Stuffed peppers are a by-product of creativity in the kitchen. It is not something elaborate but it can serve as a dessert, side dish, or full meal. Stuffed Peppers are versatile because the filling could be anything. It could be cheese, cooked meat, potatoes, fish, or veggies.
Stuffed Peppers require a lot of time to make. If you are the type that works 10 to 11 hours a day, you won’t have the time to make them during the week. So, can you make them in bulk and preserve them till you are ready to eat them? This leads to the question:
Can you freeze stuffed peppers? Yes, you can. Stuffed pepper can be frozen and kept for up to a year. Although, for the best quality, you should eat them within 6 months. Stuffed Peppers freeze well in the freezer, maintaining their texture, taste, and flavor.
For optimal flavor, it would be ideal to eat your stuffed pepper within a month. Stuffed peppers are very prone to freezer burn. So if you decide to keep them in the freezer for too long, they might undergo freezer burn and you won’t enjoy them.
How to Freeze Stuffed Peppers
There are several ways you could go about this. Stuffed peppers can be frozen after you cook them, to reduce the cooking time after you thaw them. If you are also short on time, you can decide to freeze the stuffed peppers raw. Whichever way you decide to go about it, your filling has to be cooked.
- Freezing Raw Stuffed Pepper
- Freezing Cooked Stuffed Pepper
Freezing Raw Stuffed Pepper
Freezing raw stuffed pepper is only less time consuming than cooked stuffed pepper because you don’t have to wait for the peppers to cook and cool. However, freezing the pepper raw can make them a bit off-color and hard and crunchy upon thawing. But, blanching would fix that.
Step 1: Preparation
Follow your recipe until the point where you are about to stuff the pepper with your filling. Then, blanch the peppers for a minute or two.
Step 2: Blanch the Pepper
This isn’t hard, prepare a hot bath by putting a pan of boiling water on fire. While you wait for the water to boil. Prepare an ice bath by adding chunks of ice to a big bowl of water. When the water is boiled, put the pepper into the boiling water and set a timer for 2 minutes.
Once your two minutes elapses, remove the pepper from the hot bath and dip into the ice bath to immediately stop the cooking process. Leave it in there till the pepper is cool to the touch. Then take it out, drain, and air dry.
Blanching helps to soften the pepper, and also reduces cooking time, not by a large margin though. Most importantly, it helps you preserve the flavor, and texture better than just freezing ordinarily.
Step 3: Stuff the Peppers
Stuff the peppers as the recipe instructs. Don’t use the uncooked filling as this could result in complications.
You can also freeze your cooked filling and freeze the peppers without filling them. When you want to eat them, then you stuff them. This is a great experience but means more work for you.
Step 4: Wrap the Stuffed Peppers
You can wrap the peppers in double layers of plastic wrap, or place the filled pepper in a small-sized baking tray and wrap the whole thing with plastic wrap before finishing it off with aluminum foil.
Wrapping your stuffed pepper helps you to not thaw the whole pack when you need to eat them. You could just thaw any amount you can finish at a go.
Step 5: Storage and Freezing
Place the individually wrapped stuffed peppers into airtight freezer bags. You can do 4 stuffed peppers per 1 gallon of bag space. Press all the air out from the bags before you seal them.
If you had used the small-sized baking sheet method, just write on the aluminum foil a label stating the contents and date of the freeze. Do the same for the freezer bags. As you might already know, this would help you not to lose track of what you have stored in the freezer.
Freezing Cooked Stuffed Peppers
Pretty easy, but it takes time.
Step 1: Follow the Recipe
Follow whichever recipe you have in your use to the very end. Stuff as instructed, bake as instructed, and wait for it to cool.
You can freeze the stuffed peppers on a tray in the freezer to help cool them down. You see, freezing stuffed peppers while they are still warm can make them soggy upon thawing.
Step 2: Storage and Freezing
Wrap the stuffed peppers in layers of plastic wrap individually or use a small-sized baking sheet as described above. The same goes for when you want to freeze too.
How to Thaw Frozen Stuffed Peppers
Take your stuffed peppers while still frozen out of the freezer, remove the plastic wrap and bake in the oven at 350°F for 30 minutes or till the pepper is heated through. This is what works for frozen cooked stuffed peppers.
For uncooked stuffed peppers you can thaw first in the refrigerator to reduce the overall cooking time. Just follow the recipe after you have thawed the peppers in the refrigerator. Use the usual baking method, time range, or temperature.