If you're wondering how to freeze asparagus for maintaining the best taste and texture for later use, see my guide below of the best methods! Just a few quick and easy steps will help you enjoy your garden-fresh asparagus year-round!
Asparagus can be consumed cooked or raw, but if you buy it fresh, you'll want to know how to freeze asparagus so you can enjoy it all year long! There are several different ways to prepare asparagus for freezing, and each one has its own benefits and drawbacks.
Let's take a look at four ways to freeze asparagus so you can select the best method for your tastes and needs.
Blanch, Then Toss With Oil
This is a good method if you plan to use asparagus in cooked dishes like casseroles, frittatas, or quiches. Simply blanch the asparagus in boiling water for two minutes, then shock it in ice water. Drain and pat dry, then toss with a light coating of olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and freeze until solid, then transfer to an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to six months.
This is an easy method if you're making a lot of asparagus and want to freeze most of it. Bring a large pot of water with 1 tablespoon salt per quart (liter) of water up to boiling, add asparagus and cook until fork tender. Plunge into cold water to stop cooking, drain well, and then spread on baking sheets in a single layer. Place sheets in the freezer for several hours or overnight until frozen solid. Pack into heavy-duty freezer bags or containers once frozen hard. This method will leave some ice crystals, but since asparagus doesn't need additional cooking, that won't matter when you thaw your food before using it.
Frozen & Steamed
If you're in a rush and want to freeze asparagus quickly, then raw is your best bet. Snap off and discard about ½ an inch of woody stem at each end of each spear, then spread out on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or waxed paper. Put it in your freezer until frozen solid, then transfer it into an airtight bag or container for long-term storage. Thawing is easy, simply drop them into boiling water for one minute, drain well (it will prevent extra water from pooling inside), and serve warm or chilled!
Freeze Raw Asparagus
To freeze raw asparagus, trim about ½-inch from the base and remove loose scales. Place trimmed spears in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour until solid. (Don't stack asparagus because it will be difficult to separate after freezing.) After an hour, remove spears from the freezer and place them in an airtight container or bag; return to the freezer. Frozen asparagus should be used within 4 months. To use frozen asparagus, allow it to thaw completely and cook according to recipe directions.
When freezing asparagus, you need not worry about your food losing nutrients or changing color. Freezing does not damage its phytonutrients or vitamins. Freezing also maintains color because of low oxygen levels inside freezer packages. When thawed, vegetables maintain their nutritional value and taste because no damage occurs during thawing. While some blanching is needed before freezing and after thawing to retain texture and flavor, following these instructions will allow you to eat home-grown healthy food all year long!