Bell peppers are usually very cheap when they’re in season, and they’re also one of the easiest things to plant and grow in your home garden. Learning how to freeze bell peppers for later use will save you both money and time.
Also, freezing bell peppers is an excellent way to ensure their availability all-year-round, which comes quite in handy when preparing those staple comfort meals throughout the winter season.
What You’ll Need
- Bell peppers – pick the largest, most uniform peppers, and make sure to grab all three colors
- A large wooden cutting board
- A sharp knife
- Sheet pans
- Freezer plastic bags
How To Freeze Bell Peppers – In 5 Easy Steps
Step #1 – Initial Setting
Gather all peppers and set aside any with soft spots or molds on them. Once you remove these, peppers are fine to use immediately in any meal, but they won’t freeze properly.
Once you have everything set up, wash the bell peppers thoroughly under running water and dry them completely.
Step #2 – Cutting
Depending on the recipes you most usually cook, you can follow these guidelines to make sure you always have the right amount of frozen bell peppers for all your recipes:
- Strips: excellent for fajitas, salads, and sauteed dishes
- Rings: ideal for stir-frying, breaded peppers, and also some kinds of salads
- Dices: go great with soups, chilis, casseroles, and similar recipes
- Whole: for baked stuffed bell peppers (remove the top and take away all the seeds)
Step #3 – Rinsing & Drying
Once you have all the peppers cut up, it’s crucial to do one final rinse (to eliminate any remaining debris) and dry them thoroughly with paper towels. The drier the pieces are, the less likely they will be to suffer from freezer burn, a condition where frozen food loses color, texture, and flavor.
While freezer-burned food is still healthy for consumption, we recommend against it because it loses all the attractive qualities of a dish.
Step #4 – Flash-Freezing
Flash freezing is the process of freezing small pieces individually, instead of a whole mass of food crammed together inside a bag.
Using a sheet pan large enough to fit all the pieces (but not so large that it won’t fit in your freezer), scatter the bell peppers evenly across the surface, leaving just a tiny space between each one.
For whole peppers, flash freeze the top and the bell separately.
Step #5 – Freezing
After flash freezing, it’s time to “bag them and tag them.” Before sealing the bags, make sure to let all the air escape to prevent freezer burn, as well.
How To Use Frozen Bell Peppers
Once you’re ready to add these frozen bell peppers to your recipes, there are some simple guidelines to follow:
- As a rule of thumb, always thaw the pepper pieces before adding them to your recipes.
- There’s no need to wait for winter. Frozen bell peppers go great in summer salads (particularly in cold pasta salads with homemade dressing). While they won’t be as crispy as freshly sliced peppers, they’ll keep all their nutritional value and are excellent whenever you’re packing lunch in a hurry.
- For stuffed bell peppers recipes, you can use the whole frozen peppers and stuff them while still frozen for extra convenience. As they bake in the oven, the ingredients will penetrate the bell peppers for an unmatched flavor.