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 convenient because it allows you to buy them cheaper and use them when you want. Freezing zucchini is an excellent option for people with extra zucchinis on hand but don’t necessarily need more.
But how do you cook frozen zucchini so that it tastes good and doesn’t get mushy? We’ve 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.
Frozen zucchini slices
Zucchini is a squash that contains more than 95% water. When the vegetable is frozen, its water content will expand as it freezes, altering the texture and taste of the vegetable.When the texture is soggy, it can be challenging to cook.
One of the best ways to remove this excess liquid as the vegetable cooks is to bake the slices in the oven on a rack with a baking sheet placed underneath. This dry form of cooking will allow the water from the zucchini to evaporate, and any remaining liquid will drip onto the pan as it cooks. Once the surface of the vegetable has dried, you can use the zucchini for your choice of salad, stir fry or pasta dish.
Courgette slices can also be used to great effect in soups. As soup is mostly liquid, the excess water from the thawed slices will dissipate into it, leaving you with a perfectly formed zucchini slice.
Frozen zucchini noodles
Zucchini noodles are a good substitute for anyone looking to have low-calorie pasta. To cook zucchini noodles, make sure not to cook them for too long. 3 to 5 minutes should be enough. You want to make sure that they are not too soggy or mushy. When you cook them for between 3 and 5 minutes, you help them keep the right texture.
To make the noodles:
- Steam them in a pan and then drain them using a colander.
- Make sure the skillet is dry before you add olive oil and heat it.
- Saute garlic, and red pepper, for about a minute.
- Add the zucchini noodles to the pan.
- Toss them around in the pan, and then season them as you do so.
Simple salt and pepper seasoning will do the trick. Once it is done, you can remove it from the skillet and serve the noodles.
Frozen whole zucchini
You can cook whole frozen zucchini by placing it on a baking rack and placing that rack on a tray lined with a baking sheet in an oven. The heat circulation will help get rid of the excess water and cook the zucchini and caramelize it. Make sure there is enough room around the zucchini for it to cook through. Be careful to make sure that it doesn’t thaw out before placing it on the rack. Otherwise, it may have the propensity to become soggy.
Frozen zucchini chips
Chips are similar to zucchini slices, but the difference is that they will need to be fried dry and crisp. To make the chips, cut up the zucchini into thin pieces. Granted, you will not be able to slice them as thinly as when you use fresh zucchini. Just remember that the thickness will determine how long the chips take to cook.
Put the slices into a bowl and season the chips with oil and a seasoning of your choice. Tossing them will help get the seasoning all over them. Lay them out on a baking rack on a baking sheet. The moisture will seep into the tray and away from the zucchini. Then bake in the oven for between 8 and 15minutes. Keep in mind that the length of time will be longer for frozen zucchini because of the moisture from freezing.
Make sure to keep watch over them. When the slices begin to have some brown spots on them, you know that they are ready and can now be removed and put aside. It doesn’t take too long for the chips to go from just right to burnt to a crisp. So it’s essential that you carefully watch over them.
Breaded frozen zucchini
One of the common issues with frozen zucchini is that it will have water, which needs to be dealt with. But the issue is that when you thaw out the frozen zucchini before cooking it, it can get soggy and soft. Start by trying to get off as much ice as possible. Then slice it into medallions. About ½ an inch should do.
Then prepare the egg and breadcrumb mixture. Then coat each medallion in flour, then in egg, then in bread crumbs.
You can either fry the medallions in a pan, in an air fryer, or an oven. To fry them in a pan:
- Heat the pan or skillet with a bit of oil in it.
- Fry the zucchini, making sure each side is properly browned. This should take about 3minutes or so.
- If you want to use an air fryer, preheat it to about 375˚F.
Then, place the fryer’s breaded medallions in the fryer, laying them in a single layer in the frying basket. This will allow you to cook them perfectly. Make sure both sides are golden brown. The other way in which you can cook breaded zucchini is in an oven. Line the medallions in a single layer on a baking rack and then on a sheet in a tray. This will allow the moisture to drip out while the medallions cook. Bake the zucchini for about 20minutes.
How to freeze zucchini
To freeze zucchini, first, cut it up into the shape you will need it in when you cook. If you want to make noodles, chips, or strips:
- Cut it up.
- Make sure it is dry. You can do this by dabbing it with paper towels.
- Lay it all out on the baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet in an airtight container.
Put in the freezer for about 1 to 2 hours to ensure that it freezes entirely. Try to vacuum seal the bag as much as possible and ensure there’s no air in it. Once you are sure, they are adequately frozen, transfer them to a bag you can keep in for a long time, perhaps even months.
How to thaw zucchini before cooking
To thaw zucchini, you can place it in the fridge overnight. The other option is to soak the zucchini in warm water. Your other option is to thaw it out in the microwave at half the heat. This is done so that the zucchini does not cook and only thaws.