Broccoli is a vegetable with a bright green or purple flowering head, sturdy stalk, and nutrient-dense leaves. It belongs to the *Brassicaceae* family–home to cruciferous veggies such as cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts. [Broccoli](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-grow-and-harvest-broccoli-in-your-home-garden) can be eaten in its entirety and prepared in a [myriad of ways](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-cook-broccoli-how-to-steam-broccoli-and-roasted-broccoli-recipe): raw, roasted, steamed, sautéed, and even battered and fried.\n\nYou can freeze fresh broccoli for later use. Follow this step-by-step tutorial to learn how to prepare broccoli for the freezer:\n\n1. __Determine the freshness of your broccoli__. Choose fresh broccoli that feels firm, with crowns that are bright green or purple. Avoid heads of broccoli with yellow spots or brown spots on the crown.\n2. __Wash the broccoli to remove dirt__. Remove the leaves and discard. To give the broccoli a deep cleaning, soak it in salted water for thirty minutes to remove the dirt from the broccoli crown.\n3. __Cut the broccoli crown into equal-sized florets__. If you are freezing the broccoli stem, peel off the tough outer skin using a vegetable peeler and cut it into pieces equal in size to the florets. \n4. __Blanch the broccoli__. Boil a large pot of water on the stove, and place the broccoli pieces into the boiling water to blanch them. Blanching broccoli will deactivate the enzymes that cause broccoli to lose its color, flavor, and texture. Blanching the broccoli can take up to three minutes, depending on the size of the broccoli florets.\n5. __Remove the broccoli from the boiling water__. The broccoli should be slightly soft, bright green, and have a bite to it. Remove florets from the boiling water with a slotted spoon, and immediately place the broccoli in a large bowl of ice water. The ice bath will stop the broccoli's cooking process.\n6. __Dry the broccoli__. Drain the blanched broccoli in a colander and dry with paper towels.\n7. __Place the broccoli on a baking sheet__. Arrange the broccoli in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place the sheet tray in the freezer for about two hours or until the broccoli is frozen solid. Flash freezing will prevent the broccoli pieces from sticking together. \n8. __Store the frozen broccoli__. Transfer the broccoli pieces to an airtight container or a freezer bag, pressing the excess air out of the plastic bag before sealing. Pressing out the air will prevent ice crystals and freezer burn.\nBroccoli will keep for up to a year in the freezer. You can use broccoli straight from the freezer because the florets and stem pieces are partially cooked. You can steam, roast, and stir-fry frozen broccoli and add it to any recipe that calls for fresh broccoli, including [pasta dishes](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-make-broccoli-pesto-pasta), soups, stews, and casseroles.\nBecome a better chef with the [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com). Gain access to exclusive video lessons taught by the world’s best, including Alice Waters, Gabriela Cámara, Niki Nakayama, Chef Thomas Keller, Gordon Ramsay, Yotam Ottolenghi, Dominique Ansel, and more.\nYou can freeze broccoli for later use in soups, stews, casseroles, and more. Learn how to freeze broccoli.