Have a bag of carrots you don’t want to see go to waste? Learn how to freeze carrots so that they don’t go bad before you get to eat them and ensure you always have some on hand for veggie-loaded recipes! In this veggie how-to, I share how to blanch carrots, the best way to freeze them, and then share some of my favorite recipes to use them in.
I sometimes have the best of intentions to use up all of my veggies before they are destined for the trash bin. Or, I have grand ideas that my family will gobble up all of the carrots I’ve prepared for them. After all, veggie-loading is what I’m known for! But…we all know what happens. We get invited to a last-minute dinner, end up being exhausted and relying on leftovers, or just have that last handful of veggies that didn’t get into someone’s belly (which is a-ok!). Rather than let those nutrient-powerhouses go to waste, I can freeze them and re-invent them in another dish. Learning how to freeze carrots in a way that preserves the best taste and texture took a bit of trial and error. Now that I have it down to a science, I am sharing it all with you! The trick to freezing carrots without them turning rubbery is blanching! This technique is much easier than it sounds and I outline it below…along with some of my favorite recipes for using frozen carrots!
Don’t forget to check out How to freeze kale and How to keep cut carrots fresh for more veggie storage tips!
How to freeze carrots
Step 1: Wash, peel, and trim carrots.
Step 2: Cut carrots into 1/2 inch pieces. Coins or dice, depending on the width of your carrots.
Step 3: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop cut carrots into boiling water for 2 minutes. This is called blanching and will help the carrots to have the best texture, flavor, and color after being frozen. It is an optional step, but one I recommend.
Step 4: Use a slotted spoon to scoop carrots out of the boiling water. Immediately place them in a bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking process.
Step 5: Place the blanched carrots on a large plate or small baking sheet in a single layer and pop into your freezer. Let freeze for at least 2 hours. This step will prevent the carrots from freezing together in clumps and will make measuring out portions of frozen easier.
Step 6: Place frozen carrots into a freezer-safe container. I like to use gallon silicone bags, but a gallon ziplock or reusable container will work just fine. Return to freezer until you are ready to use them!
Keep in mind! Frozen carrots will not retain the crisp texture of their fresh counterparts. Best to use frozen carrots in cooked dishes, such as muffins, hot dishes, stir-fries, soups, or where their texture doesn’t matter as much, such as smoothies. Frozen carrots are NOT going to be great for a lunch box or crudité platter.
Frequently Asked Questions about Freezing Carrots
Can you freeze carrots without blanching?
Blanching is optional, but helps ensure that carrots retain their nutrients, texture, color, and flavor. You may absolutely skip it, but just be aware that your frozen carrots will be best enjoyed incopproated into a recipe verse on their own.
How do you blanch carrots?
To blanch carrots, you will need a bowl filled with enough ice water to submerge your carrots, a pot large enough to boil your carrots, salt (if desired), and prepped carrots (blanching whole carrots takes quite awhile and are not really practical).
To prep carrots for blanching, you first want to start with clean, fresh carrots (give them a good scrub and rinse!). Next, cut the carrots into whatever size you wish (baby carrots work here too—and don’t need to be cut!).
Bring a pot of water up to a boil, drop in your prepped carrots, and after 2 minutes, transfer them from the boiling water to the bowl of ice water using a slotted spoon. Next, freeze the carrots a single layer for a few hours before transferring into freezer-safe container.
How long do frozen carrots last in the freezer?
While frozen veggies can last quite awhile in the freezer, for the best quality—and to lessen your chance of major freezer burn—I, personally, try to use my frozen carrots within 8-12 months.
Do you have trouble cooking through your freezer before quality becomes…less than desirable? Here’s a tip! Keep a list on or near your freezer (or even on your phone!) of what is inside. Sounds basic, right? Here’s the trick: Add a USE BY date next to the item. Then, when you’re planning your meals for the week or searching for something to feed you or your family, you have an easy way to know what is next on the menu!
Do you need to thaw frozen carrots?
Typically, no! Thawing is generally not needed—especially if you cut the carrots small enough. However, if you want to be on the safe side (no one wants to chomp into a half-frozen carrot in their stir-fry!), you can easily start the thawing process by either running under tepid water or placing the carrots in a bowl of room temperature water and changing out the water when it gets cold. Then just thoroughly strain out the water and you’re ready to get cooking!
Can you freeze shredded carrots?
Yes! Not only can you freeze shredded carrots, but it’s an AMAZING way to veggie load in a jiffy! Add a handful to smoothies or muffins—or throw in straight from the freezer to the pan for a delicious, lightening-fast stir-fry! Something to keep in mind: when freezing shredded carrots, you want to freeze them in the portion size you *think* you will likely use. This is because they will likely freeze together and it will be hard to portion them out without thawing. I like to freeze shredded carrots in small freezer safe containers, baggies, or containers like these SouperCubes (affiliate link)
Can you freeze cooked carrots?
Do you have some cooked carrots leftover and want to keep them for later? You can freeze cooked carrots also! Of course, their texture will change a bit. While you could technically use them on their own for a side, I highly recommend mixing them into whatever else you are cooking fresh for that day. If the choice is between freezing fully cooked carrots ahead blanching them, I choose blanching and freezing any day of the week!
Why are my frozen carrots rubbery?
Frozen carrots can end up a bit rubbery due to moisture loss from the freezing process. For this reason, I DON’T recommend using frozen carrots in recipes where their crisp texure shines (think crudité and dip!). The best way to lessen this texture change, as much as possible, is to blanch carrots prior to freezing. However, be aware that over-blanching will also result in less than stellar texture also. Just a couple of minutes in boiling water and then straight into the ice bath they go!
Best recipes for frozen carrots
- Whole Wheat ABC Muffins (apple, banana, carrot)
- Healthy Pineapple Carrot Muffins
- Hearty Slow Cooker Veggie Chili
- Healthy Carrot Cake Bread
- Easy 5-Minute Carrot Apple Smoothie
- Healthier Hamburger Helper (with veggies!)
- Healthy Cranberry Orange Carrot Muffins
- Hearty Chicken-Vegetable Quinoa Soup
- Easy 5-Minute Carrot Apple Smoothie
- Chickpea Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry
- Easy Kale and White Bean Soup
Loving this veggie how-to and are hungry for more veggie-loaded recipes and hacks?
Sign up so that my newsletter is delivered straight to your inbox. And be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for all kinds of veggie-loaded and healthy living ideas!
How To Freeze Carrots (for the best taste and texture)
- 1 pound fresh carrots
- Wash, peel, and trim carrots. Peeling is optional, but some people find the skin of carrots bitter in flavor.
- Cut carrots into ¼ inch coins. If you are using baby carrots, you may leave them whole if you want.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop cut carrots into boiling water for 2 minutes. For baby carrots, let them sit in the boiling water for 5 minutes. This is called blanching and will help the carrots to have the best texture, flavor, and color after being frozen. It is an optional step, but one I recommend.
- Use a slotted spoon to scoop carrots out of the boiling water. Immediately place them in a boil of ice water. This will stop the cooking process. Let the carrots sit in the ice water for 5 minutes
- Scoop the carrots out of the ice water and shake off excess water. Place the blanched carrots on a large plate or small baking sheet in a single layer and pop into your freezer. Let freeze for at least 2 hours or until frozen solid. This step will prevent the carrots from freezing together in clumps and will make measuring out portions of frozen easier.
- Transfer frozen carrots into a freezer-safe container. I like to use stackable containers or gallon silicone bags, but a gallon ziplock will work just fine. Return to freezer until you are ready to use them!
- If you have blanched your carrots, they will last in your freezer for up to 12 months. Unblanched carrots should be used within 2 months.
Leave a comment & rate this recipe