Summertime vegetables are the best! When the warm weather rolls around, we find ourselves craving all the farm-stand favorites like corn, tomatoes, and especially summer squash. But have you ever wondered how to freeze summer squash so you can enjoy it throughout the whole year? Read on to find out the best way to do it!
The most popular kinds of summer squash that you’ll find at your local farmer’s market or grocery store (or even in your own garden!) are zucchini and yellow summer squash. There are so many great ways to use them: Ree Drummond loves to grill zucchini, pair it with pasta like in her Pasta with Zucchini Pesto, turn it into noodles like in her Spicy Shrimp Stir-Fry with Zucchini Noodles and even put it on a flatbread pizza! But what happens when you have an abundance of summer squash and not enough time to use it all up? Just freeze it! Yes, you heard that right. You can easily freeze summer squash and enjoy it year-round. But you can’t just toss a whole zucchini in the freezer and hope for the best—to find out how to freeze summer squash properly, just follow the easy steps below.
Step 1: Pick Fresh Squash
This may sound like a no-brainer, but be sure to choose the freshest squash you can find. Look for firmer squash with no wrinkling or blemishes on the skin.
Be sure to thoroughly wash the squash with lukewarm water and gently scrub any areas that look like they may have dirt on them. You don’t want to freeze dirty squash!
Step 3: Slice and Dice
Slice off the ends and cut the squash into 1/2-inch thick rounds or cubes, depending on how you usually use your squash.
Step 4: Blanch Away
To make sure your squash doesn’t get mushy, the key is to lightly blanch it before you freeze it. If you freeze it raw, the texture will be way off when you thaw and cook it. To blanch: Place the raw cubes or slices of summer squash in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove the squash from the water with a slotted spoon and immediately place in a bowl of ice water for another minute to stop the cooking. Drain the squash and remove to a paper towel–lined baking sheet to drain.
Step 5: Flash Freeze
The squash will still have some moisture on it even after you drain it, so to avoid it all freezing in one big clump, you’ll need to flash freeze it. To flash freeze: Line a dry baking sheet with parchment paper and place the squash cubes or slices on it in a single layer. Freeze 1 hour, or until solid.
Step 6: Store and Freeze
Once the squash has frozen solid, you can slide if off the parchment paper and transfer it to zip-top freezer bags to store for the long haul (up to 10 months in the freezer!).