Freezable Foods — yup, you can freeze all of this!

posted by Andrea | 02/10/2011


Lately I’ve been talking a lot about freezer foods – keeping the freezer stocked, saving time and money by cooking from the freezer, and more. And apparently all of you are very interested in freezer foods because I’ve received all kinds of questions, asking what foods you can and cannot freeze.

While I don’t claim to be a “Freezable Foods Expert”, I have frozen more than my share of foods over the last few years; and I’ve taught classes on freezing, drying, and canning. So with that said…

Here’s my list of freezable foods.

I’ve personally had success freezing everything on the list below. However, I’m always looking for more things to freeze, so if you know of anything I missed, please share your suggestions in the comments below.

1. Baked Goods:

I’ve been known for baking huge batches of sweets in one day and then freezing them for our enjoyment over the next few months. This save me tons of time — we LOVE our sweets!

Brownies & Cookies: Yup, I do it all the time. Just put them in resealable bags or storage containers with tight-fitting lids and they’ll last as long as you can resist them!

Breads, Buns, Muffins, and Rolls: Just double-bag them to prevent freezer burn and they should be fine for several months

Cupcakes & Cake: Yes, I’ve frozen cupcakes and even full cakes! You can frost cakes before or after freezing them, but if you use store-bought frosting, you’ll want to wait to frost them until after they defrost…trust me, I know!

Granola: We love homemade granola but if I’m going to make it, I only make a huge batch….and then freeze it in mason jars or zip-top bags.

Pies: I don’t usually freeze pies, but if you do, just make sure to freeze them BEFORE you bake them.

2. Baking Supplies:

I freeze many of my baking supplies in shoe boxes in our freezer! {Shoe boxes stack well and allow for ventilation.}

Chocolate: I store all my baking chocolates in the freezer because I think they keep for much longer this way and taste “fresher”. Plus it frees up more space in my cabinets.

Nuts: I store all our nuts in the freezer to keep their oils from going rancid. I first heard this tip from Rachel Ray and it seems to work — so it must be true!

Flour and Sugar: While it’s not necessary, I often freeze my flour and sugar — especially in the summer when our house is more humid.

3. Dairy:

I’ve saved a bunch of money by purchasing dairy products in bulk and freezing them. From my experience, most dairy products should keep for at least 6 months.

Butter/Margarine: No trick here, just stick the whole package in the freezer and remove when you’re ready to use.

Block Cheese: I freeze cheese ALL the time, just remember to slice and shred it before you freeze it, otherwise it will crumble.

Cream Cheese: Believe it or not, you can freeze cream cheese. It might be a bit “lumpy” after it defrosts but it still tastes the same.

Milk: I don’t have the need to freeze our milk on a regular basis, but I do it whenever we go on vacation. Just remember to pour about 1 cup of milk out before freezing.

Yogurt: Freeze yogurt for a delicious, healthy treat. I let it defrost a bit before eating so it’s really creamy.

4. Fruits:

Before freezing fruit, make sure it’s washed, dried, and divided up into smaller portions. This will make it easy to quickly grab what you need without defrosting the entire batch. Fruits should keep for up to a year if properly sealed.

All Fruits: You can pretty much freeze any fruit you plan to use in smoothies because it will get mashed up anyway, however, don’t plan on freezing fruit simply for eating — it will be really soggy.

Berries: I freeze all kinds of berries for pancakes and smoothies. I also keep 2-cup containers of crushed berries to use for making jam, ice-cream toppings or, for berry shortcake.

Bananas: I peel any rotten bananas and put 4 bananas in a bag or freezer container. Then whenever a recipe calls for bananas, I just grab a container to defrost {most recipes call for 3-5 bananas so I figure I’m safe with 4!}

Jams and Jellies: I usually can my jam, but my mom and mother-in-law always freeze it. Freezing jam is quicker and easier…so if you have the freezer space, here are 20 delicious freezer jam recipes to get you started!

5. Herbs & Vegetables:

Herbs: I freeze fresh herbs in ice-cube trays to use for soups, stews, and casseroles later in the year. Here’s a free Herb Reference Sheet that explains how you can use and preserve different herbs.

All Veggies: To save myself some time — here is a link to my Vegetable Freezing Worksheet. It’s a list of 20 different vegetables and how to freeze them … and you can print it for free!

6. Meals:

I’m always making double batches of our favorite foods to store in the freezer. Then on busy days, I just defrost one in the morning, and it’s usually ready by dinner time.

Soups, Stews, and Broths: I divide these up into 1 or 2 cup portions so they defrost quicker. Here are some of my favorite soup recipes.

Casseroles: I’ve frozen everything from lasagna and fajitas, to enchiladas, chicken dishes, and more! Just make sure all the ingredients are fully cooked before you freeze it. When you’re ready to eat it, just defrost and bake as normal.

Pasta Sauce: We usually never go through an entire batch of pasta sauce in one meal so I just pop the leftovers in the freezer for the next time we eat pasta.

Meat: You can freeze cooked meat, raw meat, ground meat, shredded meat, “whole” meat, etc. Just make sure it’s properly sealed to prevent freezer burn. {I once had a whole turkey in the freezer for about 18 months and it was absolutely delicious when we cooked it!}

What did I miss?

I’m sure there are so many other foods you can freeze, but these are the ones I have personally tried with much success. I’d love to learn about any other freezer foods, so please share them in the comments below!

UPDATE: I’ve answered many of the questions in the comments over here

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402 comments

  1. Katie

    04/09/2013

    I also freeze tortillas, shredded zucchini (for bread) in 1 gallon zip locks laid flat, homemade breakfast borittos, pancakes, spaghetti (with and without sauce), homemade pizza/ ham and cheese pockets, bacon, cooked beans in gallon zip lock bags, broth, and more but I can’t think of any more right now. Thanks for the great post!!!!

    [Reply]

    Allie Reply:

    How do you make homemade pizza/ham and cheese pockets? I adore Pizza Pockets but I’m a college student and find they are really expensive to buy.

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    Lorna Reply:

    I make two batches of dough in my bread machine, put in the refrigerator overnight. The next day I roll the dough out to make “Calzones”. They taste much better than “Hot Pockets”. I roll the dough (65 grams… yes I do weigh them)to make 6″ (very thin) rounds with 1 tbsp sausage, 1 tbsp mozzarella cheese, 1 tbsp sauce in the middle. Fold over the dough so you have a half circle, pinch edges closed. Bake on baking sheet in the oven. Let cool. I freeze them 2 per baggie. I take them to work for lunch. Toss the baggie in the refrigerator the night before, pack lunch the next morning and place in the refrigerator at work. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute. If cooking from frozen, I microwave 5 minutes at 30% power.

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  2. elledee

    04/17/2013

    Freeze fresh ginger in its whole state in a press seal bag, you can grate it straight into stirfrys and stick it back in the freezer again. don’t need to worry about it shriveling up at the back of the fridge. also chop up fresh chives and scallions then just shake them out into the pot of mashed potato or other cooked dishes, fresh and no waste!

    [Reply]

    Donna Reply:

    omg why didn’t I think of this, I waste so much ginger, thanks!

    [Reply]

  3. EcoMama

    04/17/2013

    In addition to freezing many of the same things already listed, I also freeze homemade burritos, I cube stale ends of bread & freeze them for the next turkey I roast, and I finely chop homegrown Fernleaf Dill and freeze in old yogurt containers (dated, of course) for adding to my homemade Glace Soup. My all-time FAVE: last Fall, right after Halloween, I “rescued” a bunch of pumpkins before they went to our community compost (I posted on a local Facebook group that I was looking for free pumpkins, and received MORE than I could cook & freeze). I baked them, half at a time, because they were so big, then scooped the flesh out the rind, pureed it in my food processor, then froze it in 2C. portions for muffins, breads, etc.

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  4. Carolyn

    05/17/2013

    I hate it when we bread goes to waste but I’m not sure I want to freeze bread – not sure how it will thaw. I’m thinking about making bread crumbs with it but I don’t cook with it very often. Can you freeze bread crumbs to keep it fresh longer than in the pantry?

    [Reply]

    Karen Reply:

    Yes you can freeze breadcrumbs not a problem. For thawing frozen bread just take it out a couple of hours before you need it and leave on the bench.

    [Reply]

  5. blushone

    06/13/2013

    Thank you for this list. Have you, or anyone, come across a similar list of things not to freeze?

    [Reply]

  6. Connie

    06/22/2013

    I have purchased a gallon jug of cheese sauce but I will only be using it in small amounts at a time. I was thinking of freezing it in mason jars or freezer bags. What would you recommend doing to keep the cheese sauce stored in smaller portions?

    [Reply]

  7. Linda

    07/23/2013

    I make homemade Pesto and freeze it in ice cube trays. After it’s froze I transfer it to zip lock bags. I do the same thing with my fresh basil. I chop it in the food processor with olive oil till the consistency I want then do the ice cube tray thing. It’s just like using fresh basil in recipes. I also freeze mint leaves in snack bags with a little water. I use these(water & all) when I’m cooking my husband’s sweet tea.

    [Reply]

    Katherine Reply:

    My mom always dries mint leaves to mix in the tea so that she doesn’t have to use freezer space. It also makes it easy to crush it to use in salads or meals.

    [Reply]

  8. Rosemary

    08/06/2013

    When you freeze casseroles, do you bake it then freeze it? Or do you just prep it (with everything being fully cooked) freeze it then bake like regular once you are ready for it?

    [Reply]

  9. Chantelle

    08/28/2013

    Dont know if this has already been mentioned as just skipping through but yesterday i filledmy frwezer with a months worth of food for crock pot recipes such as casseroles i just bagged up the meat and diced veggies i wanted in each and will add the stock/sauces later this saved so much freezer space for other things such as cottage pies which i put into foil trays so i can pop them in to the oven when needed.

    [Reply]

  10. amanda

    10/24/2013

    Do you have a list of certain things you always have on hand on the pantry/freezer etc?

    [Reply]

  11. Shelly Scott

    11/28/2013

    Can you freeze Bok Choy and other sorted vegetables used in stir fries. I live alone just hate buying things then have to throw them away later because I did not use them all.

    [Reply]

  12. 8 Ways to Save Money on Produce | Rolling Out Dough

    12/19/2013

    […] berries can be frozen simply by washing, allowing to dry, and then placing in a freezer bag. AndreaDekker.com has a great page for freezing produce as well as other […]

  13. Carrie

    01/03/2014

    Could you freeze homemade tortilla shells?

    [Reply]

    Danielle Reply:

    I freeze all bread products in a box @ the bottom of my freezer helps prevent freezer burn. Saves me alot of time and money.

    [Reply]

  14. Melissa

    01/03/2014

    Can you freeze your fruits in a vacuume seal bag with a processer or just throw in a reg freezer bag

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    a regular freezer bag is fine :)

    [Reply]

    Mar Reply:

    But a vacuum sealer bag is better! :-)

    [Reply]

  15. Nancy

    01/08/2014

    Can you freeze Velveeta cheese mixed with Rotel? When I make a batch for just my husband and myself, it’s always too much.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I’ve never done it before — but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to try. I freeze other types of cheese all the time.

    [Reply]

    Amie Reply:

    I make dips such as velveeta mixed with Rotel (and black beans) all of the time with no problem. I’ve also make and freeze popper dip and buffalo chicken dip. I thaw in fridge and pop in microwave to reheat.

    [Reply]

  16. Pat

    01/19/2014

    I have been gifted with many many mandarin oranges. I love them, and would like to preserve them……………is there any way to freeze them??

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hey Pat — I’ve never frozen oranges before, but I did ask your question on my facebook page and there were a few helpful responses. You can read those here.

    [Reply]

    katie Reply:

    Yes I have frozen mandarin orange s just put the whole box in the freezer and take out one or two at a time, only thing you have to eat when thawed works great

    [Reply]

  17. Tara

    01/26/2014

    I freeze chicken broth if I didn’t use it all and buttermilk in ice cube trays that are about 2tbsp. The buttermilk separates a bit but it tastes fine when used in baking :)

    [Reply]

  18. MIRANDA

    01/28/2014

    chips….crackers…..nuts…cereal

    [Reply]

  19. Ruth

    01/29/2014

    You can freeze cooked rice and pasta and just run hot water over them frozen. They will thaw out, be hot and taste great. You can also freeze fresh tomatoes. Just toss them in the bag after you have washed them. No need to core or peel. When they thaw out, the skin just slips off and they are ready for cooking. The same goes for chilis or peppers.

    [Reply]

  20. Jess

    02/05/2014

    I’m curious about how you thaw some of these items. specifically the casserole type dishes. it might seem like a silly question but i really don’t know much about this.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Jess, if you click on the link at the end of the post — it will take you to another post I wrote with all these FAQ’s. Here’s the link again.

    [Reply]

  21. Rachelle

    02/17/2014

    I often freeze the remaining portion of tomato sauce, tomato paste and diced tomatoes. Especially with the paste, I never use the whole can, so I just dump the rest into a freezer bag and smash it flat. Then you can whack it on the counter if you just need a little for a soup or something.

    [Reply]

    cherie Reply:

    you can freeze the tomato paste in ice cube trays- just line the tray with plastic wrap- poking down each cube area- put the paste in and freeze-when it’s frozen cut the wrap and put into a freezer bag

    [Reply]

  22. Kathy

    03/16/2014

    Andrea, I always make big batches of fruit pies and bske them and freeze them. My mother has always done this, so if it worked for her it had to be right! Lol I have used fresh fruit as well as fruit that had been frozen, never any family complaints. Thaw on counter or on low heat in oven , for that fresh baked taste.

    Kathy

    [Reply]

  23. Barb

    04/03/2014

    Can I freeze a macaroni salad that has mayo in it?

    [Reply]

  24. Laura Pride

    04/23/2014

    Hey I live alone and I’m fed up of my fresh veg and fruit going funny before I’ve had chance to eat it. I felt like I was wasting money so thank you for this. Also I learnt a while ago I would never finish a pint of milk before I had to throw it out. So I was constantly either making a coffee in the morning to find my milk had gone off, or not having any at all. My solution to this was to pour my fresh milk into ice cube trays and then whenever I make a cup of tea. I can just pop one or two out into my mug and they melt immediately for the perfect cuppa :) and it cools it down that tiny bit so it’s ready to drink.

    [Reply]

  25. Lee Greenstein

    05/18/2014

    My dad use to freezes Oranges for us in summer they were a great treat after school he would cup them in half then put the two faces back together and wrap In cling wrap but these day you could put baking paper between the two halves and then wrap in cling wrap and freeze then suck on then on a hot day very refreshing

    [Reply]

  26. Thelma Laurel

    06/05/2014

    I freeze juice from limes and lemons in ice trays. Also, I freeze the entire Meyer lemon ,peeling and all in ziplock bags. When I’m ready to use (in ice tea) I just take it out , thaw, and use it.

    [Reply]

  27. Sandra

    08/08/2014

    A note about the pies… I am the only one in my house who eats pecan pie, so I bake the pie, then freeze individual slices. Works great! I haven’t tried it with other pies, though.

    [Reply]

  28. Rebecca Johnson

    09/03/2014

    I was looking at the reference sheet on freezing herbs but I don’t see if you need to add water to the ice cube trays or not. Any advice would be great

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, you definitely need to add water to form the cubes :)

    [Reply]

  29. Janie

    09/26/2014

    Can you freeze bread dough and thaw it and bake bread?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I’ve never done this before, but I do buy frozen bread dough all the time :)

    [Reply]

  30. Natalie

    11/11/2014

    Hi,
    I’m a student do planning on cooking a load of meals in bulk for quick and cheap dinners.
    I’m following the slimming world recipes and making things like chicken curry, burgers, Turkey pizza, and other chicken dishes and I was just wondering how I will cook it all? Does it need defrosting or do I just put them in the microwave?

    [Reply]