Learn how to freeze asparagus in a few simple steps. Fresh asparagus is blanched, chopped then frozen to use in casseroles, soups, stir fries, or pasta.
Freezing asparagus is a great way to preserve flavor and nutrients of a fresh vegetable to use anytime during the year. No need to wait for asparagus to be in season when it is a freezer staple!
- large stockpot with cover
- large bowl of iced water
- cutting board and chefs knife
- Ziplock Freezer bag
- baking sheet with parchment paper
- paper toweling
- 2 bunches asparagus
Gluten-Free Guide: If you’re new to eating gluten-free we understand it’s overwhelming trying to figure out which foods may contain gluten and which ones don’t. All of our gluten-free recipes marked with this symbol ✅ represent foods that need to be checked for gluten.
How To Freeze Asparagus Spears
Start by boiling the water by filling the stock pot with water and bringing it to a boil.
Prep the asparagus
Rinse the asparagus. Take an asparagus stalk and bend it. Where is snaps is a good estimate of where you can cut the stalks. Keep only the top portion of the asparagus and throw away the bottom portion.
Blanch the asparagus
Place the asparagus into the boiling water. Boil for about 2-3 minutes depending on the size of the stalks. Boil for 2 minutes for small to medium-sized stalks or 3 minutes for medium to large stalks. Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon and place immediately into the ice bath.
Chop the asparagus
Once chilled, drain the asparagus. Pat the asparagus dry with the paper toweling. Cut into 1-2 inch pieces.
Place onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer. Freeze for 30 min-1 hour. Place frozen pieces of asparagus into a freezer ziplock bag, label, and freeze.
Freezing in a single layer first will prevent the asparagus from clumping together. This makes it easier to remove from the freezer when desired.
Kids In The Kitchen
Cooking tips and suggestions for kids making this recipe.
- If the pot of water is too heavy to carry from the sink to the stove, ask a helper to carry it for you.
- Carefully and slowly add the asparagus to the boiling water to prevent hot water from splashing.
- Don’t forget to write the date that you are freezing the asparagus on the Ziploc bag.
How To Serve Frozen Asparagus
For best results, serve frozen asparagus incorporated into a casserole, soup or pasta recipe. There is no need to thaw prior to using, simply toss frozen into the dish then cook the recipe as directed.
Tips and Tricks
- Select Fresh Asparagus: Choose fresh, firm asparagus stalks without any signs of wilting or browning. The quality of the asparagus you start with will affect the final frozen product.
- Blanching Time: Blanching is a crucial step to preserve the color, flavor, and texture of the asparagus. The blanching times you’ve mentioned (2 minutes for small to medium-sized stalks and 3 minutes for medium to large stalks) are generally accurate. However, blanching times can vary based on personal preference and the size of the asparagus. The key is to blanch until the asparagus turns bright green but is still slightly crisp. Over-blanching can lead to mushy asparagus after freezing.
- Ice Bath: Placing blanched asparagus immediately into an ice bath helps stop the cooking process and preserves the vibrant green color. Ensure that the ice bath is ready before you start blanching.
- Drying: After blanching, ensure the asparagus is thoroughly dried before freezing. Excess moisture can lead to freezer burn and deteriorate the quality of the frozen asparagus.
- Freezing in a Single Layer: Freezing the asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet before transferring to freezer bags is an important step. This prevents the pieces from sticking together, making it easier to take out individual portions later.
- Portion Sizes: Consider freezing the asparagus in portion sizes that you commonly use in recipes. This way, you can easily take out the desired amount without having to thaw the entire batch.
- Air Removal: When placing the frozen asparagus into freezer bags, try to remove as much air as possible from the bags before sealing. This minimizes the risk of freezer burn and helps maintain the quality of the frozen asparagus.
- Labeling: Clearly label the freezer bags with the date of freezing. Asparagus can be stored in the freezer for around 8-12 months while maintaining good quality. Using a permanent marker on the bags ensures you can easily identify how long the asparagus has been frozen.
- Usage: While frozen asparagus is great for use in cooked dishes like stir-fries, casseroles, and soups, it may not retain the same crisp texture as fresh asparagus. Consider using frozen asparagus in recipes where texture is less critical.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can tell by the appearance and the smell. As asparagus goes bad, the stalks will turn from a bright green color to dark green or even black. The stalks will also become mushy and limp.
Storing asparagus in the fridge wrapped in a damp paper towel is the best way to extend the shelf life of the vegetable.
In the Midwest, asparagus season can range from February to June with April and May being the best times to purchase the spring vegetable. Freezing asparagus harvested during this peak season is how our family enjoys the vegetable into the winter months.
Asparagus will last up to 1 year in the freezer. Using meal labels is a fantastic way to keep track of freezer dates.
While it is generally recommended to blanch asparagus before freezing to preserve its quality, you can freeze asparagus without blanching. However, without blanching, the asparagus may become slightly mushy and lose some color. To do so, wash and trim the asparagus, cut it into pieces, flash freeze them on a baking sheet, and then transfer them to airtight containers or freezer bags. When ready to use, cook the frozen asparagus directly in recipes, though it may not have the same crisp texture as blanched asparagus.
For the best results when freezing asparagus, choose fresh and high-quality spears that are firm and vibrant in color. Thicker asparagus spears tend to freeze better than thin ones. Ensure the asparagus is washed thoroughly before freezing. Keep in mind that frozen asparagus may not have the same crisp texture as fresh asparagus, so it is recommended to use it in cooked dishes rather than raw preparations.
Recipes That Use Asparagus
- Sheet Pan Sausage and Veggies
- Baked Asparagus with Parmesan
- Air fryer Asparagus
- Creamy Asparagus Soup (Gluten Free – Dairy Free)
- Gluten Free Asparagus Quiche
- Asparagus Salad
More How-To Tutorials
- How To Freeze Strawberries
- How To Pound Chicken Thin
- How To Boil Chicken Legs
- How To Make Gluten-Free Tortillas
- How to Freeze Pancakes
- How To Freeze Yogurt
- How To Boil Chicken Breasts
CKC Features both Gluten-Free Guidance and Kids Cooking Instructions: If you’re new to eating gluten-free we understand it’s overwhelming trying to figure out which foods may contain gluten and which ones don’t. All of our gluten-free recipes marked with this symbol ✅ represent foods that need to be checked for gluten or cross-contamination.
The ⭐️ symbol in the recipe below denotes the steps in which kid cooks may need a helper (depending on age). If there is no ⭐️ symbol, that step (or recipe) doesn’t require a helper.
How to Freeze Asparagus
- 2 bunches asparagus
- ⭐️Boil the water. Fill the stock pot with water and bring to a boil.
- Prep the asparagus. Rinse the asparagus. Take an asparagus stalk and bend it. Where is snaps is a good estimate of where you can cut the stalks. Keep only the top portion of the asparagus and throw away the bottom portion.2 bunches asparagus
- ⭐️Blanch the asparagus. Place the asparagus into the boiling water. Boil for about 2 minutes for small to medium-sized stalks or 3 minutes for medium to large stalks. Remove with tongs and place immediately into the ice bath.
- Chop the asparagus. Pat the asparagus dry with the paper toweling. Cut into 1-2 inch pieces.
- Freeze. Place onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer. Freeze for 30 min-1 hour. Place frozen pieces of asparagus into a freezer ziplock bag, label, and freeze.