Here is the most comprehensive guide on how you can freeze and store eggplants for the long term.
These methods and tips have worked wonderfully for me and many others!
Let’s get started right away.
- Boiling Water
- Ice Bath
- Baking Sheet
- Parchment Paper
- Ziploc Bag
- Wash and Cut: thoroughly wash and clean the eggplant. Then cut them up into slices or cubes as you prefer.
- Blanch: Put the eggplant in a pot of boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes and then transfer them into an ice bath to stop further cooking.
- Dry and Lay Out: Pat-dry the eggplant to get rid of the moisture and then lay them out evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper Make sure that each slice does not stick together.
- Flash Freeze: Leave the tray in the freezer for a couple of hours till the eggplant freezes solid. You could skip this step, but it helps to separate the eggplant later on.
- Pack and Seal: Transfer the frozen eggplant into a Ziploc bag and seal it. Make sure to remove the excess air in the bag. You can use a straw to suck out all the air.
- Label and Freeze: Add a label on the bag with the best before date, and you are good to go.
Check out this tutorial by “Cooking Guide” on YouTube -
Freezing Eggplant after Roasting or Cooking Them
If you have cooked or roasted the eggplant then you can go ahead and use this method to freeze them.
Cut and Prep
Cut and prepare the eggplant as you would prefer – roasted, cooked, or fried.
Cool and Lay Out
Let it cool down to room temperature, and then lay them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure to evenly space them out and that they don’t clump together.
Leave the tray of eggplant in the freezer for a couple of hours or overnight to let it freeze solid.
Portion and Wrap
Divide the eggplants into portions that you can easily consume in one go. Then wrap the portions with some parchment paper.
Pack and Seal
Transfer the wrapped portions of cooked eggplant into a Ziploc bag or freezer-safe air-tight container and seal them in. Make sure to squeeze out all the excess air before sealing them.
Label and Freeze
Add a label with the best before date, and you can freeze the eggplants till you need them next.
Here is a video by “Kaye Kittrell Late Bloomer” on YouTube to see how it is done –
Freezing Cooked Eggplant in Freezer-Safe Air-Tight Container
Cook and Cool
Cook the eggplant and then let it cool down to room temperature before you process it.
Transfer into Container
Portion and transfer the cooked eggplant into a container and make sure to leave some headspace at the top to accommodate any expansion upon freezing.
Cover and Seal
Cover the top of the container with some parchment paper, making sure that the parchment paper touches the surface of the eggplant. Then seal the container.
Label and Seal
Add a label with the best before date and you are all set.
The later segment of the video by “K aye Kittrell Late Bloomer” on YouTube has got this covered –
How Long Can You Freeze Eggplants?
The eggplant can last well in the freezer for 9 to 14 months. But it is best recommended to use them up sooner rather than later.
For best results in taste, texture, and quality, try to use them up within 6 months.
Keep in mind that the type of eggplant you freeze also matters. Some varieties like the Black eggplants fare better in the freezer than say, the Chinese or Thai variety of eggplants.
But in any case, the key is to store them in airtight freezer-safe containers and portioning them beforehand.
How to Store Frozen Eggplant?
You can store frozen eggplant in any freezer-safe air-tight container or Ziploc bag. It is best to flash freeze them before you store them so that they don’t come out of the freezer as a big lump and is messy to thaw.
The choice between Ziploc bags and freezer-safe containers depends entirely on your preference and the amount of freezer space you can afford.
If you are running out of freezer space, packing the eggplants into Ziploc bags and laying them down flat on top of each other can save you a lot of trouble, especially if you have a big batch to freeze.
How to Defrost Eggplants?
The best way to thaw the eggplants is to leave them in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight and let them thaw gradually.
If there is any liquid collecting at the bottom of the container, make sure to drain it before you use the eggplant.
But the best thing about frozen eggplants is that if you plan to cook with them or reheat them, you can skip the thawing process and work with them directly out of the freezer.
Keep in mind that the eggplant does not hold its shape once it thaws and can get slightly mushy. So, best to work with them before freezing or in a frozen state.
Can You Refreeze Eggplants?
No, it is strongly advised not to refreeze eggplants. Though it may be safe to eat, it can be unappealing as the texture of the eggplant changes quite a lot and can get mushy and soggy.
To avoid having to refreeze the eggplants, you can portion them beforehand into small quantities that you can easily consume in one sitting or recipe.
But if the eggplants were not cooked before freezing, you can cook them and freeze the dish afterward.
Does Eggplant Freeze Well?
Yes, eggplant freezes well and lasts for almost a year in the freezer. But it does not hold its shape or color all too well once it is frozen. It loses its texture and can get quite slimy.
The browning of the eggplant can be stopped by adding some lemon juice into the water in which it is blanched. Even then, it will not be as great as fresh eggplants.
But it is one of the best ways to increase the shelf life of eggplants both cooked and raw.
Although you can freeze eggplant without blanching, it is certainly not recommended.
The eggplant can change deteriorate faster in the freezer due to enzyme actions, which are only stopped when it’s either cooked or blanched. So, it is best to blanch them before freezing for best results
Yes, you can freeze eggplant as a whole but is best recommended not to. The eggplants can get quite slimy and lose their texture and color once frozen.
This can make it quite unappealing and difficult to work with once it thaws. So, it is best to prep it beforehand.
Yes, you can freeze stuffed eggplants. Once you prepare them, let them cool down to room temperature and then line them up on a baking sheet with some parchment paper and then flash freeze them.
You can transfer them into Ziploc bags or freezer-safe air-tight containers once they have frozen solid.
I hope this article helped you freeze and store all the extra eggplants in your pantry for the long term.
If you have any doubts or would like to share some freezing tips and tricks of your own, it would be great to hear from you.
Feel free to share this article with your family and friends.