This post may contain affiliate links which means I will get a commission if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure for details.

Learn how to freeze zucchini, and don’t let your summer squash go to waste! Store whole, sliced, or even zucchini noodles with these easy tips.

Want to enjoy your zucchini for later? Here’s how to freeze zucchini so it’s ready for your favorite recipes whenever the cravings strike. 

This zucchini storage guide will teach you how to freeze whole and cut zucchini with and without blanching. I’ve also included how to freeze zucchini noodles for my zoodle lovers. ?

how to freeze zucchini
PHOTO CREDIT: DEPOSIT PHOTOS

Don’t let your zucchini harvest go to waste, and use these tips to stock the freezer with summer squash. And don’t worry; you’ll also learn how to keep the versatile freezer zucchini from turning mushy.

How To Prepare Zucchini For Freezing

First things first, let’s prepare our zucchini for freezing. 

Have you checked if you picked the best zucchini to store in the freezer? Choose young, firm summer squash. This means there are no signs of decay, and its bright green skin is tender, glossy, and blemish-free.

You might as well select a zucchini that you’ll want to ask about its skincare routine. ?

Large and mature zucchini can be tricky to store since they have more seeds, and their flesh will be tough. But wait, you can still put those overripe zucchini to good use!

Grate your large zucchini, then steam blanch them before freezing. This way, you’ll have shredded zucchini ready to go whenever you feel like baking. 

Once you’re confident with your summer squash, clean it under running water. You can even scrub the zucchini with a vegetable brush to remove all the dirt!

Do you leave the skin on zucchini when freezing it?

The fantastic thing about zucchini is you don’t need to peel it unless the skin feels waxy. 

Leaving the skin on will also keep your zucchini slices intact!

What about shredded zucchini? You still don’t need to peel it. However, always cut off the stems on your summer squash before slicing them for storage.

Are you supposed to remove the seeds from zucchini when freezing it?

If you’ll be freezing small, young zucchini, their seeds won’t be a problem, and you can just leave them in. But if you’re shredding zucchini or all you have is large summer squash, then it’s a good idea to remove them to help lessen the moisture content on your frozen zucchini. 

Can you freeze zucchini without it getting mushy?

Yes! So go ahead and freeze your zucchini because you only need to do a certain step to avoid mushy summer squash after thawing. Can you guess what process it is?

It’s blanching, and we’ll discuss it in more detail below!

how to prepare zucchini for freezing

Method 1. How To Freeze Zucchini Whole

You’re probably familiar with freezing zucchini slices and shredded zucchini, but it’s totally possible to freeze the whole veggie. (Oh, and before botanists come at me, I’m aware zucchini is actually a fruit. ?)

  1. Wash the whole zucchini. Brush the dirt off if needed.
  2. Trim the ends of the zucchini. 
  3. Place the whole zucchini in a freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible.
  4. Label the bag with the date.
  5.  Thaw the frozen zucchini before use. However, expect that it’ll be hard to shred the previously frozen fruit since it’ll be soggy. This is why it’s more convenient to cut or grate the zucchini before freezing!
  6. Instead of trying to grate your thawed summer squash, just blend it and use it on your favorite sauce or soup. 

How to freeze zucchini halves

Love stuffed zucchini and have an abundance of zucchini? Store the fruits as zucchini halves instead!

  1. Slice your clean, fresh zucchini in half.
  2. Remove the seeds.
  3. To keep them intact during storage, flash-freeze the zucchini halves before transferring them to a freeze-safe container. 
How To Freeze Zucchini Whole

Method 2. How To Freeze Sliced Zucchini

Freezing sliced zucchini is my favorite way to store summer squash. Not only is this a space-saving method, but you can keep their shape intact much easier this way. 

  1. Wash the zucchini. 
  2. Cut the summer squash into 1/2-inch slices.
  3. Blanch the zucchini slices for 3 minutes.
  4. Cool the blanched sliced zucchini in ice water. 
  5. Drain thoroughly, then transfer the zucchini slices to a freezer-safe container. Don’t forget to leave a 1/2-inch headspace!
  6. Seal and label.
How To Freeze Sliced Zucchini

Method 3. How To Freeze Shredded Zucchini

There are many ways to use grated zucchini, and if you intend to bake with your frozen zucchini later, it’s better to shred them first. 

  1. Wash the zucchini. You don’t need to peel them.
  2. Shred the zucchini with a box grater.
  3. Steam blanch your shredded zucchini in portions until translucent, usually after a minute or two. 
  4. Transfer your shredded zucchini to freezer-safe containers with 1/2-inch headspace. I suggest packing them based on the portions you’ll need for every recipe. Otherwise, it’ll be hard to portion frozen grated zucchini as the pieces will clump up. 
  5. Chill the containers in cool water before sealing and freezing. 
  6. Don’t worry if your frozen shredded zucchini is watery after thawing. Just remove the excess moisture before baking. 
How To Freeze Shredded Zucchini

Method 4. How To Freeze Zucchini Noodles

Zucchini noodles are fun, delicious, and overall just a genius way to sneak in the high-fiber summer squash to the diet. Here are the best electric spiralizers to make this healthy pasta alternative without needing insane knife skills. ?

best electric spiralizers

And if you want to make your zucchini noodles or zoodles in advance, here’s how to freeze them:

  1. Clean the zucchini. 
  2. Make the zucchini noodles. Salt or blanch the zoodles. 
  3. Drain the zucchini noodles for a few minutes. Additionally, place them between paper towels to really ensure you’ve removed as much liquid as possible.
  4. Portion the zoodles in several freezer-safe containers based on the serving size you’ll need for every meal. Seal and label.
  5. Place the zucchini noodles in a colander and dip them in boiling water for a few minutes when you’re ready to eat them!
How to Freeze Zucchini Noodles

How To Blanch Zucchini For Freezing

Here are some tips I learned from Utah State University Extension regarding blanching. 

How to blanch zucchini sliced

Unless you’ll be freezing shredded zucchini, the blanching method you’ll do for the summer squash is boiling water blanching.

You’re probably familiar with this blanching process, as we often do this on veggies like broccoli to keep them tender, crisp, and vibrant. ?

  1. Slice your zucchini. 
  2. Blanch the zucchini slices for 3 minutes. Here’s a pro tip to remember: Use a gallon of boiling water per pound of zucchini! ✍️
  3. Drain the zucchini and cool them immediately in ice water. This will prevent over-blanching the sliced zucchini. Oh, and this is very crucial when doing boiling water blanching!
  4. After cooling your zucchini for the same duration it took to blanch them, drain them thoroughly, and transfer them to freezer containers.

How to blanch zucchini shredded

Blanching shredded zucchini is a different method. Instead of submerging them in boiling water, we’ll steam the grated zucchini. 

  1. Prepare a pan with 2 inches of water. Make sure the steamer basket is at least 3 inches above the pan. 
  2. Bring the water to a boil. Leave it on high heat throughout blanching. 
  3. Arrange the grated zucchini in a single layer in the steamer basket.
  4. Cover the pan and blanch your shredded zucchini in steam for a minute or two. 
  5. Plunge the steamer basket in cold water to stop the cooking process on the shredded zucchini. Cool your summer squash as long as it took to blanch them.
  6. Drain your grated zucchini, then seal them in freezer-safe containers. 
How To Blanch Zucchini For Freezing

Do you need to blanch zucchini before freezing?

You can freeze zucchini without blanching, but it’s much better to do this extra step. You’ll reap the fruits of your labor since blanching stops the enzyme action related to the ripening of the summer squash. 

If your frozen zucchini’s enzymes are still active, the taste, texture, and color of the fruit won’t be as satisfactory. This blanching step is the secret to avoiding mushy zucchini in the freezer!

However, you also want to cool your blanched zucchini in an ice bath, as over-blanching can cause a loss of nutrients. Gotta keep those beneficial antioxidants in the summer squash!

How to freeze zucchini without blanching

Sometimes, we just don’t have the energy or time for prep work. Here’s how to freeze raw zucchini so you can still store your summer harvest even if you’re feeling lazy or lacking the time ?:

  1. Wash the zucchini and pat them dry.
  2. Slice the zucchini and discard the ends.
  3. Arrange the unblanched zucchini slices flat in a freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible before sealing. 
  4. Note that unblanched sliced zucchini is more suitable for sauces, purees, and smoothies because the texture will be mushy. 

If your zucchini’s texture and color don’t matter in the recipe, it’s perfectly okay to freeze zucchini without blanching. 

Does cooked zucchini freeze well?

Cooked zucchini freeze better than raw zucchini.

If you already cooked your zucchini in another recipe, let’s say you grilled them, then don’t forget to cool them down before freezing.

Arrange them on a tray, freeze them for a couple of hours, then store them in a freezer bag. 

Where Is The Best Place To Store Zucchini?

Zucchini is best stored in airtight containers. Select a sealed freezer-safe bag or container, and don’t forget to write a label with the storage date. 

How Long Does Frozen Zucchini Last?

Frozen zucchini will last 4 to 10 months! Of course, this is with proper packing and freezing.

Knowing how to freeze zucchini will allow you to enjoy the yummy and healthy summer squash even after the season is over.

Compare this shelf life to fresh zucchini, which usually only lasts a week! ?

Is zucchini mushy after freezing?

Because of its naturally high water content, zucchini can get mushy after freezing and thawing. This is why it’s recommended to blanch your summer squash before storage. 

For whole and shredded frozen zucchini, it’s better to use them in yummy recipes where their texture won’t matter. If your grated zucchini gets super watery after thawing, just discard the liquid before baking. 

How do you keep zucchini from getting soggy when frozen?

One word: Blanching. 

I also suggest cutting or chopping your zucchini instead of freezing it whole. This way, you won’t struggle slicing or shredding a mushy zucchini. 

How Long Does Frozen Zucchini Last

What Is Frozen Zucchini Good For?

Frozen zucchini is good for your favorite zucchini recipes!

If you have an abundance of summer squash, just freeze the excess so you always have some ready for soups, pasta sauces, quick breads, and even smoothies. 

I swear zucchini is one of those things that you can easily sneak in recipes to give the dish a nutrition boost.

Don’t believe me? Here’s an old-fashioned homemade zucchini bread recipe guaranteed to transport you to grandma’s kitchen! ?

How do you cook frozen zucchini without getting soggy?

Frozen zucchini can get soggy, so remove as much moisture as possible on your frozen zucchini slices or zucchini noodles.

For frozen zucchini pieces, consider cooking them in a preheated oven so they don’t thaw out and turn soggy. 

For frozen zucchini noodles, just steam the frozen noodles for about 3 minutes, drain, and toss them in a dry skillet with hot oil. And speaking of zoodles, do you already have a spiralizer for making them?

Do you thaw frozen zucchini before cooking?

You don’t need to thaw frozen zucchini squash if you’ll cook with it. But for baked goods, thaw the shredded zucchini first to discard the excess liquid. 

When draining thawed zucchini, you don’t need to completely remove the moisture as you still need zucchini’s water content for moist baked goods.

Can you bake zucchini from frozen?

Nope. As Penn State Extension recommends, thaw and drain your frozen grated zucchini before baking! 

Freezing means the moisture content of the zucchini will be higher than before. Who would enjoy their favorite zucchini bread if it’s soggy??? ?

FAQ About Freezing Zucchini

Can you freeze cut up zucchini?

Yes! You can freeze cut up zucchini, and it’s even better than storing the zucchini whole as it won’t take up as much space in the freezer. But whether it’s sliced, chopped, or cubed zucchini, blanch them first to keep them from getting mushy.

Can you freeze fresh zucchini?

You can definitely freeze fresh zucchini if you don’t have the time or energy to blanch it first. However, expect that it will get mushy in the fridge compared to blanched zucchini, as the enzymes related to ripening will still be active in unblanched fresh zucchini. 

How long to blanch zucchini before freezing?

Blanching zucchini slices in boiling water should take around 3 minutes, while steam blanching shredded zucchini takes a minute or two. 

How To Freeze Zucchini At Home

How To Freeze Zucchini

Yield: 3
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Additional Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 11 minutes

Learn how to freeze zucchini, and don't let your summer squash go to waste! Store whole, sliced, or even zucchini noodles with these easy tips.

Ingredients

Instructions

Method 1. How To Freeze Zucchini Whole

  1. Wash the whole zucchini. Brush the dirt off if needed.
  2. Trim the ends of the zucchini.
  3. Place the whole zucchini in a freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible.
  4. Label the bag with the date.
  5. Thaw the frozen zucchini before use. However, expect that it'll be hard to shred the previously frozen fruit since it'll be soggy. This is why it's more convenient to cut or grate the zucchini before freezing!
  6. Instead of trying to grate your thawed summer squash, just blend it and use it on your favorite sauce or soup.

Method 2. How To Freeze Sliced Zucchini

  1. Wash the zucchini.
  2. Cut the summer squash into 1/2-inch slices.
  3. Blanch the zucchini slices for 3 minutes.
  4. Cool the blanched sliced zucchini in ice water.
  5. Drain thoroughly, then transfer the zucchini slices to a freezer-safe container. Don't forget to leave a 1/2-inch headspace!
  6. Seal and label.

Method 3. How To Freeze Shredded Zucchini

  1. Wash the zucchini. You don't need to peel them.
  2. Grate the zucchini.
  3. Steam blanch your shredded zucchini in portions until translucent, usually after a minute or two.
  4. Transfer your shredded zucchini to freezer-safe containers with 1/2-inch headspace. I suggest packing them based on the portions you'll need for every recipe. Otherwise, it'll be hard to portion frozen grated zucchini as the pieces will clump up.
  5. Chill the containers in cool water before sealing and freezing.
  6. Don't worry if your frozen shredded zucchini is watery after thawing. Just remove the excess moisture before baking.

Method 4. How to Freeze Zucchini Noodles

  1. Clean the zucchini.
  2. Make the zucchini noodles. Salt or blanch the zoodles.
  3. Drain the zucchini noodles for a few minutes. Additionally, place them between paper towels to really ensure you've removed as much liquid as possible.
  4. Portion the zoodles in several freezer-safe containers based on the serving size you'll need for every meal. Seal and label.
  5. Place the zucchini noodles in a colander and dip them in boiling water for a few minutes when you're ready to eat them!

Notes

  • Keep your zucchini from turning mushy by blanching them before storing them in the freezer. Use the boiling water method for sliced zucchini and steam blanching for shredded summer squash. 
  • You don't need to peel zucchini before freezing unless the skin is waxy. 
  • Don't forget to thaw your frozen grated zucchini and discard the excess liquid before using it for baking!

Love this recipe? Save for later!

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Conclusion

Who knew zucchini freezes well?

You’ve just learned how to freeze zucchini whole, sliced, and even zucchini noodles to keep your extra zucchini longer.

Just remember to blanch your summer squash in a pot of water to keep it from getting mushy after freezing. That’s it; that’s the golden rule to live by!

And finally, cooking with zucchini will not always require you to thaw it, but baking with zucchini is best done with thawed grated zucchini. This way, you can easily discard the extra moisture and avoid soggy baked goods. ?

frozen zucchini

Storing zucchini does not have to zucc (heh, get it?) And if you’re unsure how to store other food items, you can browse the following or check our index of food-related questions and answers for more useful kitchen tips.

PIN FOR LATER!

Quick and easy guide to freezing zucchini.
Guide for freezing garden-grown zucchini.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *