Freezing asparagus is such a great way to elongate the short season, and avoid any waste. Cooking it from frozen also shortens the cooking time a little.
Like most vegetables, if frozen raw, the texture, taste, colour and nutritional value of asparagus deteriorates. Make sure you blanch or cook the veg first to preserve these elements. Always use asparagus at its peak freshness, and ideally use the thicker asparagus rather than just the tips, as these can become mushier.
Make the most of asparagus season with our top asparagus recipes.
Basic methods for freezing asparagus
Prep your asparagus, as usual, by washing it thoroughly, then trimming off any woody stems.
How to freeze asparagus
- To blanch the asparagus, bring a pan of water to the boil. Have ready a bowl of iced water and a tray lined with kitchen paper.
- Pop the asparagus into the boiling water and blanch for about 2-4 minutes, depending on the size. Remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon and plunge into the bowl of iced water, leaving for the same amount of time that it was blanched for. Drain and leave to dry on the paper-lined tray.
- Once drained and patted dry, lay the asparagus on a tray and freeze until frozen solid. Transfer to labelled resealable freezer bags, ensuring you remove any excess air before sealing. Blanched asparagus are best used within a year.
You can also freeze roasted or grilled asparagus, this is my favourite way to freeze asparagus and add extra flavour to dishes. To roast, prepare as above, pop on a roasting tray, drizzle with oil and season to taste. Place the tray in an oven heated to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for about 10-15 minutes, until tender. Allow to cool completely, then freeze as above.
Cooking asparagus from frozen
There is no need to defrost frozen asparagus before cooking, it can be thrown straight into dishes being cooked, like stews, casseroles, pasta bakes or tarts.
The best way to cook frozen asparagus alone and avoid it becoming overly mushy is to pan fry – throw it into a hot frying pan with a little olive oil or butter and fry for a minute or so until piping hot.
Asparagus recipe inspiration
Our asparagus, chilli & feta farfalle makes a delicious budget-friendly dinner for two. Whip up this simple meal in just 20 minutes, flavoured with chilli, zingy lemon and fresh basil. Try even more asparagus pasta recipes, or make an asparagus & new potato frittata for another quick, veggie main course. This low-calorie dinner makes asparagus the star of the dish, serve wedges of it with a simple side salad.
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What's your favourite recipe for asparagus? Leave a comment below...