Freezing zucchini is an excellent way to preserve this easy-to-grow gardener’s favorite. Instead of letting it go to waste or getting tired of countless loaves of zucchini bread, just freeze it!
Zucchini is one of the easiest crops to grow in a home garden, and also one of the most bountiful. And just about everybody loves harvesting this delicious squash and cooking it up in the kitchen.
Zucchini can be sown directly into the garden or started from seed and and transplanted. Here in Alaska (zone 2a) we typically wait until June 1st to sow seeds into our gardens. I direct sow several zucchini and other squash varieties and will start having a nice harvest by August.
For an earlier harvest, I start a few plants indoors in seed trays and transplant on June 1st. Zucchini grows so well up here, and just about everywhere, that it’s a must-have in every home garden.
Here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy fresh zucchini from our garden:
- In eggs-Shred and cook in butter before adding to scrambled eggs with a little cheese on top.
- Bread-Always a favorite but made healthier with whole wheat flour and honey instead of refined sugar.
- Pizzas-Slice thinly lengthwise, top with sauce and cheese, and pop into the oven for a few minutes.
- On kabobs-Grilled.
- In soup
However, you might find yourself with an overload of zucchini, trying to pass it off to anyone who doesn’t have a pile of their own!
If you start to run out of ways to enjoy your zucchini or you’re just a bit tired of it, don’t let it go to waste! Freezing zucchini is quick and easy and then you can enjoy your harvest throughout the rest of the year when you find yourself wishing for that summer garden again.
Freezing Chopped Zucchini
To have zucchini on hand to toss into soups and stews or into vegetable skillets or casseroles, freeze it chopped.
Depending on the size of the zucchini (they can get huge!) you might need to halve or even quarter it then cut it into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick pieces.
You can blanche the pieces prior to freezing but this is a personal preference. I do not as it takes extra time and I’m just going to be adding the zucchini to soups or stews.
Measure the chopped zucchini into 1 or 2 cup portions. This way it will be pre-measured for your favorite recipes.
Freeze in an airtight bag or container and label with the date and amount. I like to use my vacuum sealer for this to make sure all of the air gets out and I don’t end up with freezer-burned zucchini.
Freezing Shredded Zucchini
Planning to add zucchini to baked goods? Shredding it prior to freezing will make that easy to do!
Simply shred the zucchini and then squeeze out most of the liquid using a clean tea towel.
Measure into 1 or 2 cup portions, depending on what you’ll be baking, and place in an airtight container or bag.
I like to use glass canning jars for this. First, it helps me to use less plastic bags which I’m always trying to do. Second, it makes it easy for me to simply thaw the jar of zucchini and then add it to a batch of muffins or scrambled eggs for breakfast.
I’ve tried using my vacuum sealer but even when I think I’ve squeezed out all of the liquid, there’s still some left. This causes an issue with the sealing so it doesn’t work very well. Use a regular gallon bag instead or a jar like I do.
If you have a contraption that cuts zucchini into noodles, you can also freeze those! Just make piles, or nests, of noodles. a sheet pan and freeze. Then transfer for a storage bag or container. Then you’ll have zucchini noodles ready to toss right into boiling water!
If you’re new to gardening and preserving your harvest, zucchini is a great plant to start working with. It’s easy to grow and will produce healthy food for your and your family. It’s easy to enjoy with countless ways to prepare it.
And it’s easy to preserve if you have too much or just want to be able to enjoy it later. Freezing zucchini either chopped or shredded is simple to do and you will be thankful for it during the winter months!