Are you wondering if you can freeze soffritto? The answer is yes, and here’s how!
I love cooking, but some weeknights I can barely find the time.
When you’re strapped for time or just feeling exhausted, having little things prepped for your meals makes a big difference.
I always like to have a few essentials prepped in my fridge going into the week and oftentimes, one of those essentials is soffritto.
Mincing the celery, carrots, and onions for the base of a tomato sauce or soup isn’t hard, per se, but having them already chopped is a treat and saves a little time.
Of course, I can’t always use up all of the homemade soffritto I prepared before it goes bad. For that reason, I’m a huge proponent of freezing soffritto.
Freezing soffritto is a great way to prevent food waste and have soffritto on hand to make cooking easier. Being able to go to the freezer and grab a serving of soffritto makes the process of cooking more fun, faster, and easier.
What is Soffritto?
Soffritto is a mixture of aromatic ingredients that are used as the flavor base in a lot of Italian cooking, such as pasta sauces and soups. Soffritto is made up of finely chopped yellow onions, celery, and carrots which are cooked in olive oil or sometimes butter.
The general rule for the ratio of these key ingredients is 2-1-1, or two parts onion, one part celery, and one part carrot.
“Soffritto” comes from the Italian word “soffriggere” which means to lightly fry something. This is because true Italian soffritto is cooked low and slow to give it a depth of flavor and to slightly brown it.
Can You Freeze Soffritto?
You can freeze soffritto very easily. Soffritto does not require any blanching to freeze it and frozen soffrito does not require any defrosting! That’s about as easy as it gets when freezing vegetables.
Having a big batch of soffritto mix on hand in the freezer is a great idea to preserve vegetables, prevent food waste, and have part of your meal ready to make cooking more effortless in the future.
How to Freeze Soffritto
The first step is to prepare a delicious homemade soffritto. We go into everything you need to know about making your own soffrito our full blog post on Italian Soffritto. All you need is a sharp knife or a food processor!
Once it’s prepared, you can decide the method you’ll use to freeze your soffritto. It’s best to freeze the soffritto into small portions so you can take what you need from the freezer and add it to your dish without defrosting a big block of chopped veggies.
There are a few different ways to freeze small portions. Here are the best methods:
Ice cube trays: Pack your prepared soffritto into the cells of an ice cube tray and freeze them completely. Once the cubes are frozen, you can pop them out of the ice cube trays and store them in a plastic bag. Take as many cubes as you need for a dish and add them directly to a hot pan of oil.
Muffin tins: Pack the cups of a muffin tin with prepared soffritto and freeze the muffin tin until the soffritto is completely frozen. Remove the large cubes of soffritto from the muffin tin by running the bottom of the muffin tin under warm water for about 10 seconds, being careful not to get water on the soffritto. The cubes will release from the tray and you can store them in a plastic bag for later use.
Small bags: Freeze your soffritto in single-serving plastic bags, such as snack bags or sandwich bags. Label each bag with the contents and the date, then fill them with as much soffritto as you would like to use in a single meal. Freeze them laying flat and use an entire bag for one meal.
If you want to have a big bag of frozen soffritto and take out however much you need for each meal, it is best to flash freeze it on a baking tray so that the vegetables don’t stick together.
Here’s how to do that:
- Spread your prepared soffritto out on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Be sure to do a thin, single layer so the vegetables aren’t touching too much.
- Put the baking tray in your freezer for a few hours, until the outside surface of the vegetables is frozen.
- Transfer your soffritto into a resealable freezer bag that is labeled with the date and contents. Return the soffritto to the freezer as quickly as possible so the vegetables don’t defrost and stick together when refrozen.
- When you’re ready to use it, grab a small amount out of the bag. While there may be small chunks, the soffritto should not be frozen solid because of the flash freezing.
Tips for Freezing Soffritto
- Always store your soffrito in an airtight container to maintain its freshness and prevent freezer burn. If you are storing it in a zip-top bag, be sure to squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing the bag.
- Try to keep each of your vegetables chopped to roughly the same size when you’re making the soffritto. This way, the vegetables will cook at roughly the same rate.
- Always be sure to label your bags with the date and contents so you aren’t trying to figure out what’s going on in your freezer when you’d rather be cooking.
- If you follow recipes often, consider freezing your soffritto into measured portions, such as “one cup” or “two cups” so you can grab the exact amount you need for a recipe.
How Long Can You Freeze Soffritto?
Soffritto can be frozen for up to six months for best results. The soffritto will still be safe to eat if left longer than that, but it will become susceptible to freezer burn and the flavor may degrade. The more tightly sealed the container, the longer soffrito will taste fresh.
Soffiritto vs. Mirepoix: What’s the difference?
Mirepoix is the French version of soffritto. It is a flavor base of aromatic vegetables for French cooking that is also made up of equal amounts of celery and carrots with two parts onion.
Mirepoix differs in its country of origin and it may be raw or cooked. Soffritto, in order to be soffritto, must be cooked. Italian soffrito is more often cooked in olive oil while French Mirepoix is usually cooked in butter.
Soffritto and mirepoix are often confused with Spanish sofrito, which is a Latin aromatic base made up of tomatoes, peppers, fresh cilantro, onions, and garlic. Another variation is the Creole Holy Trinity which is onions, bell peppers, and celery.
How Long Does Soffritto Last in The Fridge?
Soffritto can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days. Because of this relatively short shelf life, freezing soffritto is a great way to save your soffritto longer and prevent any waste.
How to Use Frozen Soffritto
It couldn’t be easier to use frozen soffritto; there is no defrosting required! The best way to use frozen soffritto is to toss it straight from the freezer into the pan on medium heat.
The cooking time may be slightly longer than fresh soffritto, but neither takes long. Fry it with some olive oil and use it in some delicious Italian dishes, such as minestrone soup, bolognese sauce, or pasta and soffritto cream.