Home Can You Freeze It? How to Freeze Summer Squash and Zucchini to Make It Last

How to Freeze Summer Squash and Zucchini to Make It Last

To freeze summer squash and zucchini, first wash them and remove the ends. Then, slice, blanch, and transfer them to freezer-safe containers. 

It’s a simple process that’ll preserve your veggies for at least 3 months or longer if you vacuum seal the bags. That way, you can have your favorite summer veggies all year long.

Fresh zucchini and yellow summer squash neatly arranged on a wooden table

I’ll take you through the step-by-step process for freezing these vegetables. It’ll also address common questions like how long they last and how to use them. 

Keep reading to learn more! 

How to Freeze Summer Squash

The following steps outline how to freeze summer squash: 

  1. Wash the squash. Then, cut off its ends. 
  1. Slice the squash. You can grate, cube, or thinly or thickly slice it. 
  1. Prepare a large bowl with ice and water. Set it aside for later.
  1. Bring a gallon of water to boil over high heat. You need a large stockpot for this step.
  1. Add the squash to the boiling water*. Add no more than a pound of squash.
  1. Bring the water to a roiling boil. Boil grated squash for 2 minutes, thinly sliced or cubed squash for 3 minutes, and thickly sliced squash for 6 minutes.
  1. Transfer the boiled squash to the bowl of ice-cold water. This will stop it from cooking.
  1. Drain the squash of all water. Then, transfer it to freezer-safe containers. Leave about 1/2-inch of space at the top. 
  1. Label and date the containers. You can freeze them for up to 3 months. 

If you’re using freezer or vacuum-sealed bags, there are a couple of additional steps to follow. These steps will pick up immediately after draining the squash (step 8 above):

  1. Transfer the squash to a large baking sheet. Place them in a single layer; don’t stack them.
  1. Flash-freeze them. Place the baking sheet in the freezer to freeze the squash. 
  1. Transfer the frozen slices to the bags. Then, vacuum seal them or press out as much air as possible before zipping them closed. 

If you vacuum seal the bags, the squash will last for up to a year in the freezer. 

*Note: Using a wire basket to hold the squash when you submerge it in the water makes it easier to remove later.

Grated Zucchini in a Bowl Top View

How to Freeze Grated Summer Squash and Zucchini

You can freeze grated summer squash and zucchini using the method outlined above. However, if you don’t want to go through the blanching process, you don’t have to. 

Here’s how to freeze grated summer squash and zucchini without blanching them: 

  1. Wash the vegetables. Then, trim off the ends, just as you would using the method above.
  1. Grate them. You can use a food processor or a cheese grater. 
  1. Get rid of excess moisture. I like to do this by putting the shredded veggies into a cheesecloth. Then, I wring out the excess moisture. 
  1. Transfer the grated veggies to freezer-safe containers. Pre-portion the ingredients to make cooking with them easier in the future.

With grated veggies, you don’t have to leave room at the top of the container, either. Simply fill them as fully as possible. This will help prevent freezer burn. 

They should last 3 months to a year, depending on how you store them.

Fresh Summer Squash

Can You Freeze Summer Squash Without Blanching? 

You can freeze summer squash without blanching it, especially if you grate it first. 

However, blanching it will halt enzymes that can cause your veggies to break down and get mushy. 

So, unless you don’t have the time, blanch your summer squash before freezing it. And if that’s the case, be sure to grate it to freeze it.

Does Zucchini Freeze Well? 

Zucchini freezes well and can last up to a year if vacuum sealed. However, its texture won’t be the same after you thaw it out. 

Blanching it first will help prevent it from deteriorating. But even if you blanch it ,it’ll still be softer and less crisp than fresh zucchini. 

Therefore, it’s best to use frozen zucchini in soups, stews, and other similar recipes. (i.e., Recipes in which zucchini isn’t a primary ingredient.) 

How Long Does Frozen Zucchini Last?

Frozen zucchini can last up to 1 year but tastes best if eaten within 3 months. Furthermore, you should only use year-old zucchini if it was originally vacuum sealed.

The zucchini won’t go bad or make you sick after 3 months, of course. However, its texture will degrade to mushy and soft. The zucchini also has a higher risk of freezer burn.

Homemade Zucchini Soup in a Bowl

How to Use Frozen Zucchini or Summer Squash

You can use frozen zucchini in practically any recipe calling for fresh zucchini. The same is true of summer squash.

However, it works best in recipes where the zucchini isn’t the star of the show. Some great examples include: 

  • Soups
  • Stews
  • Vegetable chili
  • Fillings for enchiladas, burritos, etc. 
  • Smoothies
  • Purees

The only recipes to avoid are those requiring zucchini to be crisp. Some examples include kebabs, ratatouille, and zucchini noodles. 

How to Freeze Summer Squash and Zucchini

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author avatar
NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Insanely Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

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