Year-Round Flavor: How to Freeze Carrots Without Blanching


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Do you find yourself facing a mountain of carrots from your bumper harvest, with little time to spare for processing them? I love preserving carrots from my garden. Here are 5 ways to get the most from your harvest, including how to freeze carrots without blanching.

How to freeze Carrots sliced and shredded carrots in a jar

Supplies for Preserving Carrots

Whether you freeze, can, dehydrate, or refrigerate your carrots, there are a few tools that will make the process easier. I recommend the following:

  • Freezer bags (if freezing)
  • Peeler
  • Sharp knives
  • Cutting board
  • Food processor
  • Permanent Marker
  • Large Bowls
  • Strainer

How to Freeze Fresh Carrots

Frozen, sliced carrots are wonderful to add to sauces and soups all winter long. Freezing carrots is really easy and is my preferred method to preserve this delicious veggie.

Food processor with carrots inside to prepare them for freezing

The first step is to prepare the carrots before freezing. Wash them well and peel them. I always peel mine because they look a little straggly coming out of my garden. If you grow beautiful carrots, feel free to skip the peeling and just scrub them well. I absolutely love Zyliss vegetable peeler.

Next, decide how you want your carrots – whole, diced, sliced? I generally slice mine and use a 11 cup Cuisinart Food Processor to make sure they are the same size. (It’s much faster, too!) Use a sharp knife to cut the carrots to your preference.

Pinterest graphic that says how to freeze carrots without blanching and a picture of matchstick carrots, sliced carrots, and whole carrots on the table

Freeze Carrots Without Blanching . . .

If you’re really pressed for time or just want to keep things simple, it is possible to freeze carrots without blanching them first. This is a fine method if you’re using them in stews, soups, casseroles, or other dishes that use cooked carrots. Freezing raw carrots WILL change the texture, making them mushier as they thaw. It also diminishes the flavor.

slice carrots for freezing in a strainer with a green vegetable peeler on the left

. . . Or Blanch Carrots Before Freezing

The blanching process essentially gives the carrots a shock.  This kills any germs but maintains the garden-fresh flavor.

Bring a pot of water to boil while you prepare your carrots. Put the prepared carrots into a pot of boiling water. Blanch the carrots for two minutes. I really like to use my Cuisinart 8 quart stockpot with strainer. Using a strainer makes draining so easy.

Carrots being blanched in a stainless steel pot to prepare them for freezing

Now shock the carrots by draining the hot water and putting them in a bowl of ice water. The cold water stops the cooking process. It’s super easy to drain them if you cook them in the strainer. Then to drain them again, I dump them back in the same strainer they cooked in!

cool carrots in ice cold water

Now dry your carrots as best you can by dumping them on a towel. Make sure all the ice is gone to prevent freezer burn.

blanched garden carrots drying on a towel before freezing

Pack Carrots for Freezing

Portion the carrots into the sizes you think you will use them. For example, I put 2 cups into a freezer bag because that is how many I use in a single recipe when cooking. When the carrots are frozen, it is difficult to thaw out just a little bit. Packing them in measured amounts ensures you can thaw and use the entire package at one time. Easy peasy and they’re so sweet and tasty!

measuring cup with blanched carrots on a towel

Label each bag and then squeeze out as much air as you can before putting them in your freezer. Enjoy your carrots all winter!

Two girls leaning on a bench full of fresh carrots just pulled from the garden

How to Can Carrots from the Garden

Canning carrots is another effective method of food preservation. Plus, I think canned carrots are absolutely beautiful. Carrots can be pressure canned or you can use a water bath canner.

sliced carrots in glass canning jars

Pressure Canning

I don’t have a pressure cooker, but I used my mother’s last year for the first time ever when canning her tomatoes. Pressure canning can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before. Rather than recreate the wheel, I appreciate Ball’s standard canned carrots tutorial. It’s easy to follow and the method I will use if I ever have a pressure cooker and carrots at the same time.

glass jars with lids going into a water bath canner

Can Your Carrots with a Water Bath

I follow the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s how to can carrots recipe for a water bath canner. It fills my pantry with homegrown carrots. I add them to sauces, use them to brighten up casseroles and stews, and even add them into hummus and egg salad.

Marisa from Simple Bites has a for pickling carrots. I like the idea of pickling them because this can be done in a water bath canner instead of a pressure canner. My sister has requested canned pickled carrots for Christmas and I’ll make these for her as an edible Christmas gift!

Fermented Carrot Pickles

jar of pickled carrot sticks with blue lid

Fermented carrot pickles are one of our favorite ways to eat carrots. I love how crunchy they are and how they’ll take on a depth of flavor by adding garlic or dill. The fermentation adds probiotics which normally are lost in the canning process due to the high temperature. I also love that fermenting them makes them shelf-stable, which means no worries about losing produce due to winter storms, nor do I have to find space in my fridge or freezer. I keep them in a cool area of the house and take them out as we need them.

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Yellow bowl of sliced orange carrots on a wooden countertop

Freezer Meals

Another way to stretch your fresh carrots is to freeze or preserve them in other complete meals. I like to make homemade eggrolls. I make a huge batch of homemade eggroll filling and freeze it for another quick meal. It tastes great over rice or rolled-in lettuce leaves, and of course, having the filling prepared simplifies the process of making eggrolls for a future date!

You could also make a huge lasagna or a big batch of wonderful pasta sauce to freeze! The possibilities are endless and leave you with wonderful freezer meals to enjoy at a later date.

Carrots laid out on a wooden table top freshly pulled from the garden

Store Carrots in the Refrigerator

Carrots keep for quite a long time in the fridge (up to three months) if properly prepared. Before I put my carrots in the fridge, I let them cure outside for 24 hours. Then, I cut the green leafy tops off my carrots and finally put them in a plastic grocery store bag. Controlling the moisture content is key if you want them to keep. It won’t take us too long to use these carrots, and they’ll be long gone before three months is up.

sliced carrots, onion, and garlic on a rustic table with a jar of canned sliced carrot pickles

Do You Have a Root Cellar?

Storing in the root cellar is the quickest way to pack up a bumper crop of carrots. All you need to do is cut the stems and pack them in moist sawdust. Boxes or buckets make great containers. You should check over the carrots every 2-4 weeks, depending how cold your root cellar is and how the moisture stays in the containers. If they start to dry out, rewet the sawdust. They’ll last 5-7 months in cool zones.

If your fridge or root cellar carrots begin to soften, check them over and remove any damaged or moldy spots, wash them off under running water, and can or freeze them up for meals later. Do not ferment softening carrots.

Dehydrate Carrots for Soups Stews

Transform carrots’ natural sweetness into shelf-stable ingredients for your favorite recipes with a dehydrator. To begin, wash and peel the carrots, removing any blemishes or tough parts.

Slice the carrots into uniform pieces, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick, for even drying. Next, arrange the carrot slices in a single layer on the dehydrator trays, ensuring they do not overlap. Set the dehydrator to a temperature between 125°F to 135°F (52°C to 57°C) and let them dry for 8 to 12 hours.

When the carrots break easily and are brittle, they are ready. Allow them to cool completely. Then store in airtight containers or resealable bags. Dehydrated carrots are great for adding a burst of flavor and color to winter dishes.

Two girls laughing and hugging carrots freshly pulled from the garden
How to store carrots in freezer?

Store carrots in an airtight container such as a freezer bag. Squeeze out the air as much as possible before sealing. They will maintain their freshness up to 12 months when stored properly.

Which preservation method is best for retaining the taste and texture of carrots?

Freezing tends to preserve the taste and texture of carrots better compared to canning or drying. It locks in the natural flavors and crunch.

Can I freeze, can, or dry carrots from the grocery store, or should they be freshly harvested?

Carrots are generally inexpensive enough that you don’t need to preserve store bought carrots. But, if you score a great deal feel free to stock up and preserve them at home. The fresher the carrots, though, the better the flavor.

How long can I store frozen, canned, or dried carrots??

When properly stored, frozen carrots can last up to 12 months, canned carrots up to 18 months, and dried carrots up to 24 months.

Got other bumper crops or looking for carrot recipes?

Easy Buttery Carrots

Hobo Carrots for the Grill

How to Grow Carrots in Your Garden from Planting to Harvest

Seasonal Eating in the Winter

Beyond Zucchini Bread – What else can you make?

Beyond Eggplant Parmesan – What else can you make?

What do you do with your carrots? I’d love more ideas – because I’m planting more in my fall garden. Please share your ideas!

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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  1. I canned them last year for the first time . They came out really soft and broke apart really easy. This year I think I am sticking to the freezer method.

    1. You know, I made a carrot bundt cake actually, from Pioneer Woman. It was fantastic! Give me a link to your recipe, and I’ll try it too. <3

  2. I made the canned coleslaw last year when we had a bumper crop of cabbage. I cut the sugar way back and my family still liked it.

    1. I thought about doing that, Jessica. I might try it after my fall crop of cabbage and carrots if they’re successful. Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  3. My carrots are still in the ground, I’m thinking this weekend it might be time to dig them up. Your girls are cute looks like they had fun! I love it when parents include their children in the garden, teaching skills that last a lifetime is a beautiful thing!

    1. Thanks, Carole. I really enjoy when my kiddos help me in the garden. They’re good helpers. <3

  4. I have a pressure canner but I haven’t tried making canned carrots yet. My husband can’t stand cooked carrots so I don’t store up many of them, we usually just eat them fresh out of the garden.

  5. I’ve never had enough carrots to need to preserve them, ha! I do get asked about freezing them all the time, so I’ll send them your way. 🙂

  6. Back in the day I actually canned with my grandma’s pressure canner. Then it warped and I went to water bathing. I have canned carrots but we didn’t really like them all that much. We prefer them fresh.

    My eyes are lighting up though at the thought of freezing them! My new food processor is coming today. I think i might have to break it in on freezing carrots!

    I also have your pots and pans. My kids bought me the set and I love Love LOVE it! the strainers are endlessly useful!

  7. I have preserved garden treats before, but haven’t ever frozen carrots! I sadly don’t have a garden, but I if I find a good sale on carrots, I will for sure be trying this!