Knowing how to freeze squash will allow you to enjoy fried squash all year round, even when the vegetable isn’t in season. Freezing squash is the best way to preserve it if you have bought too much from the grocers, or have an abundance of it growing in your vegetable garden.
Frozen squash can be kept in the freezer until you are ready to cook it at a later stage, but how do you freeze squash for frying? Freezing squash for frying is very similar to how you would freeze squash normally, except that you will need to season and flour the vegetable before placing it in the freezer.
Keep reading for the step-by-step guide to freezing squash for frying.
How To Freeze Squash For Frying – Step By Step
Below are all the steps you need to know in order to properly freeze squash for frying.
What You Need
It is best to have all your tools and necessities for freezing squash ready before you begin, as it will save you wasting time looking for them during the process.
You will need:
- Fresh squash
- A container with an airtight lid (something like this from Amazon is perfect), aluminum wrap, plastic wrap, or a plastic freezer bag.
- Freezer paper (or wax paper) (Or Etee reusable food wraps)
- Seasoning and flour
How To Prepare Squash For Freezing
Preparing the squash for freezing is an important step because if the squash is not prepared correctly, it will not taste so great when it is fried up at a later stage.
- Wash the squash as you would if you were going to cook it.
- Pat the squash dry with a paper towel.
- Cut the squash into 1/8 to ¼ slices, depending on how thick you want them to be.
- Once the squash has been cut, you will need to cut as many sheets of freezer paper, slightly bigger than the slices of squash, but smaller than the size of the container you will be freezing them in.
Freezing The Squash
Next, you will need to get your squash ready to be frozen.
There is an extra step you need to include here as you are freezing your squash to be fried at a later stage, which takes a little more work than just freezing plain squash.
- Season the slices of squash with salt and pepper, and any other seasoning you would like to include.
- Once seasoned, flour the slices of squash.
- Shake off any excess flour.
- Line the bottom of the freezer container with a piece of freezer paper.
- Lay a single slice of floured squash on top of the freezer paper.
- Layer the freezer paper and squash until the squash slices are finished, or until there is no space left in the container. You can move on and prepare another freezer container with a bottom layer of freezer paper to store the rest.
- Tightly seal the lid and place the container in the freezer.
Other Storage Options
Plastic storage containers are a great option when freezing squash, but there are others that you could use. If you do not want to use a plastic container, you could layer your squash, alternating each slice with a piece of freezer paper, until it has formed a stack.
Or, one of the ways I like to wrap food for freezing or refrigerating is to use reusable food wraps. I personally love these organic beeswax ones from Etee, but you could use any.
You can then wrap this stack in plastic wrap, and wrap this again in aluminum foil and place it in the freezer. Alternatively, you can wrap the stack in plastic wrap and place it inside a plastic freezer bag.
If you do not have any freezer or wax paper, you can flash freeze the squash. To do this, you will still slice, season and flour the squash, but instead of layering them in a stack, you can place them on a baking tray.
Place this into the freezer for 45 minutes or until the squash slices have frozen. Once frozen, the squash slices can be placed in a plastic container or freezer bag. Flash freezing the separate slices of squash before placing them in a storage container prevents the slices from sticking together when frozen.
Both layering with freezer paper, and flash freezing the squash, allows you to remove as many slices from the freezer as you want to use, without having to defrost or use the whole batch.
Remember to label the container with the sliced squash with the date of freezing, so it can be easily identified in the freezer, and so that you know when the squash should be used by.
Frying Frozen Squash
There is little that needs to be done when it is time to fry up the frozen squash. You would have already seasoned and floured the slices, so all that is left to do is fry.
You do not need to thaw the slices of squash, as this could cause them to turn soft, and the flour coating to turn soggy. You can simply remove as many slices as you would like from the freezer container, and place them into a preheated skillet.
The slices of squash will thaw within a few seconds and will cook through and crisp beautifully. Thawing the slices beforehand exposes the batter to moisture, and it could become gooey, which will not allow the slices to fry up crispy.
Blanching Squash Before Freezing
Some choose to blanch their squash, or other vegetables before freezing. Vegetables contain enzymes and bacteria, which can break down and destroy the nutrients, color, texture, and flavor of the vegetable over time while in the freezer.
Blanching the squash can prevent this from happening, by destroying the enzymes before freezing.
If you are planning to freeze the squash for a short period of time, this isn’t necessary, but if you are not sure when you will use the squash, it might be a good idea to blanch it before freezing.
Place a pot of water onto the stove and allow it to come to a boil. Place the sliced squash into the boiling water, and allow it to boil at a high temperature for 3 minutes.
If you have quite a few squash slices to freeze, you can use the same water up to 5 times. However, you might need to add some more hot water to keep up the water level.
Safely remove the slices of squash from the boiling water and place them in ice-cold water to cool for 5 minutes. Cooling the squash down quickly prevents any further cooking, and you might need to add more ice to the water to keep it cool.
Drain the squash thoroughly, at least for 2 minutes, before patting the slices down with a paper towel.
From there, you can season and flour the squash, and place them into storage containers to be frozen.
Blanching the squash slices beforehand also shortens the frying time. The battered squash will thaw when placed on the hot skillet and will be ready to eat in no time.
Freezing Squash For Cooking
If you have some squash leftover, after you have floured and frozen enough slices, you can freeze this squash to be used for other meals.
You can follow all the above steps for freezing, but you have more freedom how you wish to cut the squash, whether you slice or cube it. You will also not need to season and flour the squash.
When thawing the squash, it will become slightly mushy and soggy. This cannot be eaten raw but is perfect to add into soups and casseroles, where it will be cooked in with all the other ingredients.
What happens if you freeze vegetables without blanching them first?
As blanching helps vegetables keep their colors and retain nutrients, by stopping enzymes which could spoil the vegetables, not blanching the vegetables first could result in a faded or dull coloring, as well as unusual textures and tastes.
Not blanching the vegetables is fine if you are going to be using them shortly after freezing, but for longer storage time, blanching is required for the best results.
Does squash need to be peeled before frying?
Summer squash has delicately soft skin, so it does not need to be peeled before frying.
If you are freezing the squash for frying, you can simply wash the skin and slice it up into thin slices, before seasoning and flouring it.
How do you stop fried squash from turning mushy?
Frying squash from frozen is actually a great way to prevent it from turning mushy. Straight from the freezer, the squash will not be exposed to moisture for an extended period of time, and the outsides will crisp up nicely.
Be careful not to overcook the squash, which could also lead to it becoming mushy.
Freezing Squash For Frying
Freezing squash for frying not only presents you with the opportunity to save up the squash you have bought from the store, or harvested from your garden, but it gives you an easy meal later on, where you only have to place the frozen slices directly into a preheated skillet to fry up.
Freezing squash to fry is quite simple, you just need to ensure you have seasoned and floured it before freezing, and that you have separated the slices so they do not stick together in the freezer.