How to Freeze Onions and Garlic

Keep them for even longer with these tips.

April 14, 2020

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Garlic cloves and onions on wooden vintage background


Garlic cloves and onions on wooden vintage background

Photo by: dulezidar / Getty Images

dulezidar / Getty Images

By Katherine Lok for Food Network Kitchen

Onions and garlic are pantry staples known for lasting for a while. While it's natural to buy them in bulk, if you have more than you can reasonably use before they start to soften and turn, the solution is simple: Freeze them!

Like peas and corn, onions and garlic store well in the freezer. While they're all-around versatile ingredients, there are a couple caveats for when they're frozen. Raw onions will lose their snappy texture, and if they're chopped too finely, they'll thaw into a mushy heap. Frozen garlic holds up much better, whether in its whole form or minced, but will also lose the crunchy bite that you get with fresh garlic. Generally frozen onions and garlic will both work best when added to cooked dishes like soups, stews and sauces.

To freeze, peel the onions and garlic and slice and dice (or, for garlic, mince) to your heart's content. This is also the perfect time to whip out your food processor to chop up a bunch at a time. You can either freeze them in their raw state or toss them in a neutral-flavored oil (such as olive or vegetable), which will help to preserve them and prevent freezer burn. Portion out the chopped onions and garlic in ice cube trays or on a baking sheet lined with parchment and coat them with oil. Stick them in the freezer for at least 3 hours, then transfer to containers for storage. While you can store them in resealable freezer bags, it's probably best to use canning jars or an air-tight container that will keep the pungent smell from overtaking your entire freezer.

Make sure to label the containers with the date they went into the freezer, as they usually keep well in the freezer for up to 2 to 3 months.

You can also consider pre-cooking your garlic and onions before putting them in the freezer. Frozen caramelized onions are perfect for making French onion soup in a pinch or adding oomph to burgers or mac and cheese. Whole roasted garlic is another great time-saving option — just squeeze out the roasted garlic flesh and portion them out to freeze. They'll provide amazing flavor for future use in any pasta, soup or dip.

Now, you may already be dreading having to peel all that garlic for freezing purposes, but we've got you covered. Follow along with Viv's Tips for a quick and easy way of peeling big batches of garlic. It's also a fun activity for kids to get involved in!

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