Can You Freeze Tenderstem Broccoli?

Tenderstem broccoli is a delicious side dish that works with a range of cuisines from a roast dinner to a Chinese meal. But can you freeze tenderstem broccoli with any success?

The Quick Answer

Yes, you can freeze tenderstem broccoli. Tenderstem broccoli can be frozen for around 3 months. The best way to freeze them is to blanch them, dry them and place them into good-quality freezer bags. When sealing the bags up, try to remove as much air as possible.

How To Freeze Tenderstem Broccoli

Before you get to freezing your tenderstem, you’ll want to get it prepared.

Simply trim the woody ends of the broccoli and then soak in salt water to remove bugs and insects from inside the florets. You’ll want to soak them for around 20 minutes or so. Drain them and then rinse under cold water to remove any excess salt:

  1. Blanch Stems
    Once clean, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Once boiling, blanch your tenderstem broccoli for around 3 minutes. This will help to lock in the nutrients, keep the broccoli bright green and tasting fresh. Once blanched, submerge in cold water to instantly halt the cooking process.
  2. Dry
    Drain and then pat dry to remove any excess liquid.
  3. Portion Into Bags
    Place a portion into a ziplock bag and seal up. As you seal it up, try to remove as much air as possible from the bags. This will help protect your broccoli from oxidation and freezer burn whilst also taking up less room in the freezer. If you’re struggling to remove air, place a straw into a small hole in the opening and suck the air out before sealing up completely.
  4. Freeze
    Pop the bags into the freezer and you’ll have ready-to-go portions of broccoli – just grab a bag when you need it.

How to Freeze Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Purple sprouting broccoli can be frozen in much the same way. The only difference is that we would recommend blanching for just under 2 minutes instead. The florets on purple sprouting broccoli tend to be a little more delicate so the less time they spend in the boiling water, the better.

Besides this, everything else we have mentioned on this page for freezing tenderstem broccoli can be applied to freezing purple sprouting broccoli.

3 Tips for Freezing Tenderstem Broccoli

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing tenderstem broccoli to have the best results:

  • Blanch It – Blanching is a great way of locking in flavour and nutrients. It may take a little extra effort but it’s well worth doing as you will reap those rewards when eating it in future. 
  • Mix With Other Veggies – Try mixing broccoli with other vegetables in mixed, ready-prepared bags of veggies. Vegetables like carrot, kale, cabbage and green beans all work well here. 
  • Defrost with Boiling Water – You don’t need to wait for the tenderstem to defrost. Just boil the kettle and pour the boiling water over the frozen tenderstem. 

How Long Can You Freeze Tenderstem Broccoli?

The florets of tenderstem broccoli are quite delicate and prone to degrading in texture quite rapidly when frozen for an extended period of time. For this reason, we would recommend only keeping them in the freezer for up to 3 months.

They’ll remain safe beyond this time but you may find the florets go a little mushy.

You Can Freeze Tenderstem Broccoli for Around 3 Months

How Do You Defrost Tenderstem Broccoli?

Defrosting your tenderstem broccoli is very straightforward. The good news is that you don’t even need to get your broccoli out of the freezer in advance.

First, bring a pot of water to the boil. Then, also bring your kettle to the boil. Place your frozen broccoli stems into a bowl or dish and pour over the boiled water from the kettle. This will help to quickly thaw the broccoli.

If you add the broccoli straight to the pot, they will cool the water down and you’ll end up accidentally overcooking your tenderstems.

When you have poured the water over the broccoli, drain and then tip into the pan and boil for just 2 minutes. You want it to be crunchy but cooked through.

You can then season with salt, pepper and a knob of butter and enjoy.

Can You Refreeze Tenderstem Broccoli?

Refreezing tenderstem broccoli is not something we would recommend doing as it can breakdown the texture quite rapidly the more you freeze it.

Instead, we suggest following our guidelines above and freezing the broccoli in portions in ziplock bags. This will help you to avoid unnecessarily thawing too much broccoli.

Does Tenderstem Broccoli Freeze Well?

Provided that you clean it, blanch it and then freeze it correctly, it’s safe to say that tenderstem broccoli does freeze well. You do need to be careful not to blanch it for too long otherwise you will end up overcooking it at a later date.

It’s also worth noting that flopping, soft tenderstems will not be improved in the freezer so you should aim to only freeze the best broccoli you can.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing tenderstem broccoli or broccoli in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Broccoli Soup?

Like most vegetable-based soups, broccoli soup is another soup that you can freeze. We’ve written extensively about soup in the past but have also written a dedicated article about freezing broccoli and stilton soup which can be a little more challenging due to the dairy content.

Can You Freeze Broccoli?

Yes, you can also freeze normal florets of broccoli. Again, blanching is a key step in the freezing process so make sure you take the time to blanch it first. 

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