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How to freeze green beans

It’s easy to freeze green beans! They hold their flavor and texture well when frozen. Just trim and blanch first, and they'll be ready for a soup or side dish later.

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It’s simple to freeze green beans, even if you are new to cooking. They are one of the best vegetables to freeze because they do an excellent job of maintaining their flavor and texture once they are cooked.

When you use frozen green beans in recipes, you don’t have to hide them among other vegetables in a soup or beef stew; they can be the star of a side dish just as easily as fresh green beans during summer!

How to freeze green beans

Can I Freeze Raw Green Beans or Do I Need to Blanch Them?

First of all: freeze green beans that are as fresh as possible. Make sure that there are no deep blemishes on the skin that could indicate that they are beginning to go bad. Trim the beans before you freeze them to make preparation during cooking much easier and far less time consuming.

It’s tempting to skip blanching when freezing vegetables, but if you want your food to maintain its best qualities, blanching is extremely important. Blanching isn’t simply an extra step meant to waste your time; the process destroys enzymes that change the color, flavor, and texture of frozen vegetables. The process also cleans dirt and impurities from the surface of vegetables and slows the loss of nutrients.

You can freeze raw green beans, but there is a greater chance that when you cook with them, they will be mushy with less flavor. If you are going to go to the work of trimming and freezing beans for long term storage, it’s worth it to blanch them, too.

How to freeze green beans

Should I Trim Green Beans Before Freezing?

The size of green beans that you freeze is completely up to your personal preference. Always be sure to trim the stem end. If the bottom end appears dried, trim that, too. After that, you can leave them long for side dishes that feature green beans or cut them into small pieces for soups and stews.

If you have a lot of green beans to freeze, it might be worth it to freeze different sizes and cuts so that you can use them for several different recipes throughout the year.

How Long Can I Keep Green Beans in the Freezer?

Green beans will keep in the freezer for 10 to 12 months. If this is your first time freezing green beans, be sure to check them along the way. The steps here help to reduce the incidence of freezer burn, but it’s a learning opportunity to use up your green beans over the course of a year. This helps you become familiar with how they taste as they freeze for longer periods of time.

How to freeze green beans

Do Frozen Green Beans Need to Be Thawed Before Using?

It all depends on the recipe. If your recipe calls for you to thaw them, then definitely do so. Otherwise, it’s not required. This is especially true when adding them to vegetable soup, curry, or chickpea stews. You can simply add them straight from the freezer bag.

This is another reason why it helps to know the size of green beans you will use most often before you freeze them. Having ready-cut green beans right out of the freezer makes cooking so much easier.

These hearty greens can last up to 8 months in your freezer.

How to freeze green beans

When it comes to healthy veggies, there’s no doubt that green beans (also known as string beans or snap beans) are one of the tastiest staples out there — not only are they packed with essential vitamins and fiber, they’re also incredibly versatile and great in any green bean recipe. Of course, if you’re buying them fresh, they only last for 2 to 4 days in the fridge before you have to throw them out — which is why you might be wondering exactly how to freeze green beans to preserve their freshness for future use.

Luckily, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide on how to freeze those fresh greens you bought from the farmer’s market (or maybe even grew yourself in your own garden) or were on sale at the market, so you can enjoy them any time in any healthy salad, pasta dish or even in a delicious casserole recipe. While fresh green beans are recommended to be consumed within 3 to 5 days when stored in the refrigerator, frozen green beans can last up to 8 months, according to FoodSafety.gov — which allows you to enjoy them any time of year!

How to Freeze Green Beans

Like many other vegetables, green beans should first be blanched before freezing. Blanching is a process that involves boiling vegetables in water before cooling them quickly in a large quantity of ice cold water (60 degrees Fahrenheit or below) to stop the cooking process. This stops the enzyme actions which can cause a loss of flavor, color and texture, therefore ensuring that your green beans will preserve their freshness while frozen! If you’re not exactly sure how to blanch these hearty greens, here’s how to freeze and blanch in four easy steps:

  • Step 1: Wash the green beans and remove the ends. After gently rinsing them in cold water, trim off the stem ends of the green beans, as well as the tail ends, if desired. If your green bean variety has a stringy fiber that runs throughout the bean pod, make sure to trim these off too.
  • Step 2 (optional): Cut the green beans into smaller pieces. Cut your beans into pieces of the size you prefer — usually one- to two-inch pieces — though this step is optional and depends on the recipe you want to later use the green beans for.
  • Step 3:Blanch the green beans.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While you’re waiting, fill a large bowl with ice water. Once your pot is boiling, add a generous amount of salt (figure on a Tbsp) for a gallon of water.

How to freeze green beans

Working in batches, add green beans to boiling water and cook until just tender, 2 to 4 minutes depending on the size of beans.

How to freeze green beans

Using a wire skimmer (often called spider) or slotted spoon, transfer beans to ice water (this will immediately stop cooking and preserve their bright green color).

How to freeze green beans

Let them soak about 4 minutes, then using tongs, transfer to a towel to drain and dry. Repeat with remaining beans, adding more water to the pot to boil and more ice to the bowl as needed.

If your garden is anything like ours right now you might be picking pounds and pounds of green beans. And if you’re anything like me, you really don’t want to turn on your stove to boil water to preserve your green beans during the Summer.

Last year I started to freeze our fresh green beans this way and they stayed extra fresh, keeping their bright green color and crunch. These frozen green beans last up to a year in the freezer making them a easy and economical way to save your green beans.

How to freeze green beans

Can you freeze green beans without blanching?

Yes! You can freeze fresh green beans without blanching. The method below saves time because it doesn’t require blanching the beans. You’re just going to trim the ends off, chop into desired sizes, wash them and freeze! It’s that easy!

This is my tried and tested method that I’ve been using for years with our green beans!

How to freeze green beans

Step 1: Take a step back and admire your green beans because god damn, you’re amazing, you just grew green beans!

How to freeze green beans

Fresh green beans are one of our favorite foods and they’re so versatile in the kitchen! You can use them in casseroles, soups, stir fry, or even slow cooker meals. Thanksgiving is only a few months away, so you can even save your garden green beans to make your favorite Green Bean Casserole family!

How cool is it to make a Thanksgiving casserole with FRESH green bean that you grew? Talk about a dish made out of love!

Step 2: Trim the ends off both sides of green beans.

How to freeze green beans

Step 3: Cut the green beans in half.

How to freeze green beans

Step 4: Wash with water, making sure to get all dirt off them.

How to freeze green beans

Step 5: Dry completely. Place on a cloth towel or paper towel, allowing to dry completely. This usually takes about 20 minutes.

How to freeze green beans

How to freeze green beans

Step 6: Place in freezer bags. I like to make 1 cup, 12 oz and 16 oz bags. Label the bag.

How to freeze green beans

How to Defrost Frozen Green Beans

Step 8: Time to eat them? Depending on what you are making, defrost or place in boiling water/soup directly frozen.
To show you how great they freeze and keep their color, here are green beans that I’ve had frozen for 1 year!

How to freeze green beans

How long do frozen green beans last?

I have stored these green beans in my freezer for a year and they still taste great! Good luck not eating them sooner though – they’re so delicious!

Hope this “How to Freeze Fresh Green Beans” post helps you with your mighty green bean harvest!

Other Green Bean Recipes You’ll Like:

Helpful Kitchen Tips You Might Like:

Looking for more ways to save food? Here are a few of my other favorite food saving methods!

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Learn how to freeze green beans from the store, farmer’s market, or your own garden so that you can preserve their freshness and nutrients and enjoy them all year round!

How to freeze green beans

Green beans are a wonderfully delicious, nutritious and versatile kitchen staple. For those reasons I grow them every year in my garden. But as everyone knows, fresh green beans don’t last long in the fridge. Whether you grow your own green beans and have more than you know what to do with or whether you find a great deal on them at the grocery store or farmer’s market, learning how to blanch and freeze green beans is the perfect way to use a bulk supply of beans to your advantage.

Note: Use this same process for freezing snap peas.

Freezing vs. Canning Green Beans – Which is Better?

Compared to pressure canning, freezing green beans enables them to retain more nutrients and a better texture, color and flavor. Freezing is definitely the way to go plus it’s a lot less hassle!

The process of freezing green beans is super easy. Simply wash, blanch and freeze them. And they’ll keep in the freezer for many months!

Do You Have to Blanch Green Beans Before Freezing?

Blanching is an important step when it comes to freezing vegetables for several reasons: Blanching stops enzymes that lead to spoilage, it enables the vegetables to retain their vibrant colors, their original texture, and their nutrients. Skipping this step will result in dull and faded colors, off flavors and poor textures.

How Long Can You Freeze Green Beans?

Fresh green beans only keep 3-5 days in the fridge before they become limp and start to spoil. Frozen green beans however will keep for a minimum 6-8 months so you can enjoy them any time of year!

How to Use Frozen Green Beans

Frozen green beans can be used straight out of the freezer, there is no need to thaw them first. Whether you’re adding them to casseroles, stir-fries, soups, stews or eating them plain, simply grab them from the freezer and add them straight to your dish. The only alteration to make is when the recipe you’re using calls for cooking the green beans first you’ll simply reduce the cooking time by about 3 minutes since you already blanched them before they were frozen.

How to freeze green beans

A stunning purple variety from my garden!

How to Freeze Green Beans

  • Step 1: Wash the green beans and trim the ends. Some varieties have a stringy fiber that runs down them lengthwise; if so remove these also. You can either leave the beans whole or chop them into smaller pieces.
  • Step 2: Blanch the green beans. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Fill a large bowl with water and ice cubes. Place the green beans in the boiling water and boil for 2 minutes for small beans or 3 minutes for large beans. Drain and immediately plunge the beans in the ice water. Let them cool in the water for 3 minutes then thoroughly drain the beans in a colander.
  • Step 3: Freeze the beans. Place them in plastic freezer bags, pressing out as much air as possible, and place them in the freezer. Alternatively, in order to prevent the beans from sticking together when frozen, you can first lay the beans single layer on cookie sheets, freeze them for a couple of hours, and then place them in freezer bags. Label and date the freezer bags. They will last in the freezer for at least 6-8 months. They will last for a year but texture and flavor will suffer.

Important Note: After you’ve placed the beans in the boiling water start counting once the water returns to a boil. Counting before the water returns to a boil is a common mistake people make and not blanching the beans properly means they won’t keep for as long before their taste, texture and nutrition begin to deteriorate.

Trim the ends off the beans. Fill a large bowl with water and ice.

How to freeze green beans

Place the beans in a large pot of rapid boiling water and boil for 2 minutes for small beans or 3 minutes for large beans.

Immediately drain and plunge the beans into the ice water and let cool for 3 minutes.

How to freeze green beans

Thoroughly drain the beans in a colander. Place them in freezer bags, pressing as much air out as possible, label and date and put them in the freezer. To prevent the beans from sticking together when frozen you can first lay the beans out single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze for a couple of hours before putting them in the freezer bags.

Can you freeze fresh green beans? You bet you can. Green beans are quite easy to freeze, and they last several months in the freezer so you can enjoy the taste of garden-fresh goodness—even when it’s colder outside than it is in your freezer. Plus, frozen green beans are a convenient and flavorful addition to many recipes. (Try ‘em in cozy green bean casseroles, soul-warming stews, stir-fries, and more.) Follow our step-by-step guide to learn everything you need to know about freezing green beans so you can pull them out and enjoy them any day of the year.

Step 1: Trim Green Bean Ends

Before getting started with actually freezing beans, gently wash fresh greens beans with cool tap water. Then, working with a small handful of green beans at a time, line up the stem ends. Using a sharp chef's knife (we love this J.A. Henckels Chef’s Knife, $39.99, Target), slice off the stems. Repeat with remaining green beans. If you want, you can also trim off the tapered tail ends.

Test Kitchen Tip: Some varieties of green beans have a stringy fiber that runs from the top to the bottom of the bean pod. If the beans you're using have this string, be sure to remove it from each bean.

Step 2: Cut the Beans Into Bite-Size Pieces (If You Want)

A lot of recipes, including soup recipes and casseroles, call for cut green beans. If you want, you can save yourself some prep work later and cut them into 1-inch pieces before freezing the beans. You can also leave the beans whole and freeze them, then chop them later if your green bean recipe calls for it. Up to you! (By the way, if you have a huge crop to use up, freezing is just one of 10 ideas for using up produce before it goes bad.)

Step 3: Blanch the Green Beans

Blanching green beans for freezing just means boiling them in water for a few minutes, then dunking them in ice water. So why blanch green beans before freezing, when you could just freeze them fresh? This quick extra step will help the beans keep their color and flavor while in your freezer.

Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Allow 1 gallon of water per pound of green beans. While you're waiting for the water to be ready for blanching green beans, fill a large bowl with ice water. Working in batches, carefully lower the green beans into the boiling water. Boil small beans for 2 minutes, medium beans for 3 minutes, and large beans for 4 minutes. Cool the beans quickly by plunging them into ice water. After the beans have cooled, drain them from the ice water.

So can you freeze cooked green beans? We’d recommend doing so only if you’re blanching green beans briefly prior to freezing or if you’re assembling a whole dish for freezing, such as a make-ahead casserole or soup. Otherwise you risk running into mushy green beans that will add to much moisture to your recipe after you defrost.

Step 4: Prepare the Beans for Freezing

Pack the drained beans into freezer-friendly jars, storage bags, or containers (such as this Rubbermaid Food Storage Set, $39.99, Bed Bath & Beyond). Shake each package to compact the beans. Add more beans, leaving ½-inch headspace if using a jar. Wipe the rims and storage packages dry before officially freezing fresh green beans. Press out as much air as possible, then seal the bags or containers according to the manufacturer instructions. If necessary, use freezer tape around the lid edges for a tight seal.

Test Kitchen Tip: Allow 1½ to 2½ pounds of green beans per quart container.

Step 5: Freeze the Packaged Green Beans

Label each container or bag with its contents, amount, and date. Lay bags flat; add bags or containers to your freezer in batches to make sure they freeze quickly. Leave some space near bags or containers so air can circulate around them. (Struggling to find space? Try these genius refrigerator and freezer organization ideas.)

When frozen solid, the bags or containers can be placed closer together. For the best flavor, use your frozen green beans within 8 months of freezing.

How to freeze green beans

Green beans are a convenient and popular addition to many recipes, and freezing is one of the best ways to preserve green beans for future use. ​Frozen green beans have more nutrients than pressure-canned beans, and giving the green beans a quick blanching in boiling water before freezing them ensures that they retain their original texture and color when you get around to cooking with them.

This method uses a single layer initial freeze that prevents the green beans from clumping together. The fact that they stay loose is a big advantage when you have a large container of frozen green beans but only want to use half that much for a recipe. Bonus: you can use this same method to blanch and freeze wax beans.

How to freeze green beans

The Spruce Eats / Katie Kerpel

Preparing Green Beans for Blanching

  1. Put a large pot of water on the stove and begin bringing it to a boil. You'll need about a gallon of water for every pound of green beans.
  2. Prepare a big bowl of ice water.
  3. Wash the green beans well in cold water and drain them.
  4. Snap or cut off the stem ends. If the beans are at all stringy, strip off the strings by breaking the stem end and pulling it down towards the pointed end.
  5. Depending on the length of the green beans, you can either opt to leave them whole or chop them into 1 to 2-inch-long pieces.

Blanching Green Beans

After you have prepped the beans, drop them into the pot of rapidly boiling water. Work with a small batch of beans at a time; you don’t want them to be crowded in the pot as they blanch or on the baking sheet as they freeze. Let them cook for three minutes and then drain the green beans in a colander. As an alternative, you can steam the beans for three minutes rather than boiling them.

Chilling the Green Beans

Immediately transfer the blanched green beans from the colander to the bowl of ice water. This stops the residual heat in the vegetables from continuing to cook them and preserves their green color. Leave the beans in the ice water for three minutes. Transfer the beans back to the colander and leave them to drain well for a few minutes.

Single Layer Freeze

Spread the blanched, chilled, and drained green beans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Don't let the beans overlap or touch one another. Freeze for one to two hours.

Transfer the frozen green beans to freezer bags or containers and label them with the date. Frozen green beans keep for one year. They are still safe to eat after that, but their quality declines. Put the labeled containers in the freezer for use whenever you need them.

Using Frozen Green Beans

It is not necessary to thaw frozen green beans before cooking them. Add them as-is to stir-fries, soups, and other dishes. When using in a recipe, subtract the three minutes the beans were blanched from the cooking time.

How to freeze green beans

Even though green beans are technically a summer vegetable, they’re a staple on many a holiday table. (Green bean casserole is the ultimate Thanksgiving side dish, right?!) Sure, you can get green beans year-round, but you’ll find them at your local farmer’s market (or even in your own garden if you’re lucky) from May through October.

Ree Drummond loves green beans in all sorts of dishes: Try her classic three bean salad for a simple side dish, her peanut chicken with green beans or skirt steak with blistered green beans for an easy weeknight meal, or impress your whole family during the holidays and whip up a green bean casserole with candied bacon.

If you have an abundant crop in your garden this year, or you want to buy some in bulk to get ready for the holidays, you may be wondering: Can you freeze green beans? The good news is that you can—read on to find out the best way to freeze green beans for all your favorite recipes!

How to freeze green beans

How do you freeze fresh green beans?

You can freeze green beans in just a few easy steps. First, wash the green beans thoroughly and trim the ends. Then, blanch the green beans by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Drop the fresh green beans in the water and cook until just tender but still crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain the green beans and transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.

Once the beans have cooled, about 5 minutes, drain them thoroughly and pat them completely dry (this is important so they don’t get ice crystals in the freezer!). Then, lay them out in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet, making sure to separate each bean so they stick together, and freeze for 1 hour. Then, slide the green beans off the parchment and place in resealable plastic freezer bags, making sure to squeeze out as much air out as possible before sealing. The beans will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.

How to freeze green beans

Can you freeze green beans without blanching them first?

You can follow the steps above and just skip the blanching part—the green beans will freeze just fine for about 1 month. Just know that blanched green beans tend to have a better texture when thawed, so it might be worth the extra step of blanching (frozen raw green beans can get a bit mushy when thawed). Another argument for blanching: It extends the shelf life to about 6 months. Also keep in mind that if you freeze raw green beans, you should still cook them after thawing—their texture changes, so you wouldn’t want to serve them raw on a crudités plate. Use your thawed frozen green beans for casseroles, stir-fries, and more.

Can you freeze green beans after they are cooked?

Yes! Blanching green beans lightly cooks them without breaking them down too much. If you want to freeze a fully cooked green bean dish, like a green bean casserole, you can totally still do it—just keep in mind that the green beans will have a softer, more watery texture when you thaw and reheat. Freeze cooked green bean dishes in resealable freezer bags (remove as much air as possible) or in another airtight container.

Published: Feb 16, 2019 · Modified: Apr 8, 2019 by Laura · This post may contain affiliate links.

How to freeze green beans

How to freeze green beans

How to freeze green beans

If your beans are going crazy in the garden this year let me show you the best (and easiest) way to preserve them for use all year long – here is a quick tutorial on how to freeze beans!

How to freeze green beans

Our beans have gone CRAZY this year! I grow them every year and it seems that every other year is a great year. We grow Scarlet runner beans which are actually perennials. You grow them one year, let them die back when they’re done and they grow again when it’s warm enough the next spring!

So this year is year 2 for our plants and they have done better than I hoped for. Considering that I also planted 16 bush beans to ensure we had a good supply of beans all winter, we have really been drowning in them! I think at last count I have frozen 3kg of beans which I am pretty excited about and the plants are still going strong!

Tip: Runner beans can get a bad rap for being tough and stringy. Trust me, I know! The key is to pick them early. The bigger they get, the more fibrous they get and they can be very unpleasant to eat. If there are some on the plant that are looking pretty big I don’t even bother – they go straight in the pig bucket. No one likes a stringy bean!

As much as I love bottling fruit and vegetables, freezing is just SO easy! And if you have the freezer space, it makes a lot of sense.

Click here to Pin this post to your food preservation board on Pinterest to save it for later.

I know some people prefer to skip the blanching step which is where you plunge the beans into boiling water for 2 minutes. This partially cooks them. I have done it both ways, and I do prefer to take this step. I find it helps the beans to retain their crunch and fresh flavour. It only takes a few minutes and is well worth it in my opinion!

Here is how I freeze my beans

Step 1: Bring a large pot of water to the boil

Step 2: Top and tail the beans (cut off both ends) and then slice them into approximately 3cm pieces

How to freeze green beans How to freeze green beans

Step 3: Pour all beans into the boiling water and leave them in for 2 minutes – this is called blanching them and just slightly cooks them. When 2 minutes is up, drain and let the beans cool. You can put them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process but I find letting them cool naturally is perfect.

How to freeze green beans

Step 4: Once they are completely dry, lay them in a single layer on rimmed baking sheet lined with baking paper or a silicone liner. This ensures that they don’t freeze in one big clump of beans and are free flowing. Freeze overnight.

How to freeze green beans

Step 5: Once frozen, transfer from the tray to a snaplock bag labeled with what they are and the date.

These beans keep well in the freezer for the whole year – just in time for the next harvest!

When slender green beans are sweet enough to eat off the vine and piled high at the farmers market, you can’t be blamed for buying as much as your arms can hold. What to do with your giant haul? Consider preserving. Pickling may be the darling of summer preservation, but it is not the only way to store green beans for the long haul. In fact, green beans are the unsung hero of the summer freezer. Here’s how to freeze green beans now and enjoy them later.

The Best Way to Freeze Green Beans

Whether you’re freezing a few handfuls of beans or a few pounds, the process for freezing green beans is the same, and comes together in three easy steps: Prep, blanch, and freeze.

1. Prep the beans. Begin by rinsing the green beans in a colander under cool running water. If you’ve got the time, trim the ends off one at a time using your fingers. For the rest of us, it’s easier to line a handful of beans up and remove the tips with a single slice. If the tails of the green beans appear limp, turn them and remove those in the same way.

2. Blanch the beans. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and add the green beans. Boil the beans for three minutes, until bright green and just tender, then shock in an ice bath. Once the beans are completely cool, drain, and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.

3. Freeze the beans. Spread the green beans in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and freeze. Once the beans are individually frozen, transfer to a freezer bag and freeze for up to three months.