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Freezing Zucchini {How to Freeze Zucchini}

Learn all the tips and tricks for Freezing Zucchini to extend the harvest. Learning how to freeze zucchini using multiple methods, is a great way to preserve this delicious summer veggie. Find out how to stock your freezer with frozen zucchini with or without blanching. And for my friends outside the states, I’ll teach you how to freeze courgettes!

freezer bags with shredded zucchini and zoodles

Zucchini is one of those garden crops that can go from “this is great” to “I’m extraordinarily overwhelmed by this” in about 45 seconds.

When you’ve already made Air Fryer Zucchini Chips, Double-Chocolate Zucchini Muffins, and Fried Halloumi with Bruschetta Zoodles, it’s time to save all the extras for delicious future meals.

So just like freezing blackberriesfreezing cherriesfreezing peaches, freezing peas, freezing onions, and freezing strawberries, we’re preserve the crop in the freezer. That’s right, the freezer. No need for canning equipment or anything fancy.

But you can put your pinkie out if it makes you feel better.

Can Zucchini Be Frozen?

Yes! Zucchini works really well in the freezer. And if you’re not from the states you might be searching for freezing courgettes. You’re in the right place!

The way you choose to freeze it (shredded, zoodles, slices, or whole) will depend on how you plan to use it when it has thawed.

Add some shredded zucchini into Instant Pot Lentil Soup, or Instant Pot Turkey Chili (non-Instant Pot cooking instructions are included in both recipes) to increase the veggie content without any fuss. 

Frozen veggies, including zucchini, are standard items of our Freezer Essentials.

How to choose zucchini for freezing

You’ll want to look for small to medium-sized zucchini with thin skin. When overlooked zucchini start approaching that “baseball players could use this as a bat” stage, there is nothing you can do to salvage that. Compost it or offer it to a friend with chickens (like me!).

IS IT OK TO FREEZE Zucchini WITHOUT BLANCHING?

Yes. And no. It’s heavily debated in preserving circles if you should freeze zucchini with or without blanching. At the end of the day, it is your choice.

If you decide to NOT blanch your zucchini before freezing, try to use those up within two to three months. Frozen zucchini that hasn’t been blanched tend to discolor a bit when thawed.

WHAT IS BLANCHING?

Blanching is the act of quickly cooking fruit or veggies in boiling water and then stopping the cooking process with ice water.

HOW TO BLANCH Zucchini

Blanching zucchini is very straightforward and easy to do. If you have a huge batch to process, it can seem a bit time consuming (see the note above about options for not blanching before freezing), but it can go quickly.

Start by bringing a large pot of water to a rolling boil. I use my beloved dutch oven for this. Also, set up a bowl full of ice water, and place a clean kitchen towel unfolded and flat on the counter.

Add your zucchini (chunks, slices, or zoodles) to the boiling water and set the timer for 60 seconds.

Once the time is up, strain the zucchini through a colander and immediately add to the ice water for two minutes. Strain again and set aside to drain.

After a few minutes, gently transfer the zucchini to the towel and cover with a second clean towel to absorb any additional water.

Should you peel zucchini before freezing it?

To peel or not to peel, that is the question. Frozen zucchini without the peel tends to be more tender when thawed. If you’re trying to be a sneaky Pete to hide it in sauces or soups, peeling it first would be best.

Freezing your zukes sliced or as zoodles? Go ahead and leave the skin on.

TOOLS FOR FREEZING Zucchini

HOW TO FREEZE Zucchini 

*See sections below for various forms of zucchini to freeze. A detailed and printable recipe card is available at the bottom of this post.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or a silpat. 

Place the zucchini on the baking sheet and place the tray in the freezer. Pro tip: If you have a lot of zucchini to freeze at once, lay another piece of parchment on top of the zucchini and top with an additional layer of zukes. 

Freeze for two hours. 

two photos of baking sheets with shredded zucchini and zoodles

Break apart any clumps that have formed on the baking sheet and transfer the zucchini to freezer-proof storage. I really like these silicone freezer bags because they stand upright on their own, making them easy to fill. You can also label them easily with a dry erase marker. These freezer bags are the ones pictured in this post.

If zero waste is your jam, check out this post on Zero Waste Food Storage on how to green your kitchen.

If you’re using Ziploc-style bags, removing additional air from the bag will keep your zucchini safe from freezer burn. Sure, there are expensive machines to remove air from freezer storage containers, but with a simple straw, you can achieve similar results.

Place a straw in the corner of a freezer bag and close the bag as tightly as possible. Suck the air out through the straw 1-2 times and quickly remove the straw and seal the bag. 

How to: Freezing Zoodles

Spiralize your zucchini (I use this spiralizer) and place it in a colander. Set the colander in a bowl and let it sit for an hour or up 24 hours (in the fridge). This will allow it to release excess liquid prior to the freezing process.

After it has “rested” a bit, place it on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat. Gently blot it with clean kitchen towels to absorb excess liquid.

Spread the zoodles around to give them space so they don’t clump up. Allow it to freeze for 2-3 hours and then transfer to a freezer-safe container.

three photos shows the process of making zoodles

How to: Freezing Sliced Zucchini

Slice your zucchini into pieces the sizes you think you’ll use them later. Blanch the slices (see directions above), and dry with a clean kitchen towel. 

Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat. Allow it to freeze for 2-3 hours and then transfer to a freezer-safe container.

How to: Freezing Shredded Zucchini

Shred the zucchini using a box grater and place it in a colander. If your grater has different sizes, use the largest option (setting). Pro tip: if you’re shredding a ton of zucchini, use the shredder disc in a food processor

Set the colander in a bowl and let it sit for an hour or up 24 hours (in the fridge). This will allow it to release excess liquid prior to the freezing process.

After it has “rested” a bit, grab a handful of zukes and squeeze to release excess moisture. Repeat until you’ve “pressed” all the zucchini in the colander.

Place it on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat. Gently blot it with clean kitchen towels to absorb any excess liquid.

Spread the shredded zucchini around, but there will still be some clumps no matter how well you spread it around the sheet. Allow it to freeze for 2-3 hours and then transfer to a freezer-safe container.

shredded zucchini in a grater and a strainer

Thawed shredded zucchini would be perfect for Zucchini Fritters With Feta and Dill.

How to: Freezing Whole Zucchini

Freezing whole zucchini is best accomplished with small or medium zucchini. You can freeze them completely on a baking sheet and then transfer to freezer storage. There is no need to blanch whole zucchini prior to freezing.

HOW LONG DOES FROZEN zucchini LAST?

Frozen zucchini will last in a conventional freezer for six months. If you have a deep freeze/stand-alone freezer, you’re safe to keep them in there for up to a year.

HOW DO YOU REHEAT FROZEN zucchini?

It all depends on how you’d like to use the zucchini after thawing. As mentioned above, frozen zucchini doesn’t work in all recipes where you’d use fresh zukes. 

If you’re adding your shredded zucchini to soups, stews, spaghetti sauce (related: Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce), or even bread (related: Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread With Quinoa), then you can simply allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight, or for a few hours at room temperature.

I always like to place the bag on a plate to catch any leaks or empty into a colander set inside a bowl. If there is excess water in the freezer bags, drain that before adding to any baked goods.

If you’re going to be using sliced frozen zucchini in something like a stir fry, it’s ok to add it a hot pan while it is still frozen. It will release some moisture, so plan to heat it first in the pan before adding additional veggies.

Whole frozen zucchini is best used for shredding or pureeing. You’ll want to allow it to defrost in the fridge overnight or on the counter for a few hours.

Two bags of zucchini for freezing

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freezer bags with shredded zucchini and zoodles
Print
Freezing Zucchini {How to Freeze Zucchini}
Prep Time
20 mins
Freezing Time
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 20 mins
 

Learn all the tips and tricks for Freezing Zucchini to extend the harvest. Learn how to freeze zucchini using multiple methods.

Course: How To
Cuisine: American
Keyword: How to freeze zucchini, Freezing zoodles, Can you freeze zucchini?
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or a silpat. 

  2. Decide how you plan to freeze the zucchini - whole, sliced, shredded, or zoodles. See below for details on each method.

  3. Place the zucchini on the baking sheet and place the tray in the freezer. Pro tip: If you have a lot of zucchini to freeze at once, lay another piece of parchment on top of the zucchini and top with an additional layer of zukes. 

  4. Freeze for two hours. 

  5. Break apart any clumps that have formed on the baking sheet and transfer the zucchini to freezer-proof storage. Label.

  6. If you’re using Ziploc-style bags, removing additional air from the bag will keep your zucchini safe from freezer burn. With a simple straw, you can mimic food saving machines.

  7. Place a straw in the corner of a freezer bag and close the bag as tightly as possible. Suck the air out through the straw 1-2 times and quickly remove the straw and seal the bag.

Freezing Zoodles
  1. Spiralize your zucchini (I use this spiralizer) and place it in a colander. Set the colander in a bowl and let it sit for an hour or up 24 hours (in the fridge). This will allow it to release excess liquid prior to the freezing process.

  2. After it has “rested” a bit, place it on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat. Gently blot it with clean kitchen towels to absorb excess liquid.

  3. Spread the zoodles around to give them space so they don’t clump up. Allow it to freeze for 2-3 hours and then transfer to a freezer-safe container.

Freezing Sliced Zucchini
  1. Slice your zucchini into pieces the sizes you think you’ll use them later. Blanch the slices (see directions above), and dry with a clean kitchen towel. 

  2. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat. Allow it to freeze for 2-3 hours and then transfer to a freezer-safe container.

Freezing Shredded Zucchini
  1. Shred the zucchini using a box grater and place it in a colander. If your grater has different sizes, use the largest option (setting). Pro tip: if you’re shredding a ton of zucchini, use the shredder disc in a food processor

  2. Set the colander in a bowl and let it sit for an hour or up 24 hours (in the fridge). This will allow it to release excess liquid prior to the freezing process.

  3. After it has “rested” a bit, grab a handful of zukes and squeeze to release excess moisture. Repeat until you’ve “pressed” all the zucchini in the colander.

  4. Place it on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat. Gently blot it with clean kitchen towels to absorb any excess liquid.

  5. Spread the shredded zucchini around, but there will still be some clumps no matter how well you spread it around the sheet. Allow it to freeze for 2-3 hours and then transfer to a freezer-safe container.

Freezing Whole Zucchini
  1. Freezing whole zucchini is best accomplished with small or medium zucchini. You can freeze them completely on a baking sheet and then transfer to freezer storage. There is no need to blanch whole zucchini prior to freezing.

Recipe Notes

Frozen zucchini will last in a conventional freezer for six months. If you have a deep freeze/stand-alone freezer, you’re safe to keep them in there for up to a year.

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2 comments on “Freezing Zucchini {How to Freeze Zucchini}”

  1. May I just say how much I LOVE your posts on freezing fruit and vegetables? My freezer is full of goodness to help me over the coming months. I will be praising your name as I have cherries and strawberries in December and January, along with other things. Thanks!

    • Awwww, I’m so glad they’re helpful Beth! Honestly, they don’t seem to get a lot of traction with my readers (low comments, low open rates on emails), but I figure I’m slowly building an info library for freezing stuff. Hopefully one day as a collective they find some raving fans. 🙂