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The Best Ways to Freeze Strawberries (+ Frozen Strawberry Recipes)

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

overhead shot of fresh strawberries on a plate

Can You Freeze strawberries?

Sweet and juicy strawberries are one of the many fruits I look forward to enjoying each summer. Unfortunately, fresh strawberry season doesn’t last for long.

Although I’d love to stockpile cartons of fresh strawberries in my fridge to enjoy at a later date, they spoil quicker than heartier fruits like apples.

So, what are you to do when strawberry season is upon you and you want to savor the flavor of summer for months to come? Freeze those sweet strawberries, of course!

Why I Love Freezing Fresh Strawberries

  • Bought too many strawberries and don’t want them to spoil? Freezing strawberries extends their shelf life and minimizes food waste.
  • Take advantage of a great deal you got at the farmers market? Freezing strawberries is a great way to purchase in bulk when prices are low.
  • Save money by storing frozen fresh strawberries in your freezer for use during the off season.
  • Went strawberry picking or grow your own strawberries in your back yard? Freezing your strawberry haul lets you enjoy fresh berries out of season.
woman picking fresh strawberries during strawberry season

When Are Strawberries in Season?

Strawberries begin ripening in June and you can typically harvest them until September. strawberries will continue ripening until the first frost of autumn.

Note that different strawberry varieties bloom and ripen at different times of the year, but June, July, and August are the best months for buying strawberries at the grocery store or farmer’s market.

Want to check out more info about seasonal fruits and veggies?

Head over to my Produce Guides:

What are the Best Strawberries for Freezing?

Look for strawberries with a bright, beautiful red color. Firm red strawberries that are glossy on the outside are at the prime level of ripeness for freezing.

Very dark red strawberries are usually already softening and overripe. Overripeness when freezing will result in an even softer texture when thawed. It is best not to freeze overly ripe strawberries at all.

However, as long as they haven’t started to spoil and don’t have any mold on them you technically can freeze them. But, those strawberries likely will only be good for smoothies or cooked sauces where the texture doesn’t matter.

Tools You Need to Freeze Strawberries

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  • Large Baking Sheet
  • Container or Bag for Freezing
  • Paring Knife or Strawberry Huller
  • Permanent Marker for Labeling
  • Freezer Labels
  • Optional: Vacuum Sealer and Vacuum Bags
woman washing fresh strawberries before freezing strawberries

How to Prep Strawberries for Freezing

At minimum, the strawberries need a really good rinsing with water before freezing. If you want a deeper clean, here are my 2 favorite methods:

Cleaning Strawberries Before Freezing

  • Branch Basics is my favorite non-toxic cleaner for washing produce. (Use code GLE15 for 15% off Branch Basics Products). Spray fruit with All-Purpose Cleaner, let soak 2 – 3 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with cold water.
  • DIY Cleaning Solution for Strawberries using 1/2 cup vinegar per 3 cups water. Let the berries soak in a large bowl of the solution for 2 – 3 minutes. Then, give them a good rinse.

Strawberries need to be completely dried after cleaning for best results, or they can develop freezer burn. I like to lay them on a dry, clean dish towel after draining them and let them air dry.

What Containers Should I Use to Freeze Fresh Strawberries?

There are a few different containers that work for storing flash frozen strawberries.

The choice is up to you and largely depends on a few things: freezer space you have available, how long you wish to store frozen berries, and what type of freezer containers and material you prefer for storing food.

Storage Methods for Frozen Strawberries:

Plastic Freezer-Safe Bag

A gallon plastic bag is typically my go-to when it comes to storing frozen fruit. They’re easy, quick, and I usually have them on hand.

PROS: Easy to reseal if you use your berries regularly or find yourself using a bit at a time. For storing smaller amounts, you can fit a quart of berries in quart sized freezer bags.

CONS: Single use, usually. They can be washed, dried, and reused, however, but eventually get damaged and end up in the trash.

Silicone Bags

Available in a wide range of sizes (and colors) up to 104 fl. ounces. I like Stasher Bags, but there are a variety of brands on the market.

PROS: Convenience and ease of a plastic freezer bag. Eco-friendly. Silicone Bags don’t develop micro-tears or damage as easily as plastic freezer bags do. Reseal easily for using small amounts at a time.

CONS: They’re more expensive, but the cost is potentially offset over time by their durability and reusable nature.

Vacuum Seal Bags

We have a vacuum sealer and I love it! For long term storage, vacuum sealing gives the best results. Ideal for when you know you’re going to use the whole bag at once.

PRO: The frozen strawberries last the longest this way because all of the air is removed from the bag. You’ll also maximize storage space. Bag size can be customized depending.

CONS: If you plan on using them frequently, this storage method isn’t ideal because they don’t reseal quickly. You’d have to purchase a vacuum sealer if you don’t own one.

Storage Containers

I like Snapware, which comes in glass or plastic, if I plan to use a storage container. I don’t often use them for freezing fruit, because of the cons. But, they’re great for freezing soup.

PRO: Reusable and available in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can reuse glass jars you already (canning jars, jars from food, etc.) have as long as the glass is freezer safe.

CONS: Takes up the most amount of space in the freezer. If you use glass, there is always the risk of it breaking.

How to Freeze Strawberries

Freezing strawberries is so easy! Compared to certain vegetables, you don’t need to blanch strawberries before freezing them.

Here is a quick overview of the strawberry freezing process:

  1. Discard any overripe, spoiled or discolored strawberries.
  2. Rinse or wash the berries you plan to freeze.
  3. Completely dry the berries.
  4. Remove the hulls from the strawberries using a knife or strawberry huller
  5. Spread the strawberries on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet (tip: How to Line Pans with Parchment Paper). Berries should be in a single layer so they don’t stick together.
  6. Place the baking tray in the freezer, keeping it level prevent the berries from sliding around.
  7. Freeze the berries just until solid, about 1 hour – this is called flash freezing.
  8. Label the container or bag with date, contents, and amount.

How Long Do Frozen Strawberries Last in the Freezer?

Frozen strawberries will last typically 12 to 18 months in the freezer. Fresh strawberries only last two to three days in the fridge, so extending their shelf life by freezing them is a great idea!

If you’ve vacuum sealed your strawberries with high quality vacuum bags and vacuum sealer that removes all of the air, you can likely get 2+ years out of your frozen strawberries.

Do Frozen Strawberries Spoil?

No, not really. If you’ve followed all of the instructions and stored them properly. They just become less fresh over time, and you’ll notice more formation of ice crystals. Longer storage increases the potential for freezer burn.

Should You Thaw Frozen Strawberries Before Using Them?

If you plan on using the strawberries in a recipe with a short cooking time — like pancakes or waffles — it’s best to thaw them first. Unthawed, the frozen strawberries won’t cook through fully. And, you might end up with cold berries or raw batches of batter in the finished product.

You don’t usually need to thaw frozen strawberries first if you’re making a fruit crisp, pie, cake, quick bread, or muffin.

But, you probably want to toss the berries in a spoonful of flour or cornstarch before adding them to the recipe – frozen strawberries will release a lot of liquid when cooked which can cause soggy cake or quick bread!

Also, when baking with frozen strawberries, you might need to add a few extra minutes to the total cook time. The temperature of the batter or dough is lower when adding frozen berries than if you used fresh berries – that means they’ll need more time in the oven.

How to Thaw Frozen Strawberries

You have a few options when it comes to thawing frozen strawberries. Choose whichever method is best for you depending on how much time you have.

Thawing Strawberries on the Counter

Measure out the amount of frozen fresh strawberries you’d like to use. Place the frozen berries in a bowl or baking dish. Pour cold tap water into the bowl, just until the berries are covered.

Let the berries sit on your counter at room temperature until fully thawed, about 10 minutes. If the berries haven’t thawed after 10 minutes, drain the water and replace with fresh tap water.

The exact amount of time required to thaw frozen strawberries this way will depend on how many are in the bowl.

Once thawed, pat the berries dry with a clean kitchen towel and proceed with the recipe as instructed.

Thawing Strawberries in the Microwave

Place the desired amount of frozen fresh strawberries in a microwave-safe bowl that’s been lined with a paper towel (this helps soak up the excess moisture from the berries).

Using the “Defrost” setting of your microwave, microwave the berries for 30 seconds. If they’re not fully thawed by that point, continue microwaving them on the defrost setting for 10-second intervals.

Thawing Strawberries in the Fridge

Measure the desired amount of frozen fresh strawberries into a bowl or sealable container. Place the berries in the fridge overnight, or for about 6 hours.

In the morning, the berries will be thawed and ready to use.

Troubleshooting Frozen Strawberries + Solutions

For the most part, it’s easy to substitute fresh strawberries with frozen strawberries. However, you may run into one of the following issues when doing so:

  • My strawberries bled into the batter — Frozen berries often bleed into quick bread and cake batters. To prevent this, rinse the berries until cold tap water and pat them dry. Then, toss them with flour before mixing them into the batter.
  • The recipe came out too watery — Frozen fresh strawberries release quite a bit of liquid once cooked. To combat this, toss the berries in some all-purpose flour before mixing them into the batter. If making a strawberry sauce or a fruit filling of some kind (i.e. in a pie or fruit crisp), you can add cornstarch to the berry mixture instead.
  • The berries sank to the bottom — Don’t add frozen strawberries straight to the batter. Instead, toss them in a tablespoon or two of all-purpose flour first. This will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the batter.

Frozen Strawberry Recipes (That Don’t Need Thawing)

Now that you know everything there is to know about freezing strawberries, you can start cooking with them! Below are some of my all-time favorite frozen strawberry recipes that don’t require thawing first. From smoothies to sauces to muffins, there are so many recipes using frozen strawberries that you can make!

Frozen Strawberry Recipes (That Do Need Thawing)

While I love making frozen strawberry recipes that don’t require thawing in advance, I also have quite a few recipes that do call for thawed berries. Here are my favorite recipes using thawed frozen strawberries.

More Produce Freezing Guides

Now that you know everything there is to know about freezing strawberries, here are some more helpful freezer. tutorials:

Frozen grapes make for great snacks on hot days, and they can be thrown into smoothies. Here’s How to Freeze Grapes the easy way!

Learn How to Freeze Blueberries, plus get answers to FAQ about thawing frozen blueberries and using them in recipes.

Freezing Cranberries is a great way to take advantage of winter’s offerings year-round!

Yep, you can freeze spinach too. Here’s How to Freeze Spinach, plus a yummy smoothie you can make with it.

Freezing Basil minimizes food waste, preserves garden bounty, and ensures you always have some on hand for soups, stews, sauces, and more!

Enjoy summer berries year round when you learn How to Freeze Raspberries. Check out all the recipe ideas, too.

Can You Freeze Kale? Absolutely! This post breaks down exactly how to freeze kale four different ways, depending on how you’ll want to use the frozen kale.

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

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How to Freeze Strawberries

How to Freeze Strawberries

Yield: 1 pound
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

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

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Strawberries

Instructions

  1. Discard any berries that have gone soft or have become discolored. 
  2. Rinse the remaining strawberries in a colander under cold tap water. 
  3. Gently pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel. (They must be fully dry before being frozen, otherwise they can develop freezer burn more quickly.)
  4. Spread the berries on a parchment paper-lined baking tray (tip: How to Line Pans with Parchment Paper). Make sure none of the berries overlap. 
  5. Place the baking tray in the freezer. Keep it as level as possible to prevent the strawberries from sliding to one side. 
  6. Freeze the berries just until solid, about 1 hour. 
  7. Label and date the bag so you remember when you froze the strawberries.  

Notes

How to Prep Strawberries for Freezing

At minimum, the strawberries need a really good rinsing with water before freezing. If you want a deeper clean, here are my 2 favorite methods:

  • Branch Basics is my favorite non-toxic cleaner for washing produce. (Use code GLE15 for 15% off Branch Basics Products). Spray fruit with All-Purpose Cleaner, let soak 2 - 3 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with cold water.
  • DIY Cleaning Solution for Strawberries using 1/2 cup vinegar per 3 cups water. Let the berries soak in a large bowl of the solution for 2 - 3 minutes. Then, give them a good rinse.
  • How Long Do Frozen Strawberries Last? 

    If stored correctly, frozen strawberries will last 12 to 18 months in the freezer.

    Recommended Products

    As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 4 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 36Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 1mgCarbohydrates 9gFiber 2gSugar 6gProtein 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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