freezing brussels sprouts

Can You Refrigerate and Freeze Brussels Sprout?

Brussels sprout is one of the most underrated vegetables of all. If your family is not really into it, you might need more time to finish up a pack.

Unfortunately, this mini cabbage-like vegetable only stays fresh for a few days in the fridge. So, can you freeze brussels sprouts?

Perhaps, you just harvested bountiful vegetables from your home garden, including brussels sprouts. This leaf green requires a lot of time and attention to prepare.

You need to take them off the stalk, carefully inspect for insects, wash, and clean them. So, can you just prepare them all at once and store in the freezer for later use?

Definitely, yes. Keep reading to learn about freezing brussels sprouts and other topics around it.


brussels sprout halves

The Right Way To Freeze Brussels Sprouts

Freezing vegetables ensures the availability of nutritious foods at any time of the year—mainly if you live in an area where fresh vegetables are not always abundant.

Luckily, freezing vegetables is not rocket science. Anybody can do it. You just need to do it right to get the benefits of freezing.

Keep in mind that raw vegetables do not freeze well. They contain enzymes that cause loss of color, flavor, and texture during freezing. These enzymes can be inactivated by cooking or blanching the vegetables.

Like other vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, or cauliflower, it is highly recommended to blanch them before freezing. (*)

Of course, you can freeze brussels sprouts without blanching. However, they’ll start losing their quality in a few weeks after freezing.

Follow the steps below on how to freeze brussels sprout properly.

1. Selecting the best brussels sprout

You can buy brussels sprout in two forms: attached and off the stem. Take the buds off the stem if you buy the former one.

Choose the sprouts that look bright green, firm, and compact. Discard if they are mushy, soft, wilted, and blemished.

Just like broccoli and cauliflower, brussels sprouts may host insects and tiny bugs. Make sure the sprouts are free of these bugs.

2. Cleaning and washing the brussels sprout

Trim the ends of the sprout and remove the coarse outer leaves. Soak the heads in a bowl of water to get rid of hidden insects and remaining particles.

After soaking, rinse the sprouts thoroughly under running water and drain in a colander.

3. Sorting the brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts don’t always come in a uniform size. Sort them into three groups: small, medium, large. The size determines the time required for blanching.

Skip this step if the sprouts are in the same size.

4. Blanching the brussels sprout

Prepare one pot filled with water and bring it to a boil. In the meantime, fill a bowl with an equal amount of ice and cold water.

Once the water is boiling, boil the sprouts separately for each size. Boil the small sprouts for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, medium and large sprouts need 4 and 5 minutes of cooking time.

You may want to use a timer to make sure that you don’t over- or undercook the sprouts.

Next, quickly transfer the cooked sprouts into the bowl of icy water. Let them cool rapidly for a few minutes to stop the cooking process.

Drain the sprouts in a colander and remove excess moisture. Spread them on a flat surface and pat them dry with a kitchen towel. It is important to dry the sprouts completely before freezing to prevent the forming of ice crystals.

5. Packing and freezing for long term

Divide the prepped sprouts into individual serving sizes. Whenever you need it, just take out one small pack instead of pulling out a bigger pack that contains more than you need.

Pack the sprouts into a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Press as much air as possible if you’re using a bag. Use a vacuum sealer if you have one.

Label the bag with a freezing date and the serving amount (if you have various amounts). Transfer the pack into the freezer.

It is advised to check your freezer’s temperatures once in a while. Frozen foods should be continuously frozen at 0 °F (−18 °C) or lower.


How To Use Frozen Brussels Sprout

Basically, you can use frozen brussels sprouts similarly to how you cook fresh ones. This vegetable is often enjoyed in various ways of cooking.

We’ve listed some ideas on using frozen brussels sprouts. You’d be surprised what frozen brussels sprouts are capable of!

  • Classic roasted Brussels sprout with bacon and balsamic glaze
  • Stir-fried, sauté, grilled, or baked
  • Added to salads, pasta, frittata, or casseroles
  • Turn into chips
  • Brussels sprout gratin
  • Stuffed brussels sprout

How To Defrost Frozen Brussels Sprout

Defrosting a pack of frozen brussels sprout is totally easy. You can slowly thaw it in the refrigerator. Leave it before you go to bed, and it’ll be ready the next day.

Alternatively, you can also reheat it in the microwave. Be careful not to overheat it.

The best part of working with frozen vegetables is you virtually need to thaw them before use! You can just stash them into the baking sheet or the pan. Let them thaw while cooking. Add more time to cook as you are cooking from a frozen state.


How Long Can You Freeze Brussels Sprout?

Adequately prepared and frozen, brussels sprouts maintain their quality for 10 to 12 months after freezing.

Beyond this time, frozen brussels sprouts are likely safe to eat. However, you might see noticeable changes in the flavor or texture.

If you don’t blanch them, they should be used up in 1 to 2 months, after which they start to lose the bright color, texture, and flavor.


FAQs

Can you freeze cooked brussels sprouts?

Yes, you can freeze leftover dishes prepared with brussels sprouts. Transfer the dishes into a shallow freezer-safe container. Seal tightly, label the pack, and stash it in the freezer. Leftovers are best to eat within 1 to 2 months after freezing.

How long does brussels sprout last in the fridge?

Raw brussels sprouts are usually good for 3 to 7 days in the fridge. If you have leftover cooked dishes, enjoy them in 3 to 5 days—no need to wash fresh brussels sprouts until they’re ready to use.

Why do brussels sprouts stink?

Brussels sprouts and other vegetables in the cabbage family (such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, etc.) contain a high amount of sulfuric compounds called hydrogen sulfide. When overcooked or spoiled, these gases escape and emit a pungent odor that people associate with stinky, fart-like smells.

When should you throw brussels sprouts?

You need to check the appearance and smell of the sprouts. Some common signs of spoiled sprouts are soft/ mushy texture, off-smell, moldy or rotting leaves, and discoloration. If you see any of these symptoms, discard the sprouts.

Summary

Freezing brussels sprouts is an excellent way to preserve this leafy green. With adequate freezing, you can keep brussels sprouts up to a year in the freezer.

You can use frozen brussels sprouts in various cooking ways—roasted, oven-baked, sautéed, stir-fried, etc. You’d be surprised how versatile they are!

Next time, whenever you see brussels sprout on sale, buy in bulks and freeze for later!

Up next: Can you freeze cabbage?

frozen brussel sprouts

*Image by depositphotos.com/persona_grata

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