How to Freeze Strawberries for Fresh Summer Flavor All Year Long

Get our Test Kitchen's best tips for storing and freezing strawberries so you'll have delicious fruit for smoothies, desserts, and more.

frozen strawberries in a bowl

BHG/Nelly Cuanalo

You've had a bumper crop of strawberries (or scored a great deal at the farmers market) and already spent the summer enjoying your bounty in fresh strawberry recipes. Now you have lots left. Fortunately, freezing strawberries is a great way to preserve your haul for longer than that brief summer window. Learn how to freeze strawberries—unsweetened or sweetened—for future use in frozen smoothies, baking, sauces, and more.

closeup of a pile of strawberries
Marty Baldwin

How to Freeze Strawberries

The most common way to freeze strawberries is by flash-freezing them whole and unsweetened (aka dry pack method). There are also ways to freeze strawberries with sugar that we'll get to later.

fresh strawberries in a colander in a sink

BHG/Nelly Cuanalo

Step 1: Wash and Dry Strawberries

Before you freeze strawberries, wash them thoroughly by placing them in a colander and gently rinsing under cool water before removing the stems. If you remove the stems before washing, more water can get in and affect the texture and flavor—no one likes a watery strawberry! Next, carefully spread the berries in a single layer on a tray or baking sheet lined with paper towels or a clean, lint-free towel ($10, Walmart). Pat the strawberries dry with another clean towel, or let them air-dry.

whole frozen strawberries on a parchment lined baking sheet

BHG/Nelly Cuanalo

Step 2: Freeze the Strawberries

Arrange the whole strawberries on a dry baking sheet and freeze until solid—a couple of hours should do the trick. This keeps the strawberries loose, making measuring and thawing easier later.

Test Kitchen Tip

You can hull the strawberries before freezing. If you prefer to slice the strawberries before freezing, omit the freezing step above, which is for whole strawberries, and freeze as directed in the next step.

frozen strawberries in a reusable silicone bag

BHG/Nelly Cuanalo

Step 3: Pack the Frozen Strawberries for Storage

Transfer the frozen strawberries to freezer containers. A reusable silicone storage bag ($7, Walmart) is an eco-friendly way to store frozen strawberries. Leave a little space at the top of the bag or container because the berries might expand. Label the bags or containers with the berry's name, date frozen, and amount.

Store bags of strawberries flat in the freezer. You can also place the bags on a tray or baking sheet first to ensure a flat surface. Add bags or containers of strawberries to the freezer in batches to make sure they freeze quickly, and leave room around each to allow air to circulate. You can stack the bags or containers once the fruit is frozen.

Test Kitchen Tip

Measure the strawberries with a measuring cup as you put them in the bags or containers, and write the amount in cups on each bag or container. When you need frozen strawberries for a recipe, you'll know how much you have available.

two glasses of strawberry smoothies

BHG/Nelly Cuanalo

How Long Can You Freeze Strawberries?

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, you can safely store strawberries in the freezer for up to a year.

strawberries in a glass jar, sprinkled with sugar

BHG/Nelly Cuanalo

How to Freeze Strawberries with Sugar

You can also choose to sweeten strawberries before freezing. Place a small amount of whole or sliced strawberries in a freezer bag or container and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Repeat the layering, leaving a little space at the top of the bag or container. Cover and let the fruit stand for about 15 minutes or until juicy. Seal container and freeze strawberries as directed above.

strawberries in a glass jar with syrup

BHG/Nelly Cuanalo

How to Freeze Strawberries in Syrup

Covering your fruit in a syrup pack is also an easy way to prep and freeze strawberries. Choose the type of syrup you like using our canning syrup recipes and fill the freezer container.

Test Kitchen Tip

Note the headspace in the container before freezing strawberries. When using an unsweetened pack, leave at least a ½-inch headspace. For sugar or syrup packs, use a freezer container with a wide top; measure a ½-inch headspace for pints and 1-inch for quarts.

Using Frozen Strawberries

When thawing, frozen strawberries tend to lose their shape and some of their juice, so place freezer bags of berries on a baking sheet or in a bowl to thaw in case the bags leak. Since they'll lose some of their original plump shapes, frozen strawberries will do better in recipes that call for baking or cooking rather than fresh. Try using frozen strawberries in a delicious dessert like this gorgeous strawberry-rhubarb crumble pie. Add them to your morning smoothie or refreshing happy hour drink. You can also bypass freezing strawberries whole and make a delicious freezer jam.

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