Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable that can be used in many different dishes, so it’s good to know cauliflower storage tips, such as how long does cauliflower last in the fridge. Learn how to properly wash, cut, and freeze cauliflower. It is also important to know if cauliflower has gone bad so you can properly enjoy its fresh taste for as long as possible!

head of cauliflower with a few leaves on it still

In this article, you’ll learn about the best storage options for cauliflower and how to tell if it has gone bad. You’ll also learn about properly washing cauliflower before storing as well as freezing cauliflower. So don’t let your cauliflower go to waste – read on for all the information you need!

🛒How To Pick Good Cauliflower When Buying

  • When at the grocery store or farmer’s market, look for fresh cauliflower heads that are heavy for their size and have compact, creamy white florets. Avoid heads with brown spots or those that have started to open up and flower.
  • It’s best to buy fresh vegetables when they’re in season, as they’ll be more affordable and likely to taste better. In the United States, cauliflower is in season around October through April.
  • If you can’t find fresh cauliflower, frozen is a good alternative. Frozen cauliflower is picked at its maximum freshness and then flash-frozen to preserve its nutrients and flavor.
  • While cauliflower is an excellent addition to any diet, it doesn’t last forever. Be sure to check the expiration date if it’s available.

Here’s everything you need to know about how long cauliflower lasts in the fridge, including storage tips and signs that it has gone bad.

💦 Should You Wash Cauliflower Before Storing It?

hands holding a head of cauliflower under water faucet

The answer to this question is “it depends.” If you plan to eat the cauliflower within a day or two, then you don’t need to wash it before storing it. However, if you won’t be using it right away, it’s best to wash it before storing it.

Washing cauliflower before storing it will help to remove any dirt or debris that may be on the surface of the vegetable. It’s also a good idea to trim off any leaves as these can get mushy and transfer gunk to the cauliflower.

If you do choose to wash your cauliflower before storing it, be sure to dry it well with a clean towel. Excess moisture can lead to mold growth, so it’s important to make sure the cauliflower is as dry as possible before storing it.

🔪 How To Cut Cauliflower

1 Pull off any leaves from the base to expose the core.

2. With a sharp long paring knife, cut around the stem of the cauliflower.

bottom of culiflower with dotted lines around the stem so you know where to cut

3. Grab the stem, twist, and remove.

cauliflower stem cut out and cut pieces behind it

4. Keep the cauliflower head together until you are ready to use it. Pull apart the florets as needed for a recipe.

How To Store Cauliflower

The best way to store cauliflower is in a produce saver airtight container or zip-top bag in the refrigerator. A grocery store plastic bag or a reusable storage bag will not work well. Be sure to remove as much air from the container that you use as possible before sealing it.

cauliflower in a veggie long term storage container

You can also store cauliflower at room temperature, but only if you plan to eat it fairly quickly. Store the cauliflower in a cool, dark place out of direct sunlight.

📆 How long does raw cauliflower last in the fridge?

Raw cauliflower will last for three to five days in the fridge. Cauliflower should be stored in an airtight container or zip-top bag in the refrigerator. You can store it in the crisper drawer of your fridge or anywhere in the refrigerator that you prefer.

You can either store entire heads of cauliflower in the fridge, or you can chop it into smaller pieces and store it in the refrigerator. If you plan to chop the cauliflower, be sure to do so just before you’re ready to use it.

Cauliflower Preparation Tips

If you are not quite sure how to prepare your leftover cauliflower, here are some helpful tips.

  • Wash and dry raw cauliflower before cutting into it.
  • If you plan to eat the cauliflower raw, cut it into small pieces so it’s easy to eat.
  • If you plan to cook the cauliflower, chop it into larger pieces so they’ll cook evenly.
  • You can either steam, roast, or stir-fry cauliflower.
  • Add other vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, or potatoes, to your dish a filling meal.
  • You can also grate the cauliflower using a cheese grater, so it has the consistency of rice.

⭐️ If you want to cook cauliflower, steaming is usually the best method as it helps to preserve nutrients. You can also roast, sauté, or stir-fry cauliflower.

🥶 How To Freeze Cauliflower

  1. If you plan to freeze your cauliflower, it is best to blanch it before freezing To begin, wash well before chopping it into smaller pieces.
  2. Blanch: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add cut cauliflower. Blanch for 1-2 minutes.
cauliflower in pan of water ready to boil and same pan with ice in it to cool veggies

4. Drain the cauliflower. Place it back in the pan with cool ice water.

5. Drain the cauliflower again. Pat dry with a paper towel.

6. Pre freeze: Place balanced cauliflower on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Place in the freezer for two hours.

blanched cauliflower on a cookie sheet ready to be put in a freezer

7. Place the frozen pieces of cauliflower in freezer bags or reusable silicone bags, removing as much air as possible before sealing.

How long can cauliflower be frozen?

Frozen cauliflower should last in the freezer for up to 8 months if stored properly. When you’re ready to use the frozen cauliflower, thaw it in the fridge overnight or cook it directly from frozen.

Flavor Tip

Reminder to extend the shelf life of cauliflower, you can blanch it before freezing it. To blanch cauliflower, simply cook it in boiling water for two to three minutes, then remove it from the water and place it in an ice bath. Once it’s cooled, drain the cauliflower and dry it well before freezing.

Freezing cauliflower is a great way to save money by buying produce on sale or in bulk. Check Out These Awesome Freezer Storage Hacks!

icy freezer with one carton of icecream

🗑 How Do You Tell if Cauliflower Has Gone Bad?

  • There are a few telltale signs that you can look for to tell if your cauliflower has gone bad. One of the first signs of mold growth. Look for any black or green spots on the surface of the cauliflower. If you see mold, throw the vegetable away immediately, as it can cause food poisoning.
  • Another sign that your cauliflower has gone bad is a slimy texture. This is usually the result of too much moisture, so be sure to dry your cauliflower well before storing it.
  • You’ll also know your cauliflower has gone bad if it starts to develop small black spots. These dark spots are called “bruises” and indicate that the cauliflower is beginning to rot. If you see any bruises, cut them away and use the rest of the vegetable as soon as possible.
  • Finally, an unpleasant smell is another surefire sign that your cauliflower has gone bad. If it smells sour or fishy, it’s time to toss it out.
  • When in doubt, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and throw out your cauliflower if you’re not sure if it’s still good.

Recipe Ideas

Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable that can be used in many different dishes. With proper storage, you can enjoy its fresh taste for days or even weeks!

Check out these yummy recipes that use cauliflower: