Habits + Routines

The Master List of Foods You Can and Cannot Freeze

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Use this master list of foods you can and cannot freeze to preserve all your ingredients with confidence. Now you know exactly what gets mushy and what stays fresh! Also comes in a convenient printable to hang on your fridge.


Freezing is by far my favorite way to preserve foods. It’s incredibly efficient, and eliminates SO much waste! It also makes meal time that much easier. I can have entire meals ready to go or have just parts of the meal prepped to use in my favorite recipes. Both cut my kitchen time in half, if not by more.

However, freezing foods also comes with lots of questions. I often get comments on the blog asking if my recipes {or parts of the recipes} can be frozen. Most of the time they can, others don’t turn out so well. So instead of it being a complete guessing game for everyone, I compiled this master list of foods you can and cannot freeze from my own personal experience, as well as other “can and can’t” lists from around the web!

Bookmark this page or share it on your Facebook wall to reference later. Now you’ll always know exactly what foods to give the….wait for it….cold shoulder.

Foods You Can Freeze:

  • Bacon BitsHomemade Bacon Bits freeze beautifully and can be cooked in calzones or sprinkled on top of baked potatoes.
  • Bananas — When bananas become overly ripe, squeeze them out of their peel and into a bag, then label and freeze. Use them for breads or smoothies!
  • Berries — Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, and Blackberries all taste wonderful in smoothies or baked goods. Just make sure to flash freeze before adding to a container or resealable bag.
  • Breadcrumbs — I have not bought a can of breadcrumbs in years. Its way too easy {and ridiculously inexpensive} to make your own.
  • Butter — Find a great sale on butter? Pop the entire package in the freezer and take out when you’re ready to use. The Holidays are known for their amazing sales on baking items.
  • Cakes — Back when I had my cake business, I froze a lot of baked {unfrosted} cakes so I could get them done earlier in the week, and leave more time for frosting and decorating. The key to doing this is in the packaging. I wrap mine in plastic wrap, then double in aluminum foil.
  • Casseroles — There are nights when I’m either too busy to make a meal, or just don’t feel like cooking, and that’s when it’s really nice to have a few casseroles on hand. Make as you normally would, but freeze instead of bake. You should also label each casserole with the name of the recipe, oven temp, and how long it needs to bake so you don’t forget.
  • Citrus Zest — Ever have a recipe that calls for lime, lemon, or orange zest, and you have a bunch left over? Don’t throw it away — freeze it! Just wrap in aluminum foil and place in a clear resealable bag.
  • Chicken Broth — Any time we cook a whole chicken, I save the bones and make a broth. It’s so much cheaper than buying the extra salty stuff from the store.
  • Granola — I recently made my first batch of granola, and it keeps crunchy and crisp in the freezer. Makes a great topping for yogurt!
  • Grapes — If you haven’t tried frozen grapes yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. They are such a yummy afternoon snack!
  • Herbs — There are lots of different ways to freeze “just picked” herbs to maintain freshness. You can chop them, lay them out on a cookie sheet, and flash freeze, but you could also freeze them in an ice cube tray with water or olive oil too.
  • Meat — Anything raw can be frozen as long as it’s packaged properly. For chicken, beef, steaks, etc, squeeze as much of the air as you possible can out of resealable bags, or use a vacuum sealer to maintain ultimate freshness.
  • Muffins — Muffins are one of my favorite foods to bake and freeze, probably because they are so easy to heat up for a quick breakfast or snack. Here are some of my favorite recipes:

Chocolate Chip Muffins // Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins //

Blueberries-and-Cream Muffins

  • Nuts — If you bake with a lot of nuts and find them going rancid too quickly, keep them in the freezer and take out whenever you need to use them.
  • Quick Breads — It’s so nice to have a loaf of banana or zucchini bread to pull out when company is coming. I wrap these in a similar way to my cakes — plastic wrap, then foil.
  • Pasta Sauce — Whether it’s homemade or store-bought, pasta sauce keeps really well in the freezer. I also like to freeze open bottles so they don’t go bad before we can finish it up.
  • Pies — Baked pies keep really well in the freezer. Just wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then warm up in the oven or piece by piece. However, don’t try this with something like Lemon Meringue, unless you add the meringue after taking it out of the freezer. Otherwise it be pretty rubbery and chewy.
  • Rolls & Biscuits — Since there’s only the two of us, I’m always freezing extra rolls and biscuits so they don’t go bad. It makes pulling out just one or two for future dinners a breeze!
  • Sandwich Bread — Because we don’t go through sandwich bread very often, we like to freeze the entire loaf to keep from getting moldy. If you do this with homemade bread, be sure to slice it first for easier use.
  • Shredded Cheese — Buying bags of shredded cheese are almost always more expensive than a block. I buy in bulk and shred my own. Just make sure to flash freeze to avoid large clumps.
  • Shredded Chicken — I have a ton of recipes that call for cooked and shredded chicken, but it’s just one more added step before I can get to the actual recipe. My solution is to cook, shred, and freeze chicken ahead of time, and I do this in the oven rather than stovetop to keep the chicken from drying out.
  • Soups — Soup doesn’t always look, or taste, appetizing straight from the fridge, so I freeze extras in individual containers for an easy dinner later on.
  • Vegetables — Zucchini, carrots, corn, spinach….you can pretty much freeze any vegetable except for the ones with high-water content, although some you will need to blanche first. {See which ones you cannot freeze under the “don’t freeze” list.}

Foods You Can Maybe Freeze:

Some food items land right in the middle and may or may not be frozen depending on preference.

  • Cookies — I have some really great cookie recipes that actually taste better frozen {links below}, but others are not-so-good. This is definitely more trial and error.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies // Chocolatey Oatmeal Chip Cookies  //

Sugar Cookies

  • EggsI’ve seen this done before, but I really don’t know that I would try it myself. Whatever you do, don’t freeze eggs in the shell! Shells crack when the liquid inside expands, and can let bacteria into the egg.
  • Potatoes — Sometimes potatoes get weird in the freezer, but I have successfully frozen mashed potatoes to use in bread.
  • Sour Cream — Anything with cream has a tendency to separate, but you can still use it in baking if you’d like.
  • Yogurt — Many websites said that yogurt wouldn’t keep it’s smooth texture after being frozen, but others disagree and think it tastes just fine. Since I’ve never needed to freeze it before, I’ll let you be the judge!

Foods You Can’t Freeze:

  • Mayonnaise — When thawing, mayonnaise will separate and curdle.
  • Rice — Rice tends to get a bit crumbly/mushy after being frozen and thawed.
  • Soft Cheeses — Because of their high water content, cheeses such as ricotta, cottage cheese, and cream cheese don’t maintain their fluffy texture when frozen.
  • Veggies with High Water Content — Cucumbers, lettuce leaves, and tomatoes get quite squishy and mushy in the freezer.

Use this list as a guideline, but remember, you don’t have to follow it like a strict set of rules. Do some experimenting yourself to find out what you and your family like frozen and what you don’t. You might discover some foods on the “Can Freeze” list belong on your personal “Can’t Freeze” list, and vice versa!

The point is to be using our freezers as much as possible to eliminate potential food waste. And if you’ve ever wondered, “Can I freeze ____?”, go ahead and try it. You might just be surprised that it actually works!

If you’re ready to make the most of your freezer, here’s what I recommend:

What foods would you add to this master list?

Use this master list of foods you can and cannot freeze to preserve all your ingredients with confidence! Now you know exactly what gets mushy and what stays fresh. Available in a convenient printable to hang right on your fridge or freezer.

Download the Master List of Foods You Can and Cannot Freeze

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.


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60 Comments

  1. Happened upon your site while I was searching for a homemade cream of chicken soup recipe. When I saw the tab for Freezer Cooking, I had to explore more! Love that you have things in a convenient printable option!! Thanks for sharing!

    1. I’m not sure, Cindy! Neither my husband or myself are coffee drinkers so we don’t have any creamer hanging around the house. If you give it a try please let us know how it works out!

      If you try it, I would recommend freezing it in usable portion sizes so you don’t have to constantly thaw and re-freeze the same creamer over and over.

    2. I stock up on the peppermint mocha creamer they only sell at christmas and put it in the freezer, right in its own container. I just thaw, shake very well and its fine. I have been doing this for years.

    3. I have frozen it before. Soy based will freeze ok, but ones with real cream tends to separate a bit. When I do freeze it, I do it in an ice cube tray so I can thaw what I want for the day or whatever. I keep the cubes in a ziplock.

  2. I freeze cream cheese /neufchatel cheeses just fine- you just need to give them a thorough mixing when thawed to return them to the fluffy state

  3. I freeze brown rice and it doesn’t get mushy. Also a huge time saver. Since my hubby prefers white rice and I try to swap out some healthier alternatives lately, I just make a big batch of both. Then I freeze them in small individual portion containers. Pop them out and microwave for a few minutes. If you’re not adding gravy or anything you may want to add a tablespoon or so of water so it doesn’t dry out. Just a matter of personal preference. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks for the tip, Brooke. I really love the idea of freezing individual servings. I’ve done it a few times but I really need to get in the habit of doing that more often.

      1. Re: rice. Are you talking about already cooked rice or pre-cooking? I always freeze my bag of brown rice and then cook it as I need it.

  4. I am going to have to beg to differ on the rice. I decided to borrow the idea from trader joes for small portions of precooked frozen rice. Reheats perfectly in the microwave. I have personally done this with white brown and Mexican rice.

  5. I make a large batch of mashed potatoes and then freeze it in two cup batches in glass storage containers; this is perfect for my husband and myself; I thaw it in the microwave at three minutes on high times 2 with a stirring in the middle and they taste just like fresh made

  6. We have been successfully freezing excess garden tomatoes for making homemade pasta sauce in the winter/spring. I wouldn’t use them for much else but it can be done and for a good purpose. Great list. Thank s for putting it together.

      1. I too freeze tomatoes and cauliflower and broccoli. So the dont go bad to use in stews stirfrys and soups or what ever cooked.

  7. I freeze brown rice all the time! I also got the idea from Trader Joe’s! Whenever I make brown rice for dinner I make a big batch of it and freeze individual or double portions. I will make the whole big bunch of chicken I got on sale, a big pot of rice, and put frozen broccoli STILL FROZEN(!) in individual Ziploc freezer containers for me to grab for a quick meal since I am gluten free and no one else in my family is. I can grab one, take it to work, and put it in the refrigerator when I get there so it doesn’t take as long in the microwave for lunch!

  8. You can freeze tomatoes. You just need to blanch them and remove the skins. I use them in sauces, stews, soups and chili. You wouldnt want to just take them out and eat them like you do the berries but they are handy to have.

  9. I discovered that you can freeze cherry tomatoes whole. Then take a handful and put them in the stew. Works great! Mushy doesn’t matter in the stew.

  10. Thanks for your article. I freeze summer tomatoes to use all winter long in soups and chili. Just pop them in a freezer bag. When ready to use run them under water and the skin just peels off. Throw the frozen tomato in the recipe.

  11. I freeze tomatoes all the time! When I need some for cooking soup etc I take out as much as I need. When they thaw the skin peels right off and I can chop them up and throw them into whatever I’m cooking!

  12. My sister always gets tons and tons of cherry tomatoes off of her vines. We take the overload and freeze them in freezer bags. They work great for soups, sauces, stir fry, etc.

  13. I’m FINALLY getting around to meal planning (long overdue!) – and that obviously includes taking advantage of my freezer! I’m such a newbie in the kitchen, so thanks for these tips!

    1. You’re welcome, Laura. Meal planning is one of those habits that I do really well at for a month….and then I’ll have a few weeks where it’s the daily question of “what should I make today?” My printable meal planning sheet always gets me back on track though.

  14. Although you mention not to freeze cucumbers, are there any ways to preserve them? How about apples? Also, when defrosting the breads is there a certain way? Or will it be soggy?
    Thank you for the great advice!

    1. I know that you can can/pickle cucumbers. I have canned apples and while they weren’t super great for just eating, they were great for baking!

      As far as bread, you can either pop it in the microwave for a few seconds or just let it sit out for a few minutes. I’ve never had an issue with it getting soggy! If I’m packing a lunch I just make my sandwich with the frozen bread slices and it’s completely thawed by lunch time.

  15. Thanks for your helpful list of freezable and non-freezable foods! A few things that could be added to the freezable foods list are fresh herbs, tomato paste, leftover canned chipotle peppers. In the past I had extra cilantro and I froze it in a small amount of water and was able to use it at a later date. Also extra tomato paste so often goes to waste so i portion it into tablespoon sized portions and freeze it in a bag and lie it flat til frozen.
    Recipes often call for only 1 or 2 canned chipotles; the rest can be frozen. Another freezable item is also sofrito, which is used in latin cooking.

    1. My mother used to do this all the time and now so do I. Rinse cilantro, drain or remove excess water. Chop up, place in freezer bag, remove excess air and freeze. Take out and remove portion you want to use and immediately put remainder back in freezer, removing as much air as you can. If left out it will turn dark and mushy and will be ruined.

      1. I always have trouble with leafy greens. I freeze chopped spinach but I always end up with a green brick that is nearly impossible to just take what I need from it without trying to smash it to pieces on the counter. ๐Ÿ™

  16. In addition to many things, one you CAN freeze that no one thnks of is flour. If you wrap it in a plastic bag, flour keeps in the freezer for a year.

  17. A trick I use for freezing Eggs is… I crack all eggs into a bowl & mix them (scramble). Then I pour into a plastic Ice cube tray & freeze. Once frozen, I remove from the ice tray & store in a labeled freezer bag. One cube is approx one egg. Great for cooking, baking & recipe’s that require eggs. Just allow time to defrost the frozen “egg cubes” in a bowl or cup and there you go! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. I have chickens and have frozen eggs …I separate the yolk from the white and use an ice cube tray …after they are frozen I will put them in a double Ziploc ….this comes in handy at holiday time when I need eggs and the fresh eggs start dwindling

  19. Thanks for the list. About the rice…maybe it’s the kind of rice used or amount of water used when cooking? I use a rice cooker and cook long grain basmati rice in quantity. I freeze it after it is cooled in freezer bags with the air pushed out. When I take it out to use, I microwave it and it turns out perfect every time as if it were just cooked. It’s never been crumbly or mushy.

  20. Yes, tomatoes freeze very well. I blanche and peel mine, give a rough chop and freeze in bags. Great for sauces, stews and soups.

  21. I just found your freezable/not freezable list, I freeze cream cheese all the time & I know the texture changes, but is that the only reason? I buy it when itโ€™s on sale, as I use A LOT during holidays for baking my pound cakes. Just wondered?

  22. You can add freezing cheddar cheese. Grate it and place into a resealable bag, punch out the air as much as possible but avoid squashing the cheese. Seal and freeze. I have done this many times and use it for cheese on toast, pasta topping on top of sauce, in salads. The list could be endless. Do not thaw, use straight from the freezer.

  23. Untried and untested, but have heard that mayonnaise can be frozen in single use bags/containers. Pull out one for use, allow it to thaw thoroughly and add a small amount of flour (plain or perhaps rice), and beat the hell out of it. It apparently reconstitutes to it former self. I do not like mayonnaise so never tried it.

  24. I ALWAYS keep bags of frozen, diced bell peppers and onions (and sometimes, ham) in my freezer. We eat a lot of eggs in this house, so I throw a handful of each into the pan and have an instant omelet!

  25. You can freeze avocados. I like to buy them while in season. Cut into chunks and vacuum seal. If I want guacamole or to put them into a salad I take out what I need and reseal bag before placing back into the freezer. You can also take 2-3 avocados and roughly smash them, put into freezer bags, take out air and freeze. That way you have enough for a guac mix handy without having to reseal the bag.

    I also grow pablanos, and like to skin and seed them, then cut up and put them onto ice cube trays to freeze before putting the cubes into a freezer bag and in the freezer. A 4 oz can of green chilies is over $1 now! It is good in chili, omelets, stuffed peppers, etc.

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