Can carrot greens be frozen?

Carrot greens, also known as carrot tops, are the leafy green tops of carrots. They are entirely edible and nutritious, but often discarded by consumers. Freezing carrot greens is a great way to preserve them for later use. Here are some quick answers about freezing carrot greens:

Can you freeze carrot greens?

Yes, carrot greens can be frozen successfully. Freezing is an effective method for preserving the nutrients, flavor, color, and texture of carrot greens.

Should you blanch carrot greens before freezing?

Yes, it is recommended to blanch carrot greens in boiling water for 1-2 minutes before freezing. Blanching stops enzyme actions that can cause loss of flavor, color, and texture during freezing. It also helps retain nutrients.

How long do frozen carrot greens last?

Properly frozen carrot greens can be stored in the freezer for up to 12 months. Frozen carrot greens stored in airtight packaging at 0°F or below maintain optimal quality and freshness for this duration.

What is the best way to freeze carrot greens?

The best practices for freezing carrot greens are:

  • Wash the greens thoroughly in cold water and dry well.
  • Remove any wilted or discolored parts and tough stems.
  • Chop or cut into desired size pieces.
  • Blanch in boiling water for 1-2 minutes.
  • Rapidly chill in an ice bath to stop cooking.
  • Drain well and pat completely dry.
  • Spread in a single layer on a sheet pan and freeze solid.
  • Transfer to zip-top freezer bags or airtight containers, removing as much air as possible.
  • Label with contents and freeze date.

Can you freeze carrot greens without blanching?

It is not recommended. Blanching helps retain the best quality, texture, and nutrients in frozen carrot greens. Freezing unblanched greens can lead to excessive loss of flavor, color, texture, and nutrients.

How do you use frozen carrot greens?

Frozen carrot greens can be used in any recipe calling for fresh greens. They are great in soups, stews, casseroles, pesto, smoothies, and more. Thaw completely before use for best flavor and texture.

Are frozen carrot greens as nutritious as fresh?

Frozen carrot greens retain most of their nutrients, especially if blanched before freezing. However, some loss of water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C and B-complex can occur during the blanching and freezing process. But frozen greens still offer far more nutrition than canned or cooked greens.

Can you freeze carrot green pesto?

Yes, you can make pesto with carrot greens and freeze it for later use. Blanch the greens first before mixing with other pesto ingredients like olive oil, garlic, nuts, cheese, etc. Portion into ice cube trays or muffin tins, then transfer to freezer bags once frozen solid for easy use.

How do you freeze cooked carrot greens?

If cooking carrot greens before freezing, it is best to slightly undercook them. Cool completely, then package leaves and liquid together to prevent browning. Leave 1 inch headspace in containers as liquids expand when frozen. Seal tightly before freezing.

Can you freeze raw carrot greens?

Yes, raw carrot greens can be frozen after blanching. Make sure greens are completely dry before freezing, as excess moisture can cause freezing damage. Spread in a single layer on a sheet pan and freeze solid before transferring to airtight bags or containers.


Freezing is an excellent way to preserve fresh carrot greens and extend their shelf life. Blanching before freezing helps maintain their optimal quality and nutrition. Frozen greens can be used in cooked dishes or smoothies for up to a year if stored properly at 0°F. Follow best practices for blanching, cooling, drying, and packaging to get the most out of frozen carrot greens.

Nutrition Facts of Carrot Greens

Carrot greens are highly nutritious, sometimes even more so than the carrot root. Here are some of the key nutrients found in raw carrot greens (per 100g):

Nutrient Amount
Calories 27 kcal
Protein 2.13g
Total Fat 0.54g
Carbohydrates 4.67g
Fiber 2.8g
Sugar 1.36g
Calcium 198mg
Iron 1.4mg
Magnesium 22mg
Phosphorus 58mg
Potassium 379mg
Vitamin C 9.3mg
Vitamin K 710μg

As shown, carrot greens provide a variety of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients. The high vitamin K content is important for blood clotting. Carrot greens also contain carotenoids like beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin which act as antioxidants.

Ways to Use Carrot Greens

Here are some delicious and nutritious ways to use fresh or frozen carrot greens:

Soups and Stews

Add chopped or frozen greens to soups like vegetable, lentil, chicken noodle, and minestrone. They wilt down nicely and add flavor, nutrients, and color.

Pesto and Sauces

Blend carrot greens with olive oil, nuts, garlic, and parmesan to make a vivid green pesto. You can also puree them into chimichurri or other herb sauces.


Toss torn greens into salad mixes or use them as a nutrient-packed lettuce wrap filling.


Add a handful of greens into your morning smoothie. Combined with fruits and veggies, you won’t even taste them.

Quesadillas and Tacos

Saute greens with onions and garlic, then fill quesadillas or tacos for a flavor and nutrition boost.

Omelets and Frittatas

Wilted or sauteed greens pair nicely with eggs. Fold them into omelets or add to a veggie frittata.

Juice and Shots

Juice carrot greens for a sweet, earthy flavored green juice. You can also blend them into green shots along with ginger, lemon, etc.

Storing Fresh Carrot Greens

Proper storage of fresh carrot greens helps retain their freshness and shelf life. Here are some tips:

  • Rinse greens under cool water and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Wrap loosely in paper towels then place inside a perforated plastic bag.
  • Store in the refrigerator crisper drawer, away from ethylene-producing fruits.
  • Use within 3-5 days for optimum freshness and flavor.
  • Do not wash greens until ready to use.

Storing carrot greens with roots attached will prolong their shelf life by a few extra days. Simply trim greens as needed for recipes. Removing the bands holding bundled carrots also improves air circulation and freshness.

Buying and Prepping Carrot Greens

What to Look for When Buying

Choose fresh, perky greens that are vibrant green in color. Avoid greens that are wilted, yellowing, or look dried out. Greens attached to firm, smooth carrots are ideal.

How to Prep for Use

Cut or tear greens off carrots as needed. Give them a thorough rinse and pat dry. Trim away any thick stems. Chop leaves into smaller pieces if desired. Blanching before use helps mellow the flavor.

Can You Regrow Carrot Greens?

Yes, the crown and top 1-2 inches of carrot roots can be reused to regrow fresh carrot greens indoors. Place base in a shallow dish with just the top exposed. Keep watered and in a sunny spot. Harvest smaller leaves as they grow.

Nutrition Comparison of Carrot Greens and Spinach

Carrot greens have a nutritional profile that is fairly comparable to spinach greens. Here is a nutrition comparison of these two super healthy greens (per 100g):

Nutrient Carrot Greens Spinach
Calories 27 kcal 23 kcal
Protein 2.13g 2.86g
Total Fat 0.54g 0.39g
Carbohydrates 4.67g 3.63g
Fiber 2.8g 2.2g
Calcium 198mg 99mg
Iron 1.4mg 2.7mg
Magnesium 22mg 79mg
Phosphorus 58mg 49mg
Potassium 379mg 558mg
Vitamin A 1363 IU 469 IU
Vitamin C 9.3mg 28mg
Vitamin K 710μg 482μg

As you can see, both greens are low calorie, high fiber foods that deliver many important vitamins and minerals. Carrot greens contain more vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. Spinach has higher amounts of vitamin C and magnesium. But both are excellent, nutritious additions to a healthy diet.

Possible Risks of Eating Carrot Greens

Carrot greens are very safe for most people to consume. However, there are a few potential risks and considerations:

  • Pesticide residue – Greens can harbor more pesticide residue than roots. Buying organic reduces this risk.
  • Kidney stones – Greens contain oxalates which can contribute to kidney stones in those prone to them.
  • Allergies – Carrots belong to the umbelliferous family, so those with parsley, celery, or carrot allergies may react.
  • Blood thinning medication – Due to the high vitamin K content, patients on blood thinners should exercise caution and consult their doctor.

For most people, moderate amounts of carrot greens are very healthy and safe to enjoy. But those with the conditions above may want to exercise some caution.

Taste and Uses of Carrot Leaves vs. Carrot Greens

Carrot leaves and carrot greens refer to the same part of the plant, but there are some differences:

Carrot Leaves

  • More delicate, smaller leaves higher up on plant.
  • Adds a fresh, herbaceous flavor.
  • Best used raw in salads, smoothies, etc.

Carrot Greens

  • Larger leaves closer to the root.
  • Earthier, more carrot-like flavor.
  • Better for cooking in soups, stews, stir fries.

Both can be used interchangeably in most recipes. But carrot leaves offer a more refined, herb-like taste that pairs well raw. Carrot greens have a heartier texture suited for cooking.

Recipes Using Carrot Greens

Here are a few tasty recipe ideas that put carrot greens to delicious use:

Carrot Green Pesto

Blend chopped carrot greens, olive oil, parmesan, garlic, nuts, lemon juice, and seasonings for a vivid pesto to toss with pasta, spread on sandwiches, use as a dip, or top proteins.

Carrot Green Smoothie

Add a handful of greens to your favorite fruit smoothie recipe. Combined with banana, mango, pineapple, etc. you won’t even taste them.

Carrot Green Frittata

Saute chopped greens, onions, and garlic, then add beaten eggs. Bake until set and top with cheese for a protein-packed breakfast.

Carrot Top Tapenade

Pulse greens, olive oil, olives, capers, garlic, and lemon in a food processor. Spread on bread or crackers for a unique tapenade.

Carrot Green Soup

Simmer greens, onions, garlic, broth, and nutmeg, then blend. Finish with cream or coconut milk for a bright, flavorful soup.

The earthy, fresh flavor of carrot greens can enhance many recipes. Get creative with these nutritious discarded leaves!

The Bottom Line

Don’t throw away your carrot tops again! These nutritious greens can be easily frozen for preservation or used fresh in many recipes. Freezing requires blanching first to retain optimal quality and freshness. Carrot greens add great flavor, nutrients, color, and texture to pesto, soups, smoothies, eggs, and more. With proper handling and storage, both fresh and frozen carrot greens can be enjoyed long after the roots are gone.

Leave a Comment