Can You Freeze Brussels Sprouts?

Brussels sprouts are a controversial vegetable. You either love them or hate them. They can be cooked in all sorts of ways. They probably taste best roasted in the oven with olive oil, garlic, and salt, but you can just boil them for a healthier option. Another option is to finely dice them and put them in a stir fry (see also ‘Can You Freeze Stir Fry?‘). You could even make a cream of Brussels sprouts soup. 

Brussel sprouts are autumn and winter vegetables and you can often buy them in big bags. However, they do tend to spoil if you don’t use them within a couple of weeks. So, is there a solution? Yes, there is. You can freeze them, and they freeze well either raw or roasted. In this article, we will take a look at how to freeze Brussels sprouts and how to defrost them.

How To Freeze Raw Brussels Sprouts

There is some work involved in freezing raw Brussels sprouts, but it is worth it as when you come to defrost and reheat them they will taste nearly as good as if you cooked them fresh. 

This is what you need to do.

1. Prep and clean your Brussels sprouts.

Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts and then wash and dry them. You don’t want to put them into the freezer wet as ice crystals will form and the texture of the sprouts will change. If you are worried that there are any creepy crawlies in the sprouts, put them in a bowl of cold water with salt added. This should bring out the insects.

2. Blanch the Brussels sprouts.

The next step is to blanch the Brussels sprouts. You don’t have to do this, but we recommend that you do. Blanching helps to preserve the flavor, color, and texture of the sprouts. It also helps to retain the vitamins in the vegetables. What you do is put a pan of water on to boil. While the water is heating up, prepare a bowl of ice-cold water. Once the water has reached boiling point put in the Brussels sprouts. If the sprouts are different sizes, put the big ones in first and boil them for around four minutes. The smaller sprouts should be boiled for three minutes. 

3. Cool down the Brussels sprouts.

Put the Brussels sprouts straight into the bowl of cold water and leave them there until they have cooled down. This won’t take long. When they have cooled down, dry them thoroughly.

4. Put the Brussels sprouts in freezer bags.

It is a good idea to put the Brussels sprouts in multiple freezer bags with just as many as you think you may need for a meal. You don’t want to defrost more than you need and end up throwing some away. Squeeze out as much air as possible out of the freezer bags so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. The sprouts will still be safe to eat, but they may lose texture, color, and flavor. Put a label on each bag with the date you put them in the freezer. You don’t want to keep them in the freezer past their use-by date.

5. Put the bags in the freezer.

How To Freeze Roasted Brussels Sprouts

If you have leftover roasted Brussels sprouts, you can freeze them, and they will be almost as good as when you first roasted them. This is how to do it.

1. Roast the Brussels sprouts.

You can add any herbs and spices you fancy. Add some garlic, rosemary, and thyme (see also Can You Freeze Thyme?). Red pepper flakes are also a good idea or perhaps add a bit of chili (see also ‘Can You Freeze Fresh Chilies?‘). Basil (see also article titled ‘ Can You Freeze Thai Basil? ‘), chives, dill, and flat-leaf parsley are good additions. Brussels sprouts take on flavors well so you can go as wild as you want.

2. Cool down the Brussels sprouts.

You will want to make sure that the Brussels sprouts are cold before you freeze them. If you put warm sprouts in the freezer, they will bring up the temperature and other food may start to defrost and will possibly spoil.

3. Flash freeze the Brussels sprouts.

Put the Brussels sprouts on a baking tray and lay them out in a single layer. Make sure that they aren’t touching so that they don’t stick together when you put them in a freezer bag. Put the tray in the freezer for a couple of hours.

4. Put the Brussels sprouts in freezer bags.

Portion the sprouts into meal-size portions and squeeze out the air from the bag so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. Put labels on the bags so that you know when you put them in the freezer. 

5. Freeze.

Tips For Freezing Brussel Sprouts

  1. Blanch your raw Brussels sprouts as this helps the vegetables to retain taste, color, vitamins, and texture. Your sprouts will then taste almost as good as they were before you put them in the freezer. 
  2. Flash freeze roasted Brussels sprouts before the final freeze.
  3. Freeze in meal-size portions so that you only defrost as many sprouts as you need for a meal.
  4. Freeze your Brussels sprouts with other vegetables such as turnips, swede, carrots, or kale. If you are freezing them raw, you will have to blanch them separately as different vegetables may have different blanching times. You can, however, put them in the same bag. You will then have a delicious mix of vegetables to accompany your Sunday roast.

For How Long Can You Freeze Brussels Sprouts?

The good news is that you can freeze raw Brussels sprouts for up to one year. You will then be able to enjoy them even when they are out of season. Roasted Brussels sprouts can’t be frozen for as long, but they can be frozen for between six and nine months. After that time, the taste and texture may start to change so we don’t recommend freezing them for longer.

How Do You Defrost Brussels Sprouts? 

You can defrost your sprouts by putting them in a bowl and putting them in the fridge. However, there’s no need. You can cook them frozen, whether you roast them or boil them. If they are raw, they will take a little longer to cook than if you cooked them fresh. If you want to dice them for a stir fry, however, you will have to defrost the sprouts in the fridge.

Can You Refreeze Brussels Sprouts?

We don’t recommend that you refreeze Brussels sprouts as the texture will change and they could end up going mushy. In addition, when you defrost and then refreeze, there is the chance that bacteria can form, and you might get food poisoning. This is why it is important to freeze in meal-size portions so that you don’t have to refreeze or throw them away.

Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Brussels Sprouts?

Yes, we think that it is a very good idea to freeze Brussels sprouts. In fact, they are one of the best vegetables to freeze. There might be a little change in texture, but we think that you will barely notice it. If you love Brussels sprouts, you will then be able to enjoy them in the height of summer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing Brussels sprouts, but in case you want to know more, we have answered a couple of questions here.

What is the best way to freeze Brussels sprouts?

This all depends on whether you freeze them raw or roasted. If you freeze them raw, the best thing to do is to blanch them first. If you are freezing roasted Brussels sprouts, flash freeze them first. 

Is there something tasty I can add to my defrosted and roasted Brussels sprouts when I am reheating them?

Yes, parmesan cheese is a great choice. Sprinkle a good couple of tablespoons over the sprouts when you put them in the oven for roasting.

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