Can you freeze uncooked beets?

Beets are a versatile and nutritious root vegetable that can be enjoyed year-round. Freezing uncooked beets is an easy way to preserve fresh beets to use later in soups, salads, and other dishes. Here’s what you need to know about freezing uncooked beets, including how to freeze them properly and how long they will last in the freezer.

Benefits of Freezing Uncooked Beets

Freezing uncooked beets offers several advantages:

  • Preserves freshness – Freezing beets right after harvesting locks in flavor, texture, and nutrients.
  • Saves money – Buying fresh beets in bulk when in season and freezing allows you to enjoy low-cost beets year-round.
  • Saves prep time – Having frozen, prepped beets ready to use cuts down on steps when cooking.
  • Reduces food waste – Freezing beets prevents spoilage and overstock of fresh beets.
  • Easy to use – Frozen beets thaw quickly and can be used straight from the freezer.

How to Freeze Uncooked Beets

Follow these simple steps for freezing uncooked beets:

  1. Select fresh, firm beets. Avoid beets that are soft, wrinkled, or moldy.
  2. Trim off beet greens, leaving 1-2 inches of stem attached. Save greens for another use.
  3. Wash beets gently under cool running water to remove dirt but avoid soaking.
  4. Leave small beets whole with root and stem end attached. Cut larger beets into 1/2 inch cubes or slices.
  5. Blanch beets briefly in boiling water for 3 minutes to set color and soften texture.
  6. Immediately transfer blanched beets to an ice bath to stop cooking. Let cool completely, then drain.
  7. Pack cooled, blanched beets in a single layer into freezer bags or airtight containers. Squeeze out excess air.
  8. Seal bags or containers, label, and freeze. Frozen beets will keep 10-12 months.

Blanching before freezing helps deactivate enzymes that can cause loss of flavor and color during freezer storage. It’s an optional but recommended step. If you don’t blanch, the freezer storage time is reduced to 6-8 months.

Tips for Freezing Beets

Follow these tips for best results with frozen beets:

  • Freeze beets at peak freshness for optimal flavor and texture.
  • Avoid overcrowding beets in freezer bags or containers. Freeze in a single layer if possible.
  • Use moisture-proof freezer bags or airtight containers. Freezer burn can negatively impact taste and quality.
  • Press out all excess air before sealing to prevent freezer burn.
  • Store frozen beets at 0°F or below. Check your freezer’s temperature setting.
  • Avoid freezing beets with blemishes or soft spots which will deteriorate further when frozen.
  • Don’t wash or soak beets before freezing. Just a gentle rinse.
  • Blanching before freezing is optional but results in better frozen beet quality.

How to Use Frozen Beets

Frozen beets are versatile and can be used in any recipe calling for cooked beets. Here are some easy ways to use them:

  • Soups – Add frozen beet cubes to vegetable, tomato, potato, or beet soup recipes.
  • Salads – Thaw and slice frozen beets to use in salads. Pair with mixed greens, walnuts, and goat cheese.
  • Smoothies – Blend frozen beet cubes into fruit or vegetable smoothies.
  • Roasted vegetables – Toss frozen beets with olive oil and roast with other veggies like carrots or potatoes.
  • Pickling – Thaw frozen beets and pickle with vinegar and spices.
  • Borscht – Use frozen beets as the base for this traditional beet soup.

Frozen beets should be thawed before using for most recipes. To thaw:

  • Refrigerator thawing – Place frozen beets in the refrigerator and thaw overnight before use.
  • Cold water thaw – Place frozen beets in a colander or bowl under cold running water. Thaw until beets can be separated.
  • Microwave thaw – Microwave frozen beets on LOW in 30 second intervals, gently turning, just until thawed enough to use.

How Long Do Frozen Beets Last?

Properly stored frozen beets will maintain quality and flavor for:

  • 10-12 months – If blanched before freezing
  • 6-8 months – If frozen raw without blanching

For best quality and flavor, use frozen beets within these recommended time periods. Don’t refreeze thawed beets; cook and eat them within a few days.

Here are some signs that frozen beets are past their prime and should be discarded:

  • Off colors or mushy texture
  • Unpleasant or bitter flavors
  • Freezer burn with dry, shriveled areas
  • Condensation or ice crystals inside packaging
  • Mold growth anywhere on the beets

Nutrition Facts for Frozen Beets

Freezing beets has minimal effects on their nutritional value. Frozen beets maintain high levels of:

Nutrient Amount in 1 cup frozen beets
Calories 74
Protein 2 g
Carbohydrates 17 g
Dietary fiber 4 g
Sugar 12 g
Fat 0 g
Vitamin C 6 mg
Folate 136 mcg
Manganese 0.5 mg
Potassium 441 mg

Beets are especially high in natural nitrates and pigments that give them their deep red color. Freezing preserves these health-promoting compounds.


Freezing fresh beets is simple and allows you to enjoy their sweet, earthy flavor any time. Blanching before freezing helps maintain beet quality for 10-12 months. Frozen beets retain their nutrients and are convenient to use right from the freezer in soups, salads, smoothies, and other dishes. With a bit of planning, you can reap the benefits of flavorful, inexpensive beets all year round with a freezer full of uncooked beets.

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