Freezing peppers when they’re in season, or when you find them on the reduced-price rack, is an easy way to save money, and it can also save you time when you’re preparing meals. Here’s how to freeze peppers, so they’ll be easy to use later. This method works for sweet, bell and hot peppers, and there’s no blanching required.
What You’ll Need:
A large cutting board
How to Freeze Pepper Strips and Diced Peppers
Start by washing and drying your peppers. Then, cut them up. If you’re working with hot peppers, wear gloves, and take care not to touch your face and eyes.
To keep the seeds from spilling everywhere, cut the top of the pepper off; then, pull out the core, and shake out the remaining seeds. Now, cut the pepper in half; and cut the halves into strips or rings. Finish by cutting the pieces around the stem, so no part of the pepper goes to waste.
If you plan to use your peppers for fajitas, stir fry or something similar, you can stop now.
If you want smaller pieces to throw into casseroles, chilis and soups, like my bell pepper soup, go ahead and dice your peppers.
Once you have everything cut to your preferred size, spread the peppers out on a sheet pan in a single layer. Then, flash freeze your peppers. This extra step will ensure that the peppers freeze in individual pieces, rather than big clumps that are difficult to break apart.
Transfer your peppers to freezer bags, once they’re fully frozen. Then, label the bags, and return them to the freezer. To prevent freezer burn, be sure to squeeze out as much air as possible, before you seal the bags.
To use your peppers, just reach in and grab a handful, as needed. Since you took the time to flash freeze them, it should be really easy to grab just what you need.
Use one cup of diced peppers, or 1-1/4 cups of pepper strips in place of one large bell pepper.
Frozen peppers aren’t crisp, like a fresh pepper, so it’s best to use them in cooked dishes. Try to use your peppers within a year. They’re perfectly fine to use after that, but may start to develop freezer burn.
How to Freeze Whole Peppers
Like to make stuffed peppers? If you can spare the space in your freezer, freeze some whole peppers, too. Just slice off the top of your peppers, and pull out the cores. Then, flash freeze the tops and the peppers separately, and transfer them to freezer bags, once they’re frozen.
To use your peppers, just stuff them with whatever ingredients you’d like, and pop them in the oven. They’ll thaw as they cook.
More Ways to Preserve Peppers