How To Freeze Fresh Spinach – 3 Simple Methods

Learn how to freeze fresh spinach in 3 simple ways for smoothies, stews, soups, pies, and stir-fries. It’s easy, fast, and it’ll save you money.


Freeze-ability Index
Freezability Index of Four

How Long in Freezer
Blanched: 9 to 14 months
Unblanched: 6 months
Blended: 1 year

Best Stored In…
Freezer Bag

How to Thaw
Typically not required

What to Expect
Limp leaves
Full flavor (blanched)


Can You Freeze spinach?

Yes, you can freeze fresh spinach. Here are 3 ways to do it:

Method 1: Freeze Blanched Spinach
The best way to freeze spinach is to blanch it to kill the enzymes and bacteria that can ruin its color, flavor, and nutrients.

Method 2: Freeze Spinach Without Blanching
If you freeze raw spinach, you need to use it within 6 months. It won’t keep as long in the freezer and will lose its flavor.

Method 3: Freeze Blended Spinach
Another way to freeze spinach for smoothies is to blend it. You don’t need to blanch the spinach for this method, either.

But, before you freeze spinach, you have to clean it first (unless you bought it prewashed, in which case, you don’t need to clean it.)

Can you freeze fresh spinach
Allowing spinach to soak in water with added vinegar for a half hour before rinsing it off under tap water is the best way to clean fresh spinach before freezing it.
Cleaning

How To Clean Spinach Before Freezing It

The best way to clean spinach is to use water and vinegar.
Prep Time 10 mins
Soaking Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins

Equipment

  • A cutting board
  • A chef's knife
  • White vinegar
  • A tablespoon
  • A large bowl
  • A colander/strainer
  • 2 clean towels OR paper towel

Instructions
 

  • Trim away any thick stems from the spinach.
  • Fill a big bowl with water and add 2 tablespoons of vinegar.
  • Put the spinach into the bowl and mix it around with your hand. Let the spinach soak for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the spinach from the bowl and put it into the colander/strainer. Rinse it under cold running water.
  • Lay the spinach leaves on a towel and pat them dry with another cloth.
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How To Freeze Spinach

Now that your spinach is clean (or maybe you bought it prewashed), let’s get down to the fun stuff: with the first and best freezing method: How to freeze fresh spinach either by blanching it first (Method 1).

How to freeze spinach
Blanching spinach (boiling it for 2 minutes and submerging it in ice water for 2 minutes) before freezing it is the best way to preserve it.
Pot

How To Freeze Fresh Spinach – Method 1: Blanching

This is the best way to freeze fresh spinach is to blanch it first. Blanching kills the enzymes and bacteria that can ruin spinach's color, flavor, and nutrients.
Prep Time 30 mins
Blanching Time 5 mins
Total Time 35 mins

Equipment

  • Salt
  • Ice cubes
  • A slotted spoon
  • A big bowl
  • A large strainer/colander
  • A big pot
  • A pair of tongs
  • Medium-sized freezer bags
  • A towel OR paper towel
  • A permanent marker
  • Freezer labels
  • A straw (optional)
  • Space at the back of your freezer

Instructions
 

  • Fill the pot with salted water and bring it to a boil.
  • Put the strainer/colander in the sink.
  • Fill the bowl with equal parts of cold water and ice cubes to make an ice bath.
  • Drop the spinach leaves into the boiling water with the tongs. Don't overcrowd the pot. Boil the leaves for 2 minutes.
  • Move the spinach leaves from the pot to the large bowl of ice bath with the slotted spoon. Rest the spinach leaves in the ice bath for 2 minutes.
  • Use the slotted spoon to move the leaves from the ice bath to the strainer. Shake off as much water as you can.
  • Use your hands to gently squeeze the spinach to remove more water.
  • Place a towel on a flat surface. Place the spinach leaves on the towel. Use another towel to pat the leaves dry.
  • Pack the blanched leaves into a freezer bag.
  • Press the air out of the freezer bags and seal them.
  • Straw "vacuum seal" trick (optional): Slide a straw into the bag and suck out the air so the bag "shrinks" around the spinach. Slide the bag down the straw as you inhale, and quickly seal the bag while you remove the straw.
  • Write today's date on a freezer label, stick it to the bag, and place the bag in the back of your freezer.
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Equipment Shopping List

I made this quick list for you in case you noticed that you were low on freezer bags or you need a set of solid, dependable tongs. PS—the Bellemain colander listed below is arguably the best out there.

I’ve either used these tools or added them to my own shopping list because they’re affordable and they get great reviews. Add them to your next Amazon order!


The Best Kitchen Tongs (Kitchenaid)

• Hundreds of Reviews
• 5 out of 5 Stars
• Durable, heat-resistant, dishwasher-safe

The Ultimate Freezer Bags (Hefty)

• Over 2,000 Reviews
• 4.5 out of 5 Stars
• Tough and easy to fill

The Handiest Freezer Labels (Chinco)

• Hundreds of Reviews
• 4.5 out of 5 Stars
• Water-resistant, easy to remove, no residue

The World’s Best Colander (Bellemain)

• Over 3,500 Reviews
• 4.5 out of 5 Stars
• Amazon’s Choice


If you’re dead-set against blanching—maybe you don’t want to dirty any pots or you’re short on time—you can also freeze fresh spinach without blanching it first (Method 2). Here’s how to do it:

Plastic freezer bag

How To Freeze Fresh Spinach – Method 2: Freezing Spinach Without Blanching

If you freeze raw spinach, you need to use it within 6 months. It won't keep as long in the freezer and will lose its flavor.
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins

Equipment

  • Medium-sized freezer bags
  • Freezer labels
  • A permanent marker
  • A straw (optional)
  • Space at the back of your freezer

Instructions
 

  • Pack the clean spinach leaves into a freezer bag.
  • Press the air out of the freezer bags and seal them.
  • Straw "vacuum seal" trick (optional): Slide a straw into the bag and suck out the air so the bag "shrinks" around the spinach. Slide the bag down the straw as you inhale, and quickly seal the bag while you remove the straw.
  • Write today's date on a freezer label, stick it to the bag, and place the bag in the back of your freezer.
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Another way to freeze spinach is to blend it into a paste or liquid, and then freeze it into pucks or cubes (Method 3). This is great for smoothies, soups, and sauces.

How to freeze spinach for smoothies
Blending spinach into a liquid or paste works really well for smoothies, sauces, and soups.
blender

How To Freeze Spinach For Smoothies – Method 3: Blended Spinach

Another way to freeze spinach for smoothies is to blend it. You don't need to blanch the spinach for this method, either.
Prep Time 15 mins
Freezing Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 15 mins

Equipment

  • A countertop blender OR a hand blender
  • A spoon
  • 1 cup of water
  • A bowl (for the hand blender only)
  • A muffin tin
  • A large freezer bag
  • A permanent marker
  • Freezer labels
  • A straw (optional)
  • Space at the back of your freezer

Instructions
 

  • Put the spinach into the countertop blender (or a bowl that's safe to use with a hand blender).
  • Add a little water to the blender/bowl. Pulse the blender a few times.
  • Keep adding more water and blending until the spinach becomes a paste or liquid (whatever consistency you prefer.)
  • Spoon the blended spinach into the muffin tins.
  • Put the muffin tin in the freezer. Let it freeze for 3 hours.
  • Take the muffin tin out of the freezer and pop out the frozen blended spinach "pucks."
  • Put the pucks into a freezer bag and press the air out of the bag and seal it.
  • Straw "vacuum seal" trick (optional): Slide a straw into the bag and suck out the air so the bag "shrinks" around the spinach pucks. Slide the bag down the straw as you inhale, and quickly seal the bag while you remove the straw.
  • Write today's date on a freezer label, stick it to the bag, and place the bag in the back of your freezer.
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Can you freeze spinach for smoothies
These frozen spinach pucks are such a clever way to freeze spinach!

The Best Portable Hand Blender (KitchenAid)

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My husband gifted me this cordless hand blender set from KitchenAid and I use it daily for smoothies, dips, baking, soups, lattes, and more.


Tips for Freezing Fresh spinach

  • If you cook with small amounts of spinach, chop up the leaves and freeze tinier portions in smaller bags.
  • If you’re blanching a lot of spinach in batches, allow the hot water to boil again and add more ice to the bowl of cold water.
  • To freeze blended spinach in specific portion sizes, use a measuring cup before pouring the spinach into the muffin tin.
  • An ice cube tray can replace the muffin tin for blended frozen spinach.

How Long Can You Keep spinach in the Freezer?

Blanched spinach keeps in the freezer for up to 14 months.

Unblanched spinach keeps in the freezer for up to 6 months.

You can keep blended spinach in the freezer for up to 1 year.

How To Thaw Frozen Spinach

Learning how to thaw frozen spinach is simple—so simple that may not even require thawing at all.

The easiest way to thaw spinach is to take the required portions out of the freezer and add them straight to your recipe. That’s it.

How to thaw frozen spinach
In most cases, you can just add frozen spinach directly to your recipe. No thawing required.

Or, you can thaw spinach in the fridge. Just take as many bags as you need out of the freezer, place them on a towel, and put them in the fridge to defrost overnight. You can also put frozen spinach in a bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and pop it into the fridge to thaw.

You may need to squeeze the spinach to remove excess water if you’re using it for a recipe like this one for Spanakopita (a traditional Greek spinach pie.)

How to thaw spinach
The only step you might need to take when thawing frozen spinach for a recipe like Spanakopita (Greek spinach pie) is to squeeze excess water from it using your hands.

What to Expect After Thawing Frozen Spinach

The flavor, color, and texture of spinach will change after you defrost it. Here’s what to expect with:

Defrosted Blanched Spinach

  • The leaves are limp, which is why you can’t use thawed spinach in salads.
  • The leaves will stay bright green.
  • Blanched spinach will retain its original flavor when defrosted.

Defrosted Unblanched Spinach

As for defrosted spinach that was not blanched, here’s what to expect:

  • The leaves are limp, which is why thawed spinach doesn’t work in salads.
  • The leaves will lose their vibrant color.
  • Defrosted raw spinach loses some of its taste.

Defrosted Blended Spinach

The taste, color, and texture of blended spinach doesn’t change after it’s been frozen.

Can You Re-Freeze Frozen spinach?

Yes, you can technically re-freeze frozen spinach within 24 hours of defrosting it and only if it was defrosted in the fridge. Every time you re-freeze and defrost spinach, it’ll become even mushier and lose more flavor, so it’s better to just remove what you need from the freezer.

You can also re-freeze spinach if you used it in a recipe, like if you made a pie or a stew and you want to freeze it for later.

Frozen Spinach FAQ

We get a lot of questions about freezing spinach. Here are answers to some of the more popular inquiries:

Can you freeze spinach without blanching it first?

Yes, you can freeze spinach without blanching it. It won’t last as long in the freezer as freezing blanched spinach, but you can still store it for up to 6 months.

Can you freeze spinach for smoothies?

Yes, you can freeze spinach for smoothies. I highly recommend it if you make smoothies regularly because you can buy spinach in bulk when it’s on sale and save a lot of money.

Can you freeze spinach for salads?

You can’t really freeze spinach for salads. When spinach is thawed, it becomes soggy and loses its leafy texture. Defrosted spinach works better in smoothies and recipes where its mushy texture doesn’t matter.


Ok, But What About…

Do you know a better way to freeze spinach? Or are you looking for info on something else? Leave a comment below or email us—we’d love to hear from you!


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