I am passionate about freezable foods because they are such a simple way to save time and money in the kitchen (2 things I like to save!)
Over the last 13+ years, I have diligently kept our deep freezer stocked with full meals and TONS of pre-cooked, pre-portioned ingredients like shredded chicken, ground beef, ground sausage, roasted veggies, refried beans, cooked beans and lentils, fruits, veggies, cheese, baked goods, and so much more.
While I don’t claim to be a “Freezable Foods Expert”, I have frozen more than my share of foods over the last decade — I’ve even taught classes on freezing, drying, and canning.
So with that said…
Here’s my LONG list of freezable foods.
1. Freezable 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 saves 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!
Cookie Dough Balls: For fresh-from-the-oven cookies any time, I freeze balls of cookie dough and store them in zip-top bags. I can simply pull out as many as I need and bake them fresh in an instant!
Yeast Breads, Buns, and Rolls: Just double-bag them to prevent freezer burn and they should be fine for several months. Even my delicious 100% whole grain breads freeze exceptionally well!
Tortillas: I’ve been making my own tortillas lately, but even before I did this, I always froze store-bought tortillas too.
Quick Breads and Muffins: These are one of my most favorite baked goods to freeze because they defrost so well. I often have several mini loaves of quick bread in the freezer to give as gifts throughout the year.
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. Freezable Baking Supplies:
I freeze many of my baking supplies in their original bags, tucked inside shoeboxes in our freezer!
Shoe boxes stack well and allow for ventilation, plus they keep these smaller bags of chocolate chips, nuts, candies, etc. from tipping over or getting lost in the back of the freezer for who knows how long (can anyone relate?)
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 and Seeds: I store all our nuts and seeds 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.
Baking Soda: I often keep a container of baking soda in the freezer (opened) — not because it stays fresher, but to absorb any potential odors in our freezer!
3. Freezable Dairy:
I save SO much money by purchasing dairy products in bulk and freezing them.
From my experience, most dairy products should keep for at least 6 months.
Butter: 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.
Shredded Cheese: this is SO easy — just throw the bags in the freezer (lay flat for easier storage) and pull out whenever you need more cheese.
Feta Cheese: I made this discovery 2 years ago when I purchased a massive amount of feta cheese from Costco due to a crazy good deal. I simply divided it up into quart-size zip-top bags and froze it flat
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 and Buttermilk: I usually do not have the need to freeze our milk, 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 delicious smoothies. I let it defrost a bit before eating so it’s really creamy.
Cottage Cheese: Sometimes the texture is a little runnier after defrosting, but otherwise, the taste is just fine.
4. Freezable Fruits:
Before freezing fruit, make sure it is 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 put whole, unpeeled bananas in the freezer any time they start to get too brown to eat “fresh”. Then whenever a recipe calls for bananas, I just grab that number of bananas, defrost them overnight (usually on a plate as they get sort of soggy), and bake the next day. I do also freeze peeled bananas for smoothies.
Grapes and Blueberries: Frozen grapes and blueberries are an excellent summer snack. Our kids LOVE them!
Cherries: We’ve really enjoyed frozen cherries these past few years — I pit them, half them, and flash-freeze them every summer, and then we eat them all year long in our oatmeal, in yogurt, or in smoothies. SO delicious!
Avocados: I peel and seed avocados and freeze them in zip-top bags to make guacamole at a later time — this is perfect if I find a great deal on avocados but know we won’t be able to eat them all before they are too ripe.
Jams and Jellies: I usually can my jam, but my mom and mother-in-law always freeze it. Freezing jam is quicker and easier… if you have the freezer space, here are 20 delicious freezer jam recipes to get you started!
5. Freezable Herbs & Vegetables:
Herbs: I freeze fresh herbs in ice-cube trays filled with water 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.
Roasted Veggies: Lately, I’ve been freezing roasted vegetables and then reheating them in my cast iron pans. They are absolutely DELICIOUS and a huge time (and mess) saver because I can roast huge amounts of vegetables at one time!
Spinach and Kale: If I’m ever worried that my spinach or kale is starting to get a little wilted, I immediately shove handfuls of it into quart-size zip-top bags and freeze it. Once frozen, just smash the bags with your hands a bit and it will pulverize the leaves into tiny bits — perfect for adding to soups, smoothies, casseroles, and so much more!
6. Freezable Protein:
Meat: Meat is, by far, the most money-saving, time-saving food I freeze. I stock up when it’s on sale, and freeze many MANY pounds of meat each year (especially now that Dave’s parents gift us with a quarter of a cow every other year)!
All meat freezes well — raw meat, cooked meat, deli meat, ground meat, shredded meat, “whole” meat, etc. I once had a whole turkey in the freezer for about 18 months and it was absolutely delicious when we cooked it!
NOTE: Here’s my post about Safely Freezing, Defrosting, and Re-Freezing Meat.
Beans: I freeze almost any type of cooked bean with fantastic results — black, navy, pinto, refried, etc. etc. This is especially handy since beans take a LONG time to soak and cook.
Lentils: I cook full bags of lentils at one time and then portion them out for the freezer. I then use lentils to “bulk up” many of our soups, stews, and casseroles — saving me money on more expensive meats.
7. Freezable Meals:
I’m always making double or triple batches of our favorite foods to store in the freezer.
I often freeze these meals in disposable tinfoil pans so I have the option to give them as food gifts for various people in my life.
Other times, I save them for busy days when we’ll be gone most of the afternoon or if Dave needs to get supper going for whatever reason. I can simply defrost one meal in the morning, and it’s usually ready to go in the oven by mid-afternoon.
Here’s a list of 10 of our family’s favorite freezer meals.
The vast majority of the recipes in My Recipe Box are very freezer-friendly!
Broths: I’ve been making my own bone broth for the past couple of years, and after it’s finished cooking, I divide it up into 2 cup portions and freeze for making soups, stews, and casseroles later on!
Soups and Stews: Speaking of soups and stews, they freeze AMAZINGLY well too! The only soup our family doesn’t love frozen is my cheesy mashed potato soup. Here are some of my favorite soup recipes that DO freeze well.
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.
Sandwiches: We’ve had great luck freezing sandwiches ahead of time (meat and cheese or PB&J’s). This makes for REALLY quick lunch packing!
I’m sure there are so many other foods I could eventually add to this list, but these are the ones I have personally tried with much success.
Whenever anyone asks me about freezing a certain food, my advice is ALWAYS, “just give it a try and you’ll know for sure” — so that’s my advice for you too!
Just give it a try! What’s the worst that could happen?
Want more Freezable Foods posts, tips, and information?
Here’s a post I wrote specifically to address many of the freezable foods questions I’ve gotten over the years
Click here for access to EVERY recipe I’ve ever published (most of which are freezable foods).
What are your favorite freezable foods?
I’m always looking for more foods to freeze, so if you know of any foods I missed, please share your suggestions in the comments below!