Can you freeze beets without cooking them?

Beets are a versatile and nutritious root vegetable that can be enjoyed year-round. Freezing beets is a great way to preserve them when they are in season so you can enjoy their earthy sweet flavor later. But can you freeze beets without cooking them first? Let’s take a closer look.

Benefits of Freezing Beets

Freezing beets allows you to:

  • Stock up on beets when they are at their peak freshness and lowest cost.
  • Preserve their texture and flavor for use in recipes and meals throughout the year.
  • Reduce food waste by storing surplus beets you can’t eat right away.
  • Save time by having prepped beets ready to use whenever you need them.

Can You Freeze Raw Beets?

You can freeze raw beets, but cooking them first is recommended for best results. Here are some reasons why:

  • Texture – Raw frozen beets can become soft and mushy when thawed.
  • Flavor – Cooking helps concentrate and enhance the sweet, earthy flavor of beets.
  • Appearance – Cooking helps prevent oxidation that can dull the vibrant color of raw beets.
  • Safety – Cooking destroys potentially harmful microorganisms that could be present on raw vegetables.

While freezing raw beets is possible, cooking them before freezing will help maximize their quality and flavor when thawed.

How to Freeze Cooked Beets

Follow these simple steps for freezing cooked beets:

  1. Choose fresh, firm beets. Select beets that are heavy for their size with smooth, blemish-free skins. Small to medium-sized beets work best.
  2. Trim and clean the beets. Cut off the leafy green tops, leaving 1-2 inches of stem attached. Scrub the beets well under cool running water.
  3. Cook the beets. Boil, roast, or steam the beets until they are fork-tender. Cooking times vary based on size.
  4. Cool the beets completely. Drain and let the cooked beets cool to room temperature before freezing.
  5. Prep for freezing. Peel and cut the beets into slices or cubes. Alternatively, freeze them whole with skins on.
  6. Pack in airtight containers. Place the beets in freezer bags, plastic containers, or Mason jars. Remove excess air before sealing.
  7. Label and freeze. Note the date and contents on packages. Freeze for up to 10-12 months.

Tips for Freezing Beets

  • Blanch or steam beets briefly before freezing to help set color and stop cooking.
  • Avoid overcrowding beets in bags or containers to prevent freezing into a solid block.
  • Add a small amount of lemon juice, vinegar, or salt to the freezing liquid to help maintain color and flavor.
  • Leave 1⁄2 inch headspace in containers before sealing to allow for expansion.

How to Use Frozen Beets

Frozen beets retain their texture and taste remarkably well. Here are some ways to enjoy them:

  • Add frozen beet cubes to smoothies, soups, and stews.
  • Roast or sauté frozen beets as a side dish.
  • Purée thawed beets into dips, sauces, and spreads.
  • Substitute frozen beets for fresh in most recipes.
  • Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or quickly under cold running water.

Beet Freezing Time Chart

Beet Preparation Blanching Time Before Freezing Storage Life in Freezer
Whole beets with skins on None needed 10-12 months
Beet slices or cubes 2-3 minutes 10-12 months
Cooked, peeled, whole beets None needed 10-12 months


With the proper preparation, beets can be successfully frozen both raw and cooked. For best results, clean and cook beets completely before freezing. Allow to cool fully before dividing into portion sizes for freezing. Store in rigid airtight containers, excluding as much air as possible. Use frozen beets within 10-12 months for optimal freshness and quality. Follow these simple steps to enjoy delicious home-frozen beets year-round.

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