How to Freeze Squash From Your Garden

Updated on May 5, 2019
Buster Bucks profile image

Buster began cooking as a wee pup by watching his mother fix the kibble. He was hooked. He loves preparing—and writing about—food.

A fresh harvest of vibrant and hearty squash.
A fresh harvest of vibrant and hearty squash.

Freezing Squash Is Easy!

I love the ease of freezing squash. And let's face it—when your garden starts making zucchini, yellow squash, or pattypan squash, you're loaded with them.

Follow the directions below and you'll be able to enjoy all of that fresh squash goodness year-round.

What You'll Need

  • A large kettle of boiling water
  • A baking sheet, lined with paper towels
  • A slotted spoon
  • Freezer bags (I use quart-sized)
  • Squash!

How to Prepare Your Fresh Squash

What kind of squash can you use? Any of the varieties that are grown in summer: zucchini, yellow squash, pattypan, ball squash, etc.

After washing it thoroughly, cut off the blossom and stem ends, then cut the squash into rounds about 1/4 inch thick.

I've not mentioned how much squash you can do at a time because this recipe allows a small amount. I've put up as little as nine cups of squash, and as much as 15 quarts of squash at a time. That's what I love about this method—it allows me to put my squash into the freezer as soon as I pick it, whether that means a couple of hands full or a bushel full.

How To Blanch Squash

Why is blanching important? The process destroys an enzyme so that your squash will remain fresh and delicious in your freezer for months. You have to blanch squash before you can freeze it.

  1. Bring a large kettle of water to the boil.
  2. Drop the squash rounds into the boiling water, and blanch for about one minute. You'll know the squash is ready when it takes on a bright color. Do not overcook! Squash are a delicate vegetable, and they cook quickly. The goal is to simply blanch them, not fully cook them.
  3. I usually drop approximately 3 cups of squash at a time into the boiling water. Using your slotted spoon, remove the squash to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Let them drain.
  4. After the squash have drained, then put them into your (already labeled) freezer bags. I label my bags with the date and the type of squash. Once the bags are frozen, it's hard to tell what they are. If a friend gave me squash, I'll write their name on the bag, just so I'll know.

The Freezer

Clear out a space in your freezer where the bags of blanched squash can be carefully stacked. This is important! You want your bags to freeze in neat stacks.

When I first put the squash into my freezer, I put the bags willy-nilly into the freezer, and ended up with frozen bags that were oddly-shaped, and difficult to store. You'll be glad you took the time to stack the bags, so that they will take up as little room as is necessary. As any gardener knows, squash plants are quite prolific, and once you start harvesting, you've got tons of it. You'll be glad you took the time to make neat bags that store easily.

Once they're frozen, you can move them to another part of the freezer.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

  • Can you just vacuum seal and freeze squash from my garden?

    After you have blanched the squash and let them come to room temperature, you could vacuum seal and freeze rather than using freezer bags.

  • Do you need to put the squash in ice-cold water after blanching it?

    Blanching sliced squash happens really fast. You'll notice the color brighten in seconds so I put it on a baking sheet to cool. Once, I tried putting it into iced water, but it seemed to make the squash soggy.

  • What are some uses for the frozen squash? Soups, bread, casseroles? Can they be steamed and eaten, seasoned and buttered?

    Yes, all of the above! You can use your frozen squash to make soups and casseroles, and (after squeezing out liquid) to add to bread. And yes, after defrosting, they're delicious warmed up and seasoned with herbs, salt, and butter.

  • After the squash is dethawed can it be fried?

    The squash is soft after thawing. You can make squash fritters, which are fried and very good. Mix the squash with egg, minced green onion, thyme and bread crumbs. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, then drop by spoonfuls into hot oil. They're delicious with sour cream, or aoli.

  • Can you take the skins off the patty pan squash before you blanch them?

    It isn't necessary. The skin of summer squash is tender and remains so after freezing.


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    • Buster Bucks profile imageAUTHOR

      Buster Bucks 

      2 weeks ago from Sonoma County, California

      Hi Jennifer,

      Squash will keep for one year in the freezer.

      Some years, when I have a LOT, I've used frozen squash that was closer to 14 months old and it tasted fine. For highest quality and taste, try to use it within one year.

      Thanks for reading!


    • profile image

      Jennifer Mae Wammock 

      2 weeks ago

      How long can you keep the squash in the freezer? Because we have an over abundance and want to freeze what we can so if we are in the mood for summer squash this winter we have it. We fry them and also cream them.

    • Buster Bucks profile imageAUTHOR

      Buster Bucks 

      7 months ago from Sonoma County, California

      Hi Geri,

      For winter squash, yes, you can bake the squash then scrape it out of the shell and put into freezer bags. For summer squash, you'll want to blanch it as described in this article.

      Good luck!


    • profile image

      Geri Deen 

      7 months ago

      Can i simply cook the squash, rake it out of its sheel then freeze it? I have a spaghetti squash, an acorn squash and a butternut squash.

    • Buster Bucks profile imageAUTHOR

      Buster Bucks 

      15 months ago from Sonoma County, California

      Hi Nettie,

      Blanching kills an enzyme... and this is necessary for freezing squash so it will last in your freezer.

      If the patty pans are small, and you can blanch them, then I think you'll be fine. But larger ones don't blanch well (they end up essentially cooked) and then you have mush when you defrost them.)

      Good luck!


    • profile image

      Nettie Erasmus 

      15 months ago

      Can i freeze whole patty pans

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      How long can you keep your frozen veggies in freezer

    • Buster Bucks profile imageAUTHOR

      Buster Bucks 

      3 years ago from Sonoma County, California

      Hi JC,

      The blanching process as described in the hub is necessary to kill an enzyme so the squash stay good in the freezer. You could try slicing the pattypans in half, then blanching the halves. But this doesn't address what you'd like to do -- use a whole pattypan. To be honest with you, I don't think it would work to freeze the whole squash as you asked about.

      Best regards,


    • profile image


      3 years ago

      We love stuffed patty pan squash so I'm wondering if I can freeze a whole patty pan? It would be wonderful if I could pull them out of the freezer this winter, stuff it and bake it.

    • mvillecat profile image

      Catherine Dean 

      7 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

      I am putting patypan squash on the list for growing next summer. It is so beautiful and would be a great addition to simple yellow summer squash.

    • Buster Bucks profile imageAUTHOR

      Buster Bucks 

      8 years ago from Sonoma County, California

      Hi Irma,

      I've been freezing squash for many years. When squash are at their peak, we eat them all the time. But after a while... you get tired of eating them.

      Freezing lets you preserve that goodness for another time (late fall, in the winter) when you're ready for homegrown squash again.


      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Best regards,


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What a great idea for freezing squash. They were prolific this year so everyone has some, and since I really like squash, I can't give it away, I can now freeze it and have it for most of winter.

    • Buster Bucks profile imageAUTHOR

      Buster Bucks 

      8 years ago from Sonoma County, California

      Hi Cami,

      Thanks for taking the time to write to me. I think you'll be happy with your squash-from-the-freezer this year.

      Best regards,


    • profile image

      Cami Checketts 

      8 years ago

      Thank you! I froze squash last year and they were disgusting. I'm so happy to know the right method.


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