Here’s all you need to know about freezing chives. Learn how to freeze chives, how to thaw them, and how to use them after defrosting.
Say you’ve bought a bunch of chives, used a few stalks, and aren’t sure what to do with the rest. That’s when you ask: can you freeze fresh chives?
Or maybe you got a few bunches from the farmer’s market and want to preserve them for longer.
Either way, freezing is the best solution here, and that’s what we’ll discuss in this article.
Here’s what we cover below:
- how freezing affects chives, i.e., the pros and cons of doing it
- the easiest way to freeze chives (I’m not going to suggest making chive butter or pre-freezing the herb on a cookie sheet)
- using frozen chives
If that’s what you’re looking for, read on!
Can You Freeze Chives?
You can freeze chives, and the only downside is that they lose their crispness, and the flavor and smell are slightly muted after thawing. Unless the recipe depends on chives to be crisp, that’s usually not an issue.
While many veggies don’t freeze particularly well or require a bit of extra prep, most herbs don’t belong to either of these groups. Quite on the contrary: freezing fresh dill, chives, or parsley, is quick and simple.
The only downside, as I already mentioned, is that the herb is soft and mushy after thawing and doesn’t taste as good as a fresh one.
(The same happens to frozen and thawed celery.)
In many cooking scenarios (e.g., when adding chives to scrambled eggs, or mixing with cream cheese and grated radishes), however, you can hardly notice any difference.
If you’re using chives in only one or two recipes, consider freezing a small amount and testing how those recipes turn out. If they’re a-okay, freezing chives is a good option for you. If not, stick to using them fresh.
Overall, chives don’t last long, so freezing is the best solution if you have too much on hand.
How To Freeze Fresh Chives
The freezing method I describe below is super simple and doesn't take that long. I cut the herb up in a way it's ready to be used without thawing. Chopping mushy defrosted chives isn't a pleasant experience.
The only thing that requires attention is making sure the chives are dry before putting them in the freezer. Other than that, it's difficult to mess up anything.
- Wash chives under running water.
- Pat the chives dry. I usually leave the bunch on a kitchen towel for about 15 minutes, then pat the stalks dry. If you're using paper towels, you can leave them on the counter to dry and use them again next time.
- Chop the chives. In this step, we prep the herb so that it's ready to be used whenever needed.
- Transfer chopped chives into a freezer bag. Squeeze out all the air before sealing the bag. Add a label to your bag if you like.
- Chuck the bag into the freezer.
If you're worried that chives will form a big clump in the bag, don't be. If you make sure the herb is dry before freezing, it won't clump.
Some small lumps might form anyway, but you can easily break them apart with your fingers or using a fork.
Using Frozen Chives
Frozen chopped chives thaw in a matter of minutes. But in most cases, there’s no need to do that anyway. Usually, you can grab a teaspoon and add the amount you need to whatever you’re cooking.
But if you really need to thaw chives first, transfer them onto a plate and leave them on the counter for 10 minutes. It should get the job done.
When it comes to recipes that you can use frozen chives in, you can add them to pretty much anything as long as the dish doesn’t depend on the chives’ texture. That means you can still use them when making chive butter if that’s your thing.
As I mentioned earlier, if you’re not sure if somewhat mushy chives will work in your recipe, give a small amount a test drive. If things go south, well, at least now you know that.