Cauliflower is one of the most versatile vegetables, making quite the revival as a way of creating rice and pizza crusts with added health benefits. But, is there a way to store it for the long term?
Can You Freeze Cauliflower?
Yes, you can freeze cauliflower for up to 6 months. To freeze cauliflower, blanch florets before drying and then freezing on a baking tray. Once frozen solid, you can tip the frozen cauliflower florets into a bag.
Does Cauliflower Freeze Well? Yes
Can You Refreeze Cauliflower? No
How to Freeze Cauliflower
If you’re just looking to freeze basic cauliflower so you’ve got a supply in the freezer ready to use then this is the approach to take:
- Blanch: Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Tip your cauliflower florets into the boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain immediately running it under cold water or dunking it in an ice bath to instantly stop the cooking process.
- Cool: Allow the cauliflower to cool completely.
- Place Onto a Baking Tray: Place the florets on a baking tray spread out trying to make sure none of the pieces are touching.
- Freeze: Place the tray into the freezer for a few hours to flash freeze.
- Bag Up and Freeze: Remove the tray and tip the frozen pieces of cauliflower into a freezer bag and return to the freezer.
By freezing in this way, you’ll easily be able to grab as many florets as you need for dinner. If you don’t flash freeze then there’s a risk your cauliflower will freeze in one large clump making it hard to grab a portion at a time.
Yes, you can freeze raw cauliflower. However, it’s still a good idea to blanch it for a few minutes beforehand to lock in the flavour and texture of the cauliflower before freezing it.
3 Tips for Freezing Cauliflower
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing cauliflower to have the best results:
Blanching cauliflower has a range of benefits. It will lock in flavour, texture and colour. We would always urge you to blanch vegetables even if it does take a little more effort.
Think about how much cauliflower you’ll use in one sitting and freeze it in portions of this size.
There’s nothing to stop you from mixing cauliflower with other vegetables so it’s ready to go with other veggies. The obvious choice here would be broccoli florets as they cook at a similar time.
How Long Can You Freeze Cauliflower?
Cauliflower florets will keep for around 6 months in the freezer before there’s a risk they’ll be affected by freezer burn. For cauliflower cheese and cauliflower rice, we would recommend using them up within 3 months.
As always, make sure you label up your frozen products with the date they need to be consumed to avoid wasting them in a few month’s time.
A whole head of cauliflower should keep for around 1 week. If you cut it up into florets then it will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge.
How Do You Defrost Cauliflower?
If you are looking to defrost cauliflower florets then place them in the fridge to thaw overnight. This will ensure they don’t become mushy when you cook them.
You can bring them to a boil in a pan straight from the freezer but sometimes this will lead to overcooking the outside.
If you’re using cauliflower rice then this can be cooked straight from the freezer. Heat some oil or butter in a pan and tip in your frozen rice. Give it a good toss to coat then cook for 5 minutes over a medium heat.
With cauliflower cheese, you need to place it straight into a hot oven and cook for 30-40minutes until it is piping hot through.
Can You Refreeze Cauliflower?
Unfortunately, refreezing cauliflower can leave to mushy florets which have a drastic textural change that will be easy to spot.
Instead, use the method above to freeze cauliflower into suitable portions to avoid any waste in future.
Does Cauliflower Freeze Well?
Cauliflower florets freeze particularly well and any aficionado would actually struggle to tell the difference between freeze and fresh cauliflower provided that you cook it well after thawing.
Cauliflower rice is the same. Provided that you cook it carefully then it will be no different.
The exception is cauliflower cheese. After freezing, the sauce of your cauliflower cheese can, unfortunately, become a little thin and watery.
When serving, use a slotted spoon to ensure you drain off some of this excess water as you don’t want to serve it up in a puddle of cheesy water.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing cauliflower or cauliflower in general, then these may help:
It’s not essential and you’ll still have perfectly frozen raw cauliflower. However, blanching acts as an extra layer of safety to kill off any bacterial enzymes in your cauliflower. If you freeze cauliflower and there is bacteria present then freezing it won’t kill it, instead, it will just put it to sleep until you thaw it out.
Of course, you can! We’ve actually written a complete guide to freezing a huge variety of soups which you can check out here.