Freezing Your Strawberries Can Help Them Last up to a Year


After a long, cold season of apples and citrus, sweet, fragrant strawberries sure are a sight for winter-weary eyes. They’re the first fruit to ripen in the spring, so who can blame you for going overboard at the market with pints and pints of these juicy, scarlet red beauties? One downside, however, is that these seasonal gems don’t last very long before they get mushy — or worse: fuzzy with mold. Luckily, you can learn how to freeze strawberries, locking in their flavor at its peak, to enjoy later in smoothies, strawberry desserts and more. Set aside just enough berries you plan to eat within 2 to 3 days, then pop the rest into the freezer, where they can last for up to 1 year, according to the FDA. It’s not just about stuffing them into a bag and freezing, however. Read on for the best way to preserve strawberries.

How to freeze strawberries

Simply wash, freeze and bag following the steps below:

Step 1: Clean your strawberries

When you’re getting ready to freeze your berries, rinse them under cold running water — go easy with the water pressure, though; the fruit is delicate and bruisable. Don’t soak them, either, which may waterlog the berries and dilute their sweet flavor. After rinsing, gently and thoroughly pat them dry with paper towels then pinch off the green tops. Slice your strawberries if desired (keep scrolling for more on freezing whole vs. sliced).

Step 2: Flash freeze strawberries individually

Arrange your strawberries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing them apart, then freeze until frozen solid, at least two hours. This pre-bagging step will prevent your berries from sticking together into an infuriatingly unbreakable mass when you store them.

Step 3: Store frozen strawberries together in your freezer

Once the individual strawberries are frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer bag (that you’ve meticulously labeled with the date, of course), squeeze out excess air (banish that freezer burn!), then seal the bag. Once the berries are packed up nice and tightly, they’ll be good in the freezer for up to one year. Get ready to say hello to berry cobbler in December!

halved frozen strawberries

Magdalena Niemczyk – ElanArt//Getty Images

Questions about freezing strawberries

Here, our answers (plus some helpful strawberry freezing tips!) to your most frequently asked questions:

Is it better to freeze strawberries whole or sliced?

The answer depends on what you plan to do with the frozen strawberries. If you’re going to thaw your strawbs in the future to snack on, go ahead and freeze them whole. Ditto if the shape of the berry matters, say, you’re decorating the top of a cake or tart. If the shape has no importance, as in a crumble, smoothie or homemade strawberry soda (yum!), you’re better off slicing the strawberries before freezing. Trying to slice the berries after they’re frozen will be more difficult, messy and frustrating.

Does freezing strawberries change the texture?

Yes. As with most fruit, strawberries become less firm after freezing and thawing. The change in texture won’t matter much if you’re going to cook the frozen fruit and, in the case of smoothies, milkshakes and other blender drinks (daiquiris, anyone?), blending strawberries from frozen will actually help achieve the thick, slushy consistency you’re looking for. We can all drink to that!

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Susan (she/her) is the recipe editor at Good Housekeeping, where she pitches ideas, parses words, and produces food content. In the Test Kitchen, she cooks (and samples!) recipes, working with developers to deliver the best written versions possible. A graduate of Brown University and a collaborator on several cookbooks, her previous experience includes stints at Food & Wine, Food Network, three meal kit companies, a wine shop in Brooklyn, and Chez Panisse, the pioneering restaurant in Berkeley, California. She enjoys playing tennis, natural wines, and reality competition shows.

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