You are here

Freezing Home Cooked Dishes

Beans: 

  • Follow the package instructions to cook dried beans.
  • Cook and cool the beans.
  • Flatten them into a freezer bag.
  • Press out all the air, and freeze.

<<go back to list of foods

 


Bread and Baked Goods

For the Family:

  • You can cover whole baked goods like cakes and pies with tin foil for freezing.
  • Buy bread on sale, and freeze loaves in their original package.  For more tips about storing breads and other
    grains, click here.

For a Snack:
  • Cut the pie or cake into smaller pieces. Muffins and cookies do not need
    to be cut.
  • Separate each piece, and spread them on a cookie sheet or another
    flat surface.
  • Freeze them in small pieces, so you can grab a piece at a time.
  • Place frozen pieces into a freezer bag when frozen.

<<go back to list of foods

 


Breakfast: Pancakes, Waffles, and French Toast

  • Eat breakfast for dinner!
  • Freeze homemade items on a cookie sheet - no piece touching another.
  • Once frozen completely, place  the individual pieces in a freezer bag.
  • Reheat a piece or two in the microwave, toaster, or toaster oven.
  • Waffles, pancakes and French toast from a box can be frozen in their container.

<<go back to list of foods

 


Casseroles

  • When you are cooking a casserole (lasagna, mac and cheese,
    enchiladas, etc.), make two plates and freeze one.

For the family:

  • Line the baking dish with tin foil.
  • Add the ingredients.
  • Top it with plastic wrap and tin foil.
  • Freeze it in the dish. When it’s frozen, remove it from the dish.
  • Rewrap the food with plastic wrap and tin foil.  Put it back in the freezer.
  • When you want the item for a meal, unwrap, place it in the original baking
    dish to defrost and cook.
  • Reheat it in microwave or the oven!

For a snack:

  • Bake the casserole.
  • Let it cool.
  • Cut it into smaller pieces, and place them in separate bags or containers.
  • Squeeze all the air out of the container for freezing.
  • Reheat each piece in microwave or the oven!

<<go back to list of foods


Chicken

  • Cook a big batch of chicken or save time with a pre-made, rotisserie chicken
    from the grocery store. You can shred it with your fork too.
  • Place the leftovers in a freezer bag.
  • Squeeze out the extra air to freeze.

<<go back to list of foods


Marinated Cooked or Raw Meat

What is Marinade? 

  • A marinade is a liquid used to season food liquid before cooking. It boost foods' flavor and juiciness. It can be a mix of liquid or dry ingredients.
    • Wet marinades can have spices in water, oil, or vinegar or be a sauce
    • Dry marinades can include lots of different rubs or spices. 

Make-Your-Own Marinade: 

  • Marinades bought in the stores tend to be high in salt, fat and calories.
    • Instead you can try using salsa. If you use bottled dressing, choose a light one made of oil and vinegar and use a 1/2 cup per 1 pound of meat. 
    • Build your own for 1 pound of meat with these ingredients:
      • In a small bowl, mix:

  • Or try this recipe
  • Marinade your meat from 1-4 hours.

Freeze: 

  • After marinating meat, you can cook it or keep it raw.
  • rap  it for freezing with plastic wrap.
  • Then, wrap in aluminum foil, freezer paper or a plastic freezer bag. 
  • Squeeze out the extra air to freeze. 

<<go back to list of foods


Cooked or Raw Meat without Marinade

  • Sometimes marinading is not a priority. That's okay!
  • After marinating meat, wrap  it for freezing with plastic wrap.
  • Then, wrap in aluminum foil, freezer paper or a plastic freezer bag.
  • Squeeze out the extra air to freeze.

<<go back to list of foods


Ground Meat

  • Cook ground hamburger, chicken or turkey. Portion it out for your meal.
  • When it’s time to eat, pull it out of the freezer, and add the seasoning.
  • Thaw it in the fridge or microwave for one-two minutes.
  • If you’re baking the meat, you don’t need to thaw it all the way.
  • For crock pot meals, just throw it in frozen.

<<go back to list of foods


Mashed Potatoes

  • Spoon portions of mashed potatoes onto a cookie sheet lined with tin foil. Do not
    let any of the potato mounds touch.
  • Freeze until the spoonfuls are hard.
  • Transfer them into a freezer bag.
  • You can grab single portions of these mashed potatoes to microwave.
  • Instant and fresh mashed potatoes can be frozen the same way.

<<go back to list of foods


Pasta

  • Whenever you make pasta, cook the whole package.
  • Freeze any leftovers for later.
  • Make sure to squeeze out the air and get the bag as flat as possible before freezing.
  • You can reheat it by running hot water over the bag!
  • Add the noodles to soups and casseroles, or make spaghetti.

<<go back to list of foods

 


Rice

  • Brown rice takes so long to cook! So, try making
    a large batch of it. This works for white rice too.
  • Let the leftovers cool. Put them into a freezer bag.
  • Press out all the air, and freeze.

<<go back to list of foods

 


Soups, Stocks, and Chili

  • Cool leftover soup, and move it to a freezer-friendly container,
    leaving empty space within the container.
  • The soup gets bigger as it freezes.
  • Place the soup in the fridge the night before eating. Reheat it at mealtime.

<<go back to list of foods


The US Department of Agriculture created an app for more storage tips here