How To Freeze Squash

Our best methods for freezing summer and winter squash.

Squash Casserole
Photo: Aaron Kirk; Prop Styling: Sarah-Elizabeth Cleveland; Food Styling: Julia Levy

Summer Squash

These types of squash, such as zucchini, pattypan, and crookneck squash—have thin edible skin and flesh that contains lots of moisture. If you cut raw squash into cubes and flash freeze it, it will most likely be very mushy when you defrost and cook with it. Instead, blanch the squash to will help preserve its texture. Place cubes of raw squash in a pot of boiling water for one minute, then immediately drain the squash and transfer it to an ice water bath to cool it down quickly. Once the squash is cool, drain it, and pat the pieces dry with paper towels.

Now you'll need to flash freeze the squash so that it doesn't freeze into one large clump. Find a baking sheet that is small enough to fit in the freezer and line it with parchment paper. Place the dry blanched squash cubes on the baking sheet and spread them out so that they don't touch. Freeze until the squash is solid, about 1 hour. Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and transfer the squash to ziplock plastic freezer bags.

Winter Squash

These types of squash—such as pumpkins and butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash—have a hard exterior and flesh that usually needs to be peeled and discarded. Unlike summer squash, you can freeze raw cubes of peeled winter squash. Flash freeze it according to the directions above.

The other way to freeze winter squash is to puree it. This requires cooking the squash (like steaming, roasting, or boiling), letting it cool, then pureeing it in a food processor until it is smooth. Depending on the amount of squash and how you will use it, you can freeze the puree in airtight containers, plastic freezer bags, or in ice cube trays.

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