Peppers are one of the vegetables you can quickly freeze raw without blanching first. Thawed peppers retain some crispness and can be used in cooked dishes such as casseroles or eaten raw.
Freezing Bell or Sweet Peppers
- Select crisp, tender bell or sweet peppers.
- Wash peppers by scrubbing them with clean vegetable brush under running water.
- Cut out stems and cut peppers in half.
- Remove seeds and membrane. Save time by using a melon baller or the tip of a spoon to scrape out seeds and membrane.
- Cut peppers into strips, dice or slice, depending on how you plan to use them.
- Freeze peppers in a single layer on a clean cookie sheet with sides, about an hour or longer until frozen. This method is referred to as "tray freezing."
- Transfer to a freezer bag when frozen, excluding as much air as possible from the bag. The peppers will remain separated for ease of use in measuring out for recipes.
- Pour out the amount of frozen peppers needed, reseal the bag and return to the freezer.
Freezing Hot Peppers
- Wash hot peppers by gently rubbing them under cold running water and then stem.
- It is not necessary to cut or chop hot peppers before freezing. Package, leaving no headspace.
- Seal and freeze.
When handling or cutting hot peppers, it is recommended to wear plastic or rubber gloves and do not touch your face. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your face or eyes if you do not wear gloves.
Packaging Food for the Freezer
Suitable freezer containers include:
- Plastic freezer bags
- Freezer paper
- Freezer Aluminum foil
- Plastic containers with the snowflake symbol
Containers not suitable for long-term freezer storage (unless they are lined with freezer bag or wrap) include:
- Plastic food storage bags
- Milk cartons
- Cottage cheese cartons
- Whipped cream containers
- Butter or margarine containers
- Plastic bread or other product bags
Storing Frozen Peppers
To extend the time frozen foods maintain good quality:
- Package foods in material intended for freezing.
- Keep the temperature of the freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
- It is generally recommended frozen vegetables be eaten within about 8 months for best quality.
Updated in 2020 by Kayla Colgrove. This article was originally writtten by Alice Henneman.