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How to Freeze Squash

Updated on August 22, 2012

How to Freeze Yellow Squash

How to freeze squash is an often asked question when the crop comes in because yellow squash can be a heavy producer under the right conditions.

We are picking yellow squash from the garden every day here in mid July and have been since May. Even though we also share with friends and neighbors, we still have plenty of squash to deal with each week during peak season.

We eat it fried, grilled, sauteed, steamed, broiled, in squash casserole, and raw in salads or as a veggie snack with ranch dressing.

Even tho we eat it often (almost daily) we still have plenty so we freeze it to use later just as you would use any other frozen squash from the grocery store. We just think ours tastes better than store bought.

This article will show you step by step how to freeze yellow squash. Thanks for visiting!

"From the Garden" Photo Taken by Me Zigpop

Two Ways to Freeze Squash

Blanching and Steaming

I blanch some squash and steam some of it for freezing. My preferred method is steaming because it is easier and it takes up less space in my freezer. Steaming also leaves the squash more solid and intact.

I have a lot of squash from the garden, so I have to deal with it on just about a daily basis during harvest time.

We eat a lot of it fresh, but a family can only eat so much squash in a day.

This way we have plenty of squash throughout the winter for stews, frying, steaming, boiling, and for making squash casseroles and soups.

Gardening Community

Many people in my community garden as it is a very rural area. We share all kinds of information. One friend may know about a particular pest that is bothering a crop, and another may know some information about better growing methods.

We all help each other when we can, and this is a squash freezing method that I've shared with many gardeners in my community. I've had others teach me quite a few things as well. It makes gardening more fun when you're involved with others who share the same passion.

Photo Taken by Me (Zigpop) in Our Garden

Some Freeze Squash Raw

Not Me

Some people have told me they slice their squash and stick in the freezer without blanching or steaming it.

Actually the blanching or steaming of vegetables has a purpose.

It kills bacteria that exists on the vegetable when it is harvested from the garden.

It is a matter of personal choice, but my opinion is to take the extra time to blanch or steam it as directed. Steaming only takes a few minutes.

The vegetables also hold their texture and color better when steamed or blanched.

Photo Taken by Me (Zigpop)

Wash, Slice, and Steam Squash

  1. Wash the squash and slice into 1/4" slices.
  2. Place squash in steamer basket.
  3. Place steamer basket on top of pot of already hot, nearly boiling, water.
  4. The water level in the pot should be about 1/2" to 1" below the bottom of steamer basket.
  5. Cover with a lid.
  6. Steam squash for 3 minutes; do not start counting the time until water is boiling and steam is obvious.
  7. Remove to sink after 3 minutes and place ice on top to stop the cooking.
  8. Rinse with cold water after most of the ice has melted.
  9. Place squash in a single layer on a clean towel to dry.
  10. Place another clean towel on top because you want the squash as dry as possible before freezing.

Squash in Steamer Basket

You can't see it from the picture, but there are holes in the bottom of this basket to allow the steam to get through.

Photo Taken by Me (Zigpop)

Steamer Baskets

Steamer baskets are a great kitchen item to have on hand. Foods retain their nutrients better when steamed. We can steam broccoli, cauliflower, squash, and many other veggies. We also like steamed shrimp.

Eating Fresh Squash - A Vegetable that Offers Variety

Yes I did mention using squash as a paperweight as you can see in the photo below. It was just so I could take a picture and hold down the freezer paper that kept curling up on me; the squash just happened to be handy.

Here are several ways to use squash from the garden:

  1. As a paperweight
  2. Fresh with ranch dressing
  3. In green salads
  4. In pasta salads
  5. Boiled in lightly salted water, then peppered (adding butter is good too)
  6. Fried
  7. Grilled
  8. On kabobs
  9. Sliced and pan broiled in oven with olive oil, salt, and fresh ground black pepper
  10. In squash casserole
  11. In soups and stews
  12. Pickled and canned
  13. Fresh in a fruit/veggie smoothie

Photo Taken by Me (Zigpop)

Bagging and Sealing the Squash

  1. Once dry, I place the squash in a Food Saver bag.
  2. I have already marked my bag with a permanent marker to show the contents and date.
  3. At this stage, I've already sealed one open end of the Food Saver bag.
  4. Naturally, I don't seal the other end until the food is inside.
  5. I place the open bag flat in the freezer until squash hardens.
  6. Next, I use the handy dandy Food Saver to seal the bag tightly shut, and pop in the freezer.
  7. That's all there is to it!

Photo Taken by Me (Zigpop)

A Must Have for Gardeners - Less Freezer Burn!

Hint about using a Food Saver...

Many vegetables (corn and squash for example) contain lots of water. I have an older model Food Saver but it works great on these foods if I slide them into the freezer first before sealing. This prevents the Food Saver from extracting all that water which makes a real mess and prevents the machine from making a proper seal.

Food Savers are great for meat and fish, too! Keeps food fresher longer.

What if I don't have a Food Saver?

Can I still freeze my squash?

Certainly, and I don't always use the Food Saver for my squash, but it is my preferred method for freezing. I purchase freezer bags at my local discount store (Fred's, Wal Mart, Dollar General) and use those.

If I place more than one layer of squash in a bag, I place a piece of freezer paper in between to separate them when using Zip Lock bags.

A Hot Tip to Save Money! I use Zip Lock sandwich bags for freezing my corn. Then I place several sandwich bags into one big gallon size freezer bag. I mark on the sandwich bags with permanent marker, but not on the gallon bags. That way I can re-use the gallon size bags over and again.

Zip Lock Squash

This is an image of squash being put up in a Zip Lock bag rather than using a Food Saver.

One layer of squash is in the bag after having been steamed and allowed to dry.

A layer of freezer paper is showing on top of the first squash layer.

I then placed another layer of blanched dried squash on top.

Bag was then sealed and placed in freezer. Be sure when using this method to get as much air out of the bag as possible.

Some people seal the bag except in the very corner and attempt to remove the rest of the air with a straw.

Photo Taken by Me (Zigpop)

Garden Poll!

VOTE Photo Courtesy of Pix by Marti

Do you freeze veggies from your garden?

See results

What's In a Name?

Why is Squash Called Squash?

The name "squash" is of Native American origin from the Narragansett word "askutasquash" which translates to eaten uncooked or raw. Squash is one of the oldest crops, possibly dating back 10,000 years.

Squashes are in the gourd family, and those with hard shells have often provided utensils and containers in addition to being a food source.

Early settlers in New England and Virginia did not take to squash too well until they had to fight to survive the hard winter. That's when they realized it might be a good idea to include this vegetable among their food staples.

Squashes come in a wide variety of types, colors, and flavors. I grow yellow straight neck squash, zucchini, patty pan, and a variety of winter squashes.

Image Courtesy of aperkins01096 at Flickr

I Love Angel Blessings!

Thank You Squid Angels!

Angels don't have to speak to be heard, be visible to be seen, or be present to be felt. Believe in angels and they will always be near. ~ Unknown

Leave a comment! Always love hearing from readers and have a great day!

Did you enjoy this article? - I hope so!

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    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I haven't tried freezing squash before, but could definitely do it now if I wanted to with your instructions. Nice pics too!

    • GeekGirl1 profile image

      GeekGirl1 5 years ago

      Thanks for the useful information.

    • zigpop lm profile image
      Author

      zigpop lm 5 years ago

      @TamarWrites: And enjoying vegetables in the winter makes me get all excited to start planning the garden for the next spring! Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      TamarWrites 5 years ago

      I love to freeze my garden fresh produce so in the cold winter I can have a bit of summer on my plate! A terrific guide for those new to freezing squash.

    • cgbroome profile image

      cgbroome 5 years ago

      This is the first year we have grown yellow squash and we have tons. I was wondering if they could be put in the freezer and now I know. Great lens! Thank you.

    • profile image

      kgdunst 5 years ago

      @zigpop lm: gtreat tips, thanks zigpop!!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Excellent guide - thanks so much for sharing! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      Thanks for this very informative article. Can also be used for squash bought on sale at the grocery store or the local farmers market. ~~Blessed~~

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      Great Lens and information, thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      gemjane 5 years ago

      This is a very well-done article! Thanks for the info on freezing squash in freezer bags. The drying out first and the use of freezer paper between layers sounds like it would make it a success for me. I have frozen squash before but it was so watery it wasn't very tasty! This method I will try very soon. Our first ones are going to be big enough to harvest in a day or so. This year we are growing tromboncino for the first time. There is one other variety (but I put the label too close to the plant and can't see it. And the seeds of the other varieties were eaten by some varmints. I need to find a way to protect the planted seeds next year from the varmints! Again, thanks for the good article!

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      Great information. We always have more than we can use all at once.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      It's something new for me.Very informative.Thanks.

    • profile image

      ibakir 5 years ago

      amazing informative article you wrote and its blessed. I will teach my mom to do that :D

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Excellent article and I was just going to have to research this very thing pretty soon as our zucchini will be coming in soon. Blessings! :)

    • zigpop lm profile image
      Author

      zigpop lm 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I shred and freeze it most of the time, in 2 cup batches because that is how much I put in zucchini bread. I blanch after shredding and then bag it. I like zucchini grilled and broiled. Happy Gardening!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I guess I thought Zucchini was one of the veggies that you couldn't freeze (like lettuce), but it's a type of squash, right? We're starting to have zucchini coming out of our ears, so I might need to give this a try! Thanks! *Blessed*

    • TheresaMarkham profile image

      TheresaMarkham 5 years ago

      Love being able to have squash (we say zucchini here for the green kind :) ready & waiting after the August rush!

    • pheonix76 profile image

      pheonix76 5 years ago from WNY

      Thanks for such an informative article! I will be sending it to my mom since she harvests a small mountain of zucchini every day. Happy gardening! :)