My favorite way to freeze foods is to freeze entire meals. Often, I get in the “I just don’t want to cook” mood. More often than I care to admit! To avoid spending money at a restaurant or feeding my kids something less than stellar, I have a freezer with a few meals prepared just for these days!
Most meals, like casseroles, soups, entrees, and stews freezer perfectly after completely preparing. Just allow them to chill before placing them in the freezer. Remember to seal tightly in freezer baggies or air tight containers for long term storage.
Another pro to freezing entire meals is that it helps my cooking-challenged husband get credit for some delicious meals when I’m not around.
Because I’m not a morning person and since I’m just exhausted by the end of the day, my favorite meals to freeze are breakfasts and dinners, but you can even freeze items for lunch!
Not all meals freeze ideally though. Keep in mind that spices, onions, and other potent foods become more flavorful the longer they are left in the freezer, so add less than your recipe calls for to avoid a too-spicy dish. Also, pastas and rices continue to absorb water while frozen, so undercook them slightly before freezing, so they won’t be mush when served.
Unfortunately, some recipes, such as potato casseroles or Au Gratin, just shouldn’t be frozen. Potatoes become black when frozen (unless mashed) and look completely unappetizing when thawed.
Don’t forget to label each meal throughoughly with the date you made it, date you froze it, anticipated expiration date, and preparation directions.
Even frozen meals go bad, so use the following guide to help you know when to expect your frozen meal to expire:
Casseroles 2-3 mths
Dinners & Entrees 3-4 mths
Soups & Stews: 2-3 mths
Gravy: 2-3 mths
Check out the entire Freezer Series HERE to see what you missed!