I eat greens almost every day, and I generally try to leave as little leftovers as possible. However, that’s not always the case, especially if I have some meat on the side. After steaming a good batch of my favorite greens, I always freeze them to enjoy later with my family.
So to answer the question if can freeze steamed vegetables, yes, steamed veggies can be frozen quite easily if you know what you’re doing. If not, you’ve come to the right place;
I’ll walk you through the basics, but first:
What Happens if you Freeze Steamed Vegetables?
Freezing is benefitting steamed vegetables in several ways. First of all, it may help preserve the nutrients in vegetables. Secondly, freezing can help veggies retain their taste and chewiness for the most part.
You should only pay attention to the recommended time during which veggies can remain in the freezer; after some time, nutrients start to dissipate, and some greens can change in texture.
Benefits of Freezing Steamed Vegetables
- Easy to freeze and reheat
- If you’ve steamed it correctly, they will taste the same
- Massively extends the shelf life of most vegetables
- An ideal way to preserve your leftover steamed greens
Downsides of Freezing Steamed Vegetables
- You have to keep tabs on recommended freezing time for different veggies
- Certain vegetables freeze poorly
- Retaining optimal taste and texture can be quite challenging
Is it Safe to Freeze Steamed Vegetables?
It is entirely safe to freeze steamed vegetables if adequately cooled. The time during which vegetables can remain in your freezer varies from type to type. I recommend keeping them in for nine months at most.
Is it Better to Freeze Fresh or Steamed Vegetables?
All vegetables are better to freeze after being steamed. Raw and fresh vegetables freeze poorly, aside from onions and certain types of peppers.
What Vegetables Freeze Well After Steaming?
|Can you freeze steamed broccoli?
|Yes, up to eight months.
|Can you freeze steamed sweet potatoes?
|Yes, up to six months.
|Can you freeze steamed cabbage?
|Yes, up to nine months.
|Can you freeze steamed carrots?
|Yes, up to twelve months.
|Can you freeze steamed onions?
|Yes, up to six months.
How to Freeze Steamed Vegetables
Steamed vegetables need to be cooled before being placed in the freezer. I use airtight containers, but you can use freezer bags if you prefer. Follow these steps to freeze your steamed greens safely:
Step 1: Let Your Veggies Cool Off
Place steamed vegetables in a bowl and let them cool at room temperature. Don’t leave them out for longer than an hour, as harmful microbes may infest them.
In my experience, steamed veggies are suitable for freezing up to approximately two hours after being left to cool at room temperature.
Step 2: Place the Vegetables in a Freezer-friendly Container
To minimize the effects of freezer burn, I use airtight containers. Investing in quality freezer bags is also a good option. I prefer airtight containers because they offer a bit of extra space while providing the same benefits as freezer bags.
(Optional) Step 3: Divide Veggies by Type in Different Containers
Similar to freezing roasted vegetables, if you have the time and freezer space, I recommend using different containers for different vegetable types. You can still use whichever container type you have (or prefer). The idea is to keep veggies that can last longer in separate containers so that you don’t need to unpack them when less enduring greens need to be pulled out.
For instance, steamed carrots can be safely stored in a freezer for over a year, while tomatoes typically start to turn after nine months. Salad-type greens can last several months, but I don’t recommend keeping them inside the freezer for too long; they can become soggy and acquire a bitter taste.
Step 4: Label the Containers
I label all my frozen foods simply for the sake of convenience. It’s a smart idea for steamed veggies, especially when you plan to freeze several types with different recommended freezer times.
Write the name of the ‘weakest’ vegetables on the label if you’re using a single container. This will give you a good idea of when you should pull the box out, as well as serve as a reminder to which greens you’ve frozen.
For example, the label can read “Tomatoes, Carrots, and Lettuce; February 10 – November 10”.
Step 5: Place the Containers in the Freezer
In a good quality freezer, where you put the containers is almost irrelevant. If you’re using an old, worn model, try to place them at the back. This is usually the place where the temperature is more consistent.
How Long Can You Freeze Steamed Vegetables?
All vegetables have different freezer tolerance, which dictates how long they can remain frozen. While some may say that keeping your steamed veggies frozen for up to nine months is a good idea, I’d say six months is more likely to be the estimated average.
While dozens of vegetable types can sit well for more than eight-nine months in a freezer, you risk losing the taste and texture of weaker greens.
How To Defrost Steamed Vegetables?
There are several ways to defrost your steamed veggies. Personally, I favor the convenience of a microwave, as it can defrost large frozen chunks quickly and reliably. Most vegetables can be thawed with the ‘defrost’ function in 20 minutes, while more enduring types require no more than 30-40.
The traditional vegetable defrosting method requires a fridge. Simply pull the container out of the freezer, open the seal, and place it in your fridge. Just like different veggies freeze differently, they also thaw at a different pace. You may need to wait between 12 and 24 hours for your steamed greens to thaw inside a fridge fully.
Can You Refreeze Steamed Vegetables?
Only if you haven’t wholly thawed your veggies at room temperature; steamed vegetables thawed in a fridge or a microwave refreeze better.
Best Tips for Freezing Steamed Vegetables
- Leave veggies to cool at room temperature for thirty minutes tops
- Wrap the vegetables to provide additional protection against freezer burn
- Freezer wrap and airtight containers work the best
- Microwave thawing is much faster than fridge thawing
- Be careful when freezing onions, as they can’t last longer than six months
- All veggies freeze better after being steamed
You can freeze all types of steamed vegetables by wrapping them tightly and placing them in freezer-friendly containers. Whether it’s broccoli, carrots, spinach, or onions, you can prolong the lifetime of your favorite veggies by freezing them.
If you’ve found my guide helpful, feel free to explore my other content and ‘how to freeze’ guides. Maybe you also like checking out the in-depth guide on freezing cooked vegetables.
Let me know what’s your favorite steamed vegetable in the comments below!