Freezing pumpkin is fast and easy, and a great way to keep it on hand whenever you need it. In this post, I’ll show you exactly how to do it with either chunks or puree, step by step.
If you’ve found yourself with an abundance of pumpkins this season, or you want to keep it on hand for all of your winter recipes, then try freezing some.
It’s quick to do with only a few simple steps, and you can use it in all kinds of dishes or baked goods.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to prepare pumpkin for freezing, and discover tips for keeping it fresh even after months of storage.
Preparing Pumpkin For Freezing
Before freezing pumpkin, you must take a few steps to ensure it retains the best flavor and texture.
First wash it to remove any dirt or debris. Then slice it open, and remove the skin, guts, and seeds. Once that’s done, cut it up into small chunks or cubes.
Do You Need To Blanch Pumpkin Before Freezing?
No, you don’t have to blanch pumpkin before freezing it. Though there are some benefits, so you might want to.
It helps to retain its vibrant color, and preserve the flavor and texture longer than it would if you left it raw.
How To Blanch Pumpkin To Freeze
Blanching pumpkin to freeze it is super simple and just takes a few minutes. First, bring a pot of water to a boil. Then flash-cook the chunks for 3-4 minutes.
Remove the pieces with a slotted spoon, or drain them in a colander, then pour them into a bowl of ice water right away to stop the cooking process.
Methods For Freezing Pumpkin
How you choose to freeze your pumpkin will depend on how much time you have, and how you plan to use it later on. You can leave it in chunks, or create a puree.
Freezing Pumpkin Cubes
Frozen pumpkin chunks or cubes can be used straight out of the bag or thawed ahead of time, depending on how you will use them.
This is definitely the fastest method, and doesn’t require any extra steps. So, if you’re running low on time, or have lots of it on hand, this is a great option for you.
Freezing Pumpkin Puree
Freezing pumpkin puree is a convenient method, especially if you need it for making baked goods or soups.
It requires a few extra steps up front, but will end up saving you time later on, and tends to take up less space.
Related Post: How To Can Pumpkin
Tools & Supplies Needed
Below is a list of the tools and supplies necessary both of these methods. Depending on the process you choose to use, you might not need all of these things.
- Quart freezer bags
- Permanent marker
- Sharp chef knife
- Large spoon
- Baking sheet (optional)
- Parchment paper (optional)
- Large pot (optional)
- Large bowl of ice water (optional)
How To Store Pumpkin In The Freezer
Two of the best ways to store frozen pumpkin is either in a freezer safe container or a baggie.
I find it’s better to store cubes in zipper bags because you can press out the air before sealing them. But you can use either option for puree.
How Long Does Frozen Pumpkin Last?
Frozen blanched and diced pumpkin or puree will taste the best when you use it within 3-4 months.
But when stored properly, it can easily last for 6 months or more, especially if you use a food vacuum sealer.
Have more questions about freezing pumpkin? Here are some of answers to the most common ones I get asked.
Can pumpkin be frozen without blanching?
Yes, pumpkin can be frozen without blanching. But it won’t last as long or taste quite as good because flash-cooking helps preserve the flavor, color, and texture.
Can uncooked / raw pumpkin be frozen?
Yes, you can freeze pumpkin raw or uncooked. It lasts up to 3 months.
Does pumpkin freeze well?
Yes, pumpkin absolutely does freeze well, and as long as you follow the proper steps, it tastes delicious once thawed.
Can you freeze an entire pumpkin?
No, you cannot freeze an entire pumpkin. They have a very high water content, and would likely become very mushy once thawed.
Freezing pumpkin for later use is easy and doesn’t take much time. With just a few simple steps, you’ll have it on hand and ready to use whenever you need it
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More About Food Preservation
- Freezing Corn On Or Off The Cob
- Freezing Carrots With Or Without Blanching
- Freezing Spinach With Or Without Blanching
Share your tips for freezing pumpkin in the comments section below.