How to Blanch and Freeze Carrots

Have more carrots than your able to eat or store without processing?  Freezing is a great way to have great tasting carrots all year long.
carrots purple and orange

Remember, you can find just about anything on the world wide web, including tips for freezing carrots raw.  Don’t do it!  Enzymes that cause veggies to mature and decay continue to be active, even in the freezer.  To stop their action and preserve flavor, color, texture and nutrient loss, you need to blanch veggies before freezing. Luckily, blanching is super easy to do.

How to Blanch and Freeze Carrots

Step 1

Remove green stems and wash carrots thoroughly.  If there’s a lot of dirt stuck to them, you might even want to wash them twice, just to be sure!  Peeling the carrots is not necessary.colorful washed carrots

Step 2

Cut carrots to your preferred size.  Sliced in rounds or in quarters, it doesn’t really matter, just try to keep them a consistent size for even cooking.sliced carrots

Use a food processor or mandolin for quick, consistent results.

carrots in processor

Of course, a good knife will also work just fine.

slicing carrots for freezing

Step 3

Fill a large stock pot about 2/3 full of water and bring to boil.  Add cut carrots to the boiling water (about 4 cups of carrots to 16 cups of water).  Once the water and carrots return to a boil, watch the timer carefully and boil (blanch) your carrots for 3 minutes if sliced or julienned or 5 minute for whole baby carrots.  Keep the water boiling for the next batch of carrots as you cool and drain the first batch.

Step 4

Immediately scoop out the carrots and cool them instantly in an ice water bath. The ice water will help ensure the carrots don’t continue to cook from their own heat. immerse carrots in ice water

Step 5

Drain carrots well and place meal-sized portions in freezer bags. Remove as much air from the bags as possible.  Try using a straw tucked in the corner of the bag to suck out the air – it’s like vacuum sealing!

freezing carrots

 Step 6

Label and date the carrots.  They’ll keep in the freezer for up to a year.

Getty Stewart is an engaging speaker and writer providing tasty recipes, time-saving tips, and helpful kitchen ideas to make home cooking easy and enjoyable. She is a Professional Home Economist, author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, mom and veggie gardener.

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40 Comments

  1. Getty thank you for this information! My daughter’s school was literally giving away huge bags of fresh carrots because they over ordered and I just couldn’t pass them up. I was able to feeeze (4) 1-gallon freezer bags of carrots!!! Ha ha, there was actually a huge carrot over 12” long! Looked like something for Bugs Bunny 😁.

    1. Hi Rosie,
      Way to go! What a great way to make use of those extra veggies – what a bonus for you guys!
      Glad my info was able to help.
      All the best,
      Getty

  2. Thank you so much for this great article. My husband and I recently moved to NC, and we love to grow our own vegetables. Well, the carrots did very good, but I did not know if I can freeze them. In searching for some ideas I came across your blog, and I am blanching the carrots now. Thanks again. Looking forward to learn more from you and your great ideas.

    1. Hi Graciela,
      Thank you for your lovely comment. I’m glad you found this article useful and hope you’ll come back for other tips for your home grown garden veggies.

      All the best from snowy Manitoba,

      Getty

  3. Is there a way to store without using disposable plastic bags? My main reason for wanting to freeze carrots is because I love the convenience of frozen veggies for a quick snack for my kids but am desperately trying to cut down on plastic (because… the planet). I thought I’d just use a freezer safe container but then there’s no way to remove the air… thanks!!!

    1. Hi Amy,
      Yes, you can freeze veggies, soups, stews and all sorts of things in jars. Use thick jars that are straight – wide mouth jars are best. The ones that have a shoulder at the top may break as food expands and pushes upwards. You’re right, it’s difficult to remove the air from jars unless you have a vacuum sealer with a jar attachment. (Vacuum seal jars after food is frozen – ie freeze first, remove from freezer, vacuum seal then return to freezer). My best advice would be to fill the jar leaving a 1 inch headspace and eat it within 6 months for optimum quality. The longer it stays in the freezer, the more likely that the food quality will deteriorate due to air. Food is still safe, just quality will deteriorate. If you’re able to remove the air, you’re food will last a year or longer.

          1. I do all the same steps except I put my blanched and drained carrots on a cookie sheet and freeze them. Once they are frozen, I simply slide them into freezer bags. This way I can scoop out as many as I like and they are not one big frozen lump

  4. Pingback: Planting, growing and freezing the winter crop of Nantes carrots.
  5. Thanks for cooking times. If you freeze individual pieces on a cookie sheet or an hour or so, you can then toss them into freezer bags. It gives a lot more flexibility and no need to guess what amount might be a serving size.

    1. Great tip, JoAnn! Thanks.
      This flash freezing idea works well for all sorts of veggies and fruits.

      Getty

  6. can blanched carrots be frozen, thawed and then eaten as raw carrots or must they be only used as cooked? I’m talking about using them for a raw vegetable tray with a dip for entertaining. I imagine they would be limp.

    1. Hi Babs,
      Once blanched and frozen, you’ll want to use vegetables like carrots in cooked dishes. You’re right, they’ll be too soft to enjoy on a vegetable tray.

      If I’m not making a side dish of hot veggies with my frozen vegetables, I like to toss them into soups, stews and casseroles. I find them super convenient for those purposes.

      All the best,

      Getty

  7. Would the blanched carrots/vegetables need to be defrosted before steaming or can they be steamed from frozen? Also how long would you suggest to steam carrots for them to be al dente?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Kathy,
      Steam frozen veggies like these blanched carrots from their frozen state, no need to thaw. Steaming time will vary with the thickness of your carrot slices. At around the 6 minute mark, use a fork to pierce a carrot to judge how tender they are – continue cooking until you get your desired result. When they’re all done toss in a bowl with a little butter and honey – yum!

    1. Hi Heather, I’m not sure what your intent is – why store them in water and for how long? Storing veggies in water will cause them to lose water soluble vitamins. The longer they’re in water, the more you lose. So, unless there’s a particular reason that I’m not seeing, I would not recommend storing blanched carrots or blanched beans in water.

  8. Just the article I was looking for!

    I do not have a garden, but my in-laws have a huge garden and my husband and I (mostly me) have been tasked with the harvesting, canning and freezing this year as my father-in-law had to have surgery on Friday and they will be in the hospital for a month!

    This is all very new to me and was a little overwhelming, until I found your blog!!!!
    Very easy to read and understand!

    Thank you!!!!!!

    1. Aw, thanks Cassandra. I’m glad you found me and that I was able to help you through the process. Good luck to your father-in-law, I’m sure he’ll appreciate your work and will think of you throughout the year as he enjoys his garden carrots.

  9. Can you add a herb butter to the carrots before you freeze them?
    We like basil butter with carrots. Thought it might be a way to combine two summer favorites

    1. Hi Libby,
      Thanks for your question. The only hesitation I would have is regarding reheating the carrots with the herb butter. You wouldn’t want to lose the butter if you steam your carrots, nor would you want to overcook the herbs and cause them to lose their color. I like to heat the frozen veggies then place a pat of herb butter on them just before serving. A quick stir and the butter is melted and the herbs stay green and flavorful and are evenly distributed.
      Basil butter with carrots sounds pretty awesome. I think I will have to try that!

    1. Way to go Mary, enjoy them all year long! Glad you found the instructions easy to follow.

    1. Yes they can. For example, I will often add frozen carrots to soups or stews and then freeze any leftover soup or stew. The quality of the carrots will decrease and they may not hold their shape as well.

  10. This sight was very helpful. I recently planted Danvers Carrot seeds. The package says they are perfect for freezing. The fact I have little to NO experience growing or freezing vegetables didn’t stop me. I was up for the challenge.

    Carrots are among my favorite vegetables. So I jumped in with both gloves on to try my hand at growing and storing carrots for the winter. Searching the WEB I ran across several recipes for freezing carrots. Your page was the most helpful.

    Clear step-by-step instruction were easy to understand. The colorful illustrations personalized it for me. It felt as though my grandmother were guiding me through it.

    Thank you. You will be among my favorites.

    Sincerely

    Kathy Core

    1. That’s lovely, thanks Kathy! I’m glad you find my site and writing style helpful. Much of what I’ve learned about gardening has been passed down to me – so you really are getting Grandma’s tips!
      Good luck with your carrots – way to go for it.
      When it comes time to harvest and freeze your carrots be sure to come back!

    2. Carrots are pretty easy to grow, but if your soil isn’t soft enough, tubers won’t thrive, they become stunted in clay soil. If you add some sand and peat, this helps a lot.

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