Too Much Zucchini? Freeze It!

August brings “Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day” (August 8). Our advice? Take it! Here are two methods to easily freeze zucchini for year-round use (plus recipes).

Friends, neighbors, coworkers, even some side-of-the-road vegetable vendors will try to give away zucchini. Because once zucchini plants start producing, they are prolific!

Sure you could a LOT of zucchini bread and freeze it for future potlucks.

Or, you could freeze it! You can use frozen zucchini in soups, stews, casseroles, lasagnas, and more (essentially anything but salads).

How to Freeze Zucchini

1. Slice Zucchini

  1. Choose young squash (smaller than 6 inches long).
  2. Wash the zucchini.
  3. Cut the zucchini into one-and-a-half-inch rounds.
  4. Blanch it in boiling water for 3 minutes.*
  5. Cool promptly, drain the slices until they’re completely dry.
  6. Seal.

* Water blanching: Boil water in a pot with cover (one gallon per pound of veggies). Lower veggies into boiling water and cover. If you have a basket to lower, that is ideal. As soon as water is at full boil again, count to three minutes.

Photo: Zucchini blossom. See how to grow zucchini.

2. Grate Zucchini

This method is best for baking.

  1. Choose young squash (smaller than 6 inches long).
  2. Wash and grate.
  3. Steam blanch** it in small quantities for 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Drain and cool it.
  5. Place measured amounts of zucchini pieces into containers or freezer bags. Leave ½-inch headspace.
  6. Seal and freeze. Squeeze out as much air as you can and put the container into the freezer.
  7. Freeze smaller portions in an ice cube tray. When the cubes are solid, remove them from the tray and put them into a freezer bag.
  8. Note that blanched, drained zucchini loses substantial volume: If you blanch and drain 2 cups, you will have a lot less to freeze and so a lot less when you defrost the zucchini later.

**To steam blanch, use a pot with a tight lid and a basket that holds the food at least three inches above the bottom of the pot. Put an inch or two of water in the pot and bring the water to a boil. Put the vegetables in the basket in a single layer so that steam reaches all parts quickly. Cover the pot and keep heat high. Start counting steaming time as soon as the lid is on.

Another option: Put grated (not blanched) zucchini into a freezer bag or other containers (in measured amounts), mark the amount, and freeze it. Thaw to use. Your zucchini will retain most of its volume when thawed.

With so many options, you’ll never say “no” to zucchini!

Looking for zucchini recipe ideas? Here are 15 Zucchini Recipes—including zucchini bread, soup, pizza, pancakes, brownies, and more!

How do you use your zucchini? Please share below!

Here at the Almanac, we love to cook, bake, grill, roast, and eat! We'll show you how to make some delicious recipes.


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