How To Freeze Swiss Chard: 3 Easy Guides

This step-by-step guide will show you how to freeze and defrost Swiss chard for smoothies, stews, soups, and stir-fries. It’s easy!


Freeze-ability Index
Freezability Index of Four

How Long in Freezer
Blanched: 6 to 12 months
Blended: 3 to 4 months
Raw (Not Blanched): 1.5 months

Best Stored In…
Freezer Bag

How to Thaw
Typically not required

What to Expect
Limp leaves
Full flavor (blanched)
Flavorless (raw/not blanched)

Can I Re-Freeze?
Yes, but not recommended


Can You Freeze Swiss Chard?

Can you freeze Swiss chard? Absolutely, but before you freeze it, you’ll need to wash it first.

After you’ve cleaned your Swiss chard, there are 3 ways to go about freezing it:

Blanching Swiss chard for freezing is the best method, although it requires some work. Blanching kills the enzymes and bacteria that can ruin the color, flavor and nutrients of Swiss chard, which means you can store it for a longer period in the freezer.

Freezing Swiss chard without blanching is an easier and faster option. The drawback is it won’t keep as long in the freezer and will lose its flavor more quickly.

Freezing Swiss chard for smoothies by blending it is a clever way to preserve Swiss chard in the freezer, and it doesn’t require blanching either. However, you need a blender for this method.

As aforementioned, you need to wash the Swiss chard first before you freeze it, so let’s get to that first.

Cleaning

How To Wash Swiss Chard Before Freezing It

Here's a common method for cleaning leafy greens like Swiss chard using a gentle, yet effective water and vinegar solution.
Prep Time 35 mins
Total Time 35 mins

Equipment

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

Instructions
 

  • Separate the Swiss chard leaves.
  • Fill a big bowl with water and add 2 tablespoons of vinegar.
  • Put the Swiss chard in the bowl. Let it soak for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the Swiss chard from the bowl and put it into the colander/strainer. Rinse it under cold running water.
  • Place the Swiss chard on a towel and pat it dry with another cloth.
  • Trim off the ends of the Swiss chard stems (about 1/4 inch or 1cm—see image below.)
  • Cut away the rest of the stem from each Swiss chard leaf (see image below.)

Notes

How to Wash Swiss Chard
Trim off the ends of the Swiss chard stems (about 1/4 inch or 1cm). Then, cut away the rest of the stem from each Swiss chard leaf.
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How To Freeze Swiss Chard

A quick recap—there are 3 ways to go about freezing Swiss chard:

  • Blanching Swiss chard before freezing – best way but involves some effort
  • Freezing Swiss chard without blanching – easiest way, but doesn’t preserve the Swiss chard nearly as well
  • Freezing blended Swiss chard – good for smoothies, requires a blender

We’ll go through each of these methods in the order listed above, starting with blanching Swiss chard before freezing.

How to freeze Swiss chard - blanched Swiss chard
Swiss chard lasts way longer in the freezer if you blanch it first. It’ll also taste better.
Pot

How To Freeze Swiss Chard – Blanching Method

Blanching Swiss chard is the best way to prepare it for freezing. Blanching kills the enzymes and bacteria that can ruin the color, flavor, and nutrients of Swiss chard. In other words, you can store Swiss chard in the freezer for a longer period of time, and it'll taste better when defrosted.
Prep Time 30 mins
Total Time 30 mins

Equipment

  • Salt
  • Ice cubes
  • A slotted spoon
  • A large bowl
  • A large strainer/colander
  • A big pot
  • Tongs
  • Medium-sized freezer bags
  • A permanent marker
  • A straw (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Fill the pot salted water and bring it to a boil.
  • Put the colander/strainer in the sink.
  • Fill the bowl with equal parts of cold water and ice cubes to make an ice bath.

Blanch The Leaves

  • Drop the Swiss chard leaves into the boiling water with the tongs. Don’t overcrowd the pot. Boil the leaves for 2 minutes.
  • Move the Swiss chard leaves from the pot to the large bowl of ice bath with the slotted spoon. Rest the Swiss chard 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.
  • Using your hands, squeeze the Swiss chard to remove more water.
  • Place a towel on a flat surface and place the Swiss chard leaves on the towel.

Blanch The Stems

  • Allow the water to come back to a rolling boil. Replace the ice bath with fresh cubes and cold water.
  • Drop the Swiss chard stems into the boiling water with the tongs. Boil the stems for 3 minutes.
  • Move the stems from the pot to the large bowl of ice bath with the slotted spoon, and rest them in the ice bath for 3 minutes.
  • Transfer the stems from the ice bath to the strainer/colander with the spoon. Shake the colander/strainer to remove excess water.
  • Empty the stems onto a towel and pat them dry with another cloth.

Prep the Freezer Bags

  • Put the blanched leaves into a freezer bag.
  • Place the Swiss chard stems into a separate 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 Swiss chard. Slide the bag down the straw as you inhale, and quickly seal the bag while you remove the straw.
  • Write today's date and the amount of Swiss chard in each bag on a freezer label. Stick the label to its respective bag, and place the bags in the back of your freezer.
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Plastic freezer bag

How To Freeze Swiss Chard Without Blanching

Freezing Swiss chard without blanching is an easier and faster option. The drawback is it won't keep as long in the freezer and will lose its flavor more quickly. It should be used within 1.5 months of freezing.
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins

Equipment

  • Medium-sized freezer bags
  • Freezer labels
  • A permanent marker
  • A straw (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Pack the clean Swiss chard leaves into a freezer bag.
  • Put the Swiss chard stems into another freezer bag.
  • Press the air out of the freezer bags and seal the bags.
  • Straw "vacuum seal" trick (optional): Slide a straw into the bag and suck out the air so the bag "shrinks" around the Swiss chard. Slide the bag down the straw as you inhale, and quickly seal the bag while you remove the straw.
  • Write today's date and the amount of Swiss chard in each bag on a freezer label. Stick the label to its respective bag, and place the bags in the back of your freezer.
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blender

How To Freeze Swiss Chard – Blending Method

Freezing Swiss chard for smoothies by blending it is a clever way to preserve Swiss chard in the freezer, and it doesn't require blanching either. However, you need a blender for this method.
Prep Time 10 mins
Freezing Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 10 mins

Equipment

  • A countertop blender OR a hand blender
  • A spoon
  • A measuring cup (1 cup)
  • Water
  • A bowl (for the hand blender only)
  • A muffin tin
  • A medium-sized freezer bag
  • Freezer labels
  • A permanent marker
  • A straw (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Put the cleaned and trimmed raw Swiss chard 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 Swiss chard looks like a paste (think pesto).
    How to freeze Swiss chard - blending
  • Spoon the blended Swiss chard into the muffin tins.
  • Put the muffin tin in the freezer and leave it there for at least 3 hours.
  • Take the muffin tin out of the freezer and pop out the frozen blended Swiss chard "pucks." If they're tricky to remove, fill a clean sink with a 1/2 inch of warm water and place the muffin tin in the water for a few seconds to heat it up. You can also wait a few minutes and let them soften a bit.
  • Put the pucks into a freezer bag and press the air out of the bag. Seal the bag.
  • Straw "vacuum seal" trick (optional): Slide a straw into the corner of the bag and suck out the air so the bag "shrinks" around the Swiss chard 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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Swiss Chard Freezing Tips

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

How Long Can You Keep Swiss Chard in the Freezer?

Blanched Swiss chard keeps in the freezer for up to 12 months.

Blended Swiss chard lasts in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Raw (not blanched) Swiss chard lasts in the freezer for up to 1.5 months.

How to Defrost Swiss Chard

In most cases, you don’t need to defrost Swiss chard. Just take out as much Swiss chard as you need from the freezer and add it to your recipe right away. It’s that simple.

If you absolutely need to defrost Swiss chard, place the whole freezer bag onto a plate or paper towel and put it into the fridge to defrost overnight.

You can also put frozen Swiss chard into a bowl, cover the top in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge to defrost overnight as well.

What to Expect After Defrosting Swiss Chard

The flavor, color, and texture of Swiss chard will change after you defrost it.

Here’s what to expect with defrosted blanched Swiss chard:

  • The leaves are limp, which is why you can’t use thawed Swiss chard in salads.
  • The leaves will stay bright green.
  • Defrosted blanched Swiss chard will retain its original flavor.

As for defrosted raw Swiss chard (no blanching), here’s what to expect:

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

The taste, color, and texture of blended Swiss chard won’t change after defrosting.

Can You Re-Freeze Swiss Chard?

Yes, you can technically re-freeze Swiss chard within 24 hours of defrosting it and only if it was defrosted in the fridge. Every time you re-freeze and defrost Swiss chard, 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 Swiss chard if you used it in a recipe, like if you made a pie or a stew and you want to freeze it for later.


Ok, But What About…

Do you know a better way to freeze Swiss chard? 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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