If you hate to waste food, especially fresh vegetables like, there are definite benefits to freezing cauliflower. You won’t have to stress over using every last bit of produce before it spoils, and you’ll always have the best ingredients on hand for these tasty cauliflower recipes.
So, can you freeze cauliflower? Absolutely. We’ll walk you through the best method for freezing cauliflower, plus give you tips for thawing and what to do with your cauli once you’re ready to cook.
When Should I Freeze Cauliflower?
It’s best to freeze cauliflower while it’s still fresh, within a week to 21 days of buying. The freshness of cauliflower can vary, so you’ll want to check the produce for brown spots or any funky smells before getting ready to freeze. If it seems off, toss it.
Don’t miss our simple trick to keeping veggies stay fresh and crisp in the fridge.
How to Freeze Cauliflower
Step 1: Cut and wash
Chop up your fresh cauliflower into nice bite-size bits, sectioning off florets from the stem with a sharp knife. Want to avoid a mess on your counter-top? Here’s expert advice for how to cut cauliflower from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa herself.
Next, thoroughly rinse the florets in a good-size colander in the sink, to get rid of any residual dirt. Pat dry with a clean dish or paper towel and get ready to blanch.
Step 2: Blanch
Next, fill a large saucepan with enough water to cover the cauliflower and bring to a boil. Add the florets and let boil for 1-2 minutes. Drain, then immediately place in a bowl full of ice water for 1-2 minutes. This technique is known as blanching. By boiling the fresh vegetables, you kill any bacteria and the partial cook time locks in the cauliflower’s vitamins, helping it stay (and taste!) fresh once frozen.
Drain the cauliflower and pat dry with a clean towel.
Get our guide for how to blanch and freeze any vegetable.
Step 3: Individually freeze the florets
To ensure that your cauliflower doesn’t stick together in one frozen chunk, you’ll want to first freeze the cauliflower individually. To do this, place cauliflower florets in a single layer on a waxed paper- or foil-lined baking sheet—don’t overcrowd them—and freeze for 1-2 hours.
Step 4: Freeze (again!)
You’re almost done! Transfer the frozen cauli florets to a heavy-duty freezer bag. Label with the use-by date and stick it back in the freezer for storage.
Cauliflower can be frozen safely for up to eight months.
Pro tip: Label the freezer bag with the date you stored the cauliflower and a use-by date. Keep our guide for how long you can freeze foods
How to Thaw Cauliflower
Once you’re ready to use your cauliflower, the best way to defrost your vegetables is to simply use cook them from frozen in whatever recipe you’re using. Be sure to note that using frozen cauliflower may adjust the cook time of your dish by a few minutes.
Otherwise, place cauliflower in a steam basket over 1/2 boiling water. Steam for 3-5 minutes or until tender.
What to Make with Frozen Cauliflower
There are so many ways to use frozen cauliflower. Whether your taste-buds crave something exotic (think Roasted Curried Chickpeas and Cauliflower) or a homey cauliflower casserole, you’ll be happy you have cauliflower on hand.
Get more great frozen cauliflower recipes to have on hand.