How to Freeze Fresh Green Beans to Enjoy All Year

Learn how to freeze green beans so you can enjoy the supply from your garden or the farmers' market all year. Plus, get tips on how to prep, blanch, and store.

Can you freeze fresh green beans? You bet you can. Green beans are quite easy to freeze, and they last several months in the freezer so you can enjoy the taste of garden-fresh goodness—even when it's colder outside than it is in your freezer. Plus, frozen green beans are a convenient and flavorful addition to many recipes. (Try 'em in cozy green bean casseroles, soul-warming stews, stir-fries, and more.)

green beans boiling in water

BHG / Sonia Bozzo

Freezing Green Beans

Follow our step-by-step guide to learn everything you need to know about freezing green beans so you can pull them out and enjoy them any day of the year.

green beans with trimmed off ends on cutting board

BHG/Sonia Bozzo

Step 1: Trim Green Bean Ends

Before getting started with actually freezing beans, gently wash fresh greens beans with cool tap water. Then, working with a small handful of green beans at a time, line up the stem ends. Using a sharp chef's knife (we love this J.A. Henckels Chef's Knife, ($39.99, Target), slice off the stems. Repeat with remaining green beans. If you want, you can also trim off the tapered tail ends.

Test Kitchen Tip: Some varieties of green beans have a stringy fiber that runs from the top to the bottom of the bean pod. If the beans you're using have this string, be sure to remove it from each bean.

green beans cut into bite-sized pieces on cutting boards

BHG/Sonia Bozzo

Step 2: Cut the Beans Into Bite-Size Pieces (If You Want)

A lot of recipes, including soup recipes and casseroles, call for cut green beans. If you want, you can save yourself some prep work later and cut them into 1-inch pieces before freezing the beans. You can also leave the beans whole and freeze them, then chop them later if your green bean recipe calls for it. Up to you! By the way, if you have a huge crop to use up, freezing is just one of 10 ideas for using up produce before it goes bad.

green beans blanching in ice water

BHG/Sonia Bozzo

Step 3: Blanch the Green Beans

Blanching green beans for freezing just means boiling them in water for a few minutes, then dunking them in ice water. So why blanch green beans before freezing, when you could just freeze them fresh? This quick extra step will help the beans keep their color and flavor while in your freezer.

Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Allow 1 gallon of water per pound of green beans. While you're waiting for the water to be ready for blanching green beans, fill a large bowl with ice water. Working in batches, carefully lower the green beans into the boiling water. Boil small beans for 2 minutes, medium beans for 3 minutes, and large beans for 4 minutes. Cool the beans quickly by plunging them into ice water. After the beans have cooled, drain them from the ice water.

So can you freeze cooked green beans? We'd recommend doing so only if you're blanching green beans briefly prior to freezing or if you're assembling a whole dish for freezing, such as a make-ahead casserole or soup. Otherwise, you risk running into mushy green beans that will add too much moisture to your recipe after you defrost.

cooked green beans in storage containers

BHG/Sonia Bozzo

Step 4: Prepare the Beans for Freezing

Pack the drained beans into freezer-friendly jars, storage bags, or containers (such as this Rubbermaid Food Storage Set, ($54.99, Bed Bath & Beyond). Shake each package to compact the beans. Add more beans, leaving ½-inch headspace if using a jar. Wipe the rims and storage packages dry before officially freezing fresh green beans. Press out as much air as possible, then seal the bags or containers according to the manufacturer's instructions. If necessary, use freezer tape around the lid edges for a tight seal.

Test Kitchen Tip: Allow 1½ to 2½ pounds of green beans per quart container.

Step 5: Freeze the Packaged Green Beans

Label each container or bag with its contents, amount, and date. Lay bags flat; add bags or containers to your freezer in batches to make sure they freeze quickly. Leave some space near bags or containers so air can circulate around them. Struggling to find space? Try these genius refrigerator and freezer organization ideas.

When frozen solid, the bags or containers can be placed closer together. For the best flavor, use your frozen green beans within 8 months of freezing.

green beans arranged in squares on blue surface
Andy Lyons

How to Choose Green Beans for Freezing

For the freshest flavor, you want to be a little choosy when you're picking green beans to freeze, whether they're homegrown or from the farmer's market. The peak season for green beans runs from May to October, so you'll probably have the best luck with beans you buy in those months—though you can find yummy green beans at the grocery store year-round. Choose crisp, brightly colored green beans that are blemish-free and avoid green beans that are limp or have shriveled ends.

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