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How to Freeze Asparagus Quickly and Easily

Asparagus stems lined up along the top of a ziptop freezer bag with 'How to Freeze Asparagus' written on it.

Blink, and you’ll miss it. The asparagus season, that is. For gardeners, fresh asparagus and rhubarb are the first two plants to harvest each spring, but only if you’ve taken care of your spring asparagus chores.

After a winter of eating heavy food, these early season harbingers are a welcome change to the table. There’s nothing quite as wonderful as the crunch and fresh, green taste of new asparagus. Even the color seems to scream, “Spring is finally here!”

Overhead view of asparagus stems in a jar

But with a well-established asparagus bed, you will often have more than you could eat fresh in its short growing season. Cheryl has graciously shared how to keep asparagus fresher longer once it’s been cut, but that still leaves you with plenty to preserve to enjoy later in the year.

You can, of course, preserve asparagus with a pressure canner. It is a low-acid food and thus requires pressure canning to prevent botulism. Unless you decide to pickle it,  pickled asparagus can be canned using the water bath method. Or, if you prefer the extra crunch and instant satisfaction that comes with quick pickles, you can always make refrigerator asparagus pickles.

However, one of the best (and surprisingly quick) ways to preserve and enjoy a bumper crop of asparagus is to freeze it.

And the best part is, freezing is the perfect way to preserve those thicker, more fibrous stems of asparagus. You know, the ones you didn’t see right away when picking.

That extra fiber helps retain a firm texture once it’s thawed.

So, if you’ve got a bunch of hefty stems that are too tough for pickling or sautéing with butter, they’re perfect candidates for freezing. You’ll find their texture much improved when you get around to thawing them and eating them.

bunch of thick-stemmed asparagus

Of course, in today’s modern world, we’ve become accustomed to having no seasons when it comes to our food. In most areas, asparagus is available in the supermarket all year through. Granted, what you can purchase in the spring and what is available in, say, October is usually two very different grades of quality.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of a good sale and snatch up fresh asparagus to freeze. Especially if it’s well-picked over, and all that is left are the bunches of thick stems. The smart consumer you are, you know these are the perfect candidates for the freezer.

First Thing’s First

Rinse the asparagus and then trim those stems. If you’re freezing your asparagus immediately after harvesting, well, now you’re just showing off and making the rest of us look bad. You don’t have to trim your ends.

Asparagus stems stood up in a jar with water

However, for the rest of us who have let our asparagus sit in the fridge in a jar for a few days or just brought it home from the supermarket, we will have to trim off the woody stems. While they aren’t great for eating, you can still toss them into a broth, so save them for your ugly broth bag.  

The Snap Method and Why I Stopped Using It

Anyone who loves a good kitchen hack has heard how to hold the bottom of the stem and head and bend until it snaps. Supposedly this leaves you with only the tender part still attached to the end with the head. After doing this for ages, I got frustrated with how I always ended up with dinky stems that were usually always snapped in half, leaving plenty of tender asparagus still attached to the woody end.

These days I chop the ends off and inspect the bottoms where I cut. If the bottoms are mostly green, I know I’ve cut far enough up to remove the tougher portion. If there is still a good bit of white in the center of the stem, I need to take a little more off.

Stems or Chunks

frozen asparagus chunks on a baking sheet

Decide whether you want to freeze your asparagus as whole stems or slice it into chunks. You could get crazy and do a few batches of each. Go on, you rebel, you.


Asparagus needs to be blanched before you freeze it. Blanching slows down the naturally occurring enzymes in food that causes spoilage. This will also give you the best flavor and texture and that lovely bright green.

Prepare a large pot of boiling water with a teaspoon of salt. Seriously, you want the asparagus to swim about freely, don’t cramp them.

While waiting for your water to boil, prepare an ice bath in the sink. Now, don’t go cutting corners here. When I say ice bath, I mean you need to put actual ice in it, not just let your faucet run on cold for a bit. The idea here is to stop the cooking process immediately.

Asparagus chunks in ice bath in sink

Add the asparagus to the boiling water and blanch for three minutes. Remove the asparagus directly into the ice bath using a large slotted spoon or skimmer. Once the asparagus has cooled (another three minutes), transfer it to a colander to drain.


blanched asparagus stems on a parchment lined baking sheet

Lay the blanched spears or chunks on a parchment-lined baking sheet and pop it in the freezer for 3 hours. Freezing the asparagus before you package it means you won’t end up with a rock-hard asparagus blob.

frozen asparagus stems on a parchment lined baking sheet

Package and Seal

Vacuum sealer being used to seal a package of asparagus stems

Have your freezer bags or vacuum sealer equipment all lined up and ready to go. It’s important to work quickly when transferring the frozen spears or chunks to their bags. Once they begin to thaw, they can get a little mushy if handled roughly.

If you’re using a vacuum sealer, opt for the gentle setting to avoid squashing delicate stems.

Seal with a vacuum sealer or sip out extra air with a straw or your mouth before sealing the bags, labeling them and tossing them back into the freezer.

Frozen asparagus packages


Since the asparagus is cooked during the blanching process, it only needs to be warmed once thawed. You can quickly sauté them with a little butter. Frozen asparagus is perfect for things like quiche and frittatas, asparagus dip and my favorite – cream of asparagus soup.

See? I told you it was easy. Now, who wants quiche for dinner?

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Tracey Besemer

Hey there, my name is Tracey. I’m the editor-in-chief here at Rural Sprout.

Many of our readers already know me from our popular Sunday newsletters. (You are signed up for our newsletters, right?) Each Sunday, I send a friendly missive from my neck of the woods in Pennsylvania. It’s a bit like sitting on the front porch with a friend, discussing our gardens over a cup of tea.

Originally from upstate NY, I’m now an honorary Pennsylvanian, having lived here for the past 18 years.

I grew up spending weekends on my dad’s off-the-grid homestead, where I spent much of my childhood roaming the woods and getting my hands dirty.

I learned how to do things most little kids haven’t done in over a century.

Whether it was pressing apples in the fall for homemade cider, trudging through the early spring snows of upstate NY to tap trees for maple syrup, or canning everything that grew in the garden in the summer - there were always new adventures with each season.

As an adult, I continue to draw on the skills I learned as a kid. I love my Wi-Fi and knowing pizza is only a phone call away. And I’m okay with never revisiting the adventure that is using an outhouse in the middle of January.

These days, I tend to be almost a homesteader.

I take an eclectic approach to homesteading, utilizing modern convenience where I want and choosing the rustic ways of my childhood as they suit me.

I’m a firm believer in self-sufficiency, no matter where you live, and the power and pride that comes from doing something for yourself.

I’ve always had a garden, even when the only space available was the roof of my apartment building. I’ve been knitting since age seven, and I spin and dye my own wool as well. If you can ferment it, it’s probably in my pantry or on my kitchen counter. And I can’t go more than a few days without a trip into the woods looking for mushrooms, edible plants, or the sound of the wind in the trees.

You can follow my personal (crazy) homesteading adventures on Almost a Homesteader and Instagram as @aahomesteader.

Peace, love, and dirt under your nails,