Can you freeze pesto?

Wondering if you can freeze pesto? This guide will answer all your questions about how to properly store your pesto in the freezer and how long it will last!

Pesto is a flavorful and versatile sauce that is commonly used to add flavor to pasta, sandwiches, and other dishes. It is made with basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil, and is typically served with pasta. If you have a batch of pesto that you’re not sure you’ll be able to use up before it goes bad, you may be wondering if it’s possible to freeze it for later use.

The good news is that pesto can be frozen and will retain its flavor and texture for several months. Yes, even the pesto you buy at the supermarket can be frozen because it’s made with fresh ingredients.

It is in fact mandatory for the manufacturer to indicate on the label if the pesto was prepared with frozen ingredients. In this case, you have to freeze it immediately when you open the jar because if you leave it exposed to the air, it may be exposed to oxidation which favors bacterial growth.

Here’s what you need to know about freezing pesto:

How to freeze pesto

As the best basil is seasonal, you may wish to freeze batches of pesto for a welcome return to summer in the colder months. There are a few different ways you can freeze pesto, depending on what you have available and how you plan to use it in the future. Here are a few options:

Freezing pesto in ice cube trays

One of the easiest ways to freeze pesto is to use an ice cube tray. There are both plastic and silicone molds on the market: clearly, we recommend the silicone ones, which are more comfortable.

To freeze pesto in ice cube trays or ice molds;

  1. Fill the compartments of an ice cube tray with pesto, leaving a little space at the top for expansion Each cube will more or less accommodate an 80-gram portion of the sauce
  2. Next, drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top of the pesto in the tray and cover it with plastic film. This extra layer of olive oil on top of the pesto helps preserve its color and prevent darkening due to oxidation.
  3. Place the tray in the freezer for several hours or until the pesto is frozen solid. It is best to leave the pesto to flash-freeze in the ice molds overnight.
  4. Once frozen, remove the cubes from the tray and transfer them to a resealable freezer bag.
  5. Label the bag with the date and contents, return it to the freezer, and leave them there until necessary

Freezing in glass jars

You can also freeze your pesto in the jars. This method is especially convenient if you want to thaw and use the pesto in larger quantities

Before preparing the pesto, have a sterilized glass jar with a lid and a roll of plastic wrap handy. Small glass jars, such as half-pint or four-ounce jars, are perfect for freezing pesto. The jar should hold only slightly more than the amount of pesto you are making.

Prepare the pesto. Leaving a little space in the jar, pack in the pesto and cover the top with a 1/4 inch layer of olive oil. Press a piece of plastic wrap evenly over the surface of the oil allowing the wrap to hang over the sides of the jar.

Screw on the lid and freeze immediately. Pesto will keep for weeks, if not months if prepared properly. Thaw to room temperature before adding to a recipe.

What is the shelf life of pesto in the freezer?

Pesto will keep in the freezer for about 3-4 months. Be sure to label your containers or bags with the date so you know how long the pesto has been in the freezer.

How to Use Frozen Pesto

There are many ways to use frozen pesto in your cooking. Here are a few ideas:

  • You can add it to hot dishes: If you are adding pesto to a hot dish, such as pasta sauce or a stir-fry, you can simply take the frozen pesto out of the freezer and add it as is. It will thaw quickly in the hot dish and regain its creamy consistency as it cooks.
  • Use it as a dip: To use frozen pesto as a dip, simply remove it from the freezer and let it thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes and enjoy.
  • As a salad dressing: Thaw some pesto and mix it with a little bit of olive oil to create a flavorful salad dressing.
  • Sandwich spread: Use frozen pesto as a spread on sandwiches or wraps.
  • Marinade: Thaw some pesto and mix it with olive oil, vinegar, and spices to create a marinade for chicken, fish, or vegetables.
  • You can use it in soup: Add a spoonful of frozen pesto to your soup for added flavor.

There are many other ways to incorporate frozen pesto into your meals, so get creative and see what works for you!

How to thaw frozen pesto

When it comes to thawing frozen pesto, you have a few options. When you need it, take the cubes you need from the bag and then let them defrost at room temperature.

If you plan to incorporate your pesto into a hot dish, you can add the frozen cubes directly to the pot or pan, stirring until it regains its creamy consistency. Do not thaw frozen pesto in the microwaves this may cause alterations in flavor and texture.

Can you refreeze pesto?

I, personally do not recommend refreezing pesto, as it can become pasty and take on an unappealing brown color. Instead, you can use the ice cube method or glass jar method described above to freeze your pesto in small portions, so that you can thaw only as much as you need at a time. This will help ensure that your pesto stays fresh and retains its full flavor and texture.

In conclusion, freezing pesto is a convenient way to preserve its freshness and flavor for later use. With the right approach, you can easily thaw and enjoy your pesto whenever you want, without the hassle of making it from scratch. So, it is a good idea to freeze pesto to use it later on.

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