34 + Foods That Freeze Well To Save Time AND Money!


I grew up in a household where the only things in our freezer were ice cream, ice cubes, popsicles and (possibly) some frozen fruit, corn and/or peas.  I was taught that frozen foods did not taste good and, therefore, not worth storing.

I have certainly learned differently.

I now have 3 freezers and boy do I make them work for me!  Garden & fruit tree surplus, leftovers from dinner, freshly made stock & sauces, etc. all find their way into the freezer.  While there are definitely things that don't taste great after having been frozen (either the flavor or texture changes), there are a lot of foods that are just fine to freeze.  Whether you are freezing them for longer storage or because they are getting too ripe and you don't want waste, stocking your freezer with delicious goodies is not only budget-friendly, but can be a great source of ready-to-make meal ingredients.

Most frozen foods are best used within 3-4 months.  That being said, it depends in many cases on the food and/or how you plan to use it.  Overripe bananas, as an example, can be frozen for longer because you'll be adding them to a muffin, cake or bread recipe or used in a smoothie.  The banana itself isn't the primary ingredient.  Frozen cooked pasta, on the other hand, can start to take on the freezer taste and/or begin breaking down if left in the freezer longer than 3 months.


Here are 19 things that freeze well:
  • Butter (sticks)
  • Milk (leave headspace in the container)
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Onions/Peppers/Carrots (can be frozen raw & flash-frozen on a baking sheet then transferred to bag/container) *double bag onions to avoid having your entire freezer smelling like onion*
  • Grapes (delicious eaten right from the freezer!!)
  • Berries (can be frozen raw & flash-frozen on a baking sheet then transferred to bag/container) *will get mushy, use for smoothies, baking, oatmeal addition, etc.*
  • Applesauce
  • Pesto Sauce (freeze in ice cube trays & transfer frozen cubes to container for use in sauces)
  • Cookies
  • Cookie Dough
  • Muffins/Quick Bread
  • Cake 
  • Bread
  • Waffles (re-heat frozen waffle in toaster)
  • Pancakes (re-heat frozen pancake in toaster, toaster oven or microwave)

  • Granola
  • Pie Crust
  • Cooked Rice or Millet (I freeze portioned in individual serving sizes)
  • Cooked Beans
  • Tortilla Shells
  • Broth/Stock
  • Cooked Pasta (undercooked) (will soften so should be used in a dish with sauce)
  • Raw Meat
  • Bacon Bits
  • Marinara Sauce
  • Tomato Paste (I freeze on a cookie sheet in teaspoon-sized mounds & then transfer to container once frozen)
  • Citrus Juice/Zest (for used in dishes - can get a bit slimy) (freeze in ice cube tray & transfer frozen cubes to container)
  • Garlic (& Roasted Garlic) (best results if frozen in a small amount of oil)
  • Winter Squash
  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Apple Pie Filling
  • Yeast
  • Flour
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Wine (freeze in ice cube trays & transfer frozen cubes to container for use in sauces)

Packaging:
You are going to have the best luck with foods that are properly packaged.  I have written a 3-series post on freezer cooking here: part 1, part 2, and part 3.  Selecting freezer-safe containers or bags, and pressing out every ounce of air if using a freezer bag will help your food last longer and taste better.  Double wrapping baked goods is also a good idea.  And label & date EVERYTHING.  You will not remember when it went into the freezer and it may be very difficult to figure out what it actually is once it's frozen and shoved to the back of the freezer.

This is in no way an exhaustive list.  I'm sure there are plenty of other ingredients you can freeze.  It's all trial and error to figure out what's best for your family.

Happy freezing!



What other foods would you add to this list?


1 comment

daisy g said...

What a wonderful resource! Thanks for taking the time to document all of this.