In this article: Learn how to freeze zucchini and summer squash from your garden to use all year long.
We all know that zucchini is the one garden vegetable you don’t have to worry about their being enough of. I mean, just one plant can feed your family all summer!
And once you have exhausted your zucchini recipe arsenal (here are 50 zucchini recipes for you to try!) It’s time to preserve it!
My favorite- and the easiest- way to preserve zucchini is to freeze it. Frozen zucchini takes next to no time and it’s perfect for using in breads or meals all year long.
So how do you freeze zucchini (and other summer squashes)? Let’s take a look!
How to Freeze Zucchini (The Quick Way!)
Before we start I just want to make sure we are all on the same page. Zucchini is a summer squash. You can use the same preservation technique to freeze any variety of summer squash you like.
Some may tell you to blanch your zucchini first, which means to plunge into a quick bath of boiling water*. But I find that just make it more mushy than if you skip that step. So I freeze raw.
You can slice it, chop it, or shred it before freezing. If you choose to shred it using a food processor with a grating attachment makes things much much easier.
If you are slicing, a mandolin works great!
If you find that your zucchini is very wet you can drain or squeeze out some of the excess moisture using a paper towel.
Zucchini does tend to lose its shape a little after freezing, so usually shred it for things like zucchini bread or poor man’s crab cakes. I’ve even thrown shredded zucchini in soup- it just melts away and no one knows it’s there!
If you are slicing or chopping you may want to freeze the zucchini in a single layer on a cookie sheet first so that the pieces don’t stick together and you can measure your needed amount easier.
You can also pre-measure and fill and label your bags so that you can pull out exactly what your favorite recipe calls for.
How to Freeze Shredded Zucchini
What’s my favorite way to freeze shredded zucchini? In muffin trays!
I use a silicone muffin tray and fill it with about 1/2 portions. Then stick it in the freezer.
Freeze the zucchini until it is 100% solid so that the shredded pieces don’t come loose when you remove the ‘muffins’ from the pan. Now you have 1/2 portions to use in your favorite recipes!
Frozen Zucchini Storage Tips
These zucchini ‘muffins’ are easily stored in ziploc freezer bags- and you can fit a lot of them in a 1 gallon bag!
If you have a vacuum sealer– they are great for getting all the air out and preventing your frozen zucchini from getting freezer burn and lots of ice crystals.
Frozen zucchini should last at least 8 months in your freezer- just in time for next zucchini season to roll around!
* If you choose to blanch your zucchini first, here’s how to do it:
Start by preparing your zucchini (sliced, grated, etc). While you’re doing this set a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. And fill a large bowl with ice water.
Once the water is boiling plunge the zucchini into the boiling water for just a couple of minutes. This destroys the enzymes that can degrade the squash over time.
Time to blanch: 3-4 minutes for sliced zucchini; 1-2 for grated.
When the time is up, remove the squash using a slotted spoon or colander and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice cold water. This stops the cooking process.
Pour the squash into a colander and drain all the excess moisture. And continue to freeze as I outlined above.
Need more ideas on preserving zucchini? Check out these 6 Ways to Preserve Summer Squash.