Frozen Assets


Freeze-able Foods

by Deborah Taylor-Hough

One of the most common questions I hear from people who are interested in freezer-meal cooking is: “How do I know what will freeze well, and what won’t?”

 If you’re unsure of how well something will freeze, then freeze a single serving when you prepare the dish for a regular family meal. This way you can check on how well the item holds up to freezing and reheating.  

The following lists should give you a good start at identifying potential freezing problems with various food items.

Don’t Freeze Well:

  • Greasy foods (they just become greasier)
  • Cake icings made with egg whites
  • Cream fillings and soft frostings
  • Pies made with custard or cream fillings
  • Fried foods (they tend to lose their crispness and become soggy)
  • Fruit jelly on sandwiches may soak into the bread
  • Soft cheese, such as cream cheese (can become watery)
  • Mayonnaise (it separates; use salad dressing instead)
  • Sour cream (it becomes thin and watery)
  • Potatoes cooked in soups and stews (they become mushy and may darken. If using potatoes, cook until barely soft and still firm; then freeze quickly.)

Change During Freezing:

  • Gravies and other fat-based sauces may separate and need to be recombined by stirring or processing in the blender

  • Thickened sauces may need thinning after freezing; thin with broth or milk

  • Seasonings such as onions, herbs and flavorings used in recipes can change during freezing. These are best added during reheating to obtain accurate flavors

  • Vegetables, pastas and grains used in cooked recipes usually are softer after freezing and reheating (Undercook before freezing, or add when dish is reheated)

  • Heavy cream can be frozen if used for cooking, but will not whip

  • Some yogurts may suffer texture changes
  • Raw vegetables lose their crispness, but can be used for cooking, stews, etc.
  • Many cheeses change texture in the freezer. Most hard cheeses turn crumbly (which makes them okay for grating, but not for slicing)

Happy infrequent cooking!

~Debi (author of Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month)


 You can order your copy of Frozen Assets right now from Amazon.com by clicking here. (Currently discounted – more than 30% off!)

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13 Comments so far
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Would fried onions, mushrooms and peppers freeze well? I generally cook them in a little olive oil and BBQ sauce.

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Comment by Tammy

I think they would probably freeze fine. If you want to make sure, next time you make some, just freeze a single serving. Thaw out later and reheat and see if it works for you. That’s what I always do with anything I’m not sure will freeze successfully or not.

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Comment by dsimple

Can you freeze cooked Pasta. I am talking about family size bags of cooked spaghetti, noodles, penne and such, without sauce?
I would like to defrost the pasta, like you would rice and add it to saved entree’s such as shredded beef and gravy.
Thanks.

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Comment by Avis Gandy

Freezing ahead cooked pasta doesn’t usually work very well. The pasta tends to disintegrate in the freezing, reheating process. If you wanted to try it, undercook the pasta … but it also tends to stick together when frozen. Anyone else have any tips or thoughts?

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Comment by dsimple

I have had great luck when storing cooked pasta for later use. I find that shapes succh as rotini.farfelle and others freeze quite well. However I was portioning out individual servings for use in microwave at work

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Comment by Fred Robinson

I make my thanksgiving stuffing with challa, eggs, onions celery and chicken broth. Can I put it together and freeze it before I cook it?

I personally have never done that, but I just did a little research online and it seems like there wouldn’t be any problems. Can you maybe make up a small batch and try it before the holiday?

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Comment by Joan

Can you freeze uncooked and pipped out Profetta rolls into balls, made from choix pasty? Do they rise and make perfect profetta rolls when you take out of freezer and cook?

I don’t know specifially about Profetta rolls and how they would work, but I know a number of people who freezer a variety rolls ahead of time with no problem. Next time you make your recipe, maybe try freezing a couple and see how they work out. That’s what I always recommend if someone’s not sure if something will freeze well or not. Try it and see. 🙂
~Debi

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Comment by Deborah

I think you mean profiteroles. Cooked they freeze well. I would hesitate to freeze them uncooked, but as Deborah says (uh, not me Deborah, our hostess Deborah!), give it a try and see.

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Comment by Deborah

Are there any issues with Flash Freezing bread.

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Comment by Darrin

Debbie – I husk the corn and put it directly into freezer bags. I’ve found if you ‘par boil’ it first, it becomes ‘mushy’ when cooked. My way the corn is like ‘fresh’. Good Luck!

Sounds great! Thanks for the tip, Mary. 🙂

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Comment by Mary

Can you freeze corn on the cob?

Yes! 🙂 Go to this URL for instructions: http://solutions.psu.edu/Food_Preparation_Safety_Storage_332.htm
~Debi

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Comment by Debbie

How do I cook pre-baked, frozen quiche?

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Comment by Lu Krueger

Does Bisquick hamburger pie freeze?
Does Campbell’s Chicken Bakes freeze, (lemon chicken with rice and seasoned chicken with Stuffing)
Lots of questions, just getting into this.

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Comment by MARY




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