The Best Way to Freeze Asparagus

Save that spring bounty!

April 30, 2020

Related To:

asparagus

Photo by: Dalattraveler / Getty Images

Dalattraveler / Getty Images

By Susan Choung for Food Network Kitchen

Asparagus has a very short season — it's gone faster than your family during clean-up time. The juicy green stalks also don't last long in the fridge, so if you can't eat your bundles of asparagus right away, consider freezing them. If possible, choose thicker spears for freezing; they'll hold up better to the low temps than the pencil-thin ones. No matter the size, follow these simple steps to get these noble vegetables ready for the ice box:

Wash the Asparagus

Sort through the asparagus and toss any spears that have gone soft, gotten soggy or shriveled. They won't make for good eating fresh, and will be even less appealing when thawed from frozen. Rinse the remaining spears in a colander under cold running water.

Trim the Woody Ends

Have you ever nibbled down to the stem end of an asparagus spear only to have it lodge in your teeth like an unwelcome house guest? Then you know what a dental nightmare untrimmed asparagus can be. An easy way to trim is to bend the end of a raw spear and snap off the white woody nub at its natural breaking point. Another way — one that keeps more of the edible spear intact — is to cut off about an inch from the bottoms then shave away the fibrous skin with a vegetable peeler. Either method will work for freezing. Just be sure to freeze your trimmings separately to make asparagus soup later. #spoileralert

Blanch the Spears

This step seems finnicky, but the frozen asparagus will look and taste so much better if you boil them briefly then shock them in ice water. Just do the following:

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, combine set aside a large bowl of ice water.
  • If your asparagus spears vary in thickness, boil the thickest ones first, just until they turn bright green, about 4 minutes. Boil medium spears for about 3 minutes, then thinner ones for about 2 minutes.
  • Remove the asparagus from the water with tongs or a mesh spider and plunge into the prepared ice bath, just until cooled.
  • Drain and pat completely dry with a clean kitchen towel.

Freeze the Asparagus

Cut the dried asparagus into 1- to 2-inch pieces, depending on how you plan to cook them afterward. If you want to get fancy, cut the spears on a diagonal. Transfer the asparagus to freezer bags and label them with the date. Don't overcrowd the bags — these are delicate vegetables, not items in carry-on luggage. You want to keep the pieces in a single layer so they'll freeze quickly and last for up to 8 months.

How to Cook Frozen Asparagus

As with most vegetables, asparagus will lose some its crispness in the freezer, so make their final destination a dish that will cook them down to a tender texture. Try frozen asparagus in a hot or chilled soup, risotto, pasta sauce or casserole. Fortunately, you can cook the asparagus from frozen, so no need to thaw it first. Spring and its bounty may be fleeting, but with the right prep, frozen food is (almost) forever.

How to Grow Asparagus at Home

From tips for planting seeds and crowns to advice on harvesting, this handy guide from the experts at HGTV covers everything you need to know.

Recipes to Try:

Related Links:

Next Up

Can You Freeze Avocado?

Extend the life of perfectly ripe avocados easily and effectively.

The Rules of Make-Ahead-and-Freeze Meals

With this extensive guide, there’s no need for you to — er — freeze up.

How to Freeze Mushrooms

Find out how to make the most of that earthy flavor.

How to Freeze Zucchini and Summer Squash

Make squash season last forever with these easy tips.

Yes, You Can Freeze Tomatoes in 3 Different Ways

Stretch tomato season indefinitely with these easy tips.

Can You Freeze Milk?

Is freezing dairy liquids like milk and heavy cream a do or a don't? Here are our thoughts.

How to Freeze Fresh Berries

How to be sure those berries will be ready for pies, smoothies and more.

How to Use Your Produce Before It Goes Bad

The best ways to use whatever fruits and vegetables you have on hand.

How to Store Onions

Keep them fresh for over a month with these simple storage tips.

How to Store All the Fresh, Healthy Foods So They Last Longer

Correct storage strategy is key — here's how to put away produce and meat so it doesn't spoil quickly.

What's New