How to Freeze Green Beans

How to preserve that gorgeous summer bounty while it's at its prime.

May 24, 2023
Frozen green beans, haricots verts,  close up in a bowl on light grey background, flat lay, copy space

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Frozen green beans, haricots verts, close up in a bowl on light grey background, flat lay, copy space

Photo by: Nature, food, landscape, travel/Getty Images

Nature, food, landscape, travel/Getty Images

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Green beans can be found with reasonable ease throughout the year but are truly in season from May to October. So why not preserve these vibrant beans when they are at their peak of freshness and flavor? You may be surprised to find that freezing them is a very simple process anyone can do at home. Not only does it make this neutral veggie easy to incorporate into nearly any savory recipe, but also freezing also helps maintain the beans’ nutrients and color. Read on to learn how to properly freeze green beans and what to do with them once frozen.

How to Choose Green Beans for Freezing

To begin, you want to select good green beans that are firm and free of blemishes or any signs of damage. Freezing only maintains the quality of a vegetable; it does not improve it. Thus, it is important to identify and discard any rotten beans before you begin.

How to Freeze Green Beans

Fresh green beans on a plate

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Fresh green beans on a plate

Photo by: Elizaveta Antropova/Getty Images

Elizaveta Antropova/Getty Images

Step 1: Wash and Prep the Green Beans

Prepare the beans by rinsing in cold water. Use a colander to shake off any excess. Remove their stems and ends. If the beans have a fibrous string down the middle, remove and discard that as well. You can leave the beans whole or cut them into smaller pieces, depending on your preference. Now that the beans are washed, they are ready for blanching.

Step 2: Blanch the Green Beans

The way to ensure that the flavor, texture and color of your green beans are properly preserved is by blanching. To do this, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the green beans to the pot and let them cook until they turn bright green, about 2 to 3 minutes. Use tongs to remove them from the boiling water and immediately cool them.

Green beans in a colander. Boiled or blanched vegetables on a wooden table

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Green beans in a colander. Boiled or blanched vegetables on a wooden table

Photo by: Qwart/Getty Images

Qwart/Getty Images

Step 3: Cool the Green Beans

Cooling before freezing prevents the green beans from getting mushy or losing their color. While the beans are blanching, prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Once the beans are cooked, quickly remove them from the boiling water and transfer them to the ice bath using tongs or a colander. This immediately stops the cooking process and helps retain their texture and color. Allow the beans to cool in the ice bath completely, then drain them thoroughly to remove excess moisture. Now the beans can be stored for freezing.

Step 4: Dry the Green Beans

Remove the green beans from the ice bath and pat dry completely. Any excess water can cause ice crystals to form on the beans, which will decrease the quality of the beans once frozen.

Heap of frozen green beans

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Heap of frozen green beans

Photo by: Johner Images/Getty Images

Johner Images/Getty Images

Step 5: Freeze the Green Beans

Arrange the green beans on a tray in a single layer. This prevents them from sticking together during freezing. Place the tray into the freezer until the beans firm and frozen. Then, the beans can be transferred into airtight freezer-safe containers or bags. Remove as much air as possible from the bags before sealing them. Label with the date and freeze for 6 to 8 months.

Tips for Freezing Green Beans:

  • Use fresh green beans for the best flavor and texture.
  • Make sure to blanch the green beans before freezing to preserve their quality.
  • Dry the green beans thoroughly before packaging and freezing.
  • Label the package or container with the date and contents.
  • Use the frozen green beans within 6 to 8 months for best quality.
Here we combine three things everyone appreciates: the flavors of shrimp scampi, garlicky seasoning on tender Birds Eye® Steamfresh® vegetables and the ease of a sheet pan dinner. We made this even more weeknight friendly by replacing the typical white wine that goes in traditional scampi sauce with a last-minute squeeze of lemon.

Shrimp Scampi, Green Bean and Corn Sheet Pan Dinner

Here we combine three things everyone appreciates: the flavors of shrimp scampi, garlicky seasoning on tender Birds Eye® Steamfresh® vegetables and the ease of a sheet pan dinner. We made this even more weeknight friendly by replacing the typical white wine that goes in traditional scampi sauce with a last-minute squeeze of lemon.

How to Use Frozen Green Beans

Frozen green beans are particularly easy to cook with and incredibly versatile. You can take them directly from the freezer and add them to many savory recipes to up the nutritional content. Make them the star of the show with this classic Green Bean Casserole.

We especially love them for kids thanks to their mild flavor. Give this Cottage Pie with Potato Tots a try for your next family dinner.

They are also fantastic in any soup or stew, like this Slow Cooker Pork Curry. If you decided to freeze your beans whole, try this Shrimp Scampi Green Bean and Corn Sheet Pan Dinner (pictured above).

Should you want to defrost them, you can place the beans in the refrigerator overnight or in a bowl of cold water to thaw more quickly.

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