Quickly freeze green beans without blanching! These easy instructions save you time and give you green beans with the best color, texture, and nutrition.
This is a wonderful problem that most of us gardeners have experienced. Your green beans start producing and you’re enjoying them with dinner every few days. Then before you know it, every single plant is loaded with beans and you have more of them than you can eat!
What’s a mom to do? You can only serve green beans so many times in a week before the family threatens to mutiny. It’s time to save some of your delicious crop for later.
You can pressure can, dehydrate, or freeze your green bean harvest…BUT we don’t have a pressure canner, and dried green beans are not our favorite. This makes freezing green beans the best way for us to preserve them.
Do you have to blanch green beans?
Most websites will recommend that you blanch your green beans before freezing. This means that you cook them in boiling water for 3 minutes, dunk them in ice water, and then freeze.
This is supposed to help them keep their color and flavor better than just tossing them in the freezer. Important, right? Normally, I’m all about following instructions, but this seemed like a lot of extra steps (and more dirty dishes).
Would our green beans still taste ok if I froze them without blanching? I tested this theory with a small bean harvest–about 3 cups.
Note: whether you’re blanching or not, you only want to freeze young, tender green beans. Those big, lumpy beans (like the one on the left in the photo below) are going to be mealy and gross whether you eat them fresh or frozen. Make sure you’re harvesting every day so you don’t have this problem!
How to freeze green beans without blanching.
Wash your beans in cool water and drain. I like to spin them in my trusty salad spinner to get most of the water off (you could also shake them in a colander or pat them dry on a towel). This will help prevent ice crystals when freezing.
Since I knew I’d be using my green beans straight from the freezer, I prepped them as though I was going to cook them. I trimmed both ends and broke them into 1-inch chunks.
Next, lay your green beans on a cookie sheet lined with a nonstick silicone baking mat. They can be touching, but try to keep them in a single layer.
Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for an hour–this is called flash freezing. Then put your green beans in a zip bag for long-term storage.
Flash freezing allows you to measure/scoop out as many green beans as you need for your recipe. If you put them in a zip bag right after prepping them, they’ll freeze together into a giant green bean ice cube.
How did they turn out? They were great!
I added them to our Honey Garlic Chicken Stir-Fry and warmed them just until heated through. They were not as crisp as freshly cooked green beans, but they were a thousand times better than canned green beans.
Need more green bean recipes?
World Famous Green Beans by Little Sprouts Learning
How to Can Green Beans by A Modern Homestead
Fermented Dilly Beans by Healing Harvest Homestead