The 4-1-1 on Freezing Your Food

Frozen food in containers

Do Freeze:

  • Soups
  • Stews
  • Casseroles
  • Saucy pasta and rice dishes
  • Raw meat and seafood
  • Broth
  • Bread
  • Cookies
  • Baked goods
  • Tortillas
  • Cheese (grated or in a block)
  • Tomato paste
  • Pesto
  • Buttermilk
  • Butter
  • Fresh ginger
  • Cooked beans
  • Cooked rice or pasta (make sure it’s slightly undercooked, otherwise it can get soggy)
  • Fresh fruit for smoothies or baking
  • Vegetables for soups or stews

Portioning: The goal of portioning is to avoid thawing all of your frozen stash when you only need to use a little. Repeated thawing and refreezing drastically reduces quality and creates food safety risks. Freeze pieces of meat individually. Put leftover cooked food in individual serving size containers. Freeze cooked beans, rice or pasta in 2-cup portions. Tomato paste, pesto and buttermilk should be frozen in 1-2 tablespoon portions.

And remember…

  • Allow food to cool to room temperature before packing it in containers.
  • Allow extra space in the container for liquids since they expand when they freeze.
  • Label your frozen foods so you can easily identify them.
  • Wait for food to freeze completely before stacking.
  • For food safety, it’s best to defrost frozen food in the refrigerator overnight.

Do Not Freeze:

  • Fresh herbs
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cream sauces
  • Custards
  • High water content vegetables (like lettuce, cucumber and tomato)
  • Sour cream
  • Mayonnaise
  • Fried foods
  • Anything with gelatin

Click here to see more ideas for reducing waste!