When making make-ahead-and-freeze casseroles in the past, I've always been disconcerted by the fact that I'm putting all of my 9x13's out of commission in the freezer. But I've recently learned a new tip that's liberated me to freeze many, many casseroles with just one pan:
- When assembling the casserole, line the 9x13 with foil (leaving excess hanging on all sides).
- Once complete, freeze the casserole, 9x13 pan, foil lining and all.
- Once frozen, lift the now-hardened slab out of the pan and fold the excess foil around the casserole.
- Seal and label for long-term freezer storage, and put your 9x13 back in the cupboard!
- Cut to one month later, or whenever you're ready to serve the dish. Remove frozen casserole from freezer, unwrap, place in 9x13 and let thaw in refrigerator. Then bake as directed.
I love this method not only for giving me my 9x13 back. It also creates compact "bricks" of frozen casseroles, which can be stacked efficiently in the freezer for when you're making meals ahead in large quantities.
This might be old news to those who freeze ahead often, but to me, it's a revelation! Any other meal-freezing tips you'd like to share? Please do so below!
Related: Hearty Sauces & Meatballs: 11 Dishes That Freeze Well
(Image: My Recipes)