Canned green peas

How to Preserve Green Peas for a Long Time

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After a long harvest season, you may have more green peas than you know what to do with. For those of us who don’t like to eat them all right away, this article will show how to preserve your green peas for later!

There are four basic ways how to preserve green peas for a long time. There is freezing, drying, brining, and canning. Each of these methods has its own benefits and none causes the peas to lose any nutritional value.

Green peas are plentiful in most gardens and they are a great addition to any diet. These vegetables only have 62 calories per serving and are a good source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, iron, Vitamins A and C, folate, thiamin, and manganese.

Green peas are easy to prepare and can be used for a variety of dishes. They go well in commonly known dishes like soups, chicken pot pies, and rice pilaf. Green peas also can be used for unconventional dishes like sweet pea hummus and veggie muffins.

Many people are afraid of these traditional preserving methods but they really are safe ways to keep food for extended periods. Having dried, canned or brined food allows you to keep food in your pantry rather than the refrigerator or freezer, so they won’t spoil if the electricity goes out. 

Freezing makes them easy to pull and use quickly. It is a great method to try the first time you are attempting a preservation method because it is virtually a no-fail method.

None of the methods are hard to do and most beginning cooks can pick them up quickly.

Preparing Peas

Whatever method you choose to preserve green peas will require some advanced work. The peas will probably need to be shelled, unless you want to preserve the whole pod, regardless of the method you use. 

There are some things you will need, depending on your chosen method. It’s best to have everything ready in advance before going ahead with your preservation.

Freezing Green Peas

Freezing peas is one of the easiest ways to preserve them for later use. You will need some containers that will be safe to put in the freezer. Double-sealed freezer bags also work incredibly well. 

Double Zipper Freezer bags from Amazon
Double Zipper Freezer bags from Amazon

The first thing to do is to blanch the shelled peas. To do that, heat water to the boiling point. Put in peas for about 30 seconds and pull them off heat. Drain them and spread the peas on a tray with parchment. 

Put the tray in the freezer for 30 minutes or until it is frozen solid. Then take the peas and put them into either containers or in bags and put them back in the freezer.

Drying peas

One of the simplest methods of preserving green peas is to dry them. There are a couple of ways this can be done including:

  • Drying them on the vine
  • Using a food dehydrator
  • Drying them in an oven

Drying peas on the vine

This method works well if you want to dry green peas at the end of the season. All you do is leave them on the vine until they go dry. The vine will wither, but the peas will dry perfectly in the pod. 

The only disadvantage of this is you may lose some peas if they fall off the vine. 


Using a dehydrator to dry peas is super easy. Put peas or pea pods in the dehydrator, cover, mark the settings and turn on. Most dehydrators have settings for specific vegetables and fruits. 

Using the Oven

Those wanting to dry peas but who don’t have a dehydrator can use an oven. Heat the oven to between 130 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit (38 C). Spread the peas or pea pods on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven. It shouldn’t take more than 15 to 20 minutes to dry them. 

After the peas or pea pods are dried, package them in sealed bags or containers and store them in your pantry. 

Rehydrating the peas for meals is equally easy. All you need to do is cover them with boiling water and let them soak in the water for up to 30 minutes. They will return to their original size and plumpness. You can use them in any way you want.

Canning Peas

Those seeking to can green peas will need some extra equipment to do it safely. Those things include:

  • Sanitized Mason jars
  • Sanitized Jar lids and rings
  • Saucepan to heat water
  • A pressure cooker or a large, deep saucepan
  • A jar grabber
  • Salt

Pressure canning is required for vegetables because they are a food that’s low in acid. A quart will hold around a little more than three pounds of shelled peas. 

You use either a hot pack or raw pack method. The hot pack method is when you add the peas to boiling water and cook them for two minutes. Then, fill the jars with the beans. Keep it loose and fill them to have one inch of headspace. 

Put a teaspoon of salt on top and fill with boiling water.

The raw pack method is when you put the raw peas in the jar first, put salt on top, and then fill it with boiling water.

In both cases, you need to pressure cook the jars after filling them. An easy way to do that is in a pressure cooker. The pressure should be 11 pounds on a dial gauge canner or 10 pounds for a weighted gauge canner. They will need to cook for 40 minutes in water that covers them. 

Most pressure cookers take the guessing out of use because they have pre-set timed cooking buttons for canning. All you need to do with one of these new pressure cookers is cover the jars with water, seal the lid, and hit the canning button.

It will build up pressure and start cooking when the pressure is at the right amount. A buzzer will go off when it’s finished.

When it is done, release the pressure according to the appliance’s instructions and wait until it’s cooled some before removing the jars with the jar grabber. Let them finish cooling on the counter. The lids should pop.

A second method is to boil water in a deep saucepan and gently, using the jar grabber, place the jars in the saucepan. Make sure water covers the jars about an inch. Let it boil for at least 30 minutes. 

Remove jars with jar grabber and let cool. The lids should pop. Be sure to let the jars cool before putting them away. Transferring too soon, especially if there is a drastic difference in temperature like there could be in a cellar or air-conditioned pantry, could cause the jars to crack.

Canned items can be kept for several years, but it’s best if you use them within a year. Be sure to make a label describing the item and the date canned so you can rotate older items out of the pantry over time.

Brining Peas

Brining, or salting,  peas is a great way to preserve them even though it is more complicated than the other methods. Salting is one of the oldest methods around but should be used only for fresh, young peas. 

The first thing to do is weigh the shelled peas before blanching. This is how you determine how much salt to use. 

Blanch the peas. Drain them, put them in a large bowl or tray, and pat dry. Put in pickling salt, which is different from regular salt or rock salt, and roll peas in it until thoroughly mixed.

How much salt do you use?

The formula is to use 1/3 cup of pickling salt for every pound of peas. The formula for the brine to use later is 3/4 cup of pickling salt for every quart of water. This is a 20 percent brine and is premixed.

Pack a pound of the peas rolled in the salt in a sterile quart jar with two inches of headspace. Gently press peas to extract liquid, but don’t crush them. Submerge the peas in water and cover the container. Put in a dark, cool place for a full 24 hours. 

After that, use the brine to cover the peas if there isn’t enough liquid to cover them. Make sure they are submerged. Cover tightly and pickle them for two to four weeks. The peas preserved by salting can be stored in a refrigerator or cool cellar for up to six months.

Remember that you will not need to add any salt to the peas when you cook them for a meal. They will be already flavored and won’t need anything additional to enhance taste unless you want to add pepper.


Learning to preserve vegetables like peas will save you money over the year. More than that, learning how to preseve green peas for a long time allows you to serve fresh peas any time of year. That keeps your meals healthier as well as tastier.

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