Trying to find the best method for freezing broccoli? This guide is going to tell you everything you need to know. We're covering step-by-step directions to freeze broccoli like a pro as well as tips for avoiding some common problems.
Let's get started...
Can You Freeze Broccoli?
Quick Answer: You can definitely freeze broccoli! But you don't want to freeze it raw. For optimal flavor and texture, there are a few simple steps to follow, which you'll learn about below.
For answers to all your questions about broccoli and helpful serving tips, see The Benefits of Broccoli and How to Prepare It Properly.
Directions for Freezing Broccoli
Step 1 - Thoroughly Clean the Broccoli
Before you do anything else, make sure that you clean the broccoli well, especially if it's fresh from the farmers market and you can see visible dirt on it.
The best way to do this is to soak the broccoli in cool water for a few minutes. Then give it a final rinse under running water.
Step 2 - Cut the Broccoli into Small Florets
Now it's time to cut the broccoli into pieces. Cut the end of the broccoli stalk off, leaving intact any part of the stalk that you'll eat.
Then, using a small but sharp knife, cut the broccoli into little florets, about the size that you'd want for serving.
Step 3 - Prep a Blanching Station and Ice Bath
Blanching is an important step in freezing broccoli since it will ensure that the flavors and texture are preserved. There are a couple of ways you can do this.
One is to boil the broccoli. For this method, fill a pot with water and set it on the stove, turning up the heat to bring it to a boil.
If you like, you can steam the broccoli instead. In this case, choose a pot that will fit a steamer basket and add enough water so that the basket sits just above the water. Then set it on the stove (without the steamer basket) to boil.
Meanwhile, fill a bowl with cold water and ice to cool the broccoli down after blanching.
Step 4 - Blanch the Broccoli
For the boiling method, place the broccoli in the boiling water and let it blanch for no more than a few minutes, depending on how large the florets are. When they're done, they should be a bright green color.
If you're steaming, add the broccoli to the steam basket and put it in the pot over the boiling water. Cover with a lid and steam for up to five minutes.
Step 5 - Move the Broccoli to the Ice Bath
Strain the broccoli either in a colander in the sink or by scooping it out of the blanching pot with a slotted spoon.
Place the broccoli in the bowl filled with ice and water and let it cool completely, which should take only a few minutes.
Step 6 - Drain the Broccoli
Put the broccoli in the colander and drain in the sink. Give it a good shake to get rid of all the excess liquid.
It's not necessary to get the broccoli totally dry, so don't worry if you see that it's still a little damp. It just shouldn't be dripping wet, or you'll end up with freezer-burned broccoli.
Step 7 - Divide and Freeze the Broccoli
Grab some smaller freezer bags or freezer-safe containers and divide the broccoli into portions as you'll need them in the future.
Since the broccoli will probably stick together, portioning it this way will help you avoid a difficult situation trying to separate the pieces out of the freezer.
There's another way to freeze the broccoli for easier cooking later that involves a pre-freezing step.
Separate the broccoli florets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper and pop it in the freezer for a couple of hours. Then transfer the frozen broccoli to a large freezer bag or container and fill to the top to get rid of air pockets.
And that's it!
Broccoli is one of those vegetables that seems pretty straightforward when you're cutting it into florets, but you can run into snags with tough stems and thick pieces that are difficult to break up.
To find out how to get around these issues, watch the video below. It even includes what to do with the stems (like spiralizing them).
Then check out 10 Best Veggie Noodle Maker Options That Will Change the Way You Eat for all kinds of tips and tricks on freezing, cooking and choosing the best spiralizer.