How to Freeze Spinach

Three Methods:UnblanchedBlanchedPureed

Spinach typically becomes soft and mushy after you freeze it, but since it retains its nutrients and taste, frozen spinach can be great when added to smoothies and cooked dishes. Blanching spinach allows it to remain edible for longer periods, but you can also freeze unblanched spinach. Consider freezing pureed spinach if you wish to use it exclusively for liquid dishes later on.


Before You Begin: Clean the Spinach

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    Soak the spinach in cool water. Place fresh spinach leaves into a large bowl, then cover them with clean, cold water.
    • Use your hands to mix and sort through the spinach leaves as they soak. Sort through the leaves to remove damaged leaves, weeds, insects, stones, dirt, or other debris.
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    Rinse well. Drain the soak water and transfer the spinach to a large colander. Rinse the spinach under cool, running water for about 30 seconds.
    • If you're thorough enough, the first soak and rinse will probably remove most debris. For spinach that seems especially dirty, or to be extra cautious, repeat both steps twice more to remove as much dirt as possible.
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    Dry thoroughly. Place the spinach into a salad spinner, then use the utensil to spin away as much water as possible.
    • If you do not have a salad spinner, you can wrap the leaves in paper towels and gently squeeze out the excess moisture. Afterward, spread the leaves out over a layer of fresh paper towels for 10 to 15 minutes to continue drying them.
    • Thorough drying is especially important if you plan on freezing raw, unblanched spinach. It's not too significant when freezing blanched or pureed spinach, though.

Method 1

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    Pack the spinach in freezer-safe bags. Fill one or more freezer-safe plastic bags with as much clean spinach as possible. Squeeze out any excess air, then seal the bags.[1]
    • Don't be afraid of packing the spinach too tightly. Tight packing is actually recommended since it leaves less room for excess air.
    • You could also use freezer-safe plastic storage bins, but these do not work quite as well since you won't be able to remove quite as much excess air from the container prior to sealing it.
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    Store the spinach in your freezer. Place the spinach in your freezer. It should remain edible for around six months.
    • When you're ready to use it, thaw the spinach in your refrigerator for several hours. Squeeze any excess moisture out of the thawed leaves before using or consuming them.
    • The cell membranes will break down during frozen storage, making thawed spinach too soft to eat raw, but you can still add it to smoothies and cooked recipes.

Method 2

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    Boil water. Fill a large stockpot with enough cool water to cover the spinach, then set it on the stove over medium-high heat. Allow the water to reach a steady, rolling boil.
    • Note that traditional blanching will preserve the color and taste of the spinach but may cause a loss of some nutrients to occur. To reduce the amount of nutrients lost, consider steam-blanching instead. Prepare to steam-blanch by placing a steaming basket over the boiling water.[2]
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    Blanch the spinach for 2 minutes. Quickly dunk the full batch of spinach in the water and cover the stockpot. Start watching the clock immediately, and remove it after two minutes pass.[3]
    • If steam-blanching the spinach, place the leaves in the steamer basket and immediately cover it with the lid. A tightly sealed lid is necessary to capture enough steam to blanch the spinach.
    • If direct blanching the spinach, note that the water will likely turn green as it cooks.
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    Transfer the leaves to ice water. Scoop the spinach out of the stockpot and into a large bowl filled with ice water. Keep the spinach submerged for another two minutes in this cold water.
    • The quick transfer should stop the cooking process and halt the loss of nutrients. It should also further preserve the color and flavor of the spinach.
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    Dry the spinach. Place the spinach in a salad spinner, then turn the spinner until the leaves seem dry.
    • If you do not have a salad spinner, place the spinach leaves in a large colander set out over dry paper towels. Allow the spinach to drain for around 20 minutes, then use additional paper towels to tap away any excess moisture.
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    Stuff the spinach into freezer-safe bags. Pack the prepared spinach into freezer-safe plastic bags. Squeeze or suck as much air from the bags as possible before sealing them.
    • While you can technically use freezer-safe plastic containers instead of bags, doing so increases the risk of freezer burn since you won't be able to remove the excess air.
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    Store the spinach in your freezer. Place the bags of spinach in your freezer for long-term storage. When prepared properly, blanched, frozen spinach should remain edible for around 9 to 14 months.
    • Thaw the frozen spinach in your refrigerator for several hours prior to use. Since thawed spinach tends to be soggy, it cannot be eaten raw but can be used in smoothies and cooked dishes.

Method 3

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    Blend together spinach and water. Combine six parts spinach and one part water in a standard blender. Cover and process the blender until the spinach breaks down into a smooth, thick puree.[4]
    • For many blenders, you may need to avoid filling the blender more than halfway to allow the blades adequate access to its contents.
    • You only need to add enough water to get the blender going. If your blender has a difficult time with the amount of water originally used, feel free to add more water in small increments.
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    Pour the puree into molds. Once smooth, pour the puree into clean ice cube trays or similar molds. Fill each compartment within 1/4 inch (6 mm) of the top.
    • If you don't have any spare ice cube trays, consider using mini muffin trays, standard muffin trays, or candy molds.
    • Silicone trays and molds work especially well, but plastic versions can also be used.
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    Freeze solid. Place the filled trays in your freezer for around four hours, or until the spinach puree is frozen solid.
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    Transfer the solid puree to freezer-safe bags. Pop the frozen cubes of spinach out of their trays, then pack them into freezer-safe plastic bags. Remove excess air from the bags before sealing them.
    • If you have difficulty removing the cubes from their trays, allow them to thaw at room temperature for several minutes. Try again once the sides and bottoms have softened, but before the cubes melt.
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    Freeze as needed. Place the bags of frozen spinach puree back into the freezer. Store them for up to one year.
    • You can thaw frozen spinach puree before use or add them to smoothies, stews, and similar dishes while they're still frozen solid.

Things You'll Need


  • Large bowl
  • Sink
  • Colander
  • Paper towels
  • Salad spinner (optional)


  • Freezer-safe plastic bags


  • Large stockpot
  • Steamer basket (optional)
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Salad spinner OR colander
  • Paper towels
  • Freezer-safe plastic bags


  • Blender
  • Ice cube trays OR similar molds
  • Freezer-safe plastic bags

Article Info

Categories: Food Selection and Storage | Freezing Food