Can you preserve zucchini noodles?

Quick Answer

Yes, there are several methods for preserving homemade zucchini noodles to extend their shelf life. The most common ways to preserve zucchini noodles include blanching and freezing, dehydrating, and canning in jars. Properly preserved zucchini noodles can last for several months in the freezer, up to a year when dehydrated, and up to a year when canned.

How should you preserve zucchini noodles?

Here are some of the best methods for preserving homemade zucchini noodles:


One of the easiest ways to preserve zucchini noodles is by blanching and freezing them. To do this:

  1. Wash and spiralize zucchini into noodles.
  2. Blanch the noodles in boiling water for 1-2 minutes until slightly softened.
  3. Drain and immediately submerge in ice water to stop cooking.
  4. Pat dry thoroughly and pack into freezer bags or containers, removing any excess air.
  5. Freeze for up to 8 months.

To use frozen zucchini noodles, thaw overnight in the refrigerator or quickly in a colander under running cold water. They can go straight from frozen into soups, casseroles and stir fries.


Dehydrating is another excellent way to preserve fresh zucchini noodles. To dehydrate:

  1. Wash and spiralize zucchini.
  2. Spread noodles in a single layer on dehydrator trays.
  3. Dehydrate at 135°F for 6-8 hours, until brittle and completely dried.
  4. Store dried zucchini noodles in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Rehydrate dehydrated zucchini noodles by simmering in sauce, broth or hot water for a few minutes before using. They work great in soups, casseroles, stir fries and pasta dishes.


For long term storage, zucchini noodles can be canned using a pressure canner:

  1. Wash and spiralize zucchini.
  2. Blanch noodles for 1-2 minutes until slightly softened.
  3. Drain and pack tightly into clean mason jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace.
  4. Pour boiling water, broth or tomato juice over zucchini to cover, leaving another 1 inch of headspace.
  5. Wipe jar rims, apply lids and process in a pressure canner at 11 PSI for 25 minutes for pints or 30 minutes for quarts.
  6. Allow to cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours until sealed.
  7. Store in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.

Canned zucchini noodles are precooked so you can simply drain and use in recipes right from the jar. Always inspect jars before opening to ensure the seal is still intact.

What are the benefits of preserving zucchini noodles?

Preserving zucchini noodles has several advantages:

  • Extends shelf life – Fresh zucchini noodles only last 3-5 days in the fridge. Preserving lets you make a large batch and keep them for months.
  • Saves money – Buying zucchini in bulk when in season and preserving some to use later saves money compared to buying year-round.
  • Reduces waste – Preserving prevents good zucchini and homemade noodles from being thrown out when you can’t use them up fast enough.
  • Convenient – Having ready-to-use zucchini noodles on hand saves time compared to spiralizing them fresh each time.
  • Accessibility – Preserved zucchini noodles allow you to enjoy homegrown or seasonal zucchini all year long.
  • Variety – Preserving zucchini noodles in different ways (frozen, dehydrated, canned) gives you options for how to use them.

Whether you grow your own zucchini or find it cheap in the summer, preserving the spiralized noodles is an easy way to extend their usage and have homegrown zucchini any time of year.

Do you need to blanch zucchini noodles before freezing?

Blanching before freezing zucchini noodles is highly recommended. Here’s why:

  • Blanching stops the enzymes that cause loss of flavor, color and texture during freezing.
  • It prevents zucchini noodles from turning mushy or watery when frozen and thawed.
  • It helps the noodles better retain their bright green color.
  • It allows you to get a larger quantity of noodles in each freezer bag or container.
  • It slightly softens the texture so the noodles are easier to use straight from frozen.

Blanching makes a big difference in the final frozen product compared to just freezing raw zucchini noodles. Plan to blanch for 1-2 minutes depending on thickness. Shock in an ice bath immediately after to stop the cooking process.

Skipping the blanching step causes the noodles to leach liquid and become soggy when thawed. It also intensifies enzyme action and oxidation, causing faster quality deterioration.

While not required, blanching ultimately gives you better quality frozen zucchini noodles that are like fresh for a much longer time.

What are the best ways to use preserved zucchini noodles?

Here are some of the top ways to use zucchini noodles after preserving them:

Frozen Zucchini Noodles

  • Stir fries
  • Soups like chicken noodle soup or minestrone
  • Casseroles like zucchini lasagna or baked ziti
  • Lo mein or pad thai
  • Curries and coconut milk-based dishes
  • Substitute for pasta in any dish

Dehydrated Zucchini Noodles

  • Rehydrate and add to soups and stews
  • Rehydrate and use in casseroles and baked pasta dishes
  • Rehydrate and sauté with garlic oil for a quick side
  • Make raw zucchini wraps with hummus and veggies
  • Use in vegan and raw zucchini pasta recipes
  • Crumble into bread or muffin batters

Canned Zucchini Noodles

  • Drain and toss with your favorite pasta sauce
  • Use in soups, adding straight from the jar
  • Make chilled zucchini noodle salads dressed with oil and vinegar
  • Add to stir fries for an instant boost of veggies
  • Make zucchini noodle cakes by pan frying patties of canned noodles
  • Use in any recipe calling for cooked noodles

The convenience of having preserved zucchini noodles ready to go makes it easy to use them in many dishes all year long. They are great in cold salads, hot soups, stir fries, baked casseroles and more!

What containers work best for freezing zucchini noodles?

The best containers for freezing zucchini noodles include:

  • Freezer bags – Lay flat for efficient freezing and stacking. Choose thicker freezer-grade bags.
  • Plastic containers – Hard sides prevent noodles from getting crushed or misshapen.
  • Glass jars – Use wide mouth jars leaving headspace. Durable and reusable.
  • Vacuum sealer bags – Sucks out excess air and prevents freezer burn.
  • Ice cube trays – Freeze individual servings handy for dropping into recipes.

When choosing any freezer container:

  • Make sure it is moisture-proof and airtight.
  • Allow headspace for noodles to expand as they freeze.
  • Label with contents and date.
  • Ensure it is made for freezing temperatures.
  • Choose a size ideal for your household’s usage.

Sturdy plastic, glass and heavily durable bags are optimal. Stack containers flat in freezer to prevent breaking and make best use of space.

How long do dehydrated zucchini noodles last?

When properly dehydrated and stored, zucchini noodles can last for approximately:

  • 6-12 months at room temperature.
  • 4-8 months in the fridge.
  • 1-2 years in the freezer.

The key factors affecting dehydrated zucchini noodles’ shelf life are:

  • Moisture level – Noodles should be completely dried with no moisture left when done.
  • Storage method – Cooler storage extending lifespan.
  • Exposure to air/light – Covered containers in the dark help preserve quality and freshness.
  • Handling – Avoid contamination and cross-contamination.

Properly dehydrated zucchini noodles with only 10% moisture left will feel brittle and snap when bent. Check for spots of moisture and signs of mold growth. Discard noodles if moisture returns or mold develops during storage.

For maximum shelf life up to 1-2 years, store dehydrated zucchini noodles in an airtight container in the freezer. Refrigeration keeps them edible for 4-8 months by slowing spoilage.

What are the best jars to use for canning zucchini noodles?

The best jars for canning zucchini noodles include:

  • Mason jars – Durable, reusable glass jars designed specifically for home canning. Common sizes include pints and quarts.
  • Kerr jars – Another reputable canning jar brand making both regular and wide-mouth preserve jars.
  • Ball jars – A trusted source of mason jars perfect for pressure canning zucchini. Offer pint, quart and half-gallon sizes.
  • Le Parfait jars – French brand of wide-mouth glass canning jars available in smaller sizes ideal for zucchini noodles.
  • Weck jars – Offer rubber gaskets and metal clasps to easily seal in contents. Reusable glass jars.

Key features to look for:

  • Tempered glass to withstand pressure canning heat.
  • Tight sealing lids to prevent air exposure.
  • BPA-free.
  • Wide mouths (3 inches) for easily fitting zucchini noodles.

Always inspect jars for cracks, chips and defects before reuse. Only use jars specifically manufactured for canning when preserving. Follow recommended headspace and processing times.

Can you preserve zucchini noodles without cooking?

It is not recommended to preserve zucchini noodles without cooking as this can increase the risk of spoilage and foodborne illness:

  • Raw zucchini contains enzymes that can lead to quality loss and faster spoilage.
  • The high water content also makes fresh zucchini noodles prone to quick spoilage from bacteria growth.
  • Freezing causes cell walls to rupture and leak liquid, leading to soggy noodles unless blanched first.
  • Canning requires high heat from pressure canning to kill bacteria and create an airtight seal.
  • Dehydrating requires heating to temperatures between 130-155°F to safely lower moisture levels for preservation.

Some cooking method like blanching, simmering or steam blanching is recommended when preserving zucchini noodles by any method. The small amount of heat stops enzyme action, wilting and quality deterioration while helping them better maintain texture, flavor and appearance during storage.

For food safety, zucchini noodles should always be treated as a low-acid vegetable requiring heat processing when preserving long-term.


Zucchini noodles can be successfully preserved at home by freezing, dehydrating or pressure canning. Each method extends the shelf life of fresh zucchini noodles to give you access to their nutritious goodness all year long.

Blanching before freezing or drying helps maintain quality. Stored properly in airtight containers in the freezer, fridge or pantry, preserved zucchini noodles can last for many months. Add them conveniently to soups, stir fries, casseroles and pasta dishes for an instant health boost.

With some simple equipment and time when zucchini is in season, you can enjoy homemade zucchini noodles no matter what the season. Preserving also reduces waste and saves money compared to buying fresh.

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