freeze courgettes

How to Freeze Courgettes

If you grow courgette in your garden you know just how prolifically this vegetable can produce. While you can leave them on the plant to get larger for quite some time there comes a point where you are bound to have more than you can use. Freezing courgette is a great way to save it for later. From making courgette bread to pulling homemade noodles out of the freezer, this is a great way to preserve courgette for use in the future. 

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Can you freeze courgette?

Yes, you can freeze courgette to use at a later date. Freezing is a great way to store your courgette for later use. Other methods of preserving courgettes, like dehydrating them, can limit how you can use your courgette later.   However, I do love courgette crisps made in the dehydrator (and there’s more on that here) Freezing courgettes, however, allows you to use your courgette for nearly anything, even as noodles.   Or zoodles as they’re known.  (this name comes from the American name for courgettes – zucchini, so when made into noodles they become zoodles)

However, courgettes are a vegetable with high water content, so to help preserve the texture of your courgette and avoid having mushy and watery final dishes I recommend blanching your courgette before freezing it.

How to freeze courgettes

Freezing courgette is easy to do and a great way to preserve it for later. The hardest part is deciding how you want to freeze it.  And I’ll cover that shortly.  So here’s how to go about freezing courgette.

  • Wash and properly cut your courgette to the size and shape you want.  You need to cut the courgette into the shape in which you want to freeze it BEFORE you blanch it.  (there’s also more on freezing courgettes without blanching later).
  • To help keep your courgette from becoming too limp and soggy after cutting it how you want it you’ll need to blanch your courgette.

How to blanch courgettes

Blanching courgettes is easy.  Place your washed and cut courgette into a pan of boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes.  Then remove it and place it in a pre-prepared bowl of ice water.    This bit is REALLY important.  This STOPs the cooking process, so you don’t end up with mush.  Do NOT wait until you have pulled the courgette out of the pan before you go looking for ice.  Have it ready.  The courgette will keep cooking until the iced water stops the process.

  • Once your courgette is blanched and iced.  Remove it from the water.
  • Pat it dry with a clean tea towel.   (You can use a paper towel, but I’m trying to be more environmentally conscious and not use one-time usage paper towels.  I did find these awesome bamboo reusable towels, which are brilliant – but you can also use a regular tea towel, just make sure it’s clean!)
  • The less moisture on the outside of your courgette the less likely that it will crystalize and start the freezer burn process. Courgette already has a high water content so you do not want to add any more water that could lead to freezer burn or simply soggy courgette.
  • Now, place your courgette on a lined baking tray in a single layer and freeze for 2-4 hours. This will freeze the pieces of courgette separately to make it easier to grab only what you need if you are not freezing into single packs for your favourite recipes.

I use reusable baking paper sheets like this one – which means less waste and they’re fabulous to use in both the oven and the freezer.

  • After your courgette has frozen, move the pieces to an air-tight container.
  • For longer storage move your courgette into vacuum-sealed bags that eliminate air that leads to freezer burn.

If you know what you will be doing with your courgette you can place the amounts you need for your recipes into vacuum-sealed bags and freeze them flat for convenience. This is a great option if you plan to make things like courgette bread (this is a really great courgette bread recipe) which freezes well but takes up a lot of space so freezing only the courgette helps to save more space in your freezer.

Freezing courgettes without blanching them

Depending on the use you have for your courgette you can get away with no blanching. If your goal is to make courgette bread where the soft mushy texture will work perfectly you can simply shred and freeze without worrying about blanching and still have the perfect courgette bread.

To freeze courgettes without blanching

  • Wash courgettes
  • Cut or grate to the size you want to freeze them in
  • Pat as dry as you can with a tea towel
  • Now, place your courgette on a lined baking tray in a single layer and freeze for 2-4 hours.
  • Once frozen, move to an airtight container as above.

For things like zoodles, you will need to blanch or risk having mushy noodles.

The best ways to freeze courgettes

Courgette can be from in nearly any way you plan to use it. From sliced or shredded for making courgette bread or muffins to homemade zoodles. The trick is to prepare your courgette the way you need it to be before you freeze it. After freezing and thawing you will find that courgette is too soft to really shape into what you need.

If you know what you plan to use your courgette for you can freeze it in the proper shape. If you are unsure and you simply want to preserve your courgette glut you can opt to do simple slices or shredded courgette which is really versatile.

If you enjoy courgette noodles these are perfect for freezing into single servings and vacuum sealing for storage. Remember the more exposed the surface area the higher the risk of freezer burn so vacuum sealing is the best option for keeping it fresher longer.

How to thaw and use frozen courgette

When you are ready to use your courgette you can cook it right from frozen for the best texture in cooked dishes. For things like courgette bread, you will need to thaw your courgette first. To thaw your courgette simply move it to the fridge overnight or onto your work surface for a few hours to thaw.

The texture of frozen courgette is softer than fresh but the flavour holds well and it is perfect in cooked dishes though it is not preferable for things like fresh salads because of its lack of crispy texture.

FAQs about freezing courgettes

Got questions about freezing courgettes? Or want to know more about how to freeze courgettes and we haven’t answered your questions?  Check out our frequently asked questions about freezing courgettes below, or ask us yours in the comments.

Can you freeze uncooked courgettes?

Yes, you can freeze uncooked courgettes. 

How long can you keep frozen courgettes

The usual limit of time for keeping frozen courgettes is 3 months.  The more preparation you put into them the longer they will keep.  So be sure to blanch them.  Dry them as much as you can.  Store them in airtight containers, or vacuum packs inside the freezer. 

Do frozen courgettes go mushy?

Lots of frozen courgettes go mushy, yes, because they’re 95% water!  So once it thaws they go very, very soft.  You can reduce this tendency to go mushy by drying them as much as you can (pat dry with a tea towel).  And also blanching before that.  Also, make sure that you cut the courgette into the shape that you’ll want it before freezing. 

Do courgettes need blanching before freezing?

No.  You can freeze courgette without blanching.   If you freeze courgettes without blanching, then it’s best to grate them or shred them before freezing and use them in soups (this is a fabulous recipe for creamy courgette soup) or courgette bread.

What other vegetables can I freeze?

You can freeze more vegetables – our guide to freezing carrots is here.

Don’t forget if you want details on growing courgettes, then our guide to the best way to grow courgettes is here.

Final Words on How to Freeze Courgettes

Courgettes are those magical vegetables where you look in the garden on an evening and they’re looking good and you think, it will be a few days before they’re ready and then the next morning they’re enormous!  It is so easy to get a glut of courgettes.  And so being able to manage courgette gluts is important because it happens to us all at some time.   Using the freezer to preserve courgettes is a great way of keeping them for later.  Let us know how you get on with frozen courgettes and what your favourite frozen courgette shape is!

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