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Can You Freeze Broccoli? Easy How-To Guide

With its vivid green florets and nutritional benefits, broccoli is a popular veggie worldwide. Not only is it low-calorie and high in vitamins and minerals, but also a terrific addition to many meals.

Can You Freeze Broccoli featured image | Girl Meets Food

Can you freeze broccoli?

Yes, freezing preserves this vegetable’s freshness and flavor.

So let’s discuss the benefits of freezing broccoli, how to do it well, and how it affects texture and nutrients.

The secret to perfect frozen broccoli lies below 🠗🠗🠗

What you need

You’ll need some simple items to freeze broccoli in the best way:

  • Broccoli: Choose fresh, sturdy broccoli heads with firmly closed florets.
  • Knife or kitchen shears: To chop broccoli into appropriate sizes. A vegetable peeler might also come in handy.
  • Cutting board: For steady broccoli cutting.
  • Large pot or saucepan: To blanch your broccoli.
  • Slotted spoon or tongs: To remove blanched broccoli from boiling water.
  • Ice water: To chill the blanched broccoli and halt the cooking process.
  • Baking sheet: To spread broccoli in a single layer and cool quickly.
  • Freezer-safe bags or containers: For long-term storage of frozen broccoli florets.
  • Colander or strainer: To dry broccoli after blanching and chilling.
  • Freezer-safe containers or bags: To store frozen broccoli.
  • Marker or label: To mark the date and contents on containers or bags for simple identification.
  • Freezer: To keep frozen broccoli until ready to use.

If you have everything on hand, don’t hesitate to start prepping your broccoli for freezing.

How to prep your broccoli for freezing

Fresh broccoli on a chopping board | Girl Meets Food

Preparing broccoli for freezing is quite easy. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Choose fresh broccoli: Firm broccoli heads with securely wrapped florets. Avoid broccoli with yellowed or wilted florets.
  2. Wash the broccoli: Rinse the broccoli under cold running water to eliminate any dirt or debris. Let it air dry or pat it dry.
  3. Trim and cut: Remove broccoli stems’ rough or woody ends. Divide broccoli into florets. Peel the stalk’s rough outer shell and chop it into tiny pieces. I find them just as delicious as the florets.
  4. Blanch the broccoli: The blanching process preserves its color and quality. Start a big pot of water boiling. Add broccoli florets (and stem pieces, if using them) to boiling water. Allow 2-3 minutes to cook.
  5. Cool in ice water: Use a slotted spoon or tongs to transfer the blanched broccoli to a pot of cold water. This stops the cooking process and cools the broccoli immediately. Keep the broccoli in cold water for as long as it was blanched.
  6. Drain the broccoli: Drain the cooled broccoli in a colander or sieve. Remove any extra water.
  7. Pat dry (optional): If you like drier broccoli, gently pat the blanched and drained broccoli with a clean towel or paper towel to remove any excess moisture.

Following these instructions will prepare your broccoli for freezing and preserve its quality.

How to freeze broccoli

Frozen broccoli | Girl Meets Food

Time needed: 25 minutes.

Now that your broccoli is ready for freezing, follow these simple steps:

  1. Portion and package

    Divide the blanched and drained broccoli into appropriate portions. Place broccoli in freezer-safe containers or bags.

  2. Remove excess air (if using bags)

    Here’s a hack! Insert a straw inside the bag and seal it almost entirely, leaving a straw hole. After sucking out the air, close the bag and remove the straw. I also use vacuum sealer bags for a better airtight seal.

  3. Date and label

    Lable the packaging with the contents and date. Marking helps you identify and distinguish between different frozen foods.

  4. Arrange in the freezer

    Labeled and sealed containers or bags should be placed in a single layer on a flat freezer surface. Freezing is faster and more even this way. You can stack the containers or bags after the broccoli freezes solid.

  5. Maintain proper storage conditions

    To keep frozen broccoli fresh, keep the freezer below -18°C (0°F). Avoid opening freezer doors often to reduce temperature changes.

By following these procedures, you can be sure your frozen florets and stems turn out perfect after thawing.

Can you freeze fresh broccoli?

Yes, you can freeze fresh broccoli and keep it tasty and nutritious for a longer time.

You should note, though, that its texture can become softer than when it was fresh.

When frozen, fresh broccoli keeps for around 8-12 months.

How to blanch broccoli for freezing?

Frozen broccoli | Girl Meets Food

Blanching is an essential step which isn’t just for broccoli but also for other vegetables. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Bring a big saucepan of water to a boil. Blanching broccoli requires a big pot.
  2. Prepare a bowl of ice water while waiting for the water to boil. This will help to chill the blanched broccoli and cease cooking.
  3. Carefully add broccoli florets (and stalks) to boiling water. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Aim for tender-crisp broccoli. Keep in mind that the timing for the broccoli’s blanching should begin after the water has returned to a boil.
  4. Quickly and gently take the blanched broccoli from the boiling water and place it in the ice bath.
  5. Leave the broccoli in the cold water until totally chilled. Drain it in a colander or sieve after cooling.
  6. If you like drier broccoli, gently pat it with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.

That’s it! You have blanched broccoli ready to be portioned and packaged for freezing.

Can you freeze broccoli without blanching?

Yes, broccoli can be frozen without blanching, although blanching is advised to retain texture and green color.

If you’d like to freeze it raw anyway, just follow the instructions on how to freeze broccoli, minus the blanching step.

Can you freeze cooked broccoli?

Yes, you can freeze cooked broccoli. It’s a practical way to store leftovers or pre-boiled veggies.

Follow these steps:

  1. Cook the broccoli: Steam, boil, or sauté until done. It should be slightly undercooked.
  2. Cool the broccoli: Cooked broccoli can be cooled faster by soaking it in cold water for a few minutes before draining.
  3. Portion and package: Divide the cooled cooked broccoli into serving portions. Place broccoli in freezer-safe containers or bags, allowing room at the top for growth. Seal bags after removing as much air as feasible.
  4. Label and freeze: Label containers and bags with date and contents. Place them in a single layer in the freezer to freeze quickly. Once frozen, stack them to conserve space.
  5. Reheat and use: Thaw frozen cooked broccoli in the refrigerator overnight before using. Reheat it by steaming, microwaving, or adding it to your meals.

Cooked broccoli can soften a lot but it’s still good for many recipes. I like using it in soups and casseroles; the texture works for me in these dishes.

Can you freeze cream of broccoli soup?

Broccoli cream soup in a wooden bowl | Girl Meets Food

Yes, you can freeze cream of broccoli soup. The cream can separate or get gritty, but warming and stirring usually fix it.

You’ll have to let your soup cool and divide it into serving-sized portions or bigger containers. Seal the soup in freezer-safe containers or bags leaving room at the top for freezing expansion.

Defrost the soup overnight in the fridge before eating. The container can also be placed in a basin of cold water and changed every 30 minutes until thawed.

After defrosting, reheat the soup over low heat, stirring occasionally. To avoid cream separation, make sure it doesn’t come to a boil.

Consume frozen soup within a few months for optimal quality.

Can you freeze broccoli cheese soup?

Yes, you can freeze broccoli cheese soup.

If your cheese has separated or turned gritty, properly reheating it and stirring it can remedy the problem.

Broccoli cheese soup can be frozen by cooling it fully, portioning it into freezer-safe containers or bags, labeling them with the date and contents, and freezing them.

When ready to dine, defrost the soup overnight in the refrigerator and gently reheat it on the stovetop, stirring periodically to reincorporate the cheese.

You can serve it with some bread, salad and other tasty broccoli cheese soup sides.

Can you freeze broccoli casserole?

Broccoli cheese casserole in a white baking dish | Girl Meets Food

Yes, you can freeze broccoli casserole.

After the broccoli casserole cools, place it in freezer-safe containers or foil, label it, and freeze it.

Thaw the meal overnight and reheat it before serving. Stir your casserole to spread the sauce and cheese evenly.

The last batch of broccoli casserole I froze stayed tasty for more than two months.

I can’t skip my new preference — broccoli cheese casserole, as it combines tender broccoli and melted cheese into a truly delightful and satisfying dish! Yum!

Can you freeze broccoli rabe?

Broccoli rabe | Girl Meets Food

Yes, you can freeze broccoli rabe. Even if the leaves soften, they still taste delicious in various recipes.

Start by washing and cutting broccoli rabe. Blanch it for 2-3 minutes in boiling water.

Cool broccoli rabe immediately in an ice bath after blanching and drain it well. Put the containers or bags in the freezer after labeling them.

When ready to use, defrost frozen broccoli rabe in the refrigerator overnight and add it to your favorite recipes.

This leafy veggie can make a great substitute for bok choy and an alternative to Chinese broccoli in Asian-inspired recipes.

Can you cook frozen broccoli in the oven?

Yes, broccoli from the freezer can be baked in the oven.

Spread a sheet pan’s worth of frozen broccoli florets out in a single layer. Season it with salt, pepper, and herbs before finishing with a drizzle of olive oil.

Roast the broccoli in a preheated oven for around 15 to 20 minutes. Stir it halfway through to promote equal browning.

I cooked a frozen broccoli sheet-pan dinner in the oven last week and it was delicious. Really, it’s a huge time-saver!

Can you cook frozen broccoli in an air fryer?

Broccoli is cooking in an air fryer | Girl Meets Food

Yes, you can cook frozen broccoli in an air fryer.

Layer frozen broccoli florets in the preheated air fryer. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and herbs or spices on the broccoli and drizzle with oil.

Cook your broccoli for 8-10 minutes shaking the air fryer basket halfway through to evenly cook. If necessary, cook longer for crispiness.

Remove the broccoli from the air fryer and serve as a healthy side dish or ingredient in recipes.

How long can you freeze broccoli?

Broccoli freezes well for 8-12 months.

Generally, quality, packaging, and freezer temperature affect storage time.

Broccoli kept properly can be eaten after the suggested period, although its quality may decline. The texture will most probably get softer and less appealing.

How long does cooked broccoli last in the fridge?

Refrigerated cooked broccoli lasts 3-5 days. Proper storage preserves its freshness.

Before storing cooked broccoli in an airtight container or plastic wrap, let it cool fully. Refrigerate it within two hours of cooking.

It’s best to keep cooked broccoli at the coldest portion of the fridge, such as the back of a lower shelf.

Throw it away at any sign of bad smell or mold!

How do you defrost broccoli?

Frozen broccoli in the plastic container | Girl Meets Food

Broccoli defrosts in several ways. Three typical ways to thaw broccoli are:

  • Refrigerator method: Place frozen broccoli in a dish or plate and refrigerate. Let it melt overnight. This approach is best for broccoli quality and texture.
  • Cold water: Submerge frozen broccoli in a dish of cold water wrapped in a plastic bag. Change the water every 30 minutes. Depending on size and packing, broccoli should defrost in 1-3 hours.
  • Microwave: Cover frozen broccoli in a microwave-safe dish with a lid or plastic wrap. Follow the manufacturer’s broccoli weight and quantity requirements in the microwave’s defrost mode. Stop the microwave regularly to check progress and flip or rearrange the broccoli for even thawing. Avoid overcooking the broccoli.

Use broccoli immediately after thawing. It can be refrigerated for only 1-2 days after that.

Can you refreeze broccoli?

No, it’s best not to refreeze thawed broccoli.

Refreezing frozen broccoli worsens its flavor and texture. It may also develop germs and cause foodborne sickness.

Plan your servings and only defrost the broccoli you’ll use. If you thawed more than required, cook it and then freeze it for later use.

Does broccoli freeze well?

Yes, broccoli freezes well and stays fresh and nutritious when frozen. However, freezing may soften its texture and change the flavor.

To keep broccoli as fresh as possible, blanch it before freezing and store it in an airtight container or freezer bag.

Does freezing broccoli destroy nutrients?

Freezing broccoli loses some nutrients, but not much. 

When properly selected, blanched, packed, and stored, the influence on nutritional content is usually minor.

Freezing may reduce water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C, but there’s no significant difference in protein, fiber, calcium, and iron.

Does frozen broccoli taste good?

When stored properly, frozen broccoli can taste as good as fresh broccoli.

Seasonings and sauces improve the flavor of frozen broccoli whether steamed, stir-fried, roasted, or added to soups and casseroles.

How to store broccoli without fridge?

Fresh broccoli in the plastic container | Girl Meets Food

If no fridge is available, consider these broccoli storage methods:

  • Cool and moist environment: Find a basement or cellar that stays between 0°C and 10°C (32°F and 50°F). To keep moisture, store broccoli in a container or lightly wrap it with a damp paper towel.
  • Root cellars or cold, dark outdoor spaces: Maintain the correct temperature and ventilation. Avoid direct sunshine and dampness to preserve broccoli.
  • Water storage: Trim the broccoli stems and set them in a vase with a little water, like cut flowers. Keep the broccoli in a cold area and cover it loosely with a plastic bag or wrap to maintain moisture. Change water often to avoid stagnation.

Without proper cooling, it’s best to store broccoli for no longer than 1-2 days. If it’s withering, discolored, or smells bad, throw it out!

I tried the water storage method and my broccoli started wilting on the second day. Had I put it in the fridge, it would have lasted for up to a week.

Does uncooked broccoli need to be refrigerated?

Yes, uncooked broccoli should be refrigerated. Refrigeration slows bacteria and enzymatic activities that cause broccoli to degrade fast.

How do you store raw broccoli in the fridge?

Store raw broccoli in a perforated plastic bag or loosely in a plastic bag. This will prevent moisture accumulation and spoiling.

The refrigerator’s vegetable crisper drawer or bottom shelf works best in this case!

You can also put the broccoli stalk in a jar filled with an inch of water. Cover the leaves loosely with a plastic bag with holes for ventilation and store it in the fridge. Change the water every 1-2 days to avoid spoiling.

Uncooked broccoli can stay up to a week in the fridge, but it’s preferable to eat it as soon as possible for the greatest taste and nutrition.

Did I answer all your questions about freezing broccoli? Share your favorite broccoli dishes in the comments.

If you like cooking with frozen vegetables, you can also check out my article on how to freeze asparagus and discover some freezing tips for beetroot.

Frozen broccoli in the plastic container | Girl Meets Food

How to freeze broccoli

Learn how to freeze broccoli properly to retain its nutrients and enjoy its crispness and flavor all year round. Find easy freezing methods!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Freezing time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • Broccoli florets (fresh)


  • Choose Fresh Broccoli: Select firm broccoli heads with tightly closed florets, avoiding any signs of wilting or yellowing.
  • Clean and Dry: Thoroughly rinse the broccoli under cold water and either air-dry or gently pat it dry with a towel.
  • Trim and Cut: Remove tough stem ends, chop the stems, and cut the broccoli into florets.
  • Blanch: In a large pot, briefly blanch the broccoli for 2-3 minutes to preserve its color and quality.
  • Quickly Cool: Transfer the blanched broccoli to a bowl of ice water for the same duration as the blanching time to halt the cooking process.
  • Drain and Optionally Dry: Drain the broccoli and, if desired, gently pat it dry to reduce moisture.
  • Portion and Package: Divide the broccoli into portions and place them in freezer-safe containers or bags.
  • Air Removal (if using bags): Use a straw to remove excess air before sealing the bags.
  • Label and Date: Clearly label the containers or bags with the contents and the date for easy identification.
  • Organize in the Freezer: Lay the containers or bags flat for even freezing and stack them once they are solid.
  • Proper Storage: Maintain a freezer temperature below -18°C (0°F) to preserve the freshness. Minimize frequent freezer door openings.
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