From the Files: Recipes that Freeze Well

From the Files: Recipes that Freeze Well

Emma Christensen
Oct 22, 2008

Many of you have been asking for more recipes that freeze well, and we're happy to deliver! Making big batches of food and freezing the leftovers is a good way to capitalize on abundant seasonal ingredients, reduce waste, and save time down the road. Below the jump, we have some tips on freezing whole dishes and a round-up of our favorite freezable recipes from the archives.

Tips for Freezing Pre-made Foods:

• Dishes based on grains, meats, and/or vegetables freeze very well.

• Dishes with milk and other dairy don't tend to freeze very well. If you'll be freezing all or part of a recipe includes dairy, stop cooking and freeze it just before you would add the dairy. Fortunately, the dairy is added toward the end of most recipes, so it's a simple matter to add it in once defrosted.

• Freeze food in serving-sized portions. Not only is this convenient, but smaller portions thaw more quickly.

• Fill the container that you're going to freeze. This prevents freezer burn and saves space in your freezer.

• Don't forget to label everything! After some time in the freezer, it might not be so easy to tell the vegetarian soup apart from the bolognese sauce!

Freezer-Friendly Soups
Black Bean Soup
Spring Leek and Lemon Soup
Pumpkin, Peanut, and Ginger Soup
Spicy Chickpea Stew

Freezer-Friendly Sauces
Basic Tomato Sauce
No-Cream Wild Mushroom Sauce
Lamb Ragu
Butternut Squash and Coconut Curry

Freezer-Friendly Main Dishes
No-Boil Chunky Cheese Lasagna
Homemade Calzones
Cincinnati Chili
Old-Fashioned Sloppy Joes (freeze the sandwich filling)
Basil Parmesan Pot Beans

Freezer-Friendly Meat Recipes
Once reheated, these leftovers will likely be too dry to eat on their own. Instead, re-purpose them in soups, sauces, and fillings.
Slow-cooked Brisket with Onions
Spice Seared Boneless Leg of Lamp
Chipotle-Porter Pot Roast

What are your favorite dishes to freeze?

Related: Weekend Project: Freezing Fresh Produce

(All images: Emma Christensen and Faith Hopler for the Kitchn)

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