Can You Freeze Carrot Tops!?

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Carrot tops often get discarded, but they are highly nutritious and can be preserved for later use. Freezing is an easy way to keep carrot tops fresh so you can utilize them in recipes.

Here’s what you need to know about freezing carrot tops:

Why Freeze Carrot Tops?

Carrot tops are the leafy green parts of carrots that extend from the root. Most people chop off and throw away carrot tops, not realizing how nutritious they are. Here are some key benefits of carrot tops:

  • Rich in chlorophyll, which may have anti-cancer effects.
  • High in vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting.
  • Good source of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and antioxidants
  • Impart flavor into stocks, pestos, smoothies, and more.

Freezing carrot tops allows you to preserve these nutrients and flavors for later use. The tops will be fresh and ready to add to soups, sauces, pestos, and any other recipes requiring greens. Freezing is better than letting them go to waste!

How to Prepare Carrot Tops for Freezing

Proper preparation is key to successfully freezing carrot tops.

Wash and Dry

Give the carrot tops a thorough wash in cool water to remove any dirt or debris. Make sure to dry them very well, as any excess moisture can cause freezing problems. Pat dry with paper towels or use a salad spinner.

Remove Thick stems.

The thicker stems of the carrot tops can be fibrous and tough. Cut or peel away the thick stems before freezing.


Chop the carrot tops into smaller pieces so they are easier to use later on. Aim for about 1-inch pieces.

Blanch (Optional)

Some people recommend blanching the carrot tops briefly before freezing. To blanch: immerse in boiling water for 1 minute, then transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Blanching helps set the color and texture.


Portion the carrot tops into usable amounts, like 122 cups or 1 cup, and pack them into freezer bags or airtight containers. This prevents freezer burn and makes it easy to use a measured amount later.


Make sure to label the freezer bags or containers with the contents and date. Carrot tops can be frozen for up to one year.

How to Freeze Carrot Tops

Freezing carrot tops is simple.

  • Chop the feathery green leaves off the carrots right after purchase. You can save the carrots for another use.
  • Make sure the tops are clean and dry. Give them a rinse and pat them dry with a paper towel.
  • Chop the carrot tops into smaller pieces so they are easier to use later on.
  • Place the chopped tops into freezer bags, removing as much air as possible before sealing. This prevents freezer burn.
  • Label the bags with the contents and date. The carrot tops will keep best for 6 months in the freezer.

You can also blanch the tops quickly before freezing, but this is optional. To blanch:

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  • Add the tops and boil for 1 minute.
  • Drain and immediately submerge in ice water to stop the cooking process.
  • Pat dry, and then freeze.

Blanching helps retain color and texture but is not required for preservation.

Tips for Freezing Carrot Tops

Follow these tips for the best results when freezing carrot tops:

  • Only freeze young, tender carrot tops. Older tops can become bitter once frozen.
  • Portion the carrot tops into recipe-ready amounts before freezing if you know how you plan to use them.
  • Prevent freezer burn by removing as much air as possible from the freezer bags. Use a straw to suck out excess air.
  • Freeze the tops flat in a single layer on a baking sheet before transferring to bags if freezing large amounts.
  • Use frozen carrot tops within 6 months for best quality and nutrient retention.

How to Use Frozen Carrot Tops

Frozen carrot tops can be used in place of fresh greens or herbs in many recipes. Their concentrated flavor is great for:

  • Adding to soups, stocks, and broths
  • Making pesto, chimichurri, or gremolata
  • Adding to smoothies, juices, and green drinks
  • Mixing into hummus, spreads, and dips
  • Tossing with pasta, rice, grains, and vegetable dishes
  • Baking into bread, muffins, scones, and other baked goods

Thaw what you need before using it. Substitute frozen carrot tops for recipes calling for parsley, cilantro, spinach, kale, or other greens.

When adding them to hot dishes, there is no need to defrost first. You can drop them straight from the freezer into simmering soups, stews, and sauces. Their flavor will infuse right into the dish as they thaw and cook.

Recipes Using Frozen Carrot Tops

Here are some tasty ways to use your frozen carrot tops:

Carrot Top Pesto: Use in place of traditional basil pesto. Just thaw a packet of tops and blend with olive oil, nuts, garlic, and cheese.

Carrot Top Chimichurri: Defrost tops and blend with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, spices, and herbs for a bright chimichurri sauce.

Carrot Top Soup: Simmer thawed carrot tops in vegetable or chicken broth with onions, carrots, and potatoes for a nourishing soup.

Carrot Green Smoothie: For a nutrient boost, blend thawed carrot tops with fruit, yogurt, and juice.

Carrot Top Omelet: Saute thawed tops with onions and garlic, then fold into an egg omelet with cheese.

Carrot Top Rice: Stir thawed carrot tops into rice or quinoa right before serving for extra color and nutrition.

With so many uses, freezing carrot tops is an easy way to get more from the carrots you buy!

Frequently Asked Questions About Freezing Carrot Tops

How do you store frozen carrot tops?

Frozen carrot tops should be stored in airtight freezer bags or containers. Remove as much air as possible before sealing to prevent freezer burn. Properly stored, they will maintain quality for about 6 months.

Can you freeze carrot tops without blanching them?

Yes, you can freeze carrot tops without blanching them first. Blanching helps retain color and texture but is not required.

Do you have to thaw carrot tops before cooking with them?

You can add frozen carrot tops straight to hot dishes without thawing first. But for other uses, like pesto or smoothies, thaw them first in the refrigerator overnight.

What’s the best way to thaw frozen carrot tops?

Thaw frozen carrot tops overnight in the refrigerator. You can also thaw them in the microwave using the defrost setting if you need them quickly.

Is there a difference in taste between fresh and frozen carrot tops?

Frozen carrot tops will taste similar to fresh but may be slightly more muted. They work well cooked into dishes or sauces. Eat fresh tops raw or quickly cooked to enjoy their full, vibrant flavor.

How do you know if frozen carrot tops have gone bad?

Discard carrot tops if they have been frozen longer than 6 months or show signs of freezer burn. They will be dry, wrinkled, or have icy crystals on them. Moldy, slimy tops should also be tossed.

Can you refreeze carrot tops after thawing?

It is best not to refreeze carrot tops after they have been thawed. Refreezing can compromise the quality and flavor. Use the thawed tops within a few days.


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