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How to Freeze Peppers

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Now is a great time to take advantage of the abundance of fresh vegetables and learning how to freeze peppers is no exception.  The great thing about peppers is they can be preserved without canning.   A very simple way to preserve peppers is by freezing.  

If you grow your own peppers great! If not, – not a problem.  Not everyone chooses to grow a garden or possibly don’t have the time or space.  Pepper can easily be purchased at the local farmers market for a small price or even at the grocery.

This year, I really thought I was going to have no peppers to freeze.  I had been purchasing them at my local farmers market for cooking and canning my homemade cabbage beef soup.

I had planted them on time, the plants were healthy looking, but no peppers.  Honestly not sure what happened.  Finally near the end of the season, my plants all of a sudden began producing.  So I’m very excited to I have enough peppers to freeze for later use.

RELATED:  Quick Start Guide to Freezing Foods at Home

How to Freeze Peppers

One of the more simple ways to preserve peppers is by freezing.   Quick, easy and my favorite.  Peppers is one of the few foods that can be preserved without blanching first, which is unusual.  Another good thing is peppers don’t lose there crunchiness when frozen either.

Freeze Peppers - red peppers laying on a light blue towel with lots of green bell peppers below

Frozen peppers can be used just as if they were fresh.  Use them in soups, casseroles and other dishes.  I put sweet into the freezer in slices and if a recipe calls for “chopped” peppers, then it’s easy to chop a frozen pepper that is only partially thawed.

1) Pick out peppers that have no soft spots or blemishes. Wash well under running water to remove soil, or anything that may be on them.  Allow to air dry thoroughly-this is key. I leave mine overnight in a large colander like this one.

2)  Once peppers have dried well.  The stem, seeds and membrane of bell peppers and other large peppers needs to be removed.  If freezing hot peppers no need to remove the inside – they can be frozen as is.  All sizes of hot peppers freeze well as is – no slicing needed.

sliced green bell peppers laying on a white cutting board

Bell Peppers & Other Sweet Peppers:

One way to preserve peppers without canning is by freezing.  When freezing sweet peppers I slice them into small strips. This is easily done with a small paring knife and a cutting boardI use this board and love the rubber grip on the sides.

Simply hold the pepper in place with one hand and make thin slices until the bell pepper is in small pieces.

Once bell peppers are sliced, place individual slices, in a single layer, on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  I will admit, I used to buy rolls of parchment paper and having a lot of waste.  Then I came across individual sheets of parchment paper and was sold.  No more waste, they fit my cookie sheet perfectly.

Freeze Peppers - green sliced bell peppers laying on a white surface
sliced green peppers laying on wax paper inside a cookie sheet

Place cookie sheets into freezer for 1 hour minimum or more – uncovered.  This will flash-freeze the bell pepper slices to prevent them from sticking together in the freezer container.Once frozen, remove from freezer and quickly put into an approved freezer container with label and date.  I use gallon size Ziploc bags.  I’m not a fan of plastic but when it comes to space in the freezer, bags work really well.

Hot Peppers: 

To freeze hot peppers, it is not necessary to remove stems and seeds.  The National Center for Home Food Preservation does warn to wear gloves when working with hot peppers. though.

If you have never worked with hot peppers, they contain an oil called Capsaicin that make them hot and it can be painful to skin. Learn more about the safety of working with Capsaicin here from The Spruce Eats.

Fresh red hot peppers in a wicker basket lined with blue and white towel
Hot Cayenne Peppers

All you need to do is simply place clean, well dried hot peppers on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Place in freezer for 1 or more hours to flash freeze.

Once thoroughly frozen, remove from freezer, with gloves place them into a Ziploc bag quickly and store back in the freezer.   Label and date, remove as much air as possible and they will keep for about 1 year.  Which is perfect for fresh peppers through the winter months.

How Do You Use Frozen Hot Peppers?

When when you want to use hot peppers that are frozen don’t thaw them.  They are much easier to work with while frozen.

Using a cutting board, snip off stem end.  Slice length wise down the pepper and cut in half.  Using a gloved hand, run a finger down the length of the pepper to remove seeds.

All hot pepper varieties freeze well.  It doesn’t matter if they are thin walled or thick.  The same process needs to be followed to remove seeds before cooking with them.

So there you have it!  Now that you can see how simple freezing peppers is, you know why it’s my favorite.  When I can preserve fresh foods in a quick, simple way, I’m all about it.

Do you freeze peppers for winter?  If so, do you have tips and tricks that you’ve learned?  Please feel free to share.  

More Easy Preserving Tips

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lots of fresh green bell peppers laying in a pile

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4 thoughts on “How to Freeze Peppers”

  1. Sheila A Winters

    Hi Diane,
    How do I prepare my green peppers from the garden for stuffed peppers later?
    Do I parboil and bag or do I make up the filling? And stuff the par boiled pepper to freeze?
    Thank you,
    Sheila Winters
    Middle, TN

    1. Hi Shelia,

      I’m not certain there is one specific way to do it. When I stuff peppers, I cook my ingredients first, then I blanch the pepper for about 2 minutes to soften it up, stuff it and then put into freezer safe bag. So when I want to cook them, I take them from the freezer, put them into the oven and heat to both thaw thoroughly and be warm inside. It does need to cool completely before going into the bag.

      My friend does the opposite, she stuffs frozen peppers while they are still frozen and then puts them in the oven. She doesn’t like waiting on the cool down.

      Hope this helps,

  2. Norina Fincato Australia

    I have and preserved what I call not so hot Chillies
    (up to 3 inches long, dark smooth skin, a bit plumpy)
    Cut in half length wise, and remove the seeds
    Boil in vinegar (white or malt) with salt added if you wish
    A med amount at a time depending on the size of the pan
    With slotted ladle that will not be affected by the heated vinegar
    Remove when the chillies just start to change collar Shake out the drips from the colander (so they are not to melt, still very firm)
    I layer them in large jars with salt sprinkled plus crushed fresh garlic each layer
    Press down gently after a few layers and start bit by bit covering with olive oil
    (have to process quickly as they cook fast, production line
    Keeps for ages in sealed jars, can eat as a side treat, spread on toast or pizza, flavour instant noodles, pasta, omelettes , anything . The oil them becomes flavoured and a spoon added to stews etc is great
    Excess chillies freeze cut in half and deseeded in zippy bags lasts for ages till next crop

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