Are you wondering what to do with your end-of-season, bumper crop of peppers? Here is my favorite, most versatile way to preserve peppers for later use.
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There are many ways to preserve peppers. For more ideas, check out the following posts:
Pickling peppers and making salsa are two of my favorite ways to use fresh peppers.
Many methods work for preservation, but sometimes afterward you’re left wondering how to use the peppers in their preserved form. Sometimes you want to retain some of the harvest in an easily useable form.
Hands-down, my favorite method is freezing chopped peppers.
Freezing Chopped Peppers
Here’s the thing: If you throw a bunch of chopped peppers straight into the freezer, they’ll freeze together into one big clump, which makes them the opposite of versatile.
The secret is in the ‘Tray Freezing’ method:
- Remove stems, seeds, and membranes, and chop the peppers.
- Arrange the chopped peppers in a single layer–no touching!–on a cookie sheet with sides. (I like my jelly roll pan.)
- Carefully lay the cookie sheet flat in the freezer FOR ONE HOUR.
- Transfer frozen chopped peppers to a plastic freezer bag. Release as much air from the bag as possible. I like to use one of my stainless steel straws to suck out the excess air.
- Place the bag of frozen peppers in the freezer. The chopped peppers won’t stick together.
- Repeat! It may require a few batches to get all of the peppers frozen. It usually takes me several days to work through the batches. Keep the chopped peppers in a closed container in the refrigerator until ready to be frozen.
- When all the chopped peppers are frozen, double-bag them with a freezer bag that has been labeled with the contents and year.
Note: The tray freezing method works for other vegetables, too! Try it with corn, broccoli, or green beans, for example. (Be aware that these vegetables do better when blanched first.)
How to Use Frozen Peppers
Easy! Add them to soups, stews, stir frys, casseroles, omelettes, quiche, frittatas, and meatloaf.
No need to thaw first.
How do you use frozen chopped peppers?