Can You Freeze Eggplant?

Eggplant is a versatile vegetable. You can slice and roast it, make a dip out of it, or use it in a variety of dishes such as moussaka, parmigiana, stuffed eggplant, and caponata.  However, what do you do if you make a dish but don’t use all the eggplant you have bought? The answer is simple, freeze it. The great thing is that you can freeze it raw, cooked, grilled, or in a dish. In this article, we will tell you how to freeze eggplant and how to defrost it.

How To Freeze Raw Eggplant

1. Prepare to blanch your eggplant.

Bring a pot of water to the boil. While the water is reaching boiling point, prepare a bowl of ice-cold water.

2. Prepare the eggplant.

You need to do this at the last minute because eggplant can go brown very quickly. Top and tail the eggplant. It is up to you, whether or not you take the skin off. In the Mediterranean, they tend to keep the skin on as it is packed with goodness. Then cut it into the shape you want. If you are going to use the eggplant in a dish, cut it into equal-sized cubes. If you are going to roast it, slice it into circles.

3. Blanch the eggplant.

Put the eggplant in the boiling water and cook for four minutes. Then plunge it straight into the bowl of cold water. This stops the cooking process. 

4. Flash freeze the eggplant.

Get a baking tray and line it with a piece of parchment paper. Once the eggplant is cool, lay the slices or cubes out on it. Make sure that they are not touching each other so that they don’t stick to each other when you bag them up. Put the baking tray in the freezer and freeze for a few hours until the eggplant has frozen solid. 

5. Put the eggplant in a freezer bag or an airtight container. 

If you are using a freezer bag, make sure that you squeeze out as much air as possible so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. The eggplant will still be safe to eat but it will lose taste, texture, and color. Put a label on the bag or container with the date you put it in the freezer and the contents. 

6. Freeze.

How To Freeze Cooked Eggplant

1. Roast the eggplant.

Top and tail the eggplant, peel if you wish, and slice or cube it, depending on how you intend to use it. Toss the pieces in olive oil, with salt and pepper, and any other herbs and spices you want. Put the pieces on a baking tray and roast in the oven at 370 F for about three-quarters of an hour. Take the eggplant pieces out when they are golden brown.

2. Cool down the eggplant.

To speed up the cooling process, transfer the eggplant from the hot tray onto a cold tray. You mustn’t leave the eggplant out at room temperature for longer than two hours otherwise bacteria may start to form. However, it won’t take that long for slices or cubes to cool down. Pat the pieces down with a paper towel to get rid of any excess oil. If you freeze the eggplant with too much oil, it can become mushy when defrosted.

3. Flash freeze the eggplant.

Get a baking tray and lay out a piece of greaseproof paper on it. Place the eggplant pieces on it, making sure that the pieces aren’t touching each other. This ensures that the pieces don’t stick together when you bag them up. Freeze for a few hours until the pieces are solid. 

4. Put the eggplant pieces in a freezer bag or airtight container.

If you use a freezer bag, squeeze out as much air as possible to stop freezer burn from occurring. Put a label on the bag or container with the date frozen and the contents.

5. Freeze.

How To Freeze Eggplant Moussaka

1. Make the moussaka.

Use the recipe you would usually use and bake the moussaka.

2. Cool down the moussaka.

Cool it at room temperature but don’t keep it out for more than two hours otherwise, bacteria might start to form. To speed up the cooling process, put the dish in a bowl of ice-cold water.

3. Cover the dish.

To prevent freezer burn, wrap the dish in two layers of cling film and then a layer of foil. Th also stops odors from getting into the moussaka. Put a label on the dish with the date frozen and the contents.

4. Freeze.

How To Freeze Eggplant Dip

Eggplant dip is popular in the Mediterranean. In Greece, it is known as melitzanosalata and in Turkey as baba ganoush. The good news is that you can make it in bulk and freeze it.

1. Make the eggplant dip.

Use your favorite recipe. A popular recipe involves cutting the eggplant in half, roasting it, and then scooping out the flesh. Put the flesh in a blender with olive oil and any spices and herbs you choose.

2. Put the eggplant dip in freezer bags.

It is a good idea to divide the dip into meal-size portions. You can only keep eggplant dip in the fridge for two to three days so if you don’t think that you can use it up within this time after defrosting, it is best to divide it up to avoid waste. Squeeze out the air from the freezer bags to prevent freezer burn and don’t fill the bags right up to the top as the dip can expand. Put a label on the bags with the date frozen and the contents. 

3. Freeze. 

Tips For Freezing Eggplant

  1. Blanch uncooked eggplant as this helps it to retain taste and texture. It also helps to stop bacteria from forming.
  2. Freeze air out of freezer bags to stop freezer burn from occurring.
  3. Freeze eggplant as ready meals so that you don’t have to worry about cooking after a hard day at work.
  4. It is better to use defrosted eggplant in dishes rather than grilling it on a barbecue as it can lose a little of its texture after being frozen. 
  5. If you want to use your frozen eggplant fried in breadcrumbs, blanch it. If you want to use your eggplant in dishes, cook it before freezing.

For How Long Can You Freeze Eggplant?

Whether you freeze your eggplant cooked or blanched it keeps in the freezer for up to six months. When it comes to eggplant dip, however, it only lasts for up to three months. 

How Do You Defrost Eggplant?

If you are defrosting eggplant slices or cubes, you don’t have to defrost them. You can put them straight into your dish.  If you are defrosting an eggplant dish, you will need to defrost it slowly in the fridge. It is a good idea to leave it in the fridge overnight. Thawing it in the fridge stops bacteria from forming. Once defrosted, heat it up in the oven or on the hob until it is hot all the way through. This is particularly important if you are defrosting an eggplant dish that contains meat. Eggplant dip also needs to be defrosted in the fridge overnight. 

Can You Refreeze Eggplant?

It isn’t a good idea to refreeze eggplant as when you freeze, defrost, and freeze again, bacteria can form. The eggplant will also lose texture. However, if you freeze uncooked eggplant and then use it in a dish, such as moussaka, you can freeze the leftovers of the dish.

Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Eggplant?

It is completely possible to freeze eggplant but it’s probably not the best thing to freeze. When you freeze eggplant and then cook it, it releases water, making it a little slimy. If you don’t mind the slight textural change, then go ahead and freeze eggplant. It is certainly better than throwing it away.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing eggplant but in case you are still a little curious, we have answered a few questions here.

Can you freeze stuffed eggplant? 

Yes, you can. Cut the eggplant in half and remove the flesh. Then roast it. This makes it tender when cooked. You can freeze the stuffing separately. Alternatively, you can first cook the eggplant with the stuffing and freeze it whole. Put it in an airtight container to freeze it. It will last for up to three months in the freezer.

Can you freeze ratatouille?

Ratatouille is a delicious vegetarian dish made from eggplant, zucchini, peppers, onions, and tomatoes. You can absolutely freeze it and it will retain taste and texture for up to three months. If you have leftovers, and you plan to use them within a couple of days, you can just put them in the fridge.

Can you freeze eggplant curry?

Eggplant is a great addition to a curry. You can make a curry where the eggplant is the star or you can mix in other components such as chickpeas, lentils and apricots, or shrimp. However, can you freeze eggplant curry? The simple answer is yes you can in the same way as you can freeze most curries. In fact, curries usually taste even better if they have been frozen although they can become hotter. You can freeze eggplant curry for up to three months.

Can you freeze grilled eggplant?

You can grill it al dente as when you come to defrost it and reheat it, it will cook some more. You don’t want to have overcooked eggplant. It could even end up slightly burnt.

What are some other options for dishes with frozen and defrosted eggplant?

There are so many other ways in which you can use eggplant. Try a Chinese or Thai stir fry, make eggplant fries, or use them in kebabs with other veggies.

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