Got an abundance of peppers from your garden? Whether you have hot chiles or sweet bells, here is how to freeze peppers to enjoy all winter long.
Since our growing season is short, I try to leave peppers on the plant as long as I can so they have a chance of ripening fully.
Then it happens… the dreaded end of the season frost prediction.
The threat of frost has me scrambling to the garden to gather all the peppers, and other frost tender crops from the plants.
The easiest way to preserve peppers quickly is to freeze them. Peppers are one of the few vegetables that can be frozen without having to blanch them first.
Surprisingly, frozen peppers do not turn to mush when thawed either. They do lose some of their crispness, but maintain the flavor and color of fresh peppers.
Frozen peppers can be used to make salsa, fajitas, stir-fry, or any cooked recipe where you would normally use peppers. Frozen peppers are also easy to chop while partially defrosted too. Wear gloves when working with hot peppers.
How to Freeze Sweet Peppers and Hot Chile Peppers
What you’ll need to freeze peppers:
- Cutting board
- Baking sheet pans
- Zipper freezer bags
- Kitchen towels
Steps to Preparing and Freezing Peppers
Step 1: Select fresh peppers with no blemishes or soft spots
Choose freshly harvested peppers either from your vegetable garden or the farmers market. Wash to remove residue, and then let the peppers air dry.
Step 2: Prepare the peppers
Think about how you will use the peppers and cut them appropriately:
Bell Peppers: Trim out the stems, membranes and seeds of bell peppers. Peel, slice, chop, or dice depending on how you will use them.
I like slicing bell peppers in strips. It makes it easy to grab a handful as needed for fajitas or stir-fries. I also find it useful to have frozen diced peppers on hand for soups, pizza toppings, or other recipes.
Jalapeño Chiles: I freeze jalapeños, serranos, and other thin skinned chiles whole, but you can also remove the stems, seeds, membrane, and chop into pieces before freezing. Wear gloves when working with hot peppers.
If you love jalapeño poppers, cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds. You can fill them while frozen and pop them into the oven.
Anaheim Chiles: The skins of the Anaheim and New Mexico type peppers are tough, so I roast, peel off the skins, and seed the peppers before freezing.
To peel, blister the skins by grilling or broiling until the skins crack and separate from the flesh. Remove from the peppers from heat and place in a covered glass bowl to steam.
Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove skins, stems, seeds, and membrane. Wear gloves to prevent burning your hands.
- See How to Roast and Peel Peppers for more details or watch the video below:
Step 3: Freeze the prepared peppers on baking sheets
Pre-freezing the pepper pieces before placing them into a freezer bag will help prevent them from sticking together. This will make it easier to grab a handful when needed for meals.
Add a sheet of parchment paper to the baking pan to prevent the peppers from sticking to the pan. Spread out the prepared peppers so they are not touching. Place the baking sheets in the freezer until the peppers are solid.
Step 4: Package the frozen peppers into freezer bags
Add the frozen peppers to freezer bags, remove air by sucking out with a straw, and seal the bag. Label, date, and store the frozen peppers in the freezer until you are ready to use. Use within 8-10 months.
Now you have a freezer full of prepared peppers ready to add quickly to your meals.
How to Freeze Peppers - Hot or Sweet
- 6 bell peppers or other peppers of choice
Prepare the Peppers
- Bell Peppers: Trim out the stems, membranes and seeds of bell peppers. Peel, slice, chop, or dice depending on how you will use them.
- Jalapeño Chiles: I freeze jalapeños, Sorrento, and other thin skinned chiles whole, but you can also remove the stems, seeds, membrane, and chop into pieces before freezing. Wear gloves when working with hot peppers.
- Anaheim Chiles: To peel skins, blister the pepper by grilling or broiling until the skins crack and separate from the flesh. Remove from the peppers from heat and place in a covered glass bowl to steam. Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove skins, stems, seeds, and membrane. Wear gloves to prevent burning your hands.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper, and arrange the pieces on the trays so they are not overlapping.
- Place the baking sheets in the freezer and freeze until the peppers are solid, about 1 to 2-hours.
- Add the frozen peppers to freezer bags, remove air by sucking out with a straw, and seal the bag. Label, date, and store the frozen peppers in the freezer until you are ready to use. Use within 8-10 months.
This article was originally published on September 1, 2016. It has been updated with additional information and photos.
You May Also Like
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- Roasted Green Chile Sauce
- Tips for Growing Peppers in Cooler Climates
Good planning is key to a successful vegetable garden
Whether you are new to growing your own food or have been growing a vegetable garden for years, you will benefit from some planning each year. You will find everything you need to organize and plan your vegetable garden in my PDF eBook, Grow a Good Life Guide to Planning Your Vegetable Garden.
great article, I pick 60-80 peppers every 10 days out of my garden. I freeze them as you suggest, but I also decap, deseed and derib the mostly hot peppers, then puree them in a food processor and freeze in silicone ice cube trays. Wait two hours, pop em out and store them in gallon freezer bags. I make Indian Food frequently and this really works well for that application. Great Ideas in your recipe.
Thank you for this useful informative post! I have an abundance of green peppers from my garden and am so pleased to find your blog. I will be cutting up my peppers and flash freezing and then putting them in freezer bags for future use in recipes. Thank you for posting!
©Rachel Arsenault says
Thanks for your comment, Diane. I am so happy you found this article useful for preserving peppers.
Marsha Correira says
My neighbor gave me a basket (large bowl full) of assorted peppers. I’m trying to identify what they are. Unfortunately, you talk about peppers, but photos identifying various types along with naming them are not there. When there are photos, they are not labeled. Not interested in bell peppers; I recognize them.
I think I have identified a couple of them as habaneros. Can you point me to a webpage which will help me identify what I have?
©Rachel Arsenault says
Marsha, This article is about how to preserve peppers by freezing them. The process is the same no matter what type of peppers you have. There are thousands of varieties of peppers in the world. Maybe you can just ask your neighbor? Or use Google to find images that match?
Thank you for the freezing info. When the grocery store price dropped I got red, yellow, orange, green & brown, & froze them as you suggested. I now have bags of diced & strips of each color. They don’t take up much room in the freezer & are so handy to add to whatever is cooking.
Carlos Delgadillo says
Thanks for the helpful hints! Did you happen to mean Serrano peppers rather than “Sorrento” above? Also, for chiles like jalapenos and serranos, should I freeze those separately on a cookie sheet prior to putting them in a bag like other pepper pieces?
©Rachel Arsenault says
Carlos, Yes, Serrano! That’s a strange typo. Thanks for pointing it out. You don’t need to freeze the smaller chiles on a baking sheet, they don’t stick together like the cut pepper pieces.
Linda Novosel says
‘just got a box of yellow [sweet] peppers and another of orange [sweet] peppers for a remarkable price. I’ll trim them and freeze them as per your directions, as we do a lot of stir fries, and LOVE veggies! Thanks SO MUCH !!!
Barbara Karr says
You are so spot on with this post!!! I live in a Senior apartment complex and am not able to grow my own peppers (lucky you !). Whenever I find a deal on peppers I buy extra. I flash freeze them as you suggest. When the first snow flies I have them in my fteezer. They are so beautiful and tasty. They are that “extra” that takes a meal over the top. Thanks for sharing your information!!
©Rachel Arsenault says
Barbara, We are doing the same right now…buying extra peppers and freezing them for later.
Renée Marie says
Merci de la Guyane francçaise
Great help I will certainly be using this way of doing my peppers.
Thank You for showing me how to freeze bell peppers. It is much appreciated. I do not like to waste food.