Freezing Asparagus

While asparagus is usually available in the supermarkets year-round, the asparagus you see in the late summer and the cold months probably comes from far away.  Local asparagus is only available for a short time, how long and when depends on where you live.  But fresh local asparagus is usually synonymous with spring, in seasonal climes.  So, if you’re lucky enough to find fresh local asparagus, you may want to consider freezing it, so that you can enjoy those crisp tender stalks later in the year.

How to Cook Asparagus

See here for a chart on asparagus cooking time, depending on thickness.  If you are planning to freeze the asparagus, you want to cook them on the shorter side, especially if the asparagus are going to be heated in another recipe after they’ve been taken from the freezer.

Blanching Asparagus Before Freezing

Cooking asparagus briefly before you freeze it locks in the texture and bright green color of the vegetable (this is true of freezing most vegetables).  Blanching simply means quick-cooking a vegetable, and then plunging it into an ice water bath to “shock” the vegetable, e.g. stop the cooking.  This also helps the asparagus (or other vegetable) retain its color and texture.

How to Freeze Asparagus: Here’s the best and easiest way to freeze fresh asparagus so you can enjoy those tender crisp stalks later in the year.

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How to Freeze Asparagus

Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. 

Heat an inch or so of salted water in a large pot, preferably big enough for the asparagus to lie flat in, or at least large enough for the asparagus to fit into the pot at an angle with the lid tightly placed on top.   

Once the water has come to a boil, place the asparagus in the pot no more than a few layers deep, and cover the pot.  Return the water to a simmer.  

How to Cook Asparagus

When the asparagus is cooked to a crisp-tender stage drain the asparagus and immediately plunge into the ice bath.  This should take about 2 minutes for thin spears, 4 minutes for thicker stalks. When you poke the spears with the tip of a sharp knife you should feel slight resistance.  The color should be bright green.  Allow to cool completely in the ice bath.

How to Cook Asparagus

Drain the asparagus and transfer to a clean dish towel and pat dry.  You can then transfer the asparagus to a freezer proof bag, press out all the air, label the bag, and freeze.  

How to Freeze Asparagus

Or if you want to be able to pull out a smaller amount of the stalks at a time, without having to defrost the whole bunch, flash freeze them before transfering to a bag. Place the asparagus in a single layer on a plate or baking sheet and transfer to the freezer. Once they are partially frozen, after about 30 minutes, transfer them to a freezer-proof bag. Press out the air, and freeze completely. 

You can also cut the asparagus into pieces before freezing it. If you know you are going to be using them in a casserole or a stir-fry, and need smaller pieces, you can slice them ahead of time.

Asparagus will last for up to 8 months in the freezer.

Can you freeze asparagus? Yes! Here’s the best way to freeze fresh asparagus so you can enjoy those tender crisp stalks later in the year.

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Defrosting Asparagus

You can either defrost the asparagus at room temperature for a few hours, or in the fridge overnight.  Or, if you are using the asparagus in a recipe that is going to be cooked or heated, you can use the asparagus straight from the freezer.  The stalks will defrost quickly in whatever dish you are making.

Asparagus Soup

Recipes with Asparagus:

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How to Freeze Asparagus

Can you freeze asparagus? Yes! Here's the best way to freeze fresh asparagus so you can enjoy those tender crisp stalks later in the year.
Yield: 4 people
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Ingredients

Directions

  • Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.
  • Heat an inch or so of salted water in a large pot, preferably big enough for the asparagus to lie flat in. If your pot isn’t large enough to fit the asparagus in a horizontal layer, that’s ok, as long as there is enough room for the asparagus to fit into the pot with the lid tightly placed on top.
  • Once the water has come to a boil, place the asparagus in the pot no more than a few layers deep, and cover the pot. Return the water to a simmer. When the asparagus is cooked to a crisp-tender stage, about 2 minutes for thin spears, 4 minutes for thicker stalks, drain the asparagus and plunge into the ice bath. When you poke the spears with the tip of a sharp knife you should feel slight resistance. The color should be bright green. Allow to cool completely in the ice bath.
  • Drain the asparagus and transfer to a clean dish towel and pat dry. You can then either transfer the asparagus to a freezer proof bag, press out all the air, label the bag, and freeze. Or if you want to be able to pull out a smaller amount of the stalks at a time, without having to defrost the whole bunch, flash freeze them before transfering to a bag. Place the asparagus in a single layer on a plate or baking sheet and transfer to the freezer. Once they are partially frozen, after about 30 minutes, transfer them to a freezer-proof bag, press out the air, and freeze completely.  These will last for up to 8 months in the freezer.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 91kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 916mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3429IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 10mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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