Time for another “Can You Freeze It?” post! Bell peppers are a staple at our house – my kids even eat them raw. When a good sale comes around, it’s tempting to buy a bunch, but what if you can’t use them up before they go bad?
Can you freeze bell peppers?
Yes. And no. It depends on, well, you. Here’s my experience:
Freezing fresh bell peppers
I have tried freezing chopped bell peppers, and it works, well, okay. They are fine to use in some applications, such as soups or sauces, but they will lose their crunch. For awhile, I used frozen green bell peppers in gumbo and they were okay, but I really missed the crunch that fresh bell peppers provide.
So, I personally don’t like frozen fresh bell peppers, but I know many people do. I say go for it as long as you don’t mind them to be a little mushy. Here’s how you can freeze fresh bell peppers:
- Wash bell peppers and dry them off with a clean paper towel. (This prevents the freezing of water along with the peppers.)
- Chop the peppers in the manner that you’ll want to use in recipes, then place in a freezer-safe bag and lay it flat in your freezer.
- Add to your favorite (cooked, not raw) recipes – there will generally not be a need to thaw first.
Freezing roasted bell peppers
While I’m not a fan of frozen fresh bell peppers, I’ve discovered that frozen roasted bell peppers are great! Since they are already soft after cooking, their texture doesn’t suffer when they’re frozen. Here’s how to roast and then freeze the roasted peppers:
- Wash bell peppers and cut off each side so the pieces are relatively flat. You should have four sides and probably one bottom. Discard the core.
- Line a pan with edges with aluminum foil. Adjust oven rack to top position and turn the broiler on to high.
- Place the cut peppers, outside edge up, on the lined pan and drizzle with vegetable or olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, if desired.
- Place on the top rack and broil until the skins of the peppers have turned black and are bubbling up. You want to roast them until the skins are black and the flesh is soft, but not for so long that the flesh starts to shrivel up and disappear.
- Remove from oven and place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. The steam that’s created as the peppers cool will help lift the skins from the flesh and make them easier to peel.
- Once the peppers have cooled, gently remove the peels and discard. If you need to do this while they are still warm, you can try doing it under cold water.Now you’re ready to freeze the peppers:
- Divide the peppers into recipe-sized portions and either freeze each portion in a separate freezer bag, or put each portion in a small (non freezer-safe) snack baggie and place the snack baggies into a gallon-sized freezer bag. You want to keep the peppers from freezer in a big blob or you’ll never be able to get off a small amount.
- Place in the freezer and pull out a portion when ready to use! It’s easy to slice or dice the peppers when they are halfway thawed.
That’s how you can freeze bell peppers!
If you missed it, last week I showed how you can freeze avocados.