This is a brief guide to freezing mangoes. Learn how to freeze and thaw mangoes, what to expect from the process, and the best ways to use frozen mangoes.
Too much mango on hand and wondering whether to freeze the leftovers? Can mango be frozen?
Mango freezes well. After thawing, it becomes softer and a bit mushy, so it works best in smoothies, cooked dishes, and baked goods. To freeze fruit, cut into wedges, pre-freeze on a cookie sheet, and transfer to a freezer bag for long-term freezing.
That’s the short version, but there’s a lot more to it, as you can imagine.
Here’s what we cover next:
- how well mango freezes
- freezing the fruit step by step
- how to defrost mango
- ways to use frozen mango
- additional questions about the process
Interested? keep reading
Does mango freeze well?
Mangoes freeze well. Like most fruits, they lose some water and become mushy and a bit mushy after thawing. So using a frozen and thawed mango in a salsa, fruit salad (or any salad, for that matter), or eating it as a snack is not a good idea.
That being said, thawed soft mango works perfectly well in smoothies, cooked dishes (eg soups, stews, etc.), and baked goods. And this is how I recommend you use it.
(I’ve added a list with links to sample recipes in a later section to get you started.)
Plus, you’ve probably seen frozen mango chunks in the refrigerated section of your favorite grocery store, so you know it’s okay to freeze the fruit.
Now, a ripe mango only lasts a few days, so if you can’t use yours soon, freezing is your best bet. And speaking of which, make sure the mango you’re freezing is ripe. If not, wait for it to mature.
Related: How long is the handle?
In general, if you can find at least one recipe where you can use frozen mango or adapt one from your current repertoire, you’re good to go.
Now is the time to go through the process step by step.
How to freeze mango
This is how the mango is frozen:
- Homework. Wash the mango and cut it into pieces. The size is up to you, and it doesn’t really matter in most cases. If you already know how you’re going to use the mango after you thaw it, cut it in a way that makes sense for the dish.
- Pre-freeze. Take a cookie sheet and line it with a silicone mat or parchment paper (or skip this step if you don’t mind scraping up the bits). Next, roll out the mango chunks in a single layer so there are no lumps (something sticky is fine, you can fix that later). Once this is done, toss the cookie sheet into the freezer for 2 to 4 hours, or until the fruit pieces are frozen.
- Transfer. Take the tray out of the freezer, separate the pieces that were frozen with a spatula and transfer everything to a freezer bag. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag well. If you find it helpful, please label the bag with the name and date for future reference.
- Freeze. Put the bag in the freezer.
That’s all. The entire process is super simple and takes only 10-15 minutes of uptime to complete.
Now, you may have some additional questions about the effort. Let’s cover those.
How long does frozen mango last?
Mangos last indefinitely in the freezer, but you should use them within six months for the best quality.
Of course, nothing bad will happen if it stays frozen for a longer time, but it will gradually lose quality like all frozen foods. And that’s why it’s good to have a period to aim for.
If your mango is frozen for an extended period, such as over a year, consider using it in a dish where you’ll hardly notice it. A shake with lots of other ingredients is a great candidate for that.
Is prior freezing necessary?
Of course not.
Pre-freezing allows you to freeze all the chunks together and retain the ability to grab as many as you need. That’s very helpful if you don’t have a plan for how you’ll use the frozen fruit.
But if you have already chosen the dish in which you will use the mango, feel free to skip pre-freezing. Instead, measure the pieces and freeze them in a bag. You’re going to defrost them all at the same time anyway.
Long story short, pre-freeze your mango if it helps; skip it if not.
How to defrost mango
Thaw frozen mango in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer the chunks you need to a resealable bag or container and place in the refrigerator the night before you need them.
If you go with the bag, make sure it’s leak proof or place it on a plate. That’s because there will be some water after defrosting, and you probably don’t want it spilling all over the fridge shelf.
This is what the mango chunks I froze looked like after thawing:
As you can see, there is quite a bit of water that you (most likely) will want to drain before using the fruit.
If you are thawing a large bag of mango chunks, you should start the process a couple of hours in advance so they have plenty of time to warm up.
Last but not least, sometimes you don’t need to thaw your mango. For example, if you want to throw it into your smoothie, you can probably leave it frozen, assuming your blender can handle it.
The same is true for any dish that involves cooking mango chunks on the stove. Instead of thawing the mango, add a few extra minutes of cooking to ensure the fruit thaws and warms through.
Now that we’ve covered thawing, it’s time to talk about ways to use frozen mango.
Ways to Use Frozen Mango
This is how you can use frozen mango:
- shakes Frozen fruit works great in smoothies, and frozen mango is no exception.
- Muffin. Muffins are probably my favorite way to use frozen fruit. Here is the recipe I used to take photos for this article.
- Bread. Flavored bread is another great option. here’s a recipe to get you started. Also, baked goods similar to bread usually freeze well too. For example, you can freeze zucchini bread.
- soups Yes, fruit soups are a thing. here is a recipe to review.
- Cheesecake and similar pastries. Other baked goods to choose from (sample recipe).
- Any dish that uses mango puree. You can puree thawed mango and use it instead.
If none of these particular use cases are up your alley, you can certainly find another recipe or two to meet your needs. Just google what kind of recipe you’re interested in and you should discover something useful in no time.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mango Freezing
Can you freeze a whole mango?
Yes, but that’s not a method worth recommending. It is not good for several reasons:
- Thawed mango is soft, making peeling and dicing somewhat tricky. If you’ve ever worked with old fruits or vegetables that are already soft, you know what I’m talking about.
- It takes up much more space in the freezer than if you freeze chunks.
- You have to defrost everything at once; there is no option to thaw some and leave the rest frozen.
- Defrosting takes more than 10 hours.
In general, not all of the above reasons may be a big problem for you. And if you don’t particularly care about the disadvantages that I described, then feel free to freeze the whole mango.
The way I see it, you have to cut the mango at some point anyway, so you might as well do it before freezing and have the fruit ready to use right after you thaw it.
Can mango puree be frozen?
Yes, freezing pureed mango is definitely an option. If you know your recipe of choice calls for mango puree, feel free to process the fruit and freeze it into a puree.
The only downside to this solution is that there is no going back. If you are forced to change gears and need handle bits, you are out of luck.
Therefore, freezing mango chunks as described in this article might be a better option. You can puree the thawed pieces and have the puree anyway if you need it.
In other words, sticking to frozen chunks makes it more flexible than freezing mango puree.