How to Blanch and Freeze Spinach

Here’s all you need to know to blanch and freeze spinach to enjoy all year long.

bounty of fresh spinach
A bounty of fresh spinach ready to harvest, blanch and freeze.

Also Read: Quick Guide to Blanching and Freezing Veggies, What’s So Good About Spinach, How to Select, Store & Use Spinach

If you love adding spinach to smoothies, soups or sauces, you’ll enjoy having these handy frozen spinach pucks.

blanching and freezing spinach ice cube tray
Harvest, blanch, chop and freeze in ice cube trays for convenient homegrown spinach pucks.

Why Blanch Spinach?

You will find websites that say you don’t have to blanch spinach. They say all you have to do is pop spinach in a bag and freeze. Be cautious when following that advice. It will work if you plan to use your frozen spinach fairly quickly, but if it stays in your freezer for more than 9-12 weeks you risk loss of flavor, color, texture and overall quality.

Blanching preserves flavor, texture and color. It is worth the little bit of time and effort it takes. Read my handy guide on Blanching & Freezing Veggies.

Vegetables that have not been properly blanched will continue to age in the freezer. The naturally occurring aging enzymes in fresh produce continue to function at freezing temps. What stops the enzymes from aging your veggies is blanching – which is a fancy word for boiling your veggies for a short period of time.

To prevent flavor loss and to lock in nutrients and help preserve color blanch spinach and other veggies before freezing. The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends blanching (boiling) spinach for 2 minutes.

How to Freeze Spinach

The following process for how to freeze spinach can be used for swiss chard, kale, stinging nettle or beet tops too.

Print Recipe
3 from 4 votes

How to Blanch and Freeze Spinach

Make convenient frozen spinach pucks with these simple steps for how to blanch and freeze spinach. The same process and times can be used for kale, swiss chard or beet tops.

Ingredients

  • Spinach
  • Water
  • Ice

Instructions

  • Gather fresh spinach.
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  • Meanwhile, wash spinach at least two to three times to ensure all fine silt is removed.
  • Remove any large stems and yellowed or blemished leaves.
  • Toss spinach into boiling water. To ensure even boiling, don't overcrowd the pot, repeat the process several times in small batches.
  • When water returns to full boil, set timer and boil for 2 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with freezing cold water and ice.
  • After 2 minutes of boiling the spinach, immediately turn off heat and transfer spinach from boiling water to ice cold water.
  • Let spinach cool in ice water bath for 2 minutes.
  • Remove from water and squeeze out as much water as possible using the back of a spoon and wire mesh or your hands.
  • If desired, chop spinach to desired size.
  • Place spinach in ice cube tray or into freezer bag.
  • Place ice cube tray in freezer for one to two hours then transfer frozen cubes to freezer bag.
  • Remove as much air from bag as possible before sealing. Use a straw inserted into a small opening and suck out air to create a simple vacuum seal. This helps prevent freezer burn.
  • Label and freeze for one year.

Notes

Approximate spinach equivalents:
1 pound (16 oz) of fresh spinach = 10-12 cups leaves = 1 1/2 cups cooked
10 oz frozen spinach = 1 1/2 cups cooked spinach
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Blanching & Freezing Spinach – The Video

More Tips

triple washed spinach
Triple wash to remove all dirt, spinach likes to trap fine silt.
Blanched spinach in hand
Using your hands to squeeze out extra water is the best method.
chop blanched spinach
Chopping is optional, but my family prefers smaller pieces of spinach and it’s easier to chop now than when it’s frozen or thawed.
spinach in ice cube tray
Pack spinach tightly into ice cube tray for convenient amounts you can add to just about anywhere – smoothies, soups, stews, casseroles, Mac and Cheese, etc.
frozen spinach pucks
Once frozen, seal in a freezer bag and label. Use a straw tucked in the corner to remove as much air as possible from the freezer bag.

Enjoy your frozen spinach! It’s best used within one year.

More Spinach Posts

Why is Spinach Good For You

How to Select, Store and Use Spinach

Creamy Chicken Pasta with Spinach

Spinach and Strawberry Salad 

Spinach Stuffed Manicotti

Mandarin Orange Spinach Salad

Cheese and Spinach Biscuits

Spinach Frittata

What’s your favourite way to use frozen spinach? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram at #getgettys or Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist.

Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist,  speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas.  She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.

Updated post. First published in 2016

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2 Comments

    1. Great question. The common belief is that cooking veggies will destroy nutrients but it’s not as simple as that. Yes, you will lose some (not all) of the water soluble vitamins when you cook and/or boil spinach (e.g. Vitamin C). BUT, cooking actually makes some vitamins and nutrients more easy to absorb. For example in spinach calcium and iron are more easily absorbed after cooking. Also vitamins A and E and important carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin also become more absorbable.

      You certainly don’t want to overcook spinach, that’s why it’s important to follow the short blanching time recommended in the article above.

      Your best option, as with all veggies, is to eat a variety of veggies in all their forms – cooked and raw.

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