Do you find yourself wondering: how do you freeze cabbage? This tutorial includes everything you need to know about how to freeze cabbage, whether or not you need to blanch it, and how to thaw it to use in recipes.
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Let’s face it, it’s difficult to use a whole head of cabbage! Even after making a couple recipes using cabbage, you may still have half a head left over. Instead of letting it rot in your fridge, try freezing cabbage for later use. It’s easy to do.
How to Prepare Cabbage for Freezing
- Remove any damaged or wilted outer leaves. Wash the cabbage under cold running water and pat dry.
- Cut the cabbage into your desired shape and size for freezing. You can slice it it into shreds or wedges. I like to freeze shredded cabbage to add directly to recipes, since this is the most common variation of cabbage I use in cooking. For tips on how to cut these shapes, see the tutorial on How to Cut Cabbage.
How to Blanch Cabbage for Freezing
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare a large mixing bowl with ice water.
- Drop the cabbage into the boiling water. If using shredded cabbage, cook for 30 to 60 seconds once the water returns to a boil. If using cabbage wedges, cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Remove the cabbage promptly from the boiling water, using a slotted spoon or by draining it in a colander. Transfer to the ice water.
- Let the cabbage sit in the ice water to cool. This stops the cooking process.
- Drain the cabbage and pat dry. Place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread it out in a single layer. Pat dry again to remove any moisture (you don’t want freezer burn!).
- Put the baking sheet in the freezer, somewhere it can lie flat without being bumped. Freeze for about an hour until frozen solid.
How to Store Cabbage in the Freezer
- Once the cabbage is frozen solid on the baking sheet, remove it from the freezer.
- Transfer to freezer-safe bags or containers. Seal tightly, removing as much air as possible. I love to use reusable ½-gallon Stasher bags for this purpose.
- Label the bags if desired.
- Store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Can you freeze cabbage without blanching?
Blanching is an important step for freezing vegetables. It helps extend shelf life and preserve quality and taste. You can freeze cabbage without blanching, but it won’t last as long.
To do this, prepare and cut the cabbage, skip the blanching steps, and put it right into a freezer bag. Store in the freezer and use within a month.
How to Thaw and Use Frozen Cabbage
Frozen cabbage works best when used in cooked cabbage recipes. You can add it to soups, stir fries, and casseroles directly from the freezer — no need to thaw. My Coconut Cabbage Chicken Soup, Cabbage Roll Skillet, and Stewed Cabbage, Apples, and White Beans are great ways to use frozen shredded cabbage.
If you’re wondering if you can freeze cabbage for coleslaw, the answer is no. You can try to thaw frozen cabbage in the fridge and then use it in raw preparations like slaws and salads. However, I’ve found that defrosted cabbage gets too soggy and doesn’t have the same crunchy texture that you want in a coleslaw.
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How to Freeze Cabbage
- 1 head cabbage
- Prepare the cabbage for freezing. Remove any damaged or wilted outer leaves, wash under cold running water, and pat dry. Slice cabbage into desired shape: either shreds or wedges.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare a mixing bowl with ice water. Once boiling, drop the cabbage into the pot of water. For shredded cabbage, cook for 30 to 60 seconds once the water returns to a boil. For cabbage wedges, increase cook time to 1 to 2 minutes.
- Remove the cabbage from the boiling water with a slotted spoon. Plunge it into the bowl of ice water and let cool for a few minutes.
- Drain the cabbage and pat dry. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread it out in a single layer.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer, somewhere it can lie flat, for 1 to 2 hours until the cabbage is frozen solid.
- Transfer the frozen cabbage to freezer bags, remove as much air as possible, and seal. Store for up to 6 months in the freezer.
- Use the cabbage directly from frozen in cooked/hot cabbage dishes like soups.
I hope this vegetable prep hack is helpful! – Lizzie