How to Freeze Squash From Your Garden
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)
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.
- Bring a large kettle of water to the boil.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.Helpful 39
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.Helpful 27
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.Helpful 26
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.Helpful 22
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.Helpful 17