How to Freeze Summer Squash and Zucchini

Zucchini
Zucchini. Diana Rattray

Zucchini and summer squash are easy vegetables to grow in a backyard garden. If you have an abundance and have the freezer space, you might want to freeze the surplus. 

Freeze the squash cubed or sliced for a side vegetable, casseroles, soups, or stews, or grated it and freeze it in 1- to 2-cup portions for zucchini bread, muffins, and cakes.

Preparation and Blanching

Wash the squash and cut off the blossom and stem ends.

There's no need to peel the squash.

Slice or cube the squash.

Fill a large bowl or container with ice and water. 

Fill a large stockpot or kettle with 1 gallon of water; bring it to a boil over high heat.

Put about 1 pound of the prepared squash in the boiling water. If you have a wire basket, it will make it easier to lift all of the squash out at the same time. Once the water has returned to a rolling boil, begin timing.

Blanching Times

Grated2 Minutes
Cubed or Thinly Sliced (1/4-inch)3 Minutes
Thick Slices (1 1/2-inch)6 Minutes

 

Immediately immerse the blanched squash in the ice water to stop the cooking.

Drain the squash thoroughly and then transfer to freezer containers, leaving 1/2-inch of headspace (leave at least an inch if using narrow-mouth glass jars).

If freezing in zip-close storage bags or if you're using a vacuum sealing system, first freeze slices or cubes on a large baking sheet in a single layer.

Seal in bags using a vacuum sealing system or by removing as much air as possible from a freezer bag before sealing.

Label the containers or bags with the name and date and store for up to 3 months, or up to a year or more if vacuum sealed.

1 to 1 1/4 pounds of zucchini or summer squash will yield about 1 pint frozen.

Cooking Frozen Zucchini or Summer Squash

To cook, place about 1/2-inch of water in a saucepan and bring to a full bowl. Add a pint of frozen vegetables, cover the pan, and cook until just tender.

Defrost grated zucchini before using it in a recipe. Blot away excess moisture with paper towels before adding to the batter for cake, bread, muffins, etc.