How can you make the most of your frozen zucchini without sacrificing flavor or texture? Whether you’re reheating or cooking courgette slices, zoodles, or the whole vegetable, our cooking guide is here to help.
Freezing vegetables is a convenient option for those who want to buy them cheaper but don’t want to use them all at once. Zucchini is an excellent vegetable to freeze as it doesn’t lose its flavor. However, reheating frozen zucchini can be tricky. Zucchini contains more than 95% water.
As the vegetable freezes, its water content expands and alters its texture. Soggy zucchini can be challenging to cook. It is why we have put together a list of our favorite ways to cook it. Whether you’re using zoodles for a low-carb pasta meal or zucchini slices for your favorite stir-fry recipe, these are the best ways to cook frozen zucchini.
One of the best ways to cook frozen zucchini is to slice it before freezing and bake the frozen slices in the oven when needed. You can bake them on the oven rack with a baking sheet placed underneath.
By increasing the exposed surface area of the vegetable, the thawed water evaporates quickly while any residual moisture drips onto the baking sheet. Once golden or crisped, you can use the zucchini slices for salads, stir fry, or pasta dishes.
Courgette slices can also be used in soups. As soup bases are liquid, the excess water from thawed pieces will dissipate into the soup base, leaving you with perfect zucchini slices.
Zucchini noodles (or ‘zoodles‘) are a low-calorie substitute for pasta. However, frozen zoodles have a greater chance of becoming soggy or mushy. Here’s how you can cook them perfectly:
- Steam the frozen noodles for 3 minutes and drain using a colander
- In a dry skillet, add olive oil and heat it
- Saute garlic and red pepper in the oil for about a minute
- Add zucchini noodles to the skillet
- Toss them around and season as you prefer. You can also add other prepared ingredients or sauce at this stage and mix.
- Remove from the skillet and serve
Whole frozen zucchini can be cooked in the same way as frozen zucchini slices. You can place the zucchini on a tray lined with a baking sheet in an oven. The heat will help get rid of the excess water and cook and caramelize the zucchini. Pre-heating the oven ensures that it doesn’t thaw out. If you heat the oven after placing the zucchini in it, the vegetable may become soggy.
Zucchini chips are similar to zucchini slices, but they need to be fried dry and crisp. You can bake them a little longer if they are pre-cut. If you want to make chips from frozen whole zucchini, you can cut up the zucchini into chips. Make the chips as thin or thick as you want. The thickness will determine how long the chips take to cook.
Put the slices into a bowl and season with oil and spices. Toss to coat the chips well. Lay them out on a baking tray lined with a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 8 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chips.
Remove the tray from the oven when the zucchini chips have browned.
If you want to make breaded zucchini chips, cut the frozen zucchini into ½ inch thick chips. Whisk eggs in a bowl, get breadcrumbs in another, and some flour in a third bowl. Coat zucchini chips in flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs, respectively.
You can either fry these coated zucchini chips in a pan or an air fryer. You can also bake them in the oven. Make sure to be quick in the process. You don’t want the chips to thaw.
How to Freeze Zucchini
Zucchini can be frozen whole or in a ready-to-cook shape. You can freeze the entire zucchini by placing it in an airtight container. You can also securely wrap it with cling film if you don’t have a large enough container.
To freeze zucchini slices, chips, or zoodles, cut up the zucchini in the desired shape. Lay out the pieces on a large tray and dab them with a paper towel. Once they look dry, line an airtight container with a baking sheet and lay out the zucchini pieces on it. Let the container sit for about two hours in the freezer before transferring all the zucchini pieces into a freezer bag.
How to Thaw Zucchini Before Cooking
You can place frozen zucchini in the refrigerator overnight to let it thaw out. You can also soak the frozen zucchini in warm water or warm it up in the microwave.