Zucchini are among the most consumed vegetables during the summer, because they are fresh and light, excellent to be consumed both cold and hot. If you are thinking of stocking them up to always have them available in the kitchen, the answer is yes, zucchini can be frozen, both raw and cooked! Storing zucchini in the freezer is a clever and very practical solution to keep them for a long time, without losing their flavors and nutrients and enjoy them later.
A food not only super nutritious, but also very tasty and variable, which we can use for the most varied recipes: from pureed soups, to side dishes, au gratin, grilled, fried, baked with stringy mozzarella, or to accompany tasty salads.
If you are thinking of stocking them up to always have them available for your recipes, the answer is yes, zucchini can be frozen, both raw and cooked! Preserving zucchini in the freezer is a clever and very practical solution to preserve them for a long time, without losing their flavors and nutrients and enjoy them later. Prepare comfortable single portions to defrost if necessary. How? We will explain it to you with this guide. So let’s see how to freeze cooked and raw zucchini.
How to freeze raw zucchini
Freezing raw zucchini is the best way to preserve all its characteristics and nutrients. But it is strongly discouraged to freeze them whole; so wash them, dry them well, remove the ends, then cut them into rounds, cubes, slices or sticks. Place them on a well-spaced tray and leave them in the freezer for at least a couple of hours. That way they won't stick to each other. Once frozen, you can close them all together, or divided into single portions, in freezer bags.
The best and most hygienic way to preserve zucchini is to put them in vacuum-sealed bag, before putting them in the freezer. Wash them, cut them into pieces and divide them into bags. Remember to leave a few centimeter of free space, because once frozen zucchini will take up more volume. In a vacuum-sealed bag, the zucchini will not be in contact with the air and therefore they will be preserved in a completely healthy way. You can do it both raw and cooked, better if you have a special machine to do it.
Alternatively, you can also prepare a delicious raw zucchini pesto and preserve it for a long time. Wash the zucchini and cut them into strips. In a mixer, blend them together with the grated Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and olive oil. Store the pesto in a airtight container or in a closed jar of about 80 grams (it will be the dose needed to season two pasta dishes).
How to freeze cooked zucchini
You can also preserve the already cooked zucchini and defrost them when necessary, it will only take a few minutes to heat them and they will be ready to be enjoyed again. If you have prepared the zucchini on the grill or in the oven, it is important that they have cooled down completely, before moving on to freezing. Once cold, spread the zucchini on a tray or container where they can be well spaced. Freeze them for a couple of hours, then put them into a single freezer bag.
For faster cooking, when you are going to defrost them, you can slightly blanch the zucchini before putting them in the freezer. Boil a pot of water, then lower the diced zucchini and let them cook for at least a couple of minutes. It is important to pass them immediately under cold water, even better if left to soak with ice. In this way they will better maintain the consistency in the freezer. Dry them well with a cloth, then move on to the traditional conservation.
In the same way, for a tasty zucchini sauce to defrost when necessary, cook the diced vegetables in a pan with a drizzle of oil and shallot. Blend them in a mixer and season with salt and pepper. Let the sauce cool completely, then divide it into airtight containers and keep them in the freezer. When necessary, defrost and season with garlic, oil, mint, basil or as you like.
How long do frozen zucchini last
Frozen zucchini last for a long time, which is why preserving them in the freezer is a really smart and very practical way to have them available all winter too.
In general, raw zucchini remain unchanged for 8 to 12 months, but of course times can vary according to various factors. It depends both on the temperature and power of the freezer, and on the type and material of the container in which you are preserving them.
The zucchini preserved in a vacuum-sealed bag last in the freezer for about 7 or 8 months, while blanched zucchini can be preserved between 9 and 14 months.