How to freeze kale

If you want to preserve your vegetables longer, you might just want to freeze them. I often freeze kale leaves here at home. This is how I do it.

En kasse med nyskördad grönkål. Freeze kale, a large bag of newly harvested kale.

I'm going to freeze kale today! This large bag is going in my freezer later.


Kale is in many ways a perfect vegetable. Especially for beginners. You can harvest the kale in several stages of development and grow it in fall and winter when you don't have to worry about pests either. Kale is such a versatile vegetable and extremely healthy too! In my opinion, everyone should grow it.


Read more: Growing Jagallo Nero black kale


Deer, wool and row cover

I decided to grow several different varieties this year. For example the variety Dwarf Green Curled. It's fantastic! It's a low-growing variety with a generous amount of large, bright green leaves. Since it's low-growing, you can easily put row cover on top to protect your kale.

Late fall is the most difficult time of the year for my kale. I know that some of you don't have to worry about grazing deer and hares, but we have plenty of them here. Some people say that a layer of wool on top of the kale will keep them away. But in my experience, the hungry animals don't care too much about it. I cover large areas of my garden with wool but I haven't noticed any difference. Instead, I just leave the row cover on. This will keep the animals away though.

I wanted to keep as much of my harvest as possible, so I decided to freeze the kale.  I'm not going to move my plants to the polytunnel this year. Some of the leaves have started to rot and I'm guessing that it will get worse if I move them to the polytunnel. So, why not freeze kale instead? It works really well! The large leaves won't take up much space in the freezer either, so you can freeze lots of it at once.


More about kale: 17 kale varieties


Ett kålland, där delar av plantorna står under nät.

The kale is doing reasonably well underneath the row cover, but some of it has started to rot because of the damp weather. I'm going to freeze kale today to prevent further damages.


Pick and freeze kale

  • pick the leaves and remove the middle stalk
  • rinse the leaves and put them on a towel to dry
  • cut into smaller pieces
  • put the leaves in a freezer bag and squeeze the air from the bag
  • close the bag and put it in the freezer

If you have plenty of room in your freezer, you might want to try putting individual leaves in the freezer. This way, you can grab a few leaves whenever you want and then remove the middle stalk afterward.


Parboil kale

Parboiled leaves take up less space, which I think is really convenient. You don't have to do it though! But if you want to try it, this is how you do it:

  • pick the leaves and remove the middle stalk
  • rinse the leaves carefully
  • put the leaves in a large pot filled with boiling water, with a pinch of salt
  • boil for 1-2 minutes
  • rinse the leaves in cold water
  • squeeze the water from the leaves
  • freeze the kale in flat packages or make little kale balls

You can use this method for a number of kale varieties.


En hand håller en påse fylld med hackad grönkål. Freeze kale, a large bag filled with chopped kale.

A nice big bag of kale leaves, ready for the freezer.


Using frozen kale

You can use your frozen kale instead of for example spinach or chard. When you freeze kale, the flavor is actually nicely preserved, but it will taste slightly sweeter than the fresh kale. If you overwinter the kale outside, the same thing will happen. The kale is so delicious though, the perfect ingredient in everything from soup to pies, pasta sauces, lasagna, gratins and stews. You can even make a kale salad using frozen leaves.


En rund, blå tallrik är fylld av sallad på mörk grönkål och röda äpplen. Den står på ett träbord.

I have plenty of kale recipes here on the blog. This is a apple and kale salad with a mustard dressing.


Kale recipes

I'm trying to remind myself that we need a lot of vegetables in spring. But it's difficult to imagine the future now that there's so much to harvest. Later this winter, and even in early spring, I know that the situation will be different though. We are going to need a lot of vegetables by then. One of the solutions might just be to freeze kale and use it later when we start to run out of food. Picking a few homegrown kale leaves from the freezer and pan-frying it with a little garlic is just the best. So, why not try to freeze kale too?
/Sara Bäckmo

25. November 2019

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *