How to Freeze Broccoli Florets (Best Method)
If you have an abundance of fresh broccoli in your kitchen, then you can use this guide for how to freeze broccoli. Frozen florets can be used in a variety of ways including roasting, in smoothies, or in stews. Learn how to freeze broccoli using the best method for long-term storage.
If you happen to grow your own broccoli or find it on sale at the grocery store, you might find yourself with an overabundance of broccoli.
In this post, I’ll share how to freeze broccoli, plus some ideas on how to use it. I’ll share my best tips on the best way to freeze extra broccoli for the best results.
- Broccoli is in peak season in North America from October through April, but it is generally available all year round. If you have too much on hand, you’ll want to learn how to freeze broccoli so it doesn’t go to waste.
- According to the Environmental Working Group, broccoli is on the “Clean Fifteen” list of produce with the least amount of pesticides. So, this means that it’s okay to buy non-organic versions of this cruciferous vegetable.
- Fresh broccoli is very versatile, and can be eaten raw, steamed, roasted, or stir-fried. But, if you find that you have too much in your kitchen, then you can easily freeze it to use later.
- Frozen broccoli can also be used in a variety of ways. You can throw it into smoothie (check out my Anti-Cancer Green Breakfast Smoothie recipe or my Broccoli Smoothie), roast frozen broccoli, or steam it.
Freezing Fresh Broccoli Steps
The first step in freezing broccoli is to break up an entire head of broccoli into florets.
One large head will yield about 3 1/2 cups of florets.
The next step is to bring a large pot of water to simmer, so that you can gently blanch the broccoli (you’ll need about a gallon of water or so). You can also use a steamer basket.
To help preserve the sulphorophane (one of its cancer-fighting compounds), it’s important to blanch it at a low temperature.
Once your water is simmering, add the florets to the pot.
Let them simmer for about 3 minutes cooking time.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the blanched florets to a large bowl filled with ice and water.
The ice-cold water will stop the cooking process and make sure your florets stay nice and green in color.
Next, use your slotted spoon to transfer the florets from the ice bath to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Make sure that they do not touch each other and they are in a single layer. This will ensure that your broccoli freezes individually, and not in one giant clump.
Place your baking sheet in the freezer for at least 6 hours, or up to 24 hours. This will flash freeze the broccoli.
Then, remove the baking sheet and transfer the frozen florets to a zip top freezer-safe bag (try to squeeze as much air as you can out of the freezer bag to help reduce ice crystals and freezer burn).
Store in the freezer for up to several months.
How to Freeze Broccoli Florets FAQs
You don’t have to, but it is a known method of getting rid of any microbes or bacteria, plus any enzymes that will cause your vegetables to deteriorate in the freezer. This is the recommended method.
Put the frozen florets in a smoothie with frozen bananas and berries. I promise you won’t even taste the broccoli this way.
Yes! Here is my recipe for Instant Pot Steamed Broccoli Florets.
Yes they do! Plus, freezing vegetables for later use is a great way to reduce food waste. It only takes a few easy steps to freeze fresh vegetables.
Yes, you can! Follow the same simple steps to freeze an entire head of broccoli including the stems. You can use a vegetable peeler to remove the top layer from the stems before steaming them and freezing them.
Recipes Using Frozen Broccoli
Other Guides to Freezing Food
- How to Freeze Spinach and Kale
- How to Freeze Cauliflower
- How to Freeze Raw Beets
- How to Freeze Sweet Potatoes
- How to Freeze Avocados
- How to Freeze Bananas
- How to Freeze Peppers & Onions
- 1 head of broccoli, broken into florets.
- Bring a large pot of water to simmer.
- Once your water is simmering, add the broccoli florets to the pot. Let them simmer for about 3 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the broccoli to a bowl filled with ice and water. Let the broccoli cool in the ice bath for about 2 minutes.
- Use your slotted spoon to transfer the broccoli florets from the water bath to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Place your baking sheet in the freezer for at least 6 hours, or up to 24 hours.
- Remove the baking sheet and transfer the frozen broccoli florets to a zip top bag.
- Store frozen broccoli in the freezer for up to several months. When you’re ready to use it, just remove it from the bag.
- You can throw frozen broccoli into a smoothie, or you can roast or steam frozen broccoli to eat as a healthy side dish.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 minutes
- Category: Side dish
- Method: Stovetop and freezer
- Cuisine: Healthy
- Diet: Vegetarian
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 52
- Sugar: 2.6 g
- Sodium: 50.2 mg
- Fat: 0.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 10.1 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 4.3 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: frozen blanched broccoli, guide to blanching and freezing broccoli, how to make frozen broccoli
About the Author: Carrie Forrest has a master’s degree in public health with a specialty in nutrition. She is a top wellness and food blogger with over 10 million annual visitors to her site. Carrie has an incredible story of recovery from chronic illness and is passionate about helping other women transform their health. Send Carrie a message through her contact form.