How to Freeze Green Beans

There's just no comparison between fresh-picked green beans and the canned kind that they sell at the grocery store. Freeze a bunch of green beans while they're in season, and you can enjoy that farm fresh flavor year-round. Here's a step-by-step guide to taking you through the process

Snap Off the Stem Ends

Snap the Ends Off the Green Beans
Snap the Ends Off the Green Beans. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Wash your green beans. Then, snap the ends off of each bean to remove the stemmy part. If your beans have a string running down their sides, peel that off when you're snapping off the ends. Leave your beans long, or cut them to your desired size.

Blanche the Green Beans

Full frame of fresh green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Douglas Sacha / Getty Images

Then, blanche your green beans by submerging them in a pot of boiling water for three minutes. This will stop (or at least slow) the enzyme process, so that you preserve the beans' fresh flavor, color and texture.

Submerge the Green Beans in an Ice Bath

Submerge the Green Beans in an Ice Water Bath
Submerge the Green Beans in an Ice Water Bath. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Transfer the blanched green beans to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Let them cool for a few minutes. Then, drain them into a colander, and pat them dry with a towel. The more water you remove from the beans, the less ice crystals you'll have when you freeze them.

Flash Freeze the Green Beans

Flash Freeze the Green Beans
Flash Freeze the Green Beans. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Spread the green beans out on a cookie sheet in a single layer, and flash freeze them. This prevent your beans from freezing together in clumps, and make them easier to use later.

Transfer the Frozen Beans to Freezer Bags

Frozen Green Beans
Frozen Green Beans. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

When the green beans are frozen, transfer them to freezer bags, and return them to the freezer. Your green beans will keep indefinitely, but are best used within a year.

To use: Simply pull out as many beans as you need, and proceed with your recipe. There's no need to thaw your beans before you use them.