water 30 seconds. Peel and core. Freeze whole or cut into pieces.
Suitable for cooked dishes only.
May also be stewed; cooled, packaged, and frozen.
For more information, visit our Preserving Tomatoes page.
Wash, peel and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
2 minutes