A bountiful harvest of winter or summer squash can be preserved by freezing in freezer-safe containers or storage bags for later use. Before freezing, the tough exterior of winter squash must be removed and both varieties must be sliced or cubed into smaller pieces. Hearty winter squashes can be frozen either raw or cooked, but tender summer squashes should be steam or water blanched before storing.
Freezing Winter Squash
Winter squash, including acorn, butternut, hubbard and spaghetti, can either be frozen raw or cooked. Remove the tough exterior skin and cut winter squash into like-sized cubes. Arrange the pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze; doing so allows the squash to expand. Once completely frozen, place in a plastic storage bag or freezer-safe container. To prep squash for freezing cooked, roast, boil or steam until soft. Mash and place in a storage bag or container, leaving at least a 1/2 inch of space to accommodate expansion.
Freezing Summer Squash
Summer squash, including pattypan, straightneck and zucchini, must be steamed or water blanched before freezing to preserve the flavor and texture. Cut summer squash into 1/2-inch slices and submerge in boiling water for approximately 3 minutes. Removal of the skin is optional. You can also grate summer squash for storage, an ideal method for squash whose planned use is in baked dishes. Bring a small amount of water to a boil, then add the grated squash to a basket and set it inside the pan, above the water. Cover and steam blanch for 1 to 2 minutes. Let blanched squash cool, then transfer to storage containers or bags and freeze.
References and ResourcesNational Center for Home Food Preservation: Freezing Winter Squash
National Center for Home Food Preservation: Freezing Summer Squash
National Center for Home Food Preservation: Freezing