There’s nothing like a perfectly juicy, in-season, locally grown strawberry! YUM! The problem is the season is SO short. Here’s all you need to know on How to Freeze Strawberries so you can have that deliciousness all year long.

tray of frozen strawberries

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I am so in love with fresh berries! Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, you name it.

We love them on Banana Splits and Smoothies, and check out these Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes.

We eat boatloads of fresh berries when they are in season. There’s just nothing quite like fresh picked local fruit.

how to freeze strawberries

Why freeze strawberries?

  • The most important reason is that Freezing strawberries will give you that same amazing fresh picked flavor even when it’s out of season. 

A taste of summer anytime of the year! 

  • Additionally, if you pick your own, it’s less expensive than purchasing them. 

But even if you go to the Farmer’s Market or local farm and purchase them there, they are far better tasting than what you find in the store.

They are at their peak and the freshest they’ll be. That makes a difference!

  • You always have them ready!

Taking a little time (it’s really pretty quick) to put them up gives you a nicely stocked freezer for all the strawberry things you want to enjoy throughout the year.

Selecting the best berries

  • Buy local and in-season strawberries.
  • They should be bright red and plump and smell sweet with a touch of floral.
  • Size doesn’t determine how sweet they are.
quart of fresh strawberries

Health Benefits

Strawberries are low in calories, healthy and delicious. They are a good source of many vitamins and minerals. 

Health Benefits include reduced cholesterol, inflammation, and blood pressure.

How To Freeze: 3 methods

I’m sharing 3 different ways, so pick the one that works best for you.

  • Flash Freeze
  • Dry Pack
  • Simple Syrup

Option 1: Flash Freeze

The easiest way, No Sugar, and my preferred method

My favorite thing about this method is the strawberries won’t be stuck together.

That way, you can grab a few for a smoothie or a few cups for that dessert. It’s also the least amount of effort and the healthiest option.

I freeze my strawberries whole, but you can also slice them if you prefer.

Step One: Prepare the strawberries

  • Rinse the berries well. (do not soak them!)
  • hull or cut off the stems (see hulling hacks below)
  • Dry the berries well.
quart of fresh strawberries under running water
slicing strawberry stems off

To dry: lay them out on paper towel lined baking trays. Let them air dry until there is no more moisture on them.

You can use actual towels too if you’re more the re-use type. But, they will turn pink.

hulling hacks: poke out the stems with a straw. start at the bottom and push up towards the stem until it comes right out. Some like to use a fancy strawberry huller. These are great, especially if you have kids helping you, it takes that stem out pretty perfectly. I typically just use a paring knife.

hulling a strawberry with a straw

Step Two: Flash Freeze 

  • Line some baking trays with wax paper and place the dried strawberries on the trays. They can be close, but shouldn’t be touching each other.
  • Place in the freezer for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Basically, just until they are frozen. 
how to freeze strawberries
how to freeze strawberries

Step Three: Package 

  • Transfer them into labeled ziplock bags (I use the gallon size).
  • Try to get as much of the air out of the bag before sealing it. Often people use a straw to suck out the excess air. 
  • I recommend double bagging for an extra layer of protection and preventing leaks.
  • Return to the freezer.

Note: Don’t overstuff the bags. keeping them so you can lay it flat maximizes space in your freezer. Keeps things neat and organized!

Option 2: Dry Pack Sweetened

If you like your berries sweetened, you can add sugar before you freeze them. 

Step One: Prepare the strawberries

  • Rinse the berries well
  • hull or slice the stems off the berries
  • Sprinkle with 1/3 – 3/4 cups of sugar, per 1 quart of berries, depending on how sweet you like them.
  • Gently stir and turn over the berries until the sugar is dissolved. 
pouring sugar over a bowl of fresh strawberries
stirring strawberries with sugar on them

Step Two: Package & Freeze

  • package the berries into containers or ziplock bags. The berries should be packed somewhat tightly. 
  • Get as much air out of the bag as possible
pressing air out of bag of strawberries

Tip #1 if you’re using jars, make sure you leave head space for expansion.

Tip #2 if you’re using bags, I recommend you double bag, label, and freeze flat. Freezing flat will help them to thaw quicker.

With this method will be all the berries stuck together in a clump because of the sugar juice that’s formed and the way it freezes.

Option 3: Freeze strawberries in Simple Syrup

Simple syrup is a sugar syrup made by dissolving sugar in water over low heat and then cooling. 

Using a simple syrup will help the berries keep their vibrant color and retain their shape after thawing. 

TIP: Have your simple syrup made and cooled and ready before you get your berries. It keeps for about a week in the fridge. 

To make the simple syrup combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan, heat on low heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved.

Let it cool, and store in the fridge. 

Step One: Prepare the berries

  • Rinse the strawberries well.
  • Hull or slice off the stems.
  • Either leave whole, or slice, and place them in a freezer container. 

Step Two: Add syrup

  • Pour the syrup over the berries to cover them. Leave 1/2 inch head space. 
  • Seal and freeze.
jar fresh strawberries in simple syrup

Tip #1: You can make the syrup ‘lighter’ or less sweet by using 2 parts water to 1 part sugar, instead of one to one

Tip #2: You’ll need about 1/3-1/2 cup of simple syrup per pint of prepared strawberries.

Storing

Strawberries will keep in your freezer for 6-12 months.

Bag of frozen strawberries

Thawing

I find that for most recipes, I don’t need to thaw my berries first. 

But occasionally, I do. Here’s a few options:

Ready (almost) immediately- thaw them in the microwave. Use the ‘defrost’ function on your microwave and check every minute.

If your microwave doesn’t have a defrost feature, change the power to 30%. This way you won’t cook the outside. 

If you have 15 minutes- Put them in a sealed plastic bag and place it in a bowl of cold water. 

If you have an hour- Leave them in a container at room temperature

If you have a day- Thaw them in the refrigerator. 

FAQ’S

Do you have to wash strawberries before freezing them?

It’s recommended to wash/rinse fruit before consuming it.

If you’re in a huge hurry, you can freeze them without doing this, but you will want to rinse them before eating them.

Do they thaw mushy?

Frozen fruit will always be somewhat mushy when thawed.

This is because freezing makes the water inside the cells expand and the cell walls burst.

When the fruit thaws, the cell walls collapse, this makes it mushy. Freezing in a simple syrup helps, but they will still be a bit mushy.

Can you freeze with the stems on?

The short answer is yes, but, my question back, is why would you?

This way you definitely have to take the time to thaw them and then cut off the stems. Better to just do it ahead of time.

Can I use a sugar substitute or stevia instead of sugar?

Yes, you can, it will do nothing for preservation, only sweeten them.

I recommend freezing fruit with no sugar (as in the first method shown).

Then I have it in it’s purest form and have all the flexibility to use it in whichever way I need to.

Notes and Tips

  • rinse before hulling/removing stems to avoid water getting into the berry.
  • A straw or strawberry huller is a great tool for taking off the stems, but not necessary.
  • Strawberries can be frozen whole, sliced, chopped, or pureed.
  • Don’t overstuff the bags. Keeping them so you can lay it flat maximizes space in your freezer. Keeps things neat and organized!
  • Double bag for extra protection and to prevent leaks when thawing. Don’t forget to label!
  • If using jars, leave 1/2 inch of ‘head space’ to allow for expansion.
  • If using syrup, make it ahead of time. It keeps for about a week in the fridge. 
  • You can make the syrup ‘lighter’ or less sweet by using 2 parts water to 1 part sugar, instead of equal parts.
  • You’ll need about 1/3-1/2 cup of simple syrup per pint of prepared strawberries.

How to freeze other fruit

The above methods work with all berries–raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. 

Awesome Ways To Use Frozen Fruit

You can use fresh, frozen, or thawed fruit in these recipes.

  1. Berry Blast Smoothie
  2. Parfaits
  3. Mocktails
  4. Rhubarb Crisp with Strawberries
  5. Milkshakes
  6. Fruit Cobbler/Crisp  
  7. Syrup or sauce for pancakes
  8.  Ice Cream topping
  9. Trifle
  10. Infused water
  11. Popsicles
  12. Strawberry Lemonade 
  13. Blueberry Lemonade 
  14. Strawberry Ice Cream/Sherbet  
  15. Oatmeal/Overnight Oats  
  16. Flavored ice cubes
  17. Muffins/baked goods
  18. Berry butter
  19. Homemade “gogurt”

More Strawberry Recipes

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Full Video

You can watch the full detailed video here. The short-form video is linked in the recipe card.

Printable Recipe Card

๐Ÿ“‹ Recipe

how to freeze strawberries

How to Freeze Strawberries 3 ways

how to freeze strawberries to enjoy the fresh flavor all year long!
4.50 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate Save
Course: Beverage, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
freeze time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 20
Calories: 121kcal
Cost: $30

Equipment

  • large rimmed baking sheet
  • wax paper or parchment paper
  • zip lock bags
  • mason jars or other freezer safe containers
  • paring knife
  • optional: strawberry hull or straw to remove stems

Ingredients

Method 1: Flash Freeze (no sugar)

  • 8 quarts fresh strawberries or as many as desired

Method 2: Dry Pack

  • 8 quarts fresh strawberries
  • 2 2/3 cups sugar more or less depending on preference

Method 3: Simple syrup

  • 8 quarts fresh strawberries
  • 8 cups water
  • 8 cups sugar

Instructions

Method 1: Flash Freeze

  • Wash and hull strawberries.
  • Lay out to dry on paper towels.
  • Line baking sheets with waxed paper or parchment paper and place dried strawberries on pans. They should be close, but not touching.
  • Place in the freezer until frozen.
  • Bag and use all year long.

Method 2: Dry Pack

  • Wash and hull strawberries, blot dry.
  • Place berries in a bowl.
  • Sprinkle with sugar and gently stir until sugar is dissolved.
  • Place in bags, get as much air out as possible and seal.
  • lay flat in the freezer.

Method 3: Simple Syrup

  • Make simple syrup by combining water and sugar over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Cool completely, store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Best to do this before picking your strawberries, so it's ready to go.
  • Wash and hull strawberries.
  • Put the berries in a jar or other freezer container. They should be packed tightly, but don't smush them!
  • Pour the simple syrup over the berries until they are covered. Make sure you leave 1/2 inch of 'head room' to allow for expansion in the freezer.
  • Loosely cover (finger tight), and freeze.

Video

Notes

***Nutrition Information is APPROXIMATE as there are 3 different options and it doesn’t cover all three***
***The amount of time for strawberries to freeze depends on which method you’re using. So the time on the card is approximate***
  • rinse before hulling/removing stems to avoid water getting into the berry.
  • A straw or strawberry huller is a great tool for taking off the stems, but not necessary.
  • Strawberries can be frozen whole, sliced, chopped, or pureed.
  • Don’t overstuff the bags. Keeping them so you can lay it flat maximizes space in your freezer. Keeps things neat and organized!
  • Double bag for extra protection and to prevent leaks when thawing. Don’t forget to label!
  • If using jars, leave 1/2 inch of ‘head space’ to allow for expansion.
  • If using syrup, make it ahead of time. It keeps for about a week in the fridge. 
  • You can make the syrup ‘lighter’ or less sweet by using 3 parts water to 1 part sugar, instead of half and half.
  • You’ll need about 1/3-1/2 cup of simple syrup per pint of prepared strawberries.
  • You can use a sugar substitute such as stevia, Truvia, Erythitol, Xylitol, etc. instead of sugar. It will not do anything for the preservation of the berries, but they will be sweet. You can also use a sugar substitute for your simple syrup. I have never had any issues with my strawberries being discolored or not preserving well, and I don’t use any sugar or sugar substitute (method 1).
  • These methods can be used with other berries too, think raspberries, blueberries, blackberries.

Nutrition

Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 579mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 223mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 2mg
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Update Notes: This post was originally published on August 26, 2016, but was updated with some more information, step by step instructions, and updated notes and tips in May of 2020.

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9 Comments

  1. So glad it was helpful Camille! I just can’t get enough of all this summer fruit!!

  2. Yes! It works with raspberries AND blueberries too! I’m working on cherries now and that’s going well. ๐Ÿ™‚ So happy you found it useful!

  3. Such a practical idea! I’m glad I read this. I wonder if this would also work with raspberries?

  4. Thanks for linking up, Chellie! I have chosen your strawberries for 1 of Sunday’s features! ~ Julie redheadcandecorate.com

  5. 4 stars
    I just love strawberries! And the smell? Heaven. Thanks for the tips. I already bookmarked this.

  6. Arrived here from Mommy’s Kitchen. :}
    I just took some strawberries out of the freezer early yesterday morning and made some delicious Strawberry Freezer Sauce. Hubby loves it on vanilla ice cream