Monday, October 6, 2014

Freezing Peppers

We recently harvested the rest of the produce from the garden, including the last of the sweet peppers. One of the easiest foods to preserve, peppers can be frozen whole (core & remove seeds) or chopped. I chop in fairly large pieces, seal in a freezer bag and place in the freezer. No need to blanch.

Frozen peppers make quick work of dinner. I typically run under cool water for a few minutes and toss into the cooking pan. My favorite fast meals using peppers include sausage & pepper sandwiches and baked penne (with our canned tomatoes). While I depicted sweet peppers, the same method can be used with hot peppers. Frozen peppers should be consumed within one year.

Last sweet peppers from the garden.

Chop peppers to the size you prefer and place into freezer bags.
We use a vacuum sealer to eliminate freezer burn.

Place bags into freezer and consume within one year.

Here's my favorite quick pasta sauce that I use to make baked penne. I substitute fresh herbs in the summer. Feel free to add more (or hot) peppers to suit your taste.

1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped sweet peppers
olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart home canned tomatoes, with juice
2-3 Tbsp tomato paste (depending on how thick you like your sauce)
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried basil
2 tsp sugar
Salt & pepper to taste

Saute onion and peppers in olive oil in a large pan until softened, 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Add tomatoes, paste, herbs, and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Finish with salt and pepper to taste. 

To make baked penne, toss with 12 oz cooked penne or ziti noodles. Meat eaters can add pepperoni or cooked Italian sausage. Pour into a greased casserole dish, top with shredded mozzarella and bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

What do you make with your frozen peppers? 


  1. I like to flash freeze my peppers using dry ice. When thawed they could pass as fresh in a salad. I've heard it explained that slow freezing forms jagged ice crystals that damage the pepper's cell walls causing them to be mushy when thawed. The next best thing to using dry ice would be to freeze them in a single layer on a tray before bagging so they freeze as quickly as possible. If going to the expense of using dry ice it is a good idea to be prepared to flash freeze a lot of stuff in quick succession before the dry ice dissipates to make it worthwhile.

    1. You're right - the faster you freeze, the smaller the ice crystals and the less damage to the food. We're a fan of our vacuum packer but can see how dry ice would work. Thanks for the tip!