Microwave - Blanching Vegetables

The blanching of vegetables is a procedure used when cooking or preparing vegetables for freezing. The general directions for blanching all vegetables in a microwave are as follows:

  1. Wash, peel, slice or dice vegetables.

  2. Measure 1 quart or 1 pound of vegetables into the recommended size casserole dish listed in the chart below.

  3. Add water as listed in the chart below. Do not add salt. Cover.

  4. Microwave on High (regular power) for half the time. Pause the microwave, uncover the dish and stir the vegetables. Cover the dish and microwave for the second half of the time. Uncover the dish and stir again.

  5. Drain and immediately submerge the vegetables in ice water.

  6. Blot the excess moisture from the vegetables with paper towels and pack in freezer containers.


The chart below gives a general guide for blanching most common vegetables. If you need to blanch a vegetable that is not listed in the chart, please follow the directions for the vegetable which is most like it in size and texture. The times given in the chart are for the High power level (regular power). Use the minimum time for 600 to 700 watt microwave ovens and the maximum time for 500 watts or less microwave ovens.


Please Note: Most newer microwave ovens have a cooking wattage (regular power) which is higher than the cooking wattages (regular power) listed above. You may need to reduce the High power level (regular power) to a lower power level when blanching vegetables in a newer microwave.




Casserole Size 



 Asparagus 1 lb. cut in 1-2" pieces 2 quarts 1/4 cup 3 to 4 mins
 Beans 1 lb. 1-1/2 quarts 1/2 cup 4 to 6 mins
 Broccoli 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lbs. 2 quarts 1/2 cup 4 to 5 1/2 mins
 Cauliflower 1 head cut in  flowerets 2 quarts 1/2 cup 4 to 5-1/2 mins
 Carrots 1 lb. sliced 1-1/2 quart 1/4 cup 4 to 6 mins
 Corn on the Cob Cut corn from 4 ears 1 quart 1/4 cup 4 to 5 mins
 Onions 4 medium-quartered 1 quart 1/2 cup 3 to 4-1/2 mins
 Parsnips 1 lb. cubed 1-1/2 quart 1/4 cup 2 to 1/2 - 4 mins
 Peas 2 lbs. shelled 1 quart 1/4 cup 3-1/2 to  5 mins
 Spinach  1 lb. washed 2 quart none 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 mins
 Squash 1 lb. cubed or sliced 1-1/2 quart 1/4 cup 3 to 4-1/2 mins
 Turnips 1 lb. cubed 1-1/2 quart 1/4 cup 3 to 4-1/2 mins
 Zucchini 1 lb. sliced or cubed 1-1/2 quart 1/4 cup 3 to 4-1/2 mins


Please consult the Owner's Manual for the specific microwave model you own for instructions on how to lower the power level, if needed.