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Wondering if you can freeze eggplant? This vegetable saves well frozen if you cook it first: here’s how to do it!

Can you freeze eggplant
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Got an eggplant on hand and not sure what to do with it? We had the exact scenario the other day, where we bought one we weren’t sure if we could use before it went bad. Turns out, this vegetable works great frozen if you cook it first! We turned it into a delicious eggplant pasta recipe in a flash. Here’s how to prepare eggplant and freeze it!

Can you freeze eggplant?

Eggplant freezes well if it’s cooked first. The vegetable is 92% water, so it doesn’t freeze well raw. Sauté it before freezing, and it’s perfect to add to cooked dishes. Try it in pasta, ratatouille and caponata. It also works as a pizza topping or sandwich filling.

How long does eggplant last in the refrigerator?

Eggplant lasts 5 to 7 days stored in the produce drawer in the refrigerator. If you’d like to preserve eggplant beyond that point, you can freeze it for 3 to 6 months. Keep in mind that you’ll need to sauté it before freezing, which takes about 10 minutes.

Can you freeze eggplant

How to freeze eggplant

The best way to freeze eggplant? Chop and sauté it first. It might seem like an unnecessary step, but raw eggplant contains a lot of water, which expands when freezing and destroys the structure of the vegetable. Sauteeing and freezing it first makes it simple to drop into pasta with your favorite marinara sauce: and it’s already seasoned!

We recommend chopping eggplant into cubes before freezing, instead of preserving it in rounds or planks. However, if you prefer you can slice rounds, toss with olive oil, then roast at 400°F for 20 minutes, flipping once.

Here’s how to freeze eggplant:

  1. Chop the eggplant into 3/4-inch pieces. In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the eggplant and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Sauté for 6 to 7 minutes until just tender, stirring often so the eggplant does not stick (the pan will be pretty dry, which is expected).
  2. Cool the eggplant to room temperature. Once cooled, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the eggplant in a single layer on top. Freeze for 1 hour.
  3. If using a bag, use a straw to suck any remaining air out of the bag and seal it.
  4. Use a permanent marker to label with a “use by” date that is 3 months in the future.
  5. Place the container or bag in the freezer and freeze for up to 3 to 6 months. For best results, use in 3 months.

Tips for how to use frozen eggplant

Frozen eggplant can be used right from the freezer in cooked dishes: no need to defrost before using them! Here are a few tips:

  • Use frozen eggplant in cooked dishes: no defrosting required! You can use it directly in cooked dishes without thawing.
  • The best way to use it? Toss with marinara and pasta. Grab a jar of your favorite marinara sauce, then toss it with cooked pasta. It makes a killer eggplant pasta recipe you can throw together quickly! Reference this Pasta alla Norma recipe for more ideas.
  • It also works well in ratatouille or caponata. Keep in mind it’s already seasoned, so you may want to reduce the salt in your favorite recipes. Try it in Classic Ratatouille or Italian Eggplant Caponata.
  • Use within 3 to 6 months. The flavor and texture can degrade the longer the eggplant are frozen. For best results, use within 3 months.
Can you freeze eggplant

More ways to use up eggplant

In some cases, it’s easier to make a recipe with eggplant than to go to the trouble of sauteing and freezing. Here are a few of our top eggplant recipes for using up leftovers of this tasty nightshade vegetable:

Freezing other vegetables & fruits

And that’s it! Freezing eggplant is a breeze, and it’s fun to have it ready to drop into a quick and easy meal. All veggies, fruits and dairy products hold up differently in the freezer. Here’s what to know about others:

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Can you freeze eggplant

Can You Freeze Eggplant?


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

Wondering if you can freeze eggplant? This vegetable saves well frozen if you cook it first: here’s how to do it!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 large eggplant (about 1 ½ pounds)
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Sauté the eggplant: Chop the eggplant into 3/4-inch pieces. In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the eggplant and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Sauté for 6 to 7 minutes until just tender, stirring often so the eggplant does not stick (the pan will be pretty dry, which is expected).
  2. Flash freeze: Cool the eggplant to room temperature. Once cooled, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the eggplant in a single layer on top. Freeze for 1 hour.
  3. Place in an airtight container or freezer-safe plastic bag. If using a bag, use a straw to suck any remaining air out of the bag and seal it.
  4. Mark the “Use by” date. Use a permanent marker to label with a “use by” date that is 3 months in the future.
  5. Freeze. Place the container or bag in the freezer and freeze for up to 3 to 6 months. For best results, use in 3 months. You can use frozen eggplant directly in cooked dishes without thawing; toss it with pasta and your favorite marinara sauce for a quick meal.
  • Category: Frozen
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: Frozen
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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3 Comments

  1. Sally Grant says:

    My whole, uncooked eggplant froze in my fridge! I’m trying to salvage it —any ideas?

  2. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!