Freezing Green Chilies


Introduction: Freezing Green Chilies

About: I am married with two children. Spring, summer, and fall are my very favorite times of the year. I love the sunshine thus the reason for my name. The 2 I's are because sunshine was already taken. I enjoy wo...

One benefit of quick freezing, is the food does not stick together so you can remove as much as you want from a bag without thawing the entire bag.  Berries stay nicer if they  frozen separetly .  This tutorial will show how to  freeze green chilies so you can enjoy them all year round. This method can be used with roasted bell peppers and other vegetables. I am not showing how to roast them but will give a link that is easy to learn how to roast them yourself. I am taking their ideas a little further and sharing how to  freeze those wonderful peppers.
I remember about ten years ago my mother wanted to roast some green chilies for my sister before she came to visit her. My sister loves green chilies. My mom mentioned it was a lot harder to roast the chilies than she had expected.  The truth is,  it is not difficult at all. My mother did not know the simple way to preserve them.  

Step 1: Choosing a Brand

I always look forward to this time of the year. New Mexico is known for its delicious Mexican food. Red or green? That is the question that is commonly asked in New Mexico restaurants. Most people here prefer green chilies. Farmers Market have their roasting barrels set up in front of the store. You can buy a bushel of green chilies and have them roasted at Farmers Market at no extra charge. My mom did not know that.   

New Mexicans prefer Hatch green chilies or Big Jim's. Most people can eat the mild green chilies. My family appreciate the medium to hot green chilies. I usually buy both because so many people can't eat the hot ones and I do have company. 

  • One bushel looks like a lot of green chilies but they do shrink in volume.  I got 4 gallon freezer bags out of 1/2 bushel. I cook a lot with green chilies and a bushel last me one year. 

Step 2: How to Roast Green Chilies

The green chili season is coming to a close and I almost did not get any this year.  I was not sure if I wanted to put any up this year.  I kind of put it on the back burner,  because we were busy working on our place.  To my surprise my brother brought me a 1/2 bushel of fresh roasted peppers from the store.  I prefer roasting my own because the store does not always cook them long enough in my opinion. But I was excited to receive these just the same.  One year my mother roasted green chilies for my sister in an oven like mine where the broiler is on the very bottom.  You almost have to get on your hands and knees to keep an eye on them making it difficult to roast. Recently a couple of authors here at Instructables posted a tutorial on how to roast them.  So here are the links for those:

Step 3: Supplies for Flash Freezing Roasted Chilies

  • Roasted green chilies
  • Wax paper
  • Cookie sheet
  • 1 Gallon freezer bags (how many and how large depends on how many roasted chilies you have.)
  • Freezer

Step 4: Line the Cookie Sheet

Instructions for preparing the cookie sheet:

  • Line the cookie sheet with wax paper.

Step 5: Place Roasted Chilies on the Cookie Sheet


  • Carefully place the roasted chilies (with the burnt skins left on them) on the cookie sheet making sure they are straight.
  • Allow enough space between each pepper that they do not touch.

Please note:  My mother tried removing the skins and then freezing them.  It is best to leave the skins on because they will peel better,  and this allows the roasting flavor to be stronger.  

Step 6: Freezer

  • Place them in the freezer until they are frozen. 

Step 7: Remove From Freezer

Instructions for bagging them:
  • Remove the chilies from the freezer.
  • Carefully place them into plastic bags.
  • Don't overfill them.
  • Add enough chilies to fill the bag and let the air out before sealing it.
  • Immediately place the bag back into the freezer.
  • They can be stacked after they are completely frozen the 2ND time.

Step 8: Using the Frozen Chilies

How to use the frozen chilies:
  • You simply remove how many you want and peel off the black skins and remove the stem.  
  • This is very easy by the way.You can do this by running them under cool water or allow them to thaw at room temperature or microwave them and then peel.

Step 9: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts

My sister and I do this almost every year.  We enjoy the chilies all year round.  It is quite a bit cheaper to freeze them than to buy them in a can.  This also reduces energy and waste.  I think it took me about an hour total to accomplish this.  I did have to wait in between while 2 racks froze.  

Thank you for stopping by and please do have a splendorous day!




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    mmmmmmmmmmm. I do love roasted green chilies. Now I can see the roasters outside Farmer's market tumbling away. And here I am too far away to smell the aroma. Danged!

    1 reply

    One year I ordered them from the farm and over night Express them to Washington. It was awesome and not too bad on the pocket book. The farmer handled everything. Thanks so much for commenting!

    if you take them still mostly frozen, run them under warm water for a few seconds, just the peel is thawed, and then you can easily remove the skins.

    then wait for them to fully unthaw, flay them remove the tops and most of the seeds.

    Its cool to see fellow New Mexicans on here!

    1 reply

    Thanks so much for sharing. I leave the seeds in because I like them hotter. Yes, it is a small world and it is nice to see you here also! New Mexico has many benefits. I love the weather! Have a splendorous day!

    I also really like that you're holding the layers apart here with frozen English muffins. That's hilarious and the kind of kludge I use all the time. Glad to see it memorialized on instructables.

    1 reply

    Thanks for your comment! I got a chuckle out of it. Have a super day!

    I love green chillies! Yum. Only one question: how is this flash freezing? This seems like just freezing the chillies (which is a perfectly fine instructable, and I think the important insight here is to let the items freeze not touching each other, which both ensures that they don't stick together and probably that they freeze faster/more consistently). It was my understanding that flash freezing involves more than just a freezer but rather liquid nitrogen or something else super cold so that the food freezes without the ice being able to form large ice crystals which break down the cellular structure. Am I wrong?

    Anyway, this is making me miss Los Alamos. Thanks for sharing!

    1 reply

    Oh another green chili fan! I understood it to be either way. I understood it to be flash freeze in that it is frozen after picking. Maybe I am wrong. Thanks for commenting.

    Er... could you use a different introduction image?

    On the thumbnail, that single pepper looks a bit... sluggy.

    5 replies

    Roasted peppers do not film well. Any suggestions? How about the freezer bags? LOL.

    How about the 1st image of step 8? The spilling bag?

    Is this any better or the spilling bag one? Thanks.

    Either's good. I just thought the bag one looked more freezer-related.

    Thanks Kiteman! I will use the freezer bag. Remember to have a splendorous day! Sunshiine