Freezing Brussels Sprouts

It’s worth freezing this cabbage cousin when you have homegrown or locally raised versions that boast frost-kissed sweetness.
Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Most people don’t want to eat Brussels sprouts, let alone freeze them. But if you’ve had the opportunity to eat fresh, locally-grown sprouts after a frost, you’ll be a fan—and wanting to learn how to freeze Brussels sprouts.

Freezing Brussels sprouts successfully starts with a homegrown or locally raised product. Why? The secret to wonderful Brussels sprouts is frost. When frost kisses plants, they convert starches to sugars, which sweetens sprouts. The only way to get these sprouts is to grow your own or get locally-grown ones—after a frost. Fresh supermarket versions usually originate in California or Mexico and haven’t experienced the sweetening magic of frost. That’s why Brussels sprouts often taste slightly bitter.

One pound of Brussels sprouts yields roughly one pint frozen. Start the freezing process by washing sprouts. Late-season sprouts often have clusters of aphids or other insects hidden beneath the first or second outer leaf layer. Cause any hitchhikers to exit sprouts by soaking them in a vinegar or salt solution. Use 1 to 3 tablespoons of vinegar or salt per gallon of water. Soak sprouts for half an hour, then rinse thoroughly. Remove old or yellow outer leaves and trim bases.

Freeze Vegetables From Your Garden

See All Photos

Fresh Broccoli Beats Store-Bought Every Time

©2013, Image courtesy of Ben Rollins

Overwhelmed with Cucumbers?

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Never Have Too Many Cherry Tomatoes

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Freeze Spinach for Soups and More

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Can You Freeze Kale?

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Put Your Onions in the Deep Freeze

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Freeze Asparagus for Great Flavor

©2013, Image courtesy of Ben Rollins

Can You Freeze Garlic Cloves?

©2010, How to Grow Practically Everything, Dorling Kindersley Limited

How Do You Freeze Eggplant?

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Enjoy a Summertime Favorite All Year

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

How to Freeze Brussels Sprouts

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Steps to Freezing Cabbage

©2010, DK - How to Grow Practically Everything , Dorling Kindersley Limited

Freeze Celery for Soups

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Overstocked on Mushrooms?

©2010, How to Grow Practically Everything, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Sort sprouts by size, grouping them as small, medium, and large. Why? Because blanching times are based on spear size. Blanch small sprouts 3 minutes, medium ones 4 minutes, and large ones 5 minutes. Use a steamer basket to shift sprouts easily between boiling and ice water. Avoid overheating the sprouts, which can contribute to post-freeze mushiness.

After blanching, move Brussels sprouts into the freezer as rapidly as possible. Fast freezing yields a fresher, less mushy product. You have two options for freezing: individual quick freeze or package freezing.

Quick-freeze Brussels sprouts individually on a cookie sheet. For fastest freezing, place the sheet close to where cold air enters your freezer. After sprouts are frozen, tuck them into freezer bags in bulk. Remove as much air as possible from bags before sealing. Grab sprouts by the handful as needed for cooking.

A second option is packaged freezing. In this method, package serving-size portions of Brussels sprouts in freezer bags. Always remove as much air as possible for the freshest product. A vacuum sealer system works well with Brussels sprouts. Avoid overpacking bags. Instead, keep sprouts in a single layer for quickest freezing. Place bags into the freezer as flatly as possible until sprouts are frozen. Afterwards, pack the bags into your freezer to maximize space use.

Brussels sprouts bring more than flavor to the table. These miniature cabbage heads boast cancer-fighting qualities, along with folic acid and Vitamin A. They’re also high in protein, but should be paired with whole grains to serve a complete protein that contains the entire spectrum of amino acids.

For best quality, use frozen Brussels sprouts within 12 to 14 months. Frozen sprouts make a great addition to crock pot stews and homemade soups. Toss them into a skillet with a little olive oil, or add them to stir fries. Frozen Brussels sprouts also taste great when oven roasted with olive oil and salt. 

Next Up

Garden to Table: Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts offer the taste of a cabbage’s sweet, blanched heart in every singular blossom bite.

How to Make Buffalo Brussels Sprouts

Go garden to gridiron with this unusual halftime recipe.

Freezing Vegetables

Sun-ripened flavors are one of gardening's simple joys. Learn how to freeze fresh vegetables to enjoy the goodness all year long.

Can You Freeze Celery?

Home-grown celery has a bold flavor that’s tough to beat. Preserve that tangy flavor by freezing celery—we’ll explain how.

Brussels Sprouts Recipe: A Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Slice these mini cabbages raw for a crunchy seasonal salad.

Freezing Onions

Extend your onion harvest by tossing excess bulbs in the freezer. Learn how to prep onions for safe storage in the deep freeze.

Freezing Asparagus

Preserve the garden-fresh flavor of this spring vegetable by stashing spears in the freezer.

Freezing Pumpkins

Fill your freezer with healthy portions of everyone’s autumn favorite: the pumpkin. Learn how easy it is to freeze this superfood.

Freezing Green Onions

It’s easy and prolific, but what’s a gardener to do with all those green onions? Discover a few easy ways to freeze scallions.

11 Fruits and Veggies You Can Freeze for Later

Whether your garden produced a bountiful harvest or you scored a great deal at the farmer’s market, don’t let any of that good food go to waste.