Carrots are often available in huge 2–10 lb bags and somehow, having so many of them available to cook, often results in cooking much more than you could reasonably eat in a single meal.
Can you freeze cooked carrots? Yes, you can freeze cooked carrots for up to 9 months. They will retain their flavor and nutritional value, but lose their firmness and texture. It is best to blanch carrots before freezing, but you can also freeze carrots that are roasted, mashed, or mixed with other vegetables as well as carrot soup.
There are many different ways to freeze cooked carrots with varying results, and this article will take you step-by-step through all your options so that you can choose the methods that suit you best.
Freezing Cooked Carrots
Freezing cooked carrots is a great way to buy them in bulk and not worry about them going bad before you can use them all. You can batch them all at once or simply freeze leftovers as they happen.
Carrots have high water content, which means whenever you freeze them their texture is going to change considerably.
As the water inside the carrot freezes, it turns into a small ice crystal that damages the proteins of the carrot, breaking down the structure. When the carrots thaw, the ice crystals melt, and the carrot will be soft rather than crunchy.
They’ll keep all their sweet flavor and impressive nutrition though, so it’s still well worth the effort.
The most effective way to freeze carrots is to blanch them before freezing. Blanching is a technique of partially cooking your vegetable and then immersing in cold water to stop the cooking process.
All vegetables have enzymes that control the freshness of the food, resulting in the eventual loss of flavor, texture, and color over time. Blanching stops this enzyme from working, helping to retain the best quality of your carrots through the freezing process.
How to Blanch Carrots
Blanching carrots is quite simple. All you need to do is follow these easy steps:
- Wash and dice or cube your carrots.
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
- Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
- Place your carrots in the boiling water for 2 minutes (use a timer!).
- Immediately drain your carrots and place them in the ice water to stop the cooking process.
- Leave the carrots in the ice water for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Drain the carrots and pat dry with a towel before freezing.
How to Freeze Cooked Carrots
If you want to keep some cooked carrots on hand for easy sides to lunches or dinners, or simply because you don’t want to let good food go to waste, freezing is a great option. Fortunately, the general process is an easy one.
To freeze cooked carrots, follow these easy steps:
- Make sure your carrots are completely cooled before trying to freeze them.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Spread out your room temperature cooked carrots into a single layer on the baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet carefully in your freezer and allow each piece of carrot to freeze individually, at least 1 hour.
- Transfer the individually frozen carrot pieces to a freezer-safe Ziploc bag or Tupperware container.
Can You Freeze Mashed Carrots?
If you’re planning on freezing cooked carrots, mashing or pureeing them before freezing will bring the best results when you’re ready to defrost and eat your carrots.
There are two very effective ways to freeze mashed carrots:
1. In a freezer-safe Ziploc Bag: wait for your mashed carrots to cool to room temperature and then transfer them to a freezer-safe Ziploc bag.
Lay the bag flat on your counter and smooth it into a thin, 1-inch layer for freezing. Remove as much air from the bag as possible before freezing. Freeze it laying perfectly flat and adjust to save space once it’s thoroughly frozen and won’t squish.
2. In Cubes: if you only want small amounts of mashed carrot to flavor sauces, add to baked goods, or feed a baby, you use an ice cube tray or muffin tin or portion out your carrot puree.
Line your tray or tin with plastic wrap and then fill with a pre-measured serving of mashed carrot. Wrap the serving with the plastic wrap carefully and place it in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag or Tupperware container.
Can You Freeze Roasted Carrots?
You can freeze roasted carrots, but once they thaw they will have lost all of their crunch.
Roasted carrots are all about the flavor though. So if you’re planning on freezing them there are plenty of ways you can use them to maximize the flavor without being worried about the texture, such as:
- Make a roasted carrot soup.
- Mash them into rice with some green peppers, pineapple chunks, and a few red pepper flakes for sweet and spicy rice.
- Puree them and mix them into homemade Mac and Cheese for added nutrition and flavor.
- Dice and mix them into a cold salad, like pasta salad or chicken salad.
- Chop them up into small pieces and add them to a chunky vegetable pasta sauce.
To freeze roasted carrots, make sure they’re completely cool and have settled at room temperature or have been placed in your fridge to be even colder.
If you know you’re going to mash them when they’re thawed, you’ll get the best quality by mashing them before freezing. Otherwise, you can freeze them in chunks or pieces.
To freeze roasted carrots, follow these steps:
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and spread out your roasted carrot chunks into a single layer.
- Place the baking sheet in your freezer where it will be safe for 1–2 hours.
- Once the pieces are individually frozen they can be transferred to a freezer-safe Ziploc bag or Tupperware container for up to 3 months.
Can You Freeze Carrot Soup?
Yes, carrot soup freezes very well. The only thing you have to be careful about is if it is a cream of carrot soup.
A simple carrot soup made with broth and other vegetables but no milk can be easily frozen in a Ziploc bag.
Wait until the soup is completely cooled and then pour a single meal-sized serving into a freezer-safe Ziploc bag. Lay it flat on your countertop and spread the soup out so that there are no air bubbles and seal the bag.
Lay the soup flat on a baking sheet and place it in your freezer where it won’t be disturbed for at least 2 hours, or until it is frozen thoroughly. Once it’s solid, you can remove the baking sheet and stand up the soup to save space in your freezer.
If you’ve made a cream of carrot soup, freeze it using the same directions but be prepared to blitz it in your blender or food processer once it’s unthawed. This way any graininess to the texture will be softened.
How to Freeze Cooked Carrots with Mixed Vegetables
If you buy frozen carrots from the freezer section of your supermarket, you’ll notice they often come in mixed bags with peas, corn, or beans.
To make a mix like this for yourself, you will have to first dice all the vegetables so that they’re close to the same size, and then blanch them.
For best results, chop, blanch, and freeze all the ingredients separately and then combine them into a single freezer-safe Ziploc bag when they’re all thoroughly frozen. This will ensure they all freeze as individual pieces rather than clumping together.
If you’ve cooked carrots with other ingredients like parsnips, turnips, or potatoes, you can freeze them all together as well.
Most of these root type vegetables will lose their firmness once frozen, however, so you’ll have the best results by pureeing or mashing them and then mixing them together before freezing them.
Once the ingredients are well combined you can follow the previous instructions for freezing mashed carrots.
Freezing Carrots with a Foodsaver
A Foodsaver is the most popular vacuum sealing system for freezing food (check current price on Amazon). It will protect your food from exposure to air, preventing freezer burn and helping your food stay fresh in the freezer for up to 5 times longer than it would if it were otherwise packaged.
To freeze your carrots with a Foodsaver, simply prepare them as if you were going to freeze them normally. Ideally, you’ll blanch and chop your carrots into cubes, but this will also work with cooked carrots, mashed carrots, or even roasted carrots.
Fill the Foodsaver bag with dry carrot pieces or drained cooked carrots and place the open end of the bag into the vacuum sealer. Close and lock the lid and press the “seal” button.
The machine will vacuum all air out of the bag and seal it precisely, ready to be frozen.
How Long Can You Freeze Carrots?
If you’ve frozen your carrots so that they’re well protected from air, they’ll retain their flavor for up to 9 months. The texture of your carrots will soften as soon as they freeze, but they’ll still taste great.
If you’ve vacuum-sealed your carrots using a Foodsaver, they’ll last longer, up to a year.
Conclusion – You Can Freeze Cooked Carrots
You certainly can freeze cooked carrots but they will lose their firm texture. When they are defrosted, they will be soft and slightly chewier than carrots normally are.
However, they will retain their nutritional value, flavor, and color for up to 9 months. So it’s still a great idea to freeze them if you’ve cooked too many carrots. If you’re planning ahead, opt for blanching carrots before freezing them instead of cooking them completely.
To get the most enjoyment out of your previously frozen carrots, consider mashing or pureeing them or chopping them into small enough pieces so that the compromised texture won’t be as obvious.