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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Now you can enjoy your garden fresh beans all year round!
Be sure to also check out our tutorial on How to Freeze Kale and Other Leafy Greens!
How to Freeze Green Beans
- fresh green beans , washed and ends trimmed (depending on the length of the beans you can either leave them whole or chop them, your choice)
- large bowl of ice water
- large pot of boiling water
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with water and add a generous amount of ice cubes. Place the beans in the boiling water, wait for the water to return to a boil, and then boil for 2 minute for small beans or 3 minutes for large beans (this process is known as blanching). Drain the beans and immediately plunge them into the ice water. Let them cool in the ice water for 3 minutes. Thoroughly drain the beans in a colander.At this point you can either put the beans directly into freezer bags or you can first spread them out single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze for a couple of hours, then place them in the freezer bags (this will prevent them from sticking together when frozen). Press out as much air from the bags as possible Label and date the freezer bags. The beans will keep for at least 6-8 months.