Saving Squash and Zucchini


Summer squash and zucchini can seem like a plague of locusts–in the summer. When they’re plentiful. In the winter? They are like touching the sun. But how to get there? This summer, I realized something miraculous and obvious. So I post this for those of you who, like me, haven’t thought of this before. For those of you who have thought of this before, you may sit on your laurels in your abundant bounty and laugh.

Too much summer squash and zucchini? Blanch it and freeze it. Don’t give it away! No stuffing it in people’s back seats when they’re not lookin’, or dropping it off on people’s porches!

Before freezing, cut it up however you want it. You can slice it for frying later (like the way I slice, blanch, and freeze eggplant for frying) or julienne it for recipes. I mostly julienne mine (using the french fry blade in my food processor)–which makes it perfect for casseroles, breads, stews, stir-frys, and many other recipes.

I cut it in about two-inch chunks.

Julienne it in my food processor.

Blanch then drain.

And freeze! (I put about 2 cups per freezer baggie. I do squash and zucchini together, whatever I have that day, because I use them in similar ways.)

Summer, stashed away for the middle of winter when I will oh so need it.

I love it!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on July 24, 2011  

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  1. 7-24

    I do the freezer thingie too. But, to decrease the cost of storing it or, loosing it should the old freezer pass from this earth… I usually either dry it in the excal or, use in soup recipes I can up for the shelves. :wave:

  2. 7-24

    I have been slicing mine, blanching and flash freezing on cookie sheets, then packing in freezer bags so I can pull out the slices later. I will try julienning some!

  3. 7-24

    You know, one summer long ago I blanched, I grilled, I sauteed, I did everything I knew to do to a squash before I froze it, in the hope that it would not be mushy when thawed. Alas, it was all mushy, and I just can’t abide by a mushy squash. So now I grate and freeze the really big ones for zucchini bread and by-golly-come-heck-or-high-water I eat the rest and share a lot with my friends!
    I hope you have better, i.e. less mushy results than I did! :hungry:

  4. 7-24

    I have tried it blanched and breaded in the freezer. This year after making Suzanne “Scalloped Squash or Zucchini” recipe (which BTW is so good) I cut the squash in slices. Half the large slices and cooked in butter until tender. Then cooled and put 2 cup to a bag to freeze. Most I will use to make the casserole. I have been cooking okra this with too, hoping it will taste better than just freezing it.

  5. 7-24

    We’ve been slicing & dehydrating a lot of our squash. It makes wonderful dog treats (they think they’re getting chips) & we also munch on them as chips. Plus they are wonderful in soups, etc. . . . but, alas! . . . they still turn mushy after rehydrating – still, the flavor is 100%!

  6. 7-24

    I almost posted something to this effect this past week. My late dh suggested grating and freezing years ago. He loved zucchini bread all year long, and nothing beats fresh from the oven to take to the neighbors. This is one of those cooking ‘secrets’ that you just assume everybody knows, so no one says a peep.

  7. 7-24

    I have never blanched it. I always grate it and freeze it and it has worked out for me for years…especially for zucchini bread during the wonter, YUM.

  8. 7-24

    Where oh where is your zucchini relish.

  9. 7-24

    I have way too much relish already! Our cucumber crop is too big this year to make relish from anything else.

  10. 7-24

    Heavens, Suzanne, if you figure out how to keep it all, whatever will the garden challenged (like moi) do? I know, I know, after a bit, even those of us without gardens begin to complain about all the zucchini.

    I would think that, even mushy, it would be a wonderful add-in for soups and casseroles. Has anybody ever tried pickling it in large slices and making zucchini and squash fritters out of the pickle slices? After all, they deep fry dill pickles now.

  11. 7-24

    Mushy doesn’t matter for recipes like casseroles, breads, stews, pizza topping, etc. You do have to drain it well after thawing! It also works for breading and frying.

  12. 7-24

    OK this is my use for zucchini since DH doesn’t like summer squash of ANY KIND. :hissyfit:
    I grate and mix with egg, salt and pepper or whatever herbs are fresh. Pan fry or grill until crispy. He will eat these with ketchup.
    The really big ones I make meatloaf, roll it out flat on a towel, lay up some thin sliced colorful vegies and salami in and roll like a jelly roll. Scrape out the seeds of the zucchini and lay the meatloaf inside and slather on Bar Be Cue sauce, honey mustard dressing, or ketchup and bake for 1 hour at least. You can cut the zucchini in slices and the meatloaf will absorb the liquid from the zucchini. It is really tasty.
    Also they are great turkey food.

  13. 7-24

    Cookery 101 topic request: How do you blanch vegetables? Why would you blanch vegetables?


  14. 7-24

    Thanks, Julia! We can do that! (You blanch certain vegetables before freezing because otherwise they will be ruined by freezing! I can get you more detail than that, though, LOL.)

  15. 7-24

    Holsten Woman I have the same problem! During our looong road trip just today, DH and I had a zucchinni discussion. He’s still not convinced. And I battered and fried some last week; how can anyone turn down battered and fried anything? Sadly, my squash seems to be suffering from mold? Or is that blossom end rot? Anyway, it’s making enough for me.

  16. 7-24

    I shred mine and make zucchini bread through out winter. We love orange zucchini bread.

  17. 7-26

    I have stored grated zucchini in the freezer for a long time but last year discovered sliced zucchini. It was such a treat in the winter. I didn’t blanch it though, I lightly sauteed in in a little butter with a bit of garlic then put it into bags after it cooled a bit. Yum!

  18. 7-26

    Our squash, zucchini, and cucumbers are having a rough summer. But our eggplant is thriving, producing even more eggplant I thought possible. And so I looked for how you prepare your eggplant for the freezer, but did not find it. :cry:

    And then I want to know if you always slice your eggplant or do you prepare it other ways? I ask as I rarely fry and was thinking the eggplant would be great in Veggie Lasagna if I can figure out how to freeze it appropriately so that I could then make lasagna in the winter. Your guidance appreciated!

  19. 7-26

    GA_in_GA–I also blanch eggplant, for just a few minutes. I blanch it sliced (for breading and frying, or eggplant parmesan) and also blanch some diced for using in other various recipes. Blanch for a few minutes then cool, pack, and freeze. I have a blanching and freezing post coming up on Farm Bell Recipes tomorrow with a chart for times to blanch different veggies, so look for that tomorrow!

  20. 7-26

    This is great info! Thanks Suzanne! I love it sliced and fried! Hubby won’t eat it.

  21. 7-27

    My main use for zuchinni in the winter is for muffins. When it is abundant (summer) I grate the excess, then batch it with the other wet ingredients for my muffins (veg oil, eggs and vanilla) then freeze in single batch portions. (This also uses up the abundance of eggs we currently have from my girls) Then the night before I want to make muffins, I put one bag in the fridge to thaw so that in the morning, I only have to put together the dry ingredients and dump in the bag of wet ingredients. I’m considering putting together batches of the dry ingredients and putting them in canning jars using my food saver vacuum attachment to seal them to have almost instant muffins.

  22. 7-27

    I forgot…Granny Smith apples are also part of the wet mix for the muffins.

  23. 7-27

    That is an awesome idea, Llama Gramma!!! Love it!!! I wish you’d post that recipe on Farm Bell Recipes!

  24. 7-27

    :sun: Thanks for sharing. I never knew you could freeze zucchini.
    Granny Trace

  25. 7-27

    Thank you for the reply Suzanne. Just read your new FBR post. Very helpful.

    When I was in the garden last night, I saw another dozen eggplants to pick today. :bugeyed: If only our cukes, squash, and zucchini had been as productive this summer!

  26. 8-20

    Find your favorite crabcake recipe-ditch the crab and replace with well drained shredded zucchini-i make lots and freeze the extra cakes for winter…

  27. 11-19

    ASide from grating and freezing for stir fries, bread, etc. (and I never blanch it. I tried both ways and saw no benefit from it), I make my favorite meals that call for them and freeze. I bottle what I can, but I also do quite a few freezer meals. I’ve also dehydrated slices for soups and lasagna. This is my post about lasagna

    With my squash I also puree it and freeze it in ice cube trays to put in anything yellow, like creamed corn (I know it’s already a vegetable, but now it’s a two-fer), omelets, any kind of egg product like a frittata. It would hide well in a yellow curry or anything saucy, flavorful and colorful. this is the recipe for how I hide it in macaroni and cheese.

    I’ve written several posts about using and preserving squash and zucchini. They are just so maligned :), but we miss them right now, don’t we?

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