If you have ripe bananas on hand, you can freeze them for smoothies, ice cream, and oatmeal. Just follow this easy step-by-step guide for how to freeze bananas that will last up to several months in your freezer.

Frozen banana slices in a zipper top bag on a white counter.

Bananas are a budget-friendly fruit that is nutritious and well-loved around the world.

Frozen bananas are particularly delicious when used in a smoothie as they add natural sweetness and thickness. You can also use frozen bananas is recipes like oatmeal or dairy-free “nice cream.”

Why You Need This Recipe

  • Don’t let your ripe bananas go bad! Simply slice them, lay them on a tray in the freezer, and then transfer them to a zip top bag.
  • Frozen banana slices are terrific to add natural sweetness to smoothies and oatmeal.
  • Freezing food before it goes bad helps reduce food waste and saves you money (see more of my tips on how to eat clean on a budget).

Key Ingredients

Four ripe unpeeled bananas on a white surface.

Not surprisingly, all you need for this recipe are fresh bananas. You can freeze just one banana or you can freeze up to several bunches of bananas at a time. It really just depends on how much freezer space you have.

Be sure your banana is ripe before you freeze it. You can also freeze overripe bananas as long as you remove any bad spots before freezing.

Recipe Steps

Let me show you the easiest way to freeze leftover bananas.

Process collage of how to slice and freeze bananas.

Step One

The first step for freezing bananas is to remove the skin. Some people just pop a ripe banana in the freezer with the skin on, but I don’t recommend this method.

If you freeze a banana with the skin on, it will make it very difficult to remove the skin.

Step Two

The second step to freezing bananas is to either break them in half or cut them into slices. Depending on what you plan to do with your frozen banana will dictate if you slice them or just break them in half.

It’s best to break up your fresh whole bananas as you may not want to use a whole frozen banana. Once frozen, it will be harder to break up your bananas.

For example, if you have a high-speed blender, then you can just freeze your bananas in large halves, or even whole. A high-speed blender will have to problem blending large chunks of frozen banana.

If you just have a regular blender or you are planning to make vegan soft-serve with your frozen bananas in a food processor, then you should slice your bananas before you freeze them.

Step Three

After you cut or slice your bananas, you can lay them on a single layer on a baking sheet or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. This will prevent the banana from freezing into a large clump and getting freezer burn.

Step Four

Freeze the baking sheet for at least 2 hours before transferring the frozen banana pieces or halves into a zip-top bag or any other freezer-safe container for long-term storage (up to 3 months). I like to use a resealable freezer bag or an airtight container.

Squeeze out any much air from the plastic bag as possible to help them freeze flat for optimal storage efficiency. You can also use a vacuum sealer to remove as much air as possible.

Banana halves and slices on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet.

Recipe Tips & Substitutions

  • You can freeze as many as several bunches of bananas at a time, assuming you have enough room in your freezer.
  • Bananas are ripe when they are soft to the touch, have brown spots on them, have a mild or strong odor of bananas, or have turned brown around the edges. Some types of bananas may not have obvious signs of ripening, so you do need to keep an eye on them.
  • Frozen bananas will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. 
  • To use your frozen banana chunks for smoothies, just take out as many bananas as you need for each smoothie (no need to defrost them first).
Frozen banana rounds on a small white plate.

FAQs

How can I tell when a banana has gone bad?

There are a few ways to tell when a banana is rotten. If your banana smells bad or is very mushy, then you will need to throw it away. However, if your ripe banana isn’t too mushy, then you can probably cut away the bad parts and still freeze the good parts.

What can I do with frozen bananas?

You can serve frozen bananas almost the same way you would use a fresh banana. Once you have frozen bananas, it’s best to use them frozen as opposed to defrosting them. I am a huge fan of frozen banana ice cream (see my recipe for Chocolate Banana Vegan Soft Serve).

Do I have to defrost bananas before using them in baked goods or oatmeal?

Ideally, you would use bananas frozen. But, if you are making muffins, banana bread, or another recipe that calls for ripe bananas, you can defrost the frozen banana ahead of time in the refrigerator.

Can frozen bananas go bad?

Bananas that are frozen correctly should not go bad within 2-3 months. However, if your banana was rotten or if your freezer isn’t working properly or is not at the correct temperature, then frozen bananas can go bad. A frozen banana that has gone bad will be black in color, will smell bad, and will be very mushy. Throw away the whole bag of frozen bananas if even one has gone bad, because there is a chance that mold may have gotten to all of the frozen bananas in that particular bag.

Can I freeze my bananas with the banana peels?

Yes, but the best method is to remove the peel before freezing. Otherwise, it can be difficult to remove the peel once the banana is frozen.

Recipes Using Frozen Bananas

Four frozen banana halves in a zipper top bag.

I hope you make this recipe! If you do, please leave a comment and a starred review below.

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Frozen banana rounds on a small white plate.

How to Freeze Bananas for Smoothies

If you have ripe bananas on hand, you can freeze them for smoothies, ice cream, and oatmeal. Just follow this easy step-by-step guide for how to freeze bananas that will last up to several months in your freezer.

  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 ripe bananas

Instructions

  1. The first step for freezing bananas is to remove the skin.
  2. Next, break them in half or cut them into slices.
  3. After you cut or slice your bananas, you can lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. This will prevent the banana from freezing into a large clump.
  4. Freeze the baking sheet for at least 2 hours before transferring the frozen bananas into a zip-top bag from long-term storage of up to 3 months.
  5. To use your frozen banana chunks for smoothies, just take out as many bananas as you need for each smoothie (no need to defrost them first).

Notes

  1. You can freeze as much as several bunches of bananas at a time, assuming you have enough room in your freezer.
  2. Bananas are ripe when they are soft to the touch, have brown spots on them, have a mild or strong odor of bananas, or have turned brown around the edges. Some types of bananas may not have obvious signs of ripening, so you do need to keep an eye on them.
  3. Frozen bananas will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

Keywords: freezing bananas for smoothies, how to freeze ripe bananas, frozen banana slices

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