How To Freeze Shredded Zucchini (WFMW)

I need a bit of a favor.  Next spring when I tell you that I am planning my garden and bought zucchini seeds, remind me to go back and read this post.

For some reason, when I was planting the garden a few months ago, it seemed like a good idea to put in three zucchini plants.  After all, I love baking zucchini bread.  No problem, right? Wrong.

My zucchini plants took off. We’ve been picking zucchini for weeks, and it seems that every time we go outside there’s another zucchini on the plant just waiting to be picked.  We neglected the plants for a few days when we were out of town two weeks ago, and we came home to two giant zucchini.  Surprise! I’m not just talking about slightly larger than usual zucchini, either. I’m talking about zucchini that are about as big as my puffy pregnant legs. There was no way I was going to be able to bake my way out of that situation.

Of course, I am also one who can’t stand to waste food… Even if that food is overabundant zucchini. So, I needed to act, and I needed to do it fast…  Preferably before we found even more zucchini in the garden!

Don’t worry, there is a happy ending to this story. I figured out exactly what to do with the zucchini. I stashed it in the freezer for later! Not only did I get it out of my kitchen, but I now have a stash of zucchini for baking this fall and winter. It’s a win-win!

works for me wednesday at we are that family

How to Freeze Shredded Zucchini

Sometimes stocking the freezer for later can seem like a lot of work.  A lot of veggies require blanching before they can be frozen, which always sounds hot and steamy to me in the middle of the summer. Fortunately, shredded zucchini doesn’t require much work.  Here are the simple steps…

  1. Shred the Zucchini – Simple enough, right? When I have a lot of zucchini on hand, I like to use my food processor for this, but a box grater works just as well. I generally don’t peel the zucchini unless the skin is particularly tough.  If you have giant leg-sized zucchini, just scoop out the mature seeds from the center and shred the rest of the zucchini.
  2. Portion Out the Zucchini – It’s easiest to store the zucchini in portions that work well for recipes. My preference is to store the zucchini in 1 cup portions.  Simply measure out 1 packed cup of shredded zucchini and transfer it to a zipper sandwich bag.
  3. Seal the Individual Bags – Be sure to squeeze the air out of each sandwich bag and seal them well so that the zucchini keeps well.
  4. Double Bag and Label – Sandwich bags aren’t really designed for freezer storage, so I like to double bag my zucchini.  I put 4 of the small sandwich bag portions in a larger freezer bag.  Then, be sure to label the bag so you remember what it is in a few months when you’re digging through the freezer.
  5. Freeze It! Just put the zucchini in the freezer and you’re good to go.

Baking with Frozen Zucchini

You can use the frozen zucchini in just about any recipe that calls for shredded zucchini.  Simply remove it from the freezer and thaw it in a mesh strainer or colander (to remove excess moisture) before using it in the recipe!

Need a few recipe ideas? Here are a few of my favorites from the My Kitchen Addiction archives…

54 Responses to How To Freeze Shredded Zucchini (WFMW)

  1. I have been hiding zucchini in my food for years, the kids never knew it! Ive also come to love zucchini is so many differant ways. I do freeze “tons” of it, use a lot of it. But after a couple of years it might get chucked for a whole new batch of zucchini. And yes, three plants is more than enough!!!!! : )

  2. I’ve been doing this for years; I think my moment of desperation came about after retrieving one of those monsters that got away from me. Hated to pitch it and frozen shreds were born.

    For me? When I’m baking I don’t discard any of the water that results after it’s thawed though; I just throw in the whole package as I think it’s that moisture that makes baked goods so moist when you use zucchini; maybe it’s different for you though because I do live at altitude where it’s also drier. For other purposes I would toss it though but I seldom use it for other purposes! I put zucchini bread into all of my holiday gifts baskets; by then people are happy to see it again. :)

  3. My husband didn’t believe me when I said only a few Zucchini plants so we have 8 or 9 huge plants. Thank goodness we have 15 chickens so we can share some of the excess with them. Thanks for the shredding idea. I will do that and continue to give Zucchini to everybody I know.


    My husband just retired, so he was eager to plant a garden again. Planted these for the first time. Had one small one a few days ago. This morning my counter had 4 large squash and one that was actually a “double”. I haven’t made the bread in years because he is now required to be “gluten free” (Yucky diet) so now I will be able to save some of this until I find a gluten free recipe.

    • Do google recipes, however you may have to try many to find one you like. My friend, who has been baking gluten free for about 15 years finally translated a regular recipe to gluten free on her own and sells her bread at a farmer’s market. So, keep trying, but if you can’t find one you like, let me know and I can always email you the recipe.

      • HI Rebecca, I have so many people in my life who are now gluten free that i would just love to know this recipe you speak of. Could you send it to me? Appreciate it so much, thanks!


      • Rebecca, I have a couple good friends who are on gluten-free diets, and I would love your recipe for gluten-free zucchini bread. Thank you so much! Kathy C

      • I have a daughter-in-law who must eat gluten free. You said if we wrote you that you would share your friend’s recipe for it. I would appreciate it so she can make herself some zucchini bread. Thank you!

      • I’ve tried several Gluten-Free recipes for zucchini bread and muffins, but have yet to find a good one. Being super sensitive to gluten sucks at moments like this! Would love it if you could share your recipe. Thanks so much!

      • One of my daughter’s in law has Celiac Disease and must eat gluten-free. I would like to be able to convert my zucchini-carrot bread recipe, but not sure how. The one you talked about might be just the thing. Could you please send it to me, too? Thanks.

  6. My youngest grandson lives with us and loves to plant a garden each year so we can “eat healthy”. This year he planted zucchini for the first time. Oh Boy – do we have zucchini. Made bread last weekend and parmesan chips last night. I am so thankful I can freeze some of this – I hate waste. Thank you so much for all your advice.

  7. Awesome! I only put in one plant of Italian Zucchini and it is taking over my yard!!! I made about 10 loaves of bread and can’t make more so freezing the shreds is an excellent idea. Lat year I put in one Korean Squash plant and yielded about 100 of them. Crazy!! I made a ton of food with them and shared about 50 of them with friends. Thanks again!!

  8. I was just describing to my daughter (by ph) what my zucchini looks like and I used words like “the size of my leg”! (We just got home from a week long trip and that zucchini is what I found in the garden!) I’m so glad I now know what to do with it… shred and freeze. Thank you

    • We were evacuated because of a wildland fire and when we returned home after just three days…I found several zucchini the size of baseball bats! Unreal! Freezing now!

  9. We also have an abundance of zucchini and are very free with giving it to friends. We shredded and froze this year, and were wondering if there are any things we should look for as warning signs of loosing what we froze. Just want to know what to be prepared for as not to loose the entire stock in the freezer. Any advice or forewarning would be greatly appreciated!

  10. I told my husband we didn’t have enough squash.. I meant patty pans, butter stick, light green.. which are usually more gentile providers. He assumed squash was squash and put in 5 more mounds of zucchs! I harvest 10 to 12 a day.. squash hits our plates in some form or another sometimes 3 times a day. Zucchini pancakes this am.. and I don’t see why this wouldn ‘t work for them also. Another idea.. toss it in winter soups for more volume and nutrition. I am really not a baker.when it gets up to 90-100 who wants to turn on the oven.. so maybe in winter. Other ideas for those who are so blessed.. I have gotten to the point that I like raw zucchini sticks.. instead of chips and other vegies for dip, nice crunch.. few calories.. especially if the dip is made of FF greek yogurt.

  11. On the bisquick site they have a gluten free zucchini apple bread I just skip the apple and use 2 cups of zucchini and add 1/4 cup sour cream. You can’t tell the difference. I just baked it for a family gathering and no one knew.

  12. Great post. My first garden: I also havea three zucchini plants (never again) I actually figured this would work – but it is so good to have someone else do it first. I have canned a lot, as that doesn’t need power for storing. Zucchini and tomatoes make a good, nourishing side dish or cooking sauce. But with high producers that are just overwhelming and things that will be baked, Zucchini will keep my chopped rhubard company in the freezer for those cold nights when a warm over will be appreciated. .

  13. Very interesting, thanks. One lady mentioned scooping the seeds. Was there a reason for that? Can the seeds be used for next year?

    • Hi, Mary… I actually wasn’t 100% sure why you don’t need to blanch it, but here’s a good response I found from The Kitchn (here’s the original article):

      “Though you can technically freeze zucchini as is, we recommend taking the time to blanch it first. Blanching inactivates the enzymes that cause the vegetable to become mushy and discolor over time, even in the freezer.”

      When I freeze shredded zucchini, it does get a bit mushy… I suppose you could try blanching it. However, since I primarily use it for baking cakes and bread, I don’t worry about it. If you were going to freeze it to enjoy as a steamed veggie or to eat it on its own, I’d definitely blanch it.

      Hope that helps!

  14. I use the large zucchini for pizza…. scoop out the inside of the large ones that got away and add any meatloaf recipe…. and top with cheese. On the zucchini bread chop up 4 tsp orange peel and wait for the great comments…..

  15. I planted huge community garden but seems most of friends have over abundance zuchinni or my fav chard. elderly friends enjoy MY cooking so freezing helps me keep fresh veggies avail to cook and give away.

    • Thank you so much for the great tip. I tried blanching it and that didn’t work, so now I am trying this!

  16. I just put up enough to make 24 loaves of bread, now I am caught up. Now I will see if I can pick the rest and keep caught up by putting it in this and that.

  17. I am wondering if zucchini could be steamed rather than put in boiling water,
    and also if shredded zucchini can be frozen without blancning, then why does the sliced zucchini need to be blanched. Thanks for any info on this.

    • Finely shredded zucchini does not need to be steamed or blanched if you remove most of the moisture by rinsing, placing in cheese cloth and squeezing out most of the water. After this step, put approximately 2 cups in a quart size freezer bag (or food saver), patting flat. Seal the bag, leaving a small opening in the zip closure. Roll the bags towards the zipper to remove the air, then seal. Easy thaw and no mush so far. Sliced zucchini needs to be blanched or steamed due to the thickness (or solidness) of the slice. Sliced zucchini holds more moisture and ‘cooking’ prior to freezing discourages the mushy texture when thawed.

  18. My favorite zucchini recipe…Cut zucchini in half length wise..scoop out seed.Fill centers with stuffing (home made or stove top)cover lightly with gravy (chicken or turkey) top with thin slices of meat (chicken or turkey) and top again with more gravy. Bake for about 40 minutes in oven at 350 degrees. I usually add a little water in baking dish to help steam zucchini until its soft…You can assemble these zucchini boats and freeze before cooking.I cover the boats with foil when baking them. I also cut zucchini into chunks and spread out on a cookie sheet and freeze, then bag them up for freezer.

  19. I am having a similar problem to you with sooo much zucchini in my garden this year. Have you ever tried using the defrosted shredded zucchini to make zucchini slice at all?

  20. I have really big zucchini’s (like you mentioned in your post). When you say to take out the seeds, would I cut the zucchini in half first scoop out the seeds and then shred? Thanks so much for this post.

  21. This isn’t bread but chunck it in small pieces and cook it in veg. Soup and it cooks up and gives the soup a good flavor

  22. I am planing my garden for spring. I am having to retire and living is going to be very tight. I live with my so and though it will be tough we will get by we are just going back to basics. However my son is both lactose and gluten sensitive zuccini is high on the list for planting now that I know for sure it will freeze well. Any recipes would be greatly appreciated