Whether you’ve accidentally cooked too much cabbage or you’ve decided to cook some in advance, freezing cooked cabbage is an easy, straightforward process. Therefore, how do you freeze cabbage you’ve already cooked?
How to freeze cooked cabbage:
- Allow the cabbage to completely cool after cooking.
- Cut the cabbage to your liking.
- Wrap the cabbage in foil.
- Place the cabbage in an airtight container.
- Label the container.
- Freeze it for up to five months.
Read on to learn more details about how to freeze cooked cabbage, whether cabbage freezes well, and if it’s better to cook cabbage before freezing. In addition, I’ll discuss how to freeze a cooked cabbage soup and other tips.
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How To Freeze Cooked Cabbage
1. Allow the Cabbage To Completely Cool After Cooking
After cooking the cabbage, allow it to cool off and dry thoroughly 1. Trying to freeze cabbage or any food, while it’s still hot can cause many issues, including thawing other foods nearby.
It will take a lot longer for the cabbage itself to freeze, potentially leading to bacteria growth.
There are times you’re in a hurry and don’t want to wait for the cabbage to cool at room temperature. There are other steps you can take to speed things up the cooling process. Try submerging it in cool water or sticking it in the refrigerator.
However, ensure the cabbage is completely dry after cooling. The drier the cabbage is, the less likely it is to experience freezer burn 2.
2. Cut the Cabbage to Your Liking
If you have any idea on how you want to use your cabbage when you decide to unfreeze it, it’s a good idea to go ahead and cut it into portions to your liking 3. There are several different ways you can cut your cabbage:
- Wedges: If you’re not sure what you want to use your cabbage for, it would be best to cut it into wedges. With wedges, you can still shred it or use the leaves if you decide to make a different dish. In addition, it’s easy to store in the freezer.
- Leaves: If you plan on using your cabbage for salads, cutting it into leaves is the best option for you.
- Shredding: If you plan on making a hefty serving of coleslaw, it is best to go ahead and shred your cabbage before freezing.
While cutting your cabbage before freezing it isn’t necessary, it will make it easier when you decide to thaw it.
3. Wrap the Cabbage in Foil
It’s essential to wrap your cabbage in foil before freezing it for several reasons. Not only does it ensure your cabbage stays as fresh as possible, it also prevents any freezer burn or bacteria from forming.
I recommend wrapping the cabbage in plastic wrap and foil before putting it in a container to be frozen for best results.
Try removing as much excess air as possible while wrapping with the plastic.
4. Place the Cabbage in an Airtight Container
After you’ve adequately wrapped the cabbage, place it in an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag. It would be best if you had proper containers or bags to freeze cabbage or any vegetables in 4.
Otherwise, you might freeze it incorrectly and accidentally waste a lot of food.
I recommend taking a look on Amazon for plastic storage containers safe for the freezer if you don’t already have some. Most of the containers are not only freezer-safe, but they’re microwave and dishwasher safe, making them easy to wash and reheat food.
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5. Label the Container
Before placing the cabbage in the freezer, make sure to label it. Cooked cabbage is good in the freezer for up to five months. However, depending on the temperature of the freezer, it can last longer than that.
Therefore, the quality might change depending on how long it’s in the freezer. It’s essential to label frozen foods just in case you forget about them. You can either put the date you froze the cabbage or the “best by” or “use by” date.
6. Freeze It for Up to Five Months
Like most frozen foods, the amount of time they last frozen in the freezer depends on how cold the freezer is. If your freezer is set at 0°F, it might only last around five months at most.
However, anywhere below that might make the cabbage last longer. For best results and food quality, you should use the cooked cabbage within five months of freezing it.
Does Cabbage Freeze Well?
Before you decide to freeze your cabbage, you’re probably wondering if it’s even worth it. If you’ve cooked a large amount of cabbage, you could make it part of your meals for the next week; however, freezing it is probably a better idea.
Cabbage does freeze well. You can freeze cabbage raw, cooked, and blanched. However, each method differs in how long it lasts in the freezer. Raw cabbage should be used within eight weeks, cooked cabbage within five months and blanched cabbage can last up to nine months in the freezer.
Now you know freezing cabbage is a great option, especially when you have an abundance of it. We’ve already discussed how to freeze cooked cabbage, let’s get into the steps on how to freeze other cooked cabbage, like soups, rolls and raw.
Freezing Raw Cabbage Before Cooked
It’s better to freeze cooked or blanched cabbage instead of raw. This is so because when raw cabbage is defrosted it’s typically mushy or soggy.
This doesn’t make a great meal, therefore it’s best to use frozen raw cabbage in soups or stews where the sogginess doesn’t seem to matter.
If it’s impossible to cook or blanch cabbage and you need to freeze it raw, follow these tips.
How to freeze raw cabbage:
- Cut the raw cabbage into quarters or shred it.
- Wrap quartered cabbage tightly with plastic wrap.
- Place shredded cabbage into plastic freezer bags.
- Place wrapped, quartered cabbage into plastic freezer bags.
- Remove as much excess air as possible from the freezer bags.
- Date the package.
- Place the cabbage into the freezer for up to five months.
Is It Better To Cook Raw Cabbage Before Freezing?
It’s better to cook raw cabbage before freezing it by blanching it. Blanching cabbage isn’t the same as cooking but instead is used to preserve the cabbage before freezing it. Blanching raw cabbage reduces the loss of quality over time, making it the best option before freezing.
Blanching helps to maintain the cabbage’s color and lock in the nutrients 5. When the cabbage is thawed, the quality and taste will be better.
How to blanch cabbage:
- Wash the cabbage by running it under water.
- Soak the raw cabbage in salt water for thirty minutes to ensure it’s free of any insects.
- Rinse the cabbage in running water.
- Trim any undesirable leaves.
- Cut the cabbage into quarters.
- Fill a large pot with water and allow it to boil over high heat.
- While waiting for the water to boil, fill a large bowl with ice and water.
- Add the cabbage to the boiling water and boil for 1.5 to 2 minutes.
- Remove the cabbage from the boiling water by pouring them into a colander.
- Immediately place the cabbage into the bowl filled with ice.
- Once cooled, remove the cabbage, shake off the excess water and allow the cabbage to fully dry.
- Once dry, place the quartered cabbage spaced evenly onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Place the baking sheet into the freezer for two hours or until frozen.
- Place the frozen cabbage quarters into plastic freezer bags.
- Remove the excess air from the bag and seal the top.
- Date the freezer bag.
- Place the bags into the freezer and store up to nine months.
If you decide to blanch leaves or shredded cabbage, boil it in water for 1.5 minutes instead of three 6.
The ice bath helps to prevent further cooking when removed from the boiling water 7. In addition, it helps retain the color of the cabbage.
It’s extremely important to make sure the cabbage is completely dry before freezing. If not, it’s easier for ice crystals and freezer burn to form.
Freezing the cabbage on the baking sheet first prevents the quarters from sticking together in the freezer bags.
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Freezing Cabbage Soup
Cabbage soup is so good, it’s hard to believe you may have some leftover, but it’s possible. This is especially so if you made too much. Before consider freezing it, you may ask, how long does cabbage soup last in the fridge?
Cabbage soup can be stored in the refrigerator for four days. It should be placed into an airtight container with the excess air removed.
If you want the soup to last longer, you’ll have to consider freezing it. Can you freeze cabbage soup?
Cabbage soup can be frozen in the freezer for up to five months. It should be stored in a rigid plastic container safe for the freezer. The container should be secured with a lid with the excess air removed.
How freeze cabbage soup:
- Allow the soup to completely cool.
- Pour the soup into a rigid plastic container safe for the freezer.
- Leave an inch of air space at the top to allow for expansion once the soup freezes.
- Secure the top of the container with a lid and remove as much excess air as possible.
- Date the container.
- Place the container into the freezer for up to five months.
It’s better to use rigid containers than plastic freezer bags 8. Although plastic bags can be used, it’s harder to pour the soup and keep the bag secured prior to the soup freezing.
If you use a bag, date the side of the bag prior to pouring the soup inside.
Freezing Cabbage Rolls Cooked
If you’ve made too many cabbage rolls and have some left after eating you may not have to discard them. If you won’t be eating them in the next few days you’ll want to know, can you freeze cabbage rolls after they are cooked?
Cabbage rolls can be frozen after being cooked. Cooked cabbage rolls should be chilled in the refrigerator first before placing them into plastic freezer bags and frozen. Cooked cabbage rolls can be frozen up to five months.
How to freeze cooked cabbage rolls:
- Allow the cooked cabbage rolls to cool down to room temperature.
- Place the cooked cabbage rolls onto a plate and cover with plastic wrap.
- Place them into the refrigerator for two hours, so they can be chilled.
- Remove them from the refrigerator and place them into plastic freezer bags.
- Remove as much excess air from the bag as possible.
- Date the bag and place the rolls into the freezer.
- Store frozen up to five months.
Cooling the cooked cabbage rolls and chilling them in the fridge first helps to avoid the cabbage from becoming soggy once defrosted.
Thawing Cooked Frozen Cabbage
There are many ways to defrost food, but with frozen cooked cabbage there’s only one way. Therefore, what is the best way to thaw cooked frozen cabbage?
The best way to thaw cooked frozen cabbage is by transferring it from the freezer into the refrigerator. Keep the frozen cabbage in the refrigerator until it’s completely thawed. Removing it anytime sooner will result in soggy cabbage.
It’s customary to remove frozen food and defrost in on the counter to speed up the process. Some will thaw frozen food in warm water or in the microwave when time is limited.
Cooked frozen cabbage needs to thaw slowly. If it doesn’t, the cabbage will turn soggy, lose it’s color and the flavor will be negatively affected.
If the frozen cabbage is going to be added to a soup or stew, it’s possible to defrost it at room temperature or add it directly to the soup.
The Best Cabbage To Be Cooked For Freezing
There are many different types of cabbage for cooking. Some of them are better for cooking and freezing than others. The following cabbages are the best for being cooked and frozen:
- Red cabbage
- Green cabbage
- Pointed cabbage
- Bok choy
- Savoy cabbage
- White cabbage
Can you freeze cooked purple or red cabbage? Cooked purple or red cabbage may be frozen in the freezer for up to five months. To maintain its texture and quality, the purple or red cabbage should be wrapped and placed into an airtight container safe for the freezer.
Can you freeze cooked cabbage and bacon? Cooked cabbage and bacon can be frozen up to five months. Allow the cooked cabbage and bacon to cool, place it in a plastic freezer bag, remove the excess air from the bag, date the bag and place it into the freezer.
Can you freeze cooked cabbage casserole? Cooked cabbage casserole can be frozen up to five months. Allow the cabbage casserole to cool, place it into a plastic freezer bag, remove the excess air from the bag, date the bag and place it into the freezer.
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- National Center for Home Food Preservation: Freezing Cabbage or Chinese Cabbage
- Wikipedia: Freezer Burn
- Michigan State University: Cabbage and Chinese cabbage storage and preserving tips
- Colorado State University: Freezing Cabbage
- Clemson Cooperative Extension: Why Blanch?
- University of Missouri Extension: How to Freeze Vegetables
- University of Minnesota Extension: Vegetable blanching directions and times for home freezer storage
- North Dakota State University: Freezing Vegetables