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Freezing Zucchini

A cutting board with whole and sliced zucchini.

Storing a bumper crop of garden zucchini in the freezer is a great way to preserve it for cooking in the cold winter months. This is a guide about freezing zucchini.

     

Solutions

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Tip: Freezing and Using Zucchini

In July or August it is best to keep your car doors locked or you are apt to end up with a backseat full of oversized zucchini. My solution is both simple and thrifty. For the giant ones, de-seed (using a spoon), peel if necessary, shred with a food processor, and store in two cup amounts. You can put about 9 sandwich bags full into a gallon freezer bag.

Throughout the winter add a sandwich bag to every chili, spaghetti sauce, stew, or vegetable soup that you make. You can also thaw it for use in zucchini muffins and zucchini bread (drain well). If the free zucchinis are less than massive sized, simply wash, dice, and freeze in similar amounts and use as with any vegetable. This certainly adds color and vitamins to winter dishes and the cost is little.

By Mainedame from Anson, ME

Article: Freezing Zucchini

A Guide to Freezing Zucchini

Selecting High-Quality Zucchini:

Choose young squash with smooth, tender skin and a vibrant, dark green color. Steer clear of yellowing (past prime) zucchini with pits, soft spots or shriveled looking skin. freezing guide

Preparing for Freezing:

Wash, but do no not peel. Cut zucchini into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices depending on freezing method.

Blanching Time:

Water-blanch for 3 minutes or steam-blanch for 1 to 2 minutes. Cool promptly and drain.

Best Freezing Method(s):

Unblanched Slices (great for stir fry):

Wash and drain zucchini. Pat dry. Trim ends and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Pack in suitable containers. Seal, label and freeze.

Boilable Bags:

Wash and drain. Pat dry. Trim ends and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Pack in boilable bags, press out air and seal. Blanch in boiling water (4 bags at a time for 5 minutes. Cool bags and pat dry. Label and freeze.

Tray Packs (great breaded and fried):

Wash and drain. Cut into 1/2 inch slices and place unblanched in a single layer on a baking sheet. Tray-freeze until firm. Transfer to suitable containers. Seal, label and freeze.

Sautéed Zucchini:

Sauté and package, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal and freeze. Sauté gently in a little melted butter until barely tender. Cool, pack into plastic containers leaving headspace at the top. Freeze up to 3 months

Grated Zucchini (great for baking):

Wash and grate zucchini. Steam-blanch for 1 to 2 minutes until translucent. Cool. Pack pre-measured amounts into containers and seal leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Label and freeze.

Suitable Packaging:

Freezer containers should be moisture and vapor resistant and should not be prone to cracking or breaking at low temperatures. Containers should provide protection against absorbing flavors or odors and should be easy to label. Suitable packaging for freezing zucchini includes freezer-grade plastic bags, rigid plastic containers, glass containers, heavy-duty aluminum foil or foil containers.

Maximum Storage Time at 0ºF:

Unblanched slices-4 to 6 months; blanched-10 to 12 months.

Thawing:

Add frozen zucchini directly to dishes while cooking.

Tips & Shortcuts:

All summer squash can be prepared for freezing in a similar way.

Refrigerating Zucchini:

Store in a perforated plastic bag for up to 1 week. Do not wash until ready to use.

Recipe: Freezing Breaded Zucchini

What to do with all the zucchini that your neighbors and friends give to you.

I usually take a Sunday, or if I really have a lot to cook, what I do is break it up to a half day frying and another half day frying. Make sure you use a good skillet for this. I like to use my cast iron skillet. It is a the largest one I could find and it helps to get the zucchini done faster. But I have used my copper skillets and they work just as well. I just don't have a skillet as big as the cast iron one.

The idea is after it is breaded, fry until the outside is not brown but still very pale but has a hard coating on it. Drain on paper towels and after cooled enough wrap in foil or freezer wrap, putting wax paper between the layers. This way you can take the amount you need off without disturbing the rest of the zucchini and it keeps it from freezing together. Wrap tight so you do not get freezer burn. And when you take it out of the freezer, you will just have to finish frying it untill golden brown. Which takes about 10-15 minutes depending on how high or low the heat is. Remember to cover but keep a check as it usually cooks fast the second time because you have pretty much done the cooking and everything before.

Frozen Zucchini

Pour about 1/3 of your skillet with oil. Too much makes it longer to cook and they are greasier Take the skin off. Slice it about 1/4 inch thick, after zucchini is sliced. You can also wash well and leave the skin on.

After zucchini is sliced, dip it in eggs. Depending on how much zucchini you are making helps you to decide how many eggs you use. Also bear in mind, you dip it in eggs and flour once and repeat.

If you are not really sure, try a small amount for dinner.

I would use:

  • 3-4 eggs
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced (keep them the same size and do not cut them thick as it will take longer to cook)
After they are nice and golden brown, drain on paper towel. Now they are ready to be served.

Now after you have tried this, you should have a Idea about what amounts of oil, eggs, and flour, salt, pepper or anything else you usually use.

Also it is a good time to shred your zucchini for bread, cakes, muffins or cookie recipes you have and there is half the work done. Believe me it saves a lot of time. I measure out what I need for the recipes, put the zucchini in freezer bags and label them and freeze.

It is so nice to just grab a bag and make my recipe and the shredding is all done and I love it!

P.S don't forget to drain the water off after it is defrosted. Just stick in a pan of warm water and it will defrost quickly. I have frozen zucchini for 4 months and it has been great as long as it is wrapped well. It is just so good I have not had the chance to freeze longer. You usually end up using it when company comes. Cookies for school and you can ice the cookies also.

Well I hope if you try this, all will go well. It has worked for me and it makes it nice if you are out of vegies, just use these. I have been thinking about trying zucchini sticks and using ranch dressing for a dipping sauce next. Bye, Good Luck and enjoy.

By Darlene from Fairview, PA

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Questions

Here are questions related to Freezing Zucchini.

Question: Freezing Zucchini

When freezing zucchini what do you have to do so it doesn't turn watery when thawed out?

By Vicki W


Most Recent Answer

By susan07/17/2012

Unfortunately, squash is a high percentage water, so it will always be watery when thawed. This is why most recipes for zucchini breads, muffins, cakes, etc, are very thick--to allow the excess water from the zucchini to thin the batter. Personally, when I freeze grated zucchini for breads, I always use its water in the recipe (I usually add powdered milk to it, for the liquid).

Question: Can I Freeze Zucchini Whole?

Can I freeze zucchini whole?

By Christel from Cleveland, SC


Most Recent Answer

By Lynn Thomas10/30/2010

I wonder if you could freeze this whole if you freeze with dry ice? Alton Brown once did that with whole strawberries on his show and he said they froze so fast that they didn't get all mushy like regular freezing. I have no idea what dry ice costs, but it might be worth trying out. Same goes for whole peaches, blueberries. You could buy a little of several things and while you have the dry ice, freeze a variety of things. It only takes a couple of minutes. Then thaw the next day and see how they come out.

Question: Freezing Courgettes AKA Zucchini

Is it possible to freeze courgettes?

By Geoff


Most Recent Answer

By Lori Nilius08/29/2011

I grate all my zucchini and measure out by the cup, then bag it and freeze it. When I want to make zucchini bread its all ready to use, I just defrost it.

Question: Freezing Cooked Zucchini

When freezing zucchini, do l shredded it after I cook it and then freeze it?

By Susan from lN


Most Recent Answer

By April06/29/2010

I, too, just shred and freeze in a freezer bag. For fried or baked zucchini, I slice it and bread it, freeze on a cookie sheet then put into a bag and put into the freezer. I do the same with my okra.

Question: Frozen Squash and Zucchini Got Mushy

Last year I grew a ton of squash and zucchini. I decided to freeze a good amount of it. I cut it into slices and put in vacuum sealed bags. However, when I attempted to use the veggies, they were mushy. Why?

By Kim C


Most Recent Answer

By Susan04/17/2012

They got mushy because of their high water content. I freeze shredded zucchini and sliced yellow squash, and use them in recipes. You must thaw and drain them first. The texture will not be the same, but for zucchini bread or a squash casserole, they are still fine (and tasty!).

Question: Removing Excess Moisture from Zucchini Before Freezing

How do I dry zucchini after blanching and before freezing? I've tried blotting and air drying. After freezing, the zucchini gets icy from all the moisture.

Hardiness Zone: 7b

By Sumac from Arlington,WA


Most Recent Answer

By marie08/28/2010

Try just slicing and freezing straight from the garden. After 60 yr of freezing foods, I was told just this summer (too late for me to try) to avoid all the water in squash, do not blanch. Wash the whole squash, slice and freeze.