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Fresh zucchini squash in a basket.

For farmers interested in producing value-added produce for farmers markets.

Summer Squash Varieties That Freeze Well

  • Chayote
  • Crookneck
  • Pattypan
  • Straightneck
  • White scallop
  • Zucchini


  • Freezing 40 pounds of summer squash will yield 16 to 20 quarts or 2 to 3 pounds for a quart jar.
  • Choose young, tender squash.
  • Wash the squash well and cut it into 1⁄2-inch slices.
  • Blanch for 3 minutes in boiling water.
  • Cool in ice water, drain, and package it in freezer containers.
  • Leave 1⁄2 inch of headspace.
  • Fasten lids or seals securely and freeze.

Another option is to grate and freeze squash for baking purposes:

  • Choose young, tender zucchini.
  • Wash and grate the zucchini.
  • Steam blanch small quantities of the grated zucchini for 1 to 2 minutes until translucent.
  • Pack measured amounts needed for baking into freezer containers, leaving 1⁄2 inch of headspace in the container.
  • Cool the container by placing it in cold water.
  • Label the container with name of food, amount, and date it was put in the freezer, then freeze it.
  • Thaw containers of frozen zucchini in the refrigerator.

Freeze Drying

Sliced fresh zucchini courgette vegetables with green and yellow skins in a frying pan.Winter Squash

  • It is best to cook the squash in your preferred method before freeze-drying as the firm flesh reconstitutes better if precooked.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your unit.

Summer Squash

  • Summer squash can be freeze-dried raw or cooked.
  • Pre-freezing will shorten the drying time. Squash needs to be frozen solid if the pre-freezing step is used.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s directions for your unit.


Fresh Squash

  • Store fresh squash in the refrigerator crisper in plastic storage bags or containers to retain moisture.
  • Stored in this manner, squash will maintain quality for 5 to 7 days.
  • Avoid storing fresh squash in areas that might freeze.

Frozen Squash

  • Label and date packages.
  • Properly packaged and frozen, squash should maintain high quality for 6 months to 1 year in the freezer at 0 degrees F.

Freeze-Dried Squash

  • For short-term storage, store in glass canning jars with a lid. Use within weeks or months. Store in a cool, dry, dark place.
  • For long-term storage, store in polyester film bags, such as Mylar bags. The product may keep for up to 25 years; however, many variables such as storage conditions, temperature, type of container used, and ingredients may shorten this time. It’s best to rotate products and check periodically to ensure quality is maintained.
  • Oxygen absorbers are often recommended to extend shelf life for freeze-dried foods.
  • It is important to ensure that the product is throughly dried before storing in a reduced oxygen environment to prevent botulism toxin formation.
  • Store the polyester film bags in containers that block rodent entry.


Bridgette Brannon, Regional Extension Agent, Food Safety & Quality, and Camila Rodrigues, Assistant Professor, Extension Specialist, Commercial Horticulture, both with Auburn University.

New April 2023, Squash: Value-Added On-Farm Processing, ANR-2992

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