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How To Store Cauliflower

Loved by some, but misunderstood by others, this little gem called cauliflower can shine if given the right care and attention. So, let’s dive into how to store cauliflower, including the best ways to buy and even freeze it for all your culinary endeavors.

Best ways to store cauliflower


To store cauliflower, place the unwashed head in a plastic bag, stem side up, in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer. For cut cauliflower, store it in airtight containers or bags and use it within a few days. Cooked cauliflower can be refrigerated in a sealed container for 3-5 days. Cauliflower can be frozen after blanching.

Bowl full of cauliflower florets on a dark wooden background

Let’s start with one of the most common questions I receive – how should we store cauliflower? The good news is, handling raw cauliflower couldn’t be easier.

Whole Cauliflower

Whole raw cauliflower is pretty simple to store, just pop it into a plastic bag (preferably a resealable one) and stash it in your fridge’s crisper drawer.

And resist the temptation to wash it before storing it. Moisture is not our friend here as it can lead to unwanted mold.

When stored properly, raw cauliflower can last up to 2 weeks, giving you ample time to figure out whether you want to roast it, mash it, or turn it into a low-carb pizza crust!

Cut cauliflower

As for cut cauliflower, things get a bit more complicated. The moment you cut into it, it’s like the ticking of a freshness clock starts. If you’ve got leftover cut florets or pieces, promptly store them in airtight containers or zip-top bags in the fridge.

Limiting their exposure to air is crucial as it prevents oxidation, which can hasten spoilage. Try to use cut cauliflower within a few days, keeping in mind that the fresher it is, the better it tastes.

Cooked cauliflower

When it comes to cooked cauliflower, a little bit of effort in storing can go a long way in preserving its taste and texture.

Always cool your cooked cauliflower to room temperature before sealing it into an airtight container.

It will be happy in the refrigerator for about three to five days. As always, if it smells or looks off before that, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Remember, food safety first!

Knowing how to properly store your food in the fridge will ensure that your produce stays fresh and lasts longer. Read more about how to store onions and how to store potatoes.

What to look for when buying cauliflower

Before storing it, it’s important to know how to pick out a good head of cauliflower. But how do you pick the perfect head among all those sitting in the produce aisle?

You’re looking for a cauliflower that’s uniformly white or creamy (depending on the variety), with no dark spots or discolorations.

Check out the leaves too – they should look fresh and vibrant, not wilted. And don’t forget to give it a little heft test – a good cauliflower should feel dense and heavy for its size.

After all, you’re paying by the pound, so you want to get your money’s worth!

Can you freeze cauliflower?

Ever wondered if you could freeze cauliflower? I’m happy to report that yes, you absolutely can! This is a great way to have a stash ready for those impromptu cooking sessions.

I have a step-by-step guide that will walk you through the steps on how to freeze cauliflower.

However, it’s best to blanch it first – this simple step will help maintain its texture and color when you thaw it out later.

After blanching, let it cool, then pack it into freezer bags. Try to squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing. Your future self will thank you for this foresight.

There are many vegetables that you can freeze to store up for the colder months. Learn how to freeze carrots or how to freeze kohlrabi for example.

Frequently asked questions about how to store cauliflower

Raw cauliflower will generally last up to 2 weeks in the fridge if properly stored. Ensure it’s kept in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer. However, once cut or cooked, its lifespan decreases, usually lasting 3-5 days.

Cauliflower that’s starting to spoil will develop dark spots and a strong, unpleasant odor. The florets may also become soft or mushy. If you see or smell any of these signs, it’s best to throw them out.

No, washing cauliflower before storage is not recommended, as the added moisture can lead to mold. It’s best to wash cauliflower just before you’re ready to use it.


Whether you’re prepping for a gourmet dinner or just want to have cauliflower ready for a quick stir-fry, these tips should keep it fresh and delicious.

Remember, good cooking starts with great ingredients – and knowing how to choose and store them is half the battle.

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