• 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

  • Select firm, mature pumpkins and winter squash (Acorn, Banana, Buttercup, Butternut, Hubbard, Spaghetti). Do not use pumpkins or winter squash that show signs of decay or mold.
  • Use 1 ½ - 3 lbs of pumpkin per quart container
  • Use 3 lbs of winter squash per quart container
  • Ice (approx. 1 pound/pound vegetables)

2. Equipment

  • Large cooking pot with lid
  • Colander
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Vegetable masher
  • Large container or tub for ice water
  • 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 re-usable containers in hot soapy water and rinse well. Dry.

4. Prepare Vegetables

  • Thoroughly wash pumpkin or winter squash.
  • Cut into smaller sections and remove seeds.
  • Cook sections until soft (fork-tender) in boiling water, steam, microwave, pressure cooker or 350-400°F oven (cut side down).
  • Remove cooked squash from rind and mash. (Spaghetti squash does NOT need to be mashed.) 
  • Cool thoroughly by placing container with mashed pumpkin or squash in tub of iced water and stirring occasionally to speed cooling process. 

5. Pack

Dry Pack-

  • Pack cooled squash 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.

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.