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Can You Freeze Tenderstem Broccoli?

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By Ross Young

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Tenderstem broccoli is a delicious side dish that works with various cuisines, from a roast dinner to a Chinese meal. But, what is the best way to store tenderstem for the long term?

Can You Freeze Tenderstem Broccoli?

Yes, you can freeze tenderstem broccoli for up to 3 months. Blanch them, dry them and place them into good-quality freezer bags. When sealing the bags up, remove as much air as possible.

Does Tenderstem Broccoli Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Tenderstem Broccoli? No

How To Freeze Tenderstem Broccoli

Before you get to freezing your tenderstem, you’ll want to get it prepared.

Simply trim the woody ends of the broccoli and then soak in salt water to remove bugs and insects from inside the florets.

You’ll want to soak them for around 20 minutes or so. Drain them and then rinse under cold water to remove any excess salt:

  1. Blanch Stems: Once clean, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, blanch your tenderstem broccoli for around 3 minutes before plunging it in ice-cold water.
  2. Dry: Drain and then pat dry to remove any excess liquid.
  3. Portion Into Bags: Place a portion into a ziplock bag and seal it up. As you seal it up, remove as much air as possible from the bags. This will help protect your broccoli from oxidation and freezer burn.
  4. Freeze: Pop the bags into the freezer, and you’ll have ready-to-go portions of broccoli – grab a bag when you need it.

3 Tips for Freezing Tenderstem Broccoli

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing tenderstem broccoli to have the best results:

Blanch It
Blanching is a great way of locking in flavour and nutrients. It may take a little extra effort but it’s well worth doing as you will reap those rewards when eating it in future. 

Mix With Other Veggies
Try mixing broccoli with other vegetables in mixed, ready-prepared bags of veggies. Vegetables like carrot, kale, cabbage and green beans all work well here. 

Defrost with Boiling Water
You don’t need to wait for the tenderstem to defrost. Just boil the kettle and pour the boiling water over the frozen tenderstem. 

How Long Can You Freeze Tenderstem Broccoli?

The florets of tenderstem broccoli are quite delicate and prone to degrading in texture quite rapidly when frozen for an extended period of time. For this reason, we recommend only keeping them in the freezer for up to 3 months.

They’ll remain safe beyond this time, but you may find the florets go a little mushy.

How Long Does Tenderstem Broccoli Last in the Fridge?

Providing that you buy tenderstem broccoli in good condition, then it will last for between 4 and 5 days in the fridge.

How Do You Defrost Tenderstem Broccoli?

Defrosting your tenderstem broccoli is very straightforward.

The good news is that you don’t need to get your broccoli out of the freezer in advance.

First, bring a pot of water to the boil. Then, also bring your kettle to the boil. Place your frozen broccoli stems into a bowl or dish and pour over the boiled water from the kettle. This will help to thaw the broccoli quickly.

If you add the broccoli straight to the pot, they will cool the water down and you’ll end up accidentally overcooking your tenderstems.

When you have poured the water over the broccoli, drain and then tip into the pan and boil for just 2 minutes. You want it to be crunchy but cooked through.

You can then season with salt, pepper and a knob of butter and enjoy.

Can You Refreeze Tenderstem Broccoli?

Refreezing tenderstem broccoli is not something we recommend doing as it can breakdown the texture quite rapidly the more you freeze it.

Instead, we suggest following our guidelines above and freezing the broccoli in portions in ziplock bags. This will help you to avoid unnecessarily thawing too much broccoli.

Does Tenderstem Broccoli Freeze Well?

Provided that you clean it, blanch it and then freeze it correctly, it’s safe to say that tenderstem broccoli does freeze well. You do need to be careful not to blanch it for too long otherwise, you will end up overcooking it at a later date.

It’s also worth noting that flopping, soft tenderstems will not be improved in the freezer, so you should aim only to freeze the best broccoli you can.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing tenderstem broccoli or broccoli in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Broccoli Stems?

Yes, you can freeze broccoli stems. This part of the broccoli is often thrown out, but it’s packed with flavour. Blanch slices of stem for 30 seconds, drain, then freeze on a baking sheet.

Can You Freeze Tenderstem Broccoli Without Blanching It?

We strongly recommend blanching tenderstem broccoli before freezing it so that you can lock in flavour and colour.

Can You Freeze Long Stem Broccoli?

Yes, long stem broccoli can be frozen for around 3 months. It must be blanched for 30 seconds or so before it is drained, dried and then frozen.


We have verified the information on this page using the following resources:

Tenderstem UK

Great British Chefs

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