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How to Freeze Zucchini (4 Ways!)

Preserve the flavors of summer for months to come by learning How to Freeze Zucchini! This post will explain how to freeze zucchini in shreds, noodles, halves, and more. Plus, I’ll share how to blanch zucchini for freezing!   

photo of a zucchini plant

Can You Freeze Zucchini? 

We grow zucchini in our garden every summer, and although we have just one plant we inevitably wind up with more zucchini than we know what to do with. (And that’s saying a lot for a family of six!) 

After all, I can only make so many zucchini muffins, chicken and zucchini skillets, and zucchini salads

My solution? Freezing zucchini for later! 

Ideally I’d love to gift more of our home-grown zucchini to friends and family, but most people I know have their own zucchini crop to contend with. So, freezing zucchini has become my go-to solution for preserving our delicious summer crop.

Zucchini is incredibly easy to freeze, and it’s perfect for throwing into soups, stews, and sauces later on. The only downside to freezing zucchini is that it has to be cooked — it’s unpalatable when thawed and eaten raw. 

This post will explain how to freeze zucchini, how to blanch zucchini for freezing, and when you should and shouldn’t blanch it!  

When Is Zucchini Season? 

Zucchini is a summer vegetable. Its peak season is June through late August, although if you live in a warmer climate you may be able to find in-season zucchini into September. 

How to Pick the Best Zucchini for Freezing

If you plan on preparing freezer zucchini, I recommend freezing it the same day you pick or buy it. Here’s what to look for when selecting zucchini for freezing: 

  • Smaller, thinner zucchini are more flavorful and have a better texture than thicker zucchini 
  • Zucchini should be vibrant green in color, with no visible nicks or cuts 
  • Give it a gently squeeze to test its firmness (it shouldn’t be soft)
  • If it’s freshly picked, it will be covered in a light fuzz
photo of sliced zucchini on a cutting board for freezing

Tools Needed for Freezing Zucchini 

You won’t need all of these tools for freezing zucchini. You’ll need either freezer vacuum bags, regular freezer bags, or freezer-safe containers. I prefer using freezer vacuum bags as I find they prevent freezer burn the best, but use what you have on hand.  

  • Baking tray: I recommend freezing the zucchini in a single layer on a baking sheet prior to sealing it in freezer bags. This prevents the zucchini from forming one big clump once frozen. 
  • Parchment paper: Prevents the zucchini from sticking to the baking sheet during the initial freezing process. 
  • Chef’s knife: Make sure your knife is sharpened before you start slicing the zucchini. 
  • Cutting board: Zucchini is neutral in flavor, so I like to use a cutting board that hasn’t been cross-contaminated with garlic or onion. Those powerful aromatics can infuse your zucchini with unwanted flavors! 
  • Large pot: You’ll only need a pot if you plan on blanching the zucchini before freezing it.
  • Slotted spoon: Makes removing the zucchini from the pot of boiling water easier and safer (only needed if you plan on blanching it). 
  • Large mixing bowl: Necessary for making an ice bath. Also part of the blanching process. 
  • Colander: You’ll need to drain the blanched zucchini after it sits in the ice bath. 
  • Clean kitchen towels: Zucchini is a very moist vegetable, so you’ll need to thoroughly pat it dry before freezing. This helps prevent freezer burn. 
  • Vacuum bags: Freezing zucchini in vacuum bags keeps it fresher for longer and is the best method for avoiding freezer burn. 
  • Zip-top freezer bags: Make sure to suck all the air out of the bag before sealing it. You can use your mouth or a straw to do this. 

Do You Need to Blanch Zucchini Before Freezing? 

Blanching is the process of cooking zucchini for a very short amount of time in a pot of boiling water. This slows the enzymes in the zucchini from breaking it down in the freezer, extends the zucchini’s freezer shelf life, and also protects the original texture of the veggie.  

Do you need to blanch zucchini before freezing it? It all depends on how you freeze it. 

  • If freezing shredded zucchini or zucchini noodles, you do NOT need to blanch it first. 
  • If freezing sliced, cubed, or halved zucchini, you DO need to blanch it first. 

In general, frozen zucchini that’s been blanched will last longer, will be less susceptible to freezer burn, and will retain a more vibrant color. Not to mention its original texture will be better preserved! 

Zucchini that’s been frozen raw (i.e. that wasn’t blanched) often changes texture and color once frozen. It will still be safe to eat, but it will be mushier, duller in color, and absolutely must be added to soups, batters, or sauces as it’s often unpalatable on its own. 

How to Blanch Zucchini for Freezing

  1. Wash zucchini under running tap water to remove dirt and debris. 
  2. Prepare zucchini as desired (in slices, cubes, or halves). See below for more details. 
  3. Fill a large pot ⅔ full with water. Heat over high heat until boiling. 
  4. While the water comes to a boil, prepare an ice bath. To do this, simply fill a large mixing bowl with tap water and ice cubes. 
  5. Once the water comes to a boil, transfer the prepared zucchini to the pot. 
  6. Cook for just 1 minute to blanch. 
  7. Remove the zucchini from the boiling water using a slotted spoon. Immediately transfer to the ice bath. Let it sit in the ice bath for 2 minutes. 
  8. Drain the zucchini (a colander is handy for this!). Pat dry using clean kitchen towels or paper towels. 
  9. Proceed to freeze the zucchini as instructed below. 

Tip: Do NOT salt the water as that will make zucchini mushy. 

How Long Should You Blanch Zucchini Before Freezing? 

You’ll need to blanch zucchini cubes and slices for 1 minute and zucchini halves for 3 minutes. Then, the zucchini will need to sit in the ice bath for about 2 minutes to stop the cooking process. 

Can You Freeze Zucchini Without Blanching It? 

Yes, but the zucchini will change texture once frozen. I’ve given instructions on how to freeze zucchini without blanching it in the section below. 

How to Freeze Zucchini 4 Ways

The best way to freeze zucchini is to slice, blanch, and freeze it. This method results in the most versatile freezer zucchini, plus it will retain its shape and texture. 

However, you can also freeze zucchini in shreds, zoodles, or halves. Think ahead to how you plan on using the zucchini before you start the freezing process! 

photo of sliced frozen zucchini

1. Freezing Sliced Zucchini (Recommended) 

Can you freeze sliced zucchini? Yes! 

I prefer freezing sliced zucchini because I think it’s the most versatile preparation method. I can add frozen zucchini slices directly to soups, stews, and other dishes without having to thaw it first. 

Frozen sliced zucchini isn’t ideal for using in stir-fries or salads, but frozen zucchini in general isn’t great for that! 

  1. Wash the zucchini under running tap water to remove any dirt or debris. 
  2. Trim the ends of the zucchini and discard.
  3. Slice zucchini into ¼- to ½-inch rounds. 
  4. Blanch zucchini as instructed in the section above. 
  5. After the sliced zucchini has sat in the ice bath and has been thoroughly patted dry, place in an even layer on a parchment paper-lined baking tray. 
  6. Freeze the zucchini slices for 1 to 2 hours, or just until hardened. This prevents the zucchini from freezing into one big mass in the freezer bag! 
  7. Transfer the frozen zucchini to a vacuum bag or zip-top freezer bag. 
  8. Label, date, and freeze the zucchini. 

Tip: You can follow these instructions to freeze cubed zucchini in addition to sliced zucchini! 

2. Freezing Zucchini Halves

Can you freeze zucchini halves? Yes! 

Frozen zucchini halves are perfect for making stuffed zucchini boats in the future. However, if you change your mind in the future and don’t want to make zucchini boats with the frozen zucchini halves, you can simply dice or slice them later. 

Note that you must blanch zucchini halves prior to freezing them! They also take up more space in the freezer, so you’ll need to account for that. 

  1. Wash the zucchini under running tap water to remove any dirt or debris. 
  2. Trim the ends of the zucchini and discard.
  3. Slice zucchini in half lengthwise. 
  4. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and spongy flesh inside the zucchini. Don’t scoop out too much of the firmer zucchini flesh! 
  5. Blanch the zucchini as instructed above. For zucchini halves, you’ll have to blanch for 3 minutes. 
  6. Pat dry after sitting in the ice bath, then arrange in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking tray. 
  7. Freeze until hard, about 1 to 2 hours. 
  8. Seal inside freezer bags or vacuum bags. 
  9. Label, date, and freeze. 
photo of woman grating zucchini for freezing

3. Freezing Shredded Zucchini

Can you freeze shredded zucchini? Yes! 

There’s no need to blanch shredded zucchini prior to freezing it. However, you DO need to thoroughly wring out any excess moisture once the zucchini has been shredded. Paper towels or a clean kitchen towel work well for this. 

Freezing shredded zucchini is great is you plan on adding it to soups, sauces, muffins, or zucchini bread in the near future.  

  1. Wash the zucchini under running tap water to remove any dirt or debris. 
  2. Trim the ends of the zucchini and discard. 
  3. Grate the zucchini into shreds using the medium-sized holes of a box grater. 
  4. Working with 1 to 2 cups of shredded zucchini at a time, wring as much moisture as possible from the zucchini using clean kitchen towels or paper towels. This will help prevent freezer burn and protect the texture of the zucchini! 
  5. Seal the zucchini in 1-cup portions in zip-top freezer bags or vacuum bags. I prefer freezing shredded zucchini in smaller quantities so I can thaw the exact amount I need for future recipes. 
  6. Label, date, and freeze the shredded zucchini. If using zip-top bags, I like to lay them flat in the freezer until hardened. Then, I stand them up straight to save space in the freezer! 

4. Freezing Zucchini Noodles 

Can you freeze zucchini noodles? Yes! 

Zucchini noodles (zoodles) can’t be blanched prior to being frozen, as that would essentially cook them (they cook in mere minutes!). That means you have to freeze them raw. 

Zoodles change texture and lose their flavor over time, so you’ll want to eat them within a couple months of freezing them. 

That being said, it’s better to create the zoodles before freezing the zucchini as frozen zucchini is almost impossible to turn into zucchini noodles! 

  1. Wash the zucchini under running tap water to remove any dirt or debris. 
  2. Trim the ends of the zucchini and discard. 
  3. Using a spiralizer or a vegetable peeler and a knife, create zoodles. 
  4. Thoroughly pat with kitchen or paper towels to remove excess moisture. 
  5. Seal inside vacuum bags or zip-top freezer bags. I like to freeze smaller quantities so I can reheat individual portions for future lunches. 
  6. Label and date. 
  7. Lay flat on a cookie sheet in the freezer. Once hardened, store upright in the freezer to save space. 

The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the full recipe in the free printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.

photo of frozen zucchini on a tray for a tutorial on how to freeze zucchini

Tips for Freezing Zucchini 

  • Freeze zucchini as close to purchase or pick date as possible. This will ensure they retain the best taste and texture once frozen. 
  • If freezing large or thick zucchini, remove any excessively spongy flesh and seeds from the center as needed. 
  • Opt for smaller zucchini. Thicker zucchini is often fibrous or watery inside. 
  • Thoroughly pat the zucchini dry after submerging in the ice bath, otherwise ice crystals will form. 
  • Think about how you plan on using the zucchini before committing to a freezing method. 
  • Don’t salt the blanching water! That will make the zucchini mushy. 

How Long Does Frozen Zucchini Last? 

When trying to decide whether your freezer zucchini is still good or not, just use your best judgment. 

Freezer burn will affect the texture of frozen zucchini, but it’ll still be safe to eat. If you don’t want to throw out the zucchini, consider thawing and pureeing it at that point or throw it into soups where the texture won’t matter as much! 

As a general rule of thumb, here’s how long frozen zucchini lasts: 

  • Unblanched zucchini: 3 months 
  • Blanched zucchini: 6 months 

How to Cook with Frozen Zucchini

Frozen zucchini can be used in smoothies, sauces, soups, stews, baked goods, and more! 

For the most part, you don’t need to thaw frozen zucchini before using it (more on that in the next section!). However, if you do thaw it first be sure to drain it well before adding to a recipe. 

photo of frozen zucchini in a bowl

Should You Thaw Frozen Zucchini Before Using It? 

It depends on how you plan on using it! 

  • If baking with shredded zucchini: Thaw it! Thaw, drain, and let come to room temperature before adding to batters.  
  • If adding zucchini to smoothies, soups, stews, and sauces: Don’t thaw it! You can add it straight to whatever you’re making. 
  • If making zucchini boats: Thaw it! Thaw, drain any excess moisture, then fill and bake. 

How to Thaw Frozen Zucchini 

The best way to thaw frozen zucchini is to place it in the fridge overnight in a sealed baggie or airtight container. 

If you’re in a rush, you could also run the sealed freezer bag under cold tap water. This would thaw the zucchini in a few minutes. 

What to Do with Frozen Zucchini

Now that you know how to freeze zucchini, it’s time to get cooking! Here are some of my favorite zucchini recipes that would work well with frozen zucchini. 

More Summer Freezing Tutorials: 

Freezing tomatoes is the perfect way to preserve them for using in soups and sauces year-round. This post will explain the best way to freeze tomatoes, whether or not they should be blanched before being frozen, and more!  

Freezing basil minimizes food waste and ensures you always have some on hand for soups, stews, sauces, and more! This post explains how to freeze basil 4 ways, plus you’ll get access to 10+ basil recipes.

This guide explains how to freeze blueberries, plus it answers the most commonly asked questions about thawing frozen blueberries and using them in recipes.

Freezing spinach is really simple, and handy if you would like to have extra vegetables stored in your freezer. Come learn all about the 4 different ways I like to freeze spinach and several ideas for what to make with frozen spinach!

Freezing raspberries is a great way to enjoy summer’s harvest year-round! This guide explains how to freeze raspberries, plus it answers the most commonly asked questions about thawing frozen raspberries and using them in recipes.

Who doesn’t love a good kitchen tip? Looking for more kitchen tutorials? Check out the entire Kitchen Tips and Tricks archive for lots of great ideas!

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photo of sliced zucchini

How to Freeze Zucchini

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Preserve the flavors of summer for months to come by learning How to Freeze Zucchini! This post will explain how to freeze zucchini in shreds, noodles, halves, and more. Plus, I’ll share how to blanch zucchini for freezing!   

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Zucchini

Instructions

How to Blanch Zucchini for Freezing

  1. Wash zucchini under running tap water to remove dirt and debris. 
  2. Prepare zucchini as desired (in slices, cubes, or halves). See below for more details. 
  3. Fill a large pot ⅔ full with water. Heat over high heat until boiling. 
  4. While the water comes to a boil, prepare an ice bath. To do this, simply fill a large mixing bowl with tap water and ice cubes. 
  5. Once the water comes to a boil, transfer the prepared zucchini to the pot. 
  6. Cook for just 1 minute to blanch. 
  7. Remove the zucchini from the boiling water using a slotted spoon. Immediately transfer to the ice bath. Let it sit in the ice bath for 2 minutes. 
  8. Drain the zucchini (a colander is handy for this!). Pat dry using clean kitchen towels or paper towels. 
  9. Proceed to freeze the zucchini as instructed below. 

Tip: Do NOT salt the water as that will make zucchini mushy. 

Freezing Sliced Zucchini (Recommended) 

  1. Wash the zucchini under running tap water to remove any dirt or debris. 
  2. Trim the ends of the zucchini and discard.
  3. Slice zucchini into ¼- to ½-inch rounds. 
  4. Blanch zucchini as instructed in the section above. 
  5. After the sliced zucchini has sat in the ice bath and has been thoroughly patted dry, place in an even layer on a parchment paper-lined baking tray. 
  6. Freeze the zucchini slices for 1 to 2 hours, or just until hardened. This prevents the zucchini from freezing into one big mass in the freezer bag! 
  7. Transfer the frozen zucchini to a vacuum bag or zip-top freezer bag. 
  8. Label, date, and freeze the zucchini. 

Tip: You can follow these instructions to freeze cubed zucchini in addition to sliced zucchini! 

Freezing Shredded Zucchini

  1. Wash the zucchini under running tap water to remove any dirt or debris. 
  2. Trim the ends of the zucchini and discard. 
  3. Grate the zucchini into shreds using the medium-sized holes of a box grater. 
  4. Working with 1 to 2 cups of shredded zucchini at a time, wring as much moisture as possible from the zucchini using clean kitchen towels or paper towels. This will help prevent freezer burn and protect the texture of the zucchini! 
  5. Seal the zucchini in 1-cup portions in zip-top freezer bags or vacuum bags. I prefer freezing shredded zucchini in smaller quantities so I can thaw the exact amount I need for future recipes. 
  6. Label, date, and freeze the shredded zucchini. If using zip-top bags, I like to lay them flat in the freezer until hardened. Then, I stand them up straight to save space in the freezer! 

Freezing Zucchini Noodles

  1. Wash the zucchini under running tap water to remove any dirt or debris. 
  2. Trim the ends of the zucchini and discard. 
  3. Using a spiralizer or a vegetable peeler and a knife, create zoodles. 
  4. Thoroughly pat with kitchen or paper towels to remove excess moisture. 
  5. Seal inside vacuum bags or zip-top freezer bags. I like to freeze smaller quantities so I can reheat individual portions for future lunches. 
  6. Label and date. 
  7. Lay flat on a cookie sheet in the freezer. Once hardened, store upright in the freezer to save space. 

Freezing Zucchini Halves

  1. Wash the zucchini under running tap water to remove any dirt or debris. 
  2. Trim the ends of the zucchini and discard.
  3. Slice zucchini in half lengthwise. 
  4. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and spongy flesh inside the zucchini. Don’t scoop out too much of the firmer zucchini flesh! 
  5. Blanch the zucchini as instructed above. For zucchini halves, you’ll have to blanch for 3 minutes. 
  6. Pat dry after sitting in the ice bath, then arrange in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking tray. 
  7. Freeze until hard, about 1 to 2 hours. 
  8. Seal inside freezer bags or vacuum bags. 
  9. Label, date, and freeze. 

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Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 17Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 3mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 1g

GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy. This provided information is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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