Whether roasted as a side or tossed into a salad, life always feels more nourishing with Brussels sprouts on the menu. These green globes offer a pleasant crunch and subtly sweet flavor.
However, their crisp texture quickly fades after harvest. Without proper freezing often ruins Brussels sprouts, leaving them soggy and muted.
So Can You Freeze Brussel Sprouts, And If Yes Then How Do We Freeze Them?
Yes, you can freeze brussel sprouts for 4 months. To freeze, allow the beans to cool completely after cooking. Then transfer to a freezer-safe container or freezer bag.
How To Freeze Brussels Sprouts?
Freezing Brussels sprouts is a great way to preserve them when they are in season so you can enjoy their sweet, nutty flavor all year long. Brussels sprouts freeze well with little loss of texture or flavor. Here are some tips for successfully freezing Brussels sprouts:
Choose fresh, firm brussels sprouts
Select Brussels sprouts that are tightly closed, bright green in color, and firm to the touch. Size does not matter when freezing – go for sprouts of any size. Avoid sprouts that are yellowed, wilted, or have brown blemishes. The fresher the sprouts, the better the frozen product.
Blanch brussels sprouts before freezing
Blanching helps stop the enzyme action that can lead to loss of flavor, color, and texture. To blanch: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add Brussels sprouts and boil for 3-5 minutes until bright green. Drain and immediately submerge in ice water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled, drain sprouts well and pat dry with paper towels.
Portion sprouts for freezing
Portion sprouts in usable amounts before freezing. You can freeze them loose or in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to freezer bags or airtight containers. Portioning them allows you to thaw only what you need at a time.
Use freezer bags or airtight containers
Place blanched and dried Brussels sprouts in freezer bags, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Rigid airtight containers also work well. The key is to use packaging that protects the sprouts from air exposure which can lead to freezer burn. Label bags or containers with contents and dates.
For best quality, frozen brussels sprouts quickly at 0°F or below. Place bagged sprouts flat in a single layer on a sheet pan and freeze until solid before stacking the bags. Fast freezing prevents large ice crystals from forming and damaging the sprouts.
Use frozen sprouts within 8-10 months
Properly frozen Brussels sprouts will maintain quality for 8-10 months in the freezer before losing flavor and texture. Mark the freeze date on bags and containers and use the oldest sprouts first.
Following these simple tips will allow you to enjoy delicious Brussels sprouts year-round!
Why Should You Freeze Brussel Sprouts?
Freezing Brussels sprouts offers many benefits:
Brussels sprouts are only in season for a short time. Freezing them preserves the flavor, texture, and nutritional value when they are harvested at peak freshness. Frozen sprouts will taste fresh for up to a year.
Enjoy brussels sprouts year-round
Freezing allows you to enjoy tasty Brussels sprouts during the off-season when they are unavailable fresh. Having them on hand makes it easy to add them to recipes all year.
Take advantage of seasonal prices
Brussels sprouts are typically less expensive when purchased in season. Stock up and freeze extras to save money.
Reduce food waste
Freezing prevents having to throw away sprouts that can’t be used while fresh before they go bad. Freezing preserves the entire harvest.
Correct freezing preserves most of the nutrients in Brussels sprouts including vitamins C and K. Well-frozen sprouts are nutritionally comparable to fresh.
Having frozen, pre-portioned Brussels sprouts ready to cook saves time in meal prepping. No need to wash, trim, or cut – just thaw and use!
Try new recipes
Think outside the box for how to use frozen Brussels sprouts. Their versatility lends itself to casseroles, soups, pasta dishes, and more.
Freezing is a simple way to get the most out of the Brussels sprouts season. Enjoy their sweet flavor and health benefits even when they are out of season.
How To Thaw Frozen Brussel Sprouts?
Thawing frozen Brussels sprouts properly ensures they retain texture and flavor. Here are some thawing methods:
For best results, thaw frozen sprouts overnight in the refrigerator. Place the frozen sprouts in a bowl or on a plate to catch any drips as they thaw. Most sprouts will be thawed in the morning, and ready to use in recipes.
Cold water thawing
For a quicker thaw, place frozen sprouts in a colander or strainer and run under cold tap water. Stir frequently and thaw until sprouts are pliable when pierced with a fork. Drain well before using.
Microwaving does speed up thawing but can result in a loss of texture. Thaw sprouts on the defrost setting in 1-minute increments, checking and stirring in between until thawed. A microwave-safe container with a vented lid works best.
Steaming from frozen
Frozen Brussels sprouts can be steamed directly without thawing first. Add frozen sprouts to a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam for 2-3 minutes longer than fresh sprouts until hot and tender.
Sauteeing from frozen
Frozen Brussels sprouts can also be added directly to hot oil in a saute pan. Saute over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until hot and browned, adding any other aromatics at the end.
The key to thawing Brussels sprouts is to do it gently and evenly. Microwaving too intensely can lead to mushiness. Always thaw and cook frozen sprouts before refreezing.
How To Store Brussel Sprouts?
Proper storage keeps Brussels sprouts fresh longer:
- Store unwashed – don’t wash before storing
- Use breathable packaging like bamboo colanders
- Keep sprouts cold in the fridge crisper at 32-35°F
- Avoid sealed plastic bags
- Keep away from ethylene-producing fruits
- Wash just before use
- Use within 3-5 weeks
With proper techniques, fresh sprouts will last up to a month or more after purchasing.
How To Use Frozen Brussel Sprouts?
Frozen brussels sprouts can be used in place of fresh in many recipes:
- Roast frozen sprouts
- Saute frozen sprouts
- Make a sprouts hash
- Add to pasta dishes
- Puree into soup
- Bake a sprouts gratin
- Fold into fritters
Frozen sprouts are ready to cook without defrosting – just adjust the cooking time slightly.
How To Tell If Brussel Sprouts Are Gone Bad?
Here are signs Brussels sprouts have gone bad:
- Strong, sulfur-like odor
- Wilting and shriveling
- Mold growth
- Damaged outer leaves
When in doubt, remember “When in doubt, throw it out!”
Is It OK to Freeze Brussels sprouts?
Yes, Brussels sprouts freeze very well with little quality compromise. With proper freezing, storage, and thawing, frozen Brussels sprouts retain:
- Sweet, nutty flavor
- Bright green color
- Firm, tender texture
- Nutrient content
Frozen sprouts taste freshly picked. Freezing lets you enjoy delicious Brussels sprouts year-round.
Q1. Can you freeze fresh raw Brussels sprouts?
A1. Yes, fresh raw Brussels sprouts can be frozen successfully. Blanching them first helps maintain texture.
Q2. Can you freeze raw Brussels sprouts without blanching?
A2. Brussel sprouts can be frozen without blanching but they may become softer in texture once thawed. Blanching is recommended.
Q3. Do Brussels sprouts freeze well?
A3. Yes, Brussels sprouts freeze very well and maintain their flavor. Blanching before freezing improves texture.
Q4. How long do uncooked Brussels sprouts last in the freezer?
A4. Uncooked, unblanched Brussels sprouts last about 6-9 months in the freezer before a notable decline in quality.
Q5. What is the best way to freeze fresh Brussels sprouts?
A5. The best way is to trim, wash, blanch for 3 minutes, cool, dry, and freeze sprouts in a single layer before transferring them to bags.
Q6. How do you prepare Brussels sprouts for freezing?
A6. Wash sprouts, trim ends, blanch for 3 minutes, drain, pat dry, and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet before freezing.