Courgettes or zucchini, if you prefer, are great in so many dishes. Stews, traybakes, salads, we even use ribbons to replace pasta when we are on a health kick. They are so versatile. There is a downside to courgettes, however. They tend to turn a little soft and mushy unless they are prepared and eaten pretty quickly. You might be wondering, can you freeze courgettes.
The good news is, yes, you can. The downside is that you are going to have to be organized and do a little prep. Today we are going to detail exactly what you need to do in order to freeze courgettes.
Can You Freeze Courgettes?
Yes, courgettes can be frozen both before and after cooking. Courgettes can be placed in the freezer for up to 3 months. To freeze your courgettes, first slice them, blanche them and once drained place them into airtight freezer bags.
There is a little downside in that, whether cooked or uncooked, you will have to do a little prep before you freeze those juicy green courgettes. It is only a minor inconvenience, however. It will take you no longer than ten minutes, and you’ll have a portion of courgettes ready and waiting whenever you like.
Check out our guide below on how to freeze fresh courgettes.
How to Freeze Fresh Courgettes
In order to freeze courgettes, you have to prepare them the right way.
Prepare them? Why?
It’s simple food safety and quality.
Courgettes are about 85% water. This water is held between tiny little cells that make up the flesh of the courgette. When you freeze any liquid, it expands. This causes the cell walls to rupture.
Do you know what happens when cell walls in vegetable rupture?
You end up with a defrosted, soggy courgette! Nobody likes a soggy courgette.
So, what’s the answer?
It’s easy. We Blanche the courgettes first. This softens the cell walls slightly, and as a result, you don’t end up with floppy veg.
2. Blanch, Drain & Freeze
How do you blanch a courgette? Well, here’s a really quick and simple guide.
- Take your fresh courgette and cut it into discs about half an inch thick
- Bring a pan of salted water up to a rolling boil. Add your courgette discs and blanch for no longer than a minute
- Using a sieve or slotted spoon, remove your courgette discs and plunge them straight into cold water to stop them from cooking.
- Arrange your blanched discs, evenly spaced on a baking sheet, and place them on a tray.
- Pop the tray into the freezer. Once the discs have solidified, remove them and store them in Ziploc bags in the freezer.
You don’t need to thaw the courgettes to use them in recipes. Just pop them in as you normally would. They defrost in seconds.
We mentioned food safety…
We blanche them to remove any pesticides and enzymes that can be bad for your health.
How to Freeze Fresh Courgettes – Simplified Version
Prepare the courgettes
Decide how you want them to be prepared. We typically slide them up but you can also cut them into chunks.
Blanch the courgettes
Boil the courgettes for less than 1 minute on a hob.
Drain your courgette in a sieve an then dry.
Place in a freezer bag
Using an airtight bag, place your courgette inside and freeze up to 3 months.
Can I Freeze Cooked Courgette?
Your other main option if you are looking to freeze courgettes is to cook them and freeze them.
Think about it, how many times have you frozen a stew or pasta sauce that contains courgettes? Did you suffer any ill effects? Nope, exactly. Freezing cooked courgette on its own is no different. But there are one or two little tips that will keep them looking and tasting their best.
To freeze cooked courgettes, we normally allow them to cool completely. We arrange them, so they aren’t touching on a piece of baking paper and then freeze them. Once they have solidified, they will stick together, so we then transfer them to a Ziploc bag for easy storage.
Why do we allow them to cool first? If you add hot food to a freezer, it could cause it to partially defrost and then refreeze. Other food in the freezer might thaw out as a result. This isn’t safe and could cause the thawed-out food to go bad.
See Also: Different types of squash
Do Frozen Courgettes Go Mushy?
Ah, we see you’ve given it a go before. The answer is, no, frozen courgettes don’t go mushy, provided that you take the necessary steps to prepare them before you freeze them.
The only time you’ll end up with a mushy courgette is if you stick them straight in the freezer without doing anything with them first.
Can you Roast Frozen Courgettes?
Absolutely! In fact, it is one of our favorite ways to cook frozen courgette. Suppose you’ve ever made a nice vegetable traybake. In that case, you’ll have discovered that the courgette is probably the least robust of all your vegetables! By putting them in the oven frozen, you ensure that they take a little longer to cook than usual and as a result will come out in perfect condition like the rest of the vegetables… Instead of a mushy mess that can happen if they are overcooked!
Can You Freeze Spiralized Courgette?
Ah, another of our favorite recipes. Zucchini pasta, anyone?
You can freeze spiralized courgettes with very few issues. If you want to know how to do it, simply follow our guide to freezing fresh courgettes! The only difference being, you can’t cut and arrange them as discs, and we pop them straight in a Ziploc bag as soon as they are blanched before freezing.
Because if you are making courgette pasta, you will boil them anyway, so they won’t stay stuck together for long! If you want to use spiralized courgette in a salad, leave it in the bag you froze it in for a couple of hours until it thaws out, then use it as you normally would in the recipe.
Can you freeze courgettes without blanching?
Yes you can freeze without blanching, however when you blanch you’re removing enzymes that could be bad for your health. In addition to that, the texture and flavor may be impacted.
You can add your raw courgettes to the freezer also, keep in mind they may be mushier than you expected but are still perfect in your dishes one thawed.
If you like a little zucchini and want to know, can you freeze courgettes? The answer is a resounding yes. With a little prep and some simple techniques, you can have fresh courgette any night of the week. The best bit? Frozen courgette keeps for a long time, up to two months, in fact! What is your number one courgette recipe to try? Let us know in the comments.