Freezing helps us to save money and store leftover foods. Because it is possible to freeze a lot of things, people sometimes buy goodies in bulk at a discount price to save money on food. But it’s essential to know what foods you can freeze and what can’t.
If you store it properly, a lot of foods will have extended shelf life in the freezer along with maintaining their taste, flavor, and texture.
At the same time, there are other foods that can perish horribly if placed in the freezer. So to save your time, money, and energy, and to make things easier for you, we have prepared this guide to tell you what you can freeze, what you shouldn’t, and how to freeze some food items.
What Can You Freeze?
You can freeze a wide variety of foods, and doing so won’t even change how they taste if you store them properly. Here is a list of foods that you can easily freeze.
Can You Freeze Dairy?
Although when you freeze dairy products, some of them change their consistency, there are some dairy products that you can easily freeze and freezing won’t change their texture. Here is the freezable dairy product list.
- Butter: If you tend to use butter often, you can definitely buy loads of butter on sale and stock them up in your freezer. Because the texture of butter remains the same when thawed, it is very suitable for freezing.
- Raw Egg Whites: You can easily freeze egg whites and thaw them for future use. For easy measuring, you can use ice cube trays to freeze each egg white. Before beating the frozen egg white, let it sit at room temperature for around 30 mins to get a better volume.
- Cheese (not all types): Yes, you can freeze cheese. But grate or slice the cheese before freezing instead of placing a whole block of cheese in the freezer. Otherwise, it will be hard to use the cheese once you thaw it. However, not all cheeses are suitable for freezing. Keep reading to find the best and worst cheeses to freeze.
- Milk: Yes, you can freeze milk too. Though cow milk freezes and thaws better, you can freeze other types of milk too. Use an ice cube tray to freeze milk.
- Heavy Cream: Though it’s better to store heavy cream in the fridge, you can freeze it too! Use an ice cube tray to freeze it.
- Ice Cream: You can freeze ice cream and enjoy it later whenever you want. However, keep ice cream in the freezer’s main compartment. If you keep ice cream near the freezer door, it may be more susceptible to temperature changes due to the door’s frequent opening and closing.
- Sweetened Whipped Cream: You can also freeze sweetened whipped cream, but we recommend you freeze it in individual serving dollops.
Can You Freeze Produce?
Yes, you can freeze fruits and vegetables and eat or use them in cooking or for smoothies past their prime time. Here is a list of fruits and vegetables that you can freeze.
- Berries: Strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, or blackberries; regardless of the berries you have on your hand, freeze them to prevent spoilage and use them in the future in smoothies or to eat.
- Bananas: You can freeze bananas any way you want. Frozen bananas can be used to make delicious smoothies or to make perfect banana bread.
- Whole Avocados: You can freeze whole avocados without any worry.
- Guacamole: Are you happy to see this same on the list? Yes, you can freeze guacamole.
- Fruit: Slices of fruit, such as watermelon, peaches, cantaloupe, grapes, kiwi, etc., freeze nicely. To avoid having a large clump of fruit you can never separate, simply flash freeze (lay them out on a sheet pan) first, then put them into a freezer bag.
- Vegetables: you can freeze peas, Corn, carrots, onions, peppers, and other vegetables too! However, it’s better to use frozen vegetables in cooking. So try blanching some vegetables before freezing.
- Spinach: Spinach is also very easy to freeze. You just need to put them in a freezer bag. You can toss frozen spinach into your favorite pasta dish, a casserole, or smoothie.
Which Baked Goods Can You Freeze?
There are many baked goods you can freeze. Before going down the list, let us share a helpful tip for thawing frozen baked goods. Let them sit on the counter when you want to thaw any baked goods. Wrap it in a wet paper towel and zap it in the microwave for a couple of seconds to soften if it becomes strange and crusty.
You can freeze the following goods.
- Bread: If you want, you can freeze whole or sliced store-bought and homemade bread. But before freezing, wrap your bread properly in foil or in freezer bags. Also, if you are left with sandwiches or made sandwiches in advance, you can freeze them.
- Muffins: If you are a muffin lover and want to eat it whenever you want, then here’s the good news. You can freeze muffins.
So next time you see a sale on muffins, just buy them and freeze them. Or you can even make lots of muffins at home and freeze them to eat later. However, remember to wrap them individually in plastic wrap, then put them in a freezer bag.
- English Muffins: English muffins can also be frozen. So you can make and freeze them for quick grab-and-go breakfasts.
- Tortillas: Corn, flour, or raw; you can freeze any tortillas. So don’t forget to buy giant packs when they are on sale.
- Bagels: Yes, you can store bagels in the freeze.
- Homemade Breakfast Foods: For quick breakfasts throughout the week, make-ahead breakfast items like pancakes, waffles, and french toast are ideal. To prevent them from sticking together, flash freeze each one separately before placing it in a freezer bag.
- Bread Crumbs: You can store homemade or ready-made bread crumbs in the freezer to keep them fresher longer!
Which Protein Can You Freeze?
You can freeze the raw and cooked meat. If you have bought meat in bulk, store them in the freeze. Or if you have cooked more than what you need, you can freeze it to eat later. This way, you can easily prepare dinner even when you are busy.
Protein that you can freeze are-
- Chicken: If you don’t intend to cook the chicken as soon as you bring it home, freeze it. You can also freeze the shredded or grilled chicken to prepare meals easily.
- Beef: Yes, we all know that beef can be frozen. However, to freeze beef, use a vacuum sealer to protect the raw meat from getting freezer burned.
- Rotisserie Chicken: Got a good deal on pre-cooked rotisserie chickens at the store? This is your chance! Buy them and store them in your freezer.
- Fish/Seafood: All fish and seafood can be frozen. Use vacuum seals to freeze and keep them fresh.
- Hot Dogs/Sausage: You don’t have to control your urge to buy loads of hot dogs or sausage if you love them, especially when it’s on sale. Just buy and put them in the freezer as-is, or you can use a freezer bag for an added layer of protection!
- Lunch Meat: Lunch meat is also great for freezing.
- Eggs: You can also freeze eggs. Whole eggs, breakfast burritos, scrambled eggs, egg muffin cups, and egg sandwiches – all of them can be frozen. You can make quick, protein-rich meals in the morning by thawing them in the refrigerator overnight.
Can You Freeze Prepared Food?
You may have seen many half-cooked or completely-cooked frozen foods in the frozen food section. You can make those foods at home, freeze them conveniently, and make your life easy. But to freeze them properly, you may need to use a few different items to freeze.
Here is the list of prepared food that can be frozen.
- Pizza: You can freeze pizza dough with the toppings. When you want to bake it, simply take it out of the freezer and put it straight into the oven to cook.
- Freezer Meals: Meatloaf, lasagna, taco casserole, mashed potatoes, and other foods can be frozen.
- Sauces: If you want, you can freeze sauces in a mason jar (don’t fill it completely) or a freezer baggie. Freezing pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, and similar sauces is always a good idea to save time.
- Cooked Rice and Pasta: You may freeze them uncooked and prepared to be added to any dish, or you can freeze any dish containing them. Mexican rice freezes well and is a simple side dish to double and freeze half of for an instant dinner!
- Soups: Soups can be frozen in the same way as sauces. Use a Freezer Cube to keep items neat and organized while freezing them in baggies. Freeze your soups the same as sauces.
- Cooked Beans: I hope this will make you happy. Since cooking beans can take a long time, you can make a lot at once and then freeze them for later use.
- Hummus: Don’t be surprised! Hummus can be frozen too. But to preserve its moisture in the freeze, add a thin layer of olive oil on top before freezing in a freezer-safe container. And also leave some room for expansion.
Can You Freeze Sweets?
Yes, you can! So, when there is a special sale on chocolate and candies, bag them all, freeze them, and binge snack them when they aren’t available in-store all year round. However, you can freeze other sweets too! Here is the list.
- Chocolate: You can freeze chocolate. But since cutting frozen chocolate is challenging, it’s better to freeze it according to how you will use it later. If you want to freeze a big block of baker’s chocolate, slice it into smaller portions.
- Candy Bars: Put the whole bag of candy bars in the freezer!
- Cookies: When freezing cookies, let them cool completely after baking and before freezing. Try flash-freezing them in a single layer, then place them in a freezer baggie.
- Cake: Before freezing, ensure that the cake has thoroughly cooled! To keep any air out, wrap it in Glad Press’n’Seal. Wrap it with foil after that. Remember to label and date it for future reference! A cake with icing can also be frozen. Flash freeze it for a few minutes to allow the frosting to set, then wrap as directed above.
- Cupcakes: The freezing process of cupcakes is similar to that of a cake. However, instead of wrapping them in foil, wrap them individually and store them in a freezer baggie. This is a fantastic idea if you must prepare for a celebration several weeks in advance.
- Cookie Dough: You can freeze both homemade and store-bought cookie dough in the freeze.
- Chocolate Chips: You can freeze chocolate chips in their original bag if you haven’t opened them yet! However, once you open the bag up, store the chip in a freezer bag and then put it back in the freezer.
Other Things That You Can Freeze
Did you know you can freeze the following things too? Check the list here.
- Flour: Freeze flour in its original package and for extra protection, store the package in a freezer bag.
- Nuts: You can freeze whole or chopped. You can also freeze nut flour.
- Yeast: You can freeze yeast to store it longer.
- Seeds: You can freeze chia seeds, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds. Freeze the seeds in a freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as possible.
- Seeds for the Garden: Yes, you can freeze the seeds you want to plant. But you must thoroughly dry your seeds before freezing them, or they’ll split or crack. You can use the seeds when you are ready to plant.
- Spices and Herbs: If you have lots of herbs and spices on hand, storing them in the freezer is a great way to prevent them from going bad. But different types of herbs and spices need different procedures to freeze. So, do your research properly before freezing.
- Egg Roll Wrappers: To freeze egg roll wrappers, open the packaging and place a layer of wax paper between each wrapper. This prevents them from sticking together when you defrost them.
What You Shouldn’t Freeze
There are many food items that people tend to freeze sometimes which they shouldn’t. Because freezing them ruins their texture, quality, flavor, and taste.
|Condition After Thawing
|Cabbage, Cucumbers, Celery, Cress, Parsley, Radishes, Endive, Lettuce
|Water-logged, limp, quickly develop oxidized aroma, color, and flavor
|Spaghetti or Rice, Cooked Macaroni
|Taste warmed over, mushy
|Soft, spongy, rubbery, tough
|Irish Potatoes: Boiled or Baked
|Soft, water-logged, crumbly, mealy
|Cooked Egg Whites
|Soft, spongy, rubbery, tough
|Custard Fillings or Cream
|Watery, fat separates, lumpy
|Icings made from Egg Whites
|Watery, fat separates
|May separate or Curdle
|Crumb toppings or Cheese
|Salad dressing or Mayonnaise
|become soggy, lose crispness
|May soak bread
- You shouldn’t freeze cabbage, cucumbers, celery, cress, parsley, radishes, endive, or lettuce because they turn water-logged, limp, and quickly develop oxidized aroma, color, and flavor.
- It’s better not to freeze cooked spaghetti or rice or macaroni as they taste warmed over and mushy.
- If you freeze meringue, it can get soft, spongy, rubbery, and tough.
- You shouldn’t freeze raw potatoes because it gets soft, water-logged, crumbly, and mealy when you thaw them.
- Frozen cooked egg whites can become Soft, spongy, rubbery, and tough when you thaw them.
- Custard fillings or creams aren’t suitable for freezing as their fat separates; they become watery and lumpy.
- If you freeze icings made from egg whites, they may weep and become frothy when defrosted.
- Sour cream isn’t also very suitable for freezing as the fat separates and it becomes watery.
- Milk sauces may separate or curdle if you freeze and thaw them.
- Upon freezing and defrosting, gelatin weeps.
- You shouldn’t freeze fried foods because they lose crispness and become soggy.
- Frozen fruit jelly can soak the bread.
- Don’t freeze salad dressing or mayonnaise as their fat separates when thawed.
Why You Shouldn’t Freeze Water-Rich Produce?
Placing fresh vegetables in the freezer is the best way to convert them into a limp, soggy mess. Due to their high water content; apples, watermelon, potatoes, lettuce, and cucumber frost in the freezer. When this ice melts after defrosting, you’ll be left with some rather unappetizing fruits and vegetables.
Why You Shouldn’t Freeze Jelly?
The texture won’t be the same if you freeze a jar of fruit jelly. Nobody wants their bread to get soggy from using defrosted jelly.
Should You Freeze Carbonated Drinks?
No. It may sound nice to chill a carbonated can in the freezer, but in the long term, doing so will only result in exploded aluminum and gooey soda. You should keep those in the refrigerator.
Should You Freeze Defrosted Meat?
No. You should freeze meat only once. When you thaw frozen meat and then put it into the freezer again, it increases the chances of bacterial reproduction and growth as the temperature will keep changing.
Going back and forth is the last thing you want to do while preparing chicken tacos or salmon burgers. That’s why you should always portion out your frozen meats according to what you will need at a time.
Should You Freeze Yogurt?
Because not all yogurt freezes well, you should be careful before placing any yogurt in the freezer.
Thinner yogurts are more prone to spoil if you freeze them. In addition to separating and becoming watery, they may also start to taste sour.
However, full-fat and creamier yogurt like Greek yogurt is a better option to freeze. But keep in mind that it will also lose its smooth texture when defrosting. So rather than freezing yogurt, it’s better to place it in the refrigerator.
Produce that You Can Freeze Only for Certain Usage
- You can freeze celery only to use it later in cooked dishes.
- Similar to celery, frozen cabbage can be used in cooked dishes because freezing turns cabbage into soggy.
- You should freeze lettuce only to use it in other cooked dishes. Frozen lettuce gets soggy and watery, so isn’t suitable to use in salads or wraps.
- If you want, you can freeze garlic but you need to submerge it in oil and then freeze it.
- You may freeze overripe peeled bananas if you want to use them in smoothies and banana bread.
- Herbs can be frozen in water or oil and you can use them in cooked dishes or dressings
Effect of Freezing on Seasoning and Spices
- Green pepper, imitation vanilla, cloves, pepper, and other herbs can become bitter and pungent over time.
- When frozen, paprika and onion lose flavor.
- Celery seasonings become more potent.
- Curry takes on a weird, musty flavor.
- Any food containing fat tends to become more rancid when salt is added, resulting in flavor loss.
- Seasonings and spices should be used sparingly when freezing, and more should be added when reheating or serving.
Best Ways to Freeze Foods
Let’s learn the best methods to freeze milk, cheese, launch meat, jalapenos, sweet potatoes, baked beans, and many more.
How Can You Freeze Milk
To freeze milk, regardless of the type, transfer it to an air-tight, freezer-safe container or bag or place it in the freezer. In addition to saving space, doing so lowers the possibility of the package rupturing in the freezer.
If you intend to use any of these milk in smoothies, freeze them in ice cube trays. Doing this makes it simple to add one frozen cube of your favorite milk to the blender along with the other ingredients for your smoothie.
★ What Happens When You Freeze Milk?
Though it is possible to freeze milk, there will be some effects once you freeze it. Here are the possible effects of freezing different kinds of milk.
|Human Breast Milk
|The fat separates. There may be unharmful changes in the milk’s flavor and aroma.
|When almond milk is frozen, it will separate and get gritty.
|Even though cow’s milk freezes well, there might be some separation.
|Upon freezing, coconut milk can separate. However, Avoid freezing canned coconut milk in the can.
|It can separate after freezing. Like coconut milk, you should never freeze evaporated milk in the can.
|Shelf Stable (carton) Milk
|Unless it has been opened, shelf-stable milk normally has a long shelf life and does not need to be frozen.
|Sweetened Condensed Milk
|Avoid freezing it within the can. Moreover, sweetened condensed milk won’t freeze solid due to its high sugar content.
|This milk also freezes well. But you can see some slight separation.
|After freezing, oat milk could separate and get gritty.
|When frozen, flax milk may separate, just as other plant-based milk.
How to Freeze Cheese
Though it’s better to refrigerate cheese to get the best quality and texture, you can freeze some cheeses, if not all. To freeze cheese,
- You can grate or slice the cheese. You can also cut it into a single portion that you can use in a go. Don’t freeze large blocks of cheese, such as cheddar, more than 1 pound (500 grams) per portion.
- You can use original cheese packaging to freeze cheese or wrap the cheese in foil or cheese paper. However, use parchment paper to separate the cheese slices. Then put the wrapped cheese in an airtight bag or container to prevent freezer burn. Finally, quickly freeze the cheese to at least -9°F (-23°C) to avoid the growth of big ice crystals.
Although cheese can be kept frozen indefinitely, it is recommended to use it within 6 to 9 months to ensure the best quality.
★ Cheeses to Freeze: Best and Worst
As we know that not all cheese should be frozen, here is a list to help you a bit more.
|Best Cheeses to Freeze
|Worst Cheeses to Freeze
How to Freeze Jalapenos Properly
Freezing jalapeño peppers is the ideal method of storing them for later use. And here is a simple way to freeze jalapenos.
Select fresh and mold-free jalapenos to freeze. Then make a solution with 75% distilled water and 25% distilled white vinegar. Use this solution to wash your jalapenos. After that, rinse them with clean water. The vinegar-water solution will eliminate any bacteria that the peppers may be harboring. Next, pat the peppers dry with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Make sure they are completely dry before moving on to the next stage.
Now you can slice or cut the jalapenos according to how you might want to use them using a clean, dry knife. Remember to remove the stalk, stems, and seeds if you are chopping the jalapenos. Then put the jalapenos inside an airtight bag or container, seal it properly, and place it in the freeze.
Tips: If you are chopping up jalapenos, you can put them in an ice cube tray and then carefully arrange them into airtight freezer bags so that you can get individual serving sizes.
How to Freeze Sweet Potatoes
You should cook sweet potatoes before freezing them for the best results. No matter if you boil them or bake them, sweet potatoes do take a long time to cook. So it’s ideal to prepare it in large batches and store them in the freezer for this reason. That way you will have sweet potatoes that have already been cooked and are ready for any dish.
The freezer is not a suitable place to store uncooked sweet potatoes. Both the texture and flavor will change as it gets harder. In addition, sweet potatoes should not be stored in the pantry for too long.
How to Freeze Baked Beans
You can easily freeze baked beans using a plastic or glass container. First, make sure you are using a freezer-friendly glass or plastic container, and if you are using a plastic container, ensure it’s BPA-free plastic.
Before freezing the beans, let them cool down to room temperature and place them in these containers. Avoid filling your containers to their brim. Finally, place the container in the freezer, and you’re done!
How to Freeze Broccoli?
Broccoli can be frozen using many methods. Here are two ways to do it.
Way (1) Wash your broccoli first. Then, cut the broccoli crowns into florets of the same size, and then submerge the florets in ice water or cold water. It will get rid of dirt and debris. Then drain the water, and freeze the uniform pieces of broccoli florets.
Way (2) To maintain the crisp-tender and bright green broccoli after thawing, the best method is to blanch them before freezing.
For balancing, get a bowl of salted water and another bowl of ice water. Boil the salted water and submerge the broccoli pieces in the boiling salted water. Then cook it for about 2 to 3 minutes to become crisp-tender and bright green. Now, stop cooking, move it to the ice water, and let it cool down completely.
Once it cools, spread it on a baking set and pat them dry with a paper towel. Then freeze it.
How to Freeze Cabbage?
Generally, it’s better not to freeze cabbage. However, you can freeze cabbage if you want. To freeze it-
Way (1) First, submerge the cabbage in salt water for one hour. Then put it on a dish or tray using parchment paper. Now, pat them try with a paper towel or napkin. And the last step is to freeze them.
Tips: If the cabbage is huge, it’s better to chop it in half and then follow the above steps.
Way (2) If you want to freeze cooked cabbage, keep it on a napkin or paper towel, and let it dry before freezing it.
To prevent clumping, Spread the sliced cabbage on the baking sheet in a single layer. Keep it frozen for 20 minutes. The cabbage should then be removed from the freezer and placed in a freezer bag. After that, date-stamp the bags.
The cooked cabbage keeps well in the freezer for about 6 months. You should store Cooked cabbage in single parts in smaller freezer bags.
How to Freeze Hummus?
If you don’t want to waste the leftover Hummus and throw it into the dustbin, then simply store the Hummus in your freezer.
To freeze it, select a freezer-friendly container that won’t break or crack in the excessive cold in the freeze. Now, carefully put the Hummus in the container. Don’t fill the whole container so that your Hummus can have enough space to expand once frozen. It’s better to fill three-quarters of the jar. Next is an important step. Once you put the Hummus in the container, pour some olive oil over it to keep it fresh and not get dry and brittle.
Using olive oil may also be able to keep the original taste and texture of your Hummus. Now place the container in the freeze.
How to Freeze Macaroni Salad?
You can freeze macaroni salad in 2 ways.
Way (1) If you’re freezing your salad ahead of time, keeping the salad dressing separate from the salad is ideal. This way, it will be easy to defrost all containers and combine them. Also, you will be ready to go whenever you need your salad for a quick lunch.
Way (2) In case of storing leftover macaroni salad, first, allow the macaroni salad to cool entirely to room temperature. Then move your salad to an airtight container.
When using Tupperware containers, put a sheet of cling wrap on top before putting the lid on. And if you want to use plastic freezer-safe bags, make sure to remove as much air as possible. Then place it in the freezer.
How to Freeze Tortillas
You can freeze raw, flour, and corn tortillas. Here’s how you can freeze flour tortillas:
First, get parchment paper or small sheets of baking paper. Then, cut that paper roughly into the size of your tortilla. Now, place your first tortilla flat on that paper piece. Continue to layer and switch between the paper and tortillas. When you are finished, put your stack of tortillas in a freezer bag and close it. And place the bag in the freezer.
How Can You Freeze Oysters?
If you want to freeze oysters, you can do it in two ways.
Way (1) If you want to freeze whole oysters along with their shells, you can though it will need a lot of freezer space. To freeze whole oysters, thoroughly clean the shells of the oysters, and put them in a freezer-friendly bag. When you freeze oysters, don’t forget to ensure each one is still alive. If not, throw them away straight away.
Way (2) If you want to freeze shucked oysters, then first clean your oysters and then shuck your live oysters and transfer them to an air-tight container. To shuck them out, you can use a towel.
Don’t forget to pour the liquid that is present with the oysters into the container during freezing to prevent freezer burns. Again, don’t freeze dead oysters.
How Can You Freeze Potato Salad?
If you are left with a lot of potato salad, check if they are still okay before trying to freeze them. And in the case of storing large amounts of potato salad, it’s better to freeze them in small quantities so that you can only thaw what you need at a time. Remember that thawing food multiple times can lead to a decline in food quality. So this is how you can freeze potato salad.
Use a freezer-safe container and sterilize it. Spoon the potato salad into the container and leave 1 inch empty. Then using cling film, wrap the container. Now, place the container in the refrigerator for a few hours to allow the potato salad to chill. Once it has cooled, put it in the freezer.
How to Freeze Chicken Salad?
Here’s how you can freeze chicken salad properly.
- Get yourself a freezer-friendly container with an airtight lid, or use a freezer bag to store the salad in the freezer.
- Divide them into serving sizes, so you don’t have to thaw everything at once because you cannot refreeze them once they have been defrosted.
- Simply spoon the chicken salad into the freezer bags and close them tightly. Remember to leave space in the bag or container if chicken salad expands once frozen. Also, remove extra air as much as possible to avoid freezer burn and retain the quality once it’s thawed.
How Long Can You Keep Food in the Freezer?
The rule of thumb for the freezing period for any food is that no food should be stored for more than 9 to 12 months. Different foods have different optimum times to be stored in the freezer.
Let’s see the maximum period of time you can keep certain foods frozen before thawing:
- Poultry (whole): Up to 1 year
- Blanched vegetables: Up to 1 year
- Steak: Up to 1 year
- Fruit in Syrup: Up to 1 year
- Open packs of frozen fruit: Up to 8 months
- Whitefish: Up to 8 months
- Unsalted Butter: Up to 8 months
- Beef/Lamb/Chicken/Duck/Turkey/Goose/Venison: Up to 6 months
- Fruit Juice: Up to 6 months
- Bread: Up to 6 months
- Stocks: Up to 6 months
- Cakes: Up to 6 months
- Pastries: Around 4 months
- Oily Fish: About 4 months
- Ice Cream: Up to 4 months
- Salted Butter: Up to 4 months
- Sliced Bacon: Up to 3 months
- Bread Dough: Around 3 months
- Soups and Sauces: Around 3 months
We hope all this information (“too much information”) will help you somehow in your food freezing journey. That’s all for today. Thank you so much for your good time.