I was talking with a gardening friend and lamenting our dismal cucumber harvest this year. We have enough for eating fresh but not enough for freezing. She asked, “Can you freeze cucumbers?” Yes, you can absolutely freeze cucumbers and it’s super easy and useful. By the way, she’s bring me some of her excess cucumbers so I’ll have plenty of frozen cucumbers to last the year. I know you were worried about that.
Here’s the thing with freezing cucumbers, the texture will be different when they’re thawed. If you can accept that fact, you can successfully freeze cucumbers.
I’ve read of people pickling the cucumbers in either vinegar or brine and then freezing them submerged in the liquid. This doesn’t make any sense to me. It seems like a waste of freezer space. If you’re going to pickle cucumbers go ahead and water bath can them to make them shelf stable. If you’re going to use a brine to ferment cucumbers then store them in the refrigerator – they’ll last 6-12 months. Don’t waste valuable freezer space on frozen pickles.
But if you want the flavor of fresh cucumbers and don’t care about the texture, freeze them.
I like to keep track of all the things I preserve with these preservation worksheets. If you’d like a copy emailed to you, just fill out the form below.
How to freeze cucumbers
I freeze cucumbers two different ways. To prepare the cucumbers, wash and dry them. I use cucumbers that I grow or that I know are grown without pesticides so I don’t ever peel them. However, if you want peeled cucumbers, peel them before freezing them.
One way to freeze cucumbers is to slice them and put the cucumber slices on a baking the sheet lined with parchment paper. Pop the baking sheet into the freezer for a few hours. Put the frozen cucumber slices in a ziplock bag. Label the bag and put it back into the freezer.
Another way to freeze cucumbers is to use ice cube trays. Cube the cucumber and put the cubes into ice cube trays. Cover the cucumbers with water and put them in the freezer until the water is frozen. Once the cucumbers are frozen pop them out of the ice cube trays and put them in a ziplock bag. Label the bag and put it in the freezer.
How to use frozen cucumbers
Now that you know how to freeze cucumbers, how do you use frozen cucumbers? You can use frozen cucumbers in anything that you want the fresh cucumber flavor but texture doesn’t matter.
My favorite way to use frozen cucumbers is for infused water. Boring I know, but I love it. If you want a more exciting cucumber drink, you could try this cucumber mint martini.
Companies like the Frozen Garden sell frozen fruit-based water infusers, but those start at $5 per pack. I prefer to just spruce up my water with inexpensive produce from my own garden.
We’re not really gazpacho people but I’ve only had plain gazpacho. I’ve never had tomato, strawberry, and basil gazpacho or anchovy gazpacho, both sound super interesting.
Tzatziki is a traditional Middle Eastern or Mediterranean dish. Its used on pita, as a dip, and on meat and vegetables. It’s quite expensive at the deli, but tzatziki can be made at home very inexpensively.
How to thaw frozen cucumbers
Cucumbers have high water content which means when they thaw, they’ll release a lot of liquid. If I’m putting cucumbers in water to infuse the water, I just plop the cucumber ice cubes or frozen cucumber slices into the water and let them thaw in the water.
If you’re going to make tzatziki or gazpacho, put the frozen cucumbers in a bowl in the refrigerator or counter to thaw. This will keep all the yummy liquid together so you can use it in your recipe.
So don’t let an abundant harvest overwhelm you, freeze cucumbers to use throughout the year. Do you freeze cucumbers? If so, what do you use them for?
Frozen cucumber treats
Another way to freeze cucumbers is to make cucumber lime sorbet. I like to make this when I have overgrown cucumbers that need to be used up.
Thursday 27th of January 2022
Could you please advise on the best way to pickle apple cucumbers as I have an abundance of them and it seems to be a waste to throw them away
Friday 28th of January 2022
I've never grown apple cucumbers but I would assume you could use them in your favorite pickle recipe. Since they have a bit of a sweet flavor, they would probably be good in as a sweeter pickle like Bread and Butter pickles.
Saturday 28th of August 2021
I just made cucumber bread. A zucchini bread recipe but I used cucumbers instead. Tastes pretty good. Wondering if I used frozen cucumbers if it would change the bread?
Monday 13th of September 2021
oh, that sounds tasty!! I would think that you might need to leave out some of the water that gets released when they thaw out. I don't when I use zucchini but cucumbers are more watery.
Wednesday 25th of August 2021
Went to make my pickle relish and found out my stove was broken! Can I grind cucumbers and onions and peppers and freeze until I’m able to get my stove fixed and then I can cook and water bath?
Friday 27th of August 2021
Unfortunately, the cucumbers will be mushy after being frozen. So that really won't work. I'm sorry.
Friday 13th of August 2021
If I a going to use them to make tzatziki could I shred them before freezing? I am worried about trying to shred them after thawing.
Saturday 21st of August 2021
Saturday 29th of May 2021
Wow, you guys are awesome with all of the cucumber ideas! I’m lazy, I just cut big chunks, freeze em and use them as infusing ice cubes. Great article and so fun to read all of the posts.