Freezing broccoli is such a great way to avoid waste if you have a glut. It will also make the cooking time a little quicker when you come to cook it from frozen.
Like most vegetables, if frozen raw, the texture and taste of broccoli will deteriorate into a mushy, grey and unpleasant shadow of its former self, with the goodness leeching away. So, do make sure you blanch it to preserve its colour, flavour and nutrients.
Basic method for freezing broccoli
- Prepare your broccoli as usual, by trimming any woody ends and dividing into equal-sized. small florets, if necessary.
- To blanch the broccoli, bring a pan of water to the boil. Have a bowl of iced water ready, along with a tray lined with kitchen paper.
- Cook the broccoli in the boiling water for 2-3 mins. Remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon and plunge into the bowl of iced water, then leave for another 2-3 mins. Drain and put on the lined tray.
- Pat dry, then lay the broccoli on a tray in a single layer and freeze until solid. Transfer to a labelled freezer bag, and freeze for up to a year.
Cooking broccoli from frozen
There is no need to defrost frozen broccoli before cooking – it can be thrown straight into stews, casseroles and pasta bakes, or throw in with pasta for the last few minutes of cooking time.
Pop from frozen directly into salted boiling water for about 2-4 mins, remembering that the cooking time will be reduced because of the pre-freezing blanching process.
You can roast the broccoli from frozen. Place on a baking tray, drizzle with a little oil, season and bake at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for about 15 mins until slightly browned in spots and cooked through.
Fry a small amount of frozen broccoli in a pan with butter over a low heat, stirring often until tender.
Put frozen broccoli in a microwave-safe dish with a splash of water (about 50ml). Cover with cling film (or use a microwave-safe lid), pierce the cling film all over a few times, and cook on high for 5 mins until the broccoli is tender and cooked through.
Broccoli recipe inspiration
Add some colour to your bowl with our hearty broccoli pesto & pancetta pasta. This quick, easy dish makes a tasty change from the classic basil pesto, and it's packed full of wholesome ingredients.
Whip up a healthy bowlful of our warming broccoli & pea soup with minty ricotta for a satisfying lunch or a simple starter. Top with silky smooth ricotta and toasted pine nuts for a touch of indulgence that still manages to pack in three of your five-a-day.
Top up your veg count and slurp up a mouthful of our spicy mushroom & broccoli noodles. The meaty shiitake mushrooms, crunchy cashews and a pinch of chilli make this a super-satisfying meal for two.
Want more expert cookery advice? Read our guides...
What ingredient would you like more advice on freezing? Leave a comment below...