How to Freeze Brussels Sprouts | Almanac.com

How to Freeze Brussels Sprouts

pile of brussels sprouts, halved one in front
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Oliver Hoffmann/Shutterstock

Learn the Secrets Freezing Brussels Sprouts Properly

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Yes, you can freeze Brussels sprouts to enjoy later! Freezing preserves the freshness and nutrition of these delicious fall vegetables. Here are the steps (with photos) to freezing Brussels sprouts.

Fun Fact! The correct name IS, in fact, Brussels sprouts (not Brussel sprouts) because they were named for Brussels, the capital of Belgium.

You can freeze either Brussels sprouts that you grow yourself or that you happen to buy a large batch in the store. That said, it is especially worthwhile to freeze when you have homegrown or locally-raised fresh sprouts to preserve their freshness. This is especially worthwhile after Brussels sprouts are harvested after frost when they taste sweeter and better. 

Want to try growing them yourself? Our Brussels sprouts growing guide walks you through the process.

Freezing Brussels Sprouts

Once you have sourced your delicious Brussels sprouts, it’s time to prepare them for the freezing preservation process. One pound of fresh Brussels sprouts will yield roughly one pint of frozen veggies. 

  • Begin by washing the sprouts to remove any dirt or insect hitchhikers.
  • Cut the sprouts away from the stalk over a bowl, removing any leaves as you reach them.
cutting brussel sprouts into a bowl
Use a knife to carefully cut the Brussels sprouts away from you.
  • Then, pick over the sprouts carefully. Remove any that are spoiled or unappealing (these are get for the compost bin!). You will also want to trim away any areas nibbled by insects and cut the bottoms flush with the sprout.
a Brussels sprout on a table with the bottom cut off
Pick over the Brussels sprouts, removing any browned leaves, and cut the bottoms evenly.
  • Take the time to wash the Brussels sprouts once again. 
  • Then, divide them into groups for steaming. Many times, it is best to group them based on size so that they will all steam uniformly.
  • Set up a pot on your stove with an inch of water and bring it to a rapid boil. 
  • While the water is heating, prepare another large bowl with cold water and ice cubes. This will rapidly cool the Brussels sprouts and prevent them from cooking (a process known as blanching).
  • Once the water has come to a rolling boil, place the sprouts in a steamer basket in the boiling water and steam them, depending on their size.
    • Small sprouts = 3 minutes 
    • Medium sprouts = 4 minutes 
    • Large sprouts = 5 minutes  
brussels sprouts in a pot being steamed prior to freezing them
Blanch the Brussels sprouts for a length of time, depending on their size.

Do NOT overheat or overcook! This is how vegetables get post-freezer mushiness. Start the timer right when you put the sprouts in the boiling water and have a large bowl of very icy water ready to go so you can plunge them into ice to stop the cooking. If you need to, add more ice cubes to the water to ensure it stays icy cold.

  • After the steaming time is complete, immediately cool off the Brussels sprouts in icy-cold water for at least four minutes to cool down and stop cooking.
  • After the Brussels sprouts have cooled, you will need to make sure they are completely dry. I like to use a salad spinner to remove as much excess water as possible.
A salad spinner is a great way to remove water from the blanched Brussels sprouts.
  • After spinning the excess water off, place the Brussels sprouts on a clean towel to dry more. It is important to make sure the sprouts are totally dry prior to freezing.
  • Place the dry Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet, evenly dispersing them. This allows the sprouts to freeze individually. Then, put the whole baking sheet into the freezer overnight.
brussel sprouts on a sheet tray prior to freezing them.
Freezing Brussels sprouts on a sheet pan lets you easily parcel out perfect portion sizes.
  • The next morning, put the frozen Brussels sprouts into pint freezer bags, date and label the bags, and put them back into the freezer. Remove as much air as possible from bags before sealing. These Brussels sprouts will be delicious to get out and bake or steam when the snow flies. NOTE: If you don’t have enough space to freeze on a tray, pack the sprouts in serving-size groups directly into freezer bags. Keep in a single layer and avoid overpacking.

Some people on the internet advise freezing raw Brussels sprouts without any processing. I find that blanching the sprouts helps them maintain their integrity and flavor.

I love grabbing a bag of fresh frozen Brussels sprouts to use in recipes, such as the Brussels Sprouts with Sundried Tomatoes or the Cream of Brussels Sprouts Soup.

Additionally, Brussels sprouts can be kept for an extended period of time in a cool, dark place. Learn how to preserve your harvest without a root cellar.

Have you ever frozen Brussels Sprouts? Tell us your tips and tricks!

About The Author

Celeste Longacre

Celeste is The Old Farmer's Almanac astrologer. She has also been growing virtually all of her family’s vegetables for the entire year for over 30 years. Read More from Celeste Longacre

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