It doesn’t matter if it’s roasted in the oven (like this to-die-for parmesan roasted broccoli) or simmered on the stove in broccoli cheddar soup; broccoli is a side dish staple at the dinner table. This nutrient-dense, cold weather veggie is packed with healthy vitamins and flavor. Let’s be sure to preserve it and dive into how to freeze broccoli.
Looking to freeze more foods? Start with our ultimate guide to freezing food.
Broccoli Freezing Tips
First, choose the right broccoli; opt for young, tender stalks. Look for broccoli stalks that are tight and haven’t started to open or yellow yet. Wash stalks thoroughly and cut lengthwise into uniform pieces, leaving florets about 1-1/2 inches across.
If you can help it, it’s best to freeze your broccoli before it’s fully cooked. Freezing cooked broccoli can result in a limp, flavorless side dish next time you pull it out of the freezer.
To get the best results when freezing broccoli, try blanching it first—this slows or stops the enzyme action that can cause loss of flavor, color and texture. It also cleans the produce and helps prevent loss of vitamins. Follow along to learn exactly how to blanch broccoli and freeze it the right way.
How to Blanch and Freeze Broccoli
Step 1: Blanch
Once your broccoli florets are cut to the right size, it’s time to blanch. Blanching vegetables refers to steaming or cooking them in boiling water for just a short time. Place your broccoli in a pot of rapidly boiling water for 3 minutes. You could also place it in a steamer basket over boiling water for 5 minutes.
Step 2: Ice
Immediately plunge broccoli into ice-cold water to stop cooking. Without proper cooling, frozen broccoli will develop bigger ice crystals and a limper texture.
Step 3: Freeze
Package broccoli in sturdy resealable plastic bags, removing any air pockets before sealing. Use within 10 months.
Don’t miss these other foods that freeze well.
Broccoli Thawing Tips
Perhaps the only thing easier than freezing broccoli is cooking it. To thaw, simply toss frozen broccoli florets into boiling water for about 60 to 90 seconds. When you cook your broccoli from frozen, it won’t have the same crunch as the fresh stuff but it will still hold its shape and flavor. It will also add vitamins and nutrients to your meals with these healthy broccoli recipes.
Tips for Cooking Broccoli from Frozen
We love keeping steps simple in the kitchen, and so does frozen broccoli. If you’d like to skip the thawing process altogether, toss the frozen florets right into your stir fry or soup. Quick and easy skillet meals are the perfect base for frozen veggies. If you have picky eaters at the table, save broccoli for a side dish instead. Just be sure to add a couple of minutes of cook time onto your dish.
Or better yet, use ’em up with these frozen broccoli recipes.