• When possible, preserve fresh, locally-grown peas for the best quality and nutritional value.
  • Know when fresh peas are available in your state with this seasonal food guide.

  • If this is your first time freezing or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read General Freezing Information before beginning. 

1. Selection & Ingredients

  • Select bright green, plump, firm pods with sweet, tender peas. Do not use peas that show signs of decay or mold.
  • Use 3 ½ - 4 pounds of peas in pod for 1 quart container of shelled peas
  • Ice (approx. 1 pound/pound vegetables)

2. Equipment

  • Large cooking pot with lid
  • Blanching basket/strainer/slotted spoon
  • Colander
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Use clean packing containers and materials that are moisture and vapor-proof/resistant:
  • Rigid containers (glass jars and hard plastic containers) are especially good for freezing foods with liquid. Covers for rigid containers should fit tightly.
    • Square or rectangular, straight-sided rigid plastic containers make the best use of freezer space.
    • Wide-mouth, dual-purpose glass jars made for canning and freezing are tempered to withstand extremes in temperature and allow for easier removal of partially-thawed foods.
    • Narrow-mouth dual-purpose glass jars can also be used but require greater headspace (to avoid expansion breakage at the shoulder) and foods must be completely thawed before removal.
  • Flexible bags or wrappings (plastic freezer bags, freezer paper or wrap, and heavyweight aluminum foil) are best for freezing food products with little or no liquid.
    • Vacuum packaging removes more oxygen than other freezing methods (Refer to manufacturer's instructions.)

3. Prepare Equipment

  • Before use, wash containers in hot soapy water and rinse well. Dry.

4. Prepare Vegetables

  • Thoroughly wash pea pods.
  • Shell peas.
  • Blanch in boiling water for amount of time indicated in table below.
    • Use one gallon water per pound of prepared peas.
    • Lower peas into vigorously boiling water. Place a lid on the pot.
      • Blanch in boiling water for amount of time indicated in table below.
  • Cool in ice water. Drain well.
    • NOTE: Cooling should take the same amount of time as blanching.
Vegetable Below 5,000ft 5,000 ft and above
Peas, green 1 1/2 minutes 2 1/2 minutes


5. Pack

Dry Pack-

  • Pack tightly into containers, bags or wrap.
    • If using rigid containers, leave 1/2 inch headspace.
    • If using flexible bags or wrap, remove as much air as possible.
  • Make sure sealing edges are free of moisture or food.
  • Seal.

Tray Pack-

  • Place chilled, well-drained peas in a single layer on shallow trays or pans.
  • Place in freezer until firm, then quickly transfer to labeled bags or containers. 
    • If using rigid containers, no headspace is necessary.
    • If using flexible bags or wrap, remove as much air as possible.
  • Seal.

6. Store

  • Label with the name of food, date, and type of pack.
  • Freeze as quickly as possible to 0°F or below.
    • For quickest freezing, place containers in single layers in freezer.
  • Most frozen vegetables will maintain high quality for 12-18 months at 0°F or below.