Choosing the Best Freezer Cooking Recipes

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This is the second post in Creative Savings’ freezer cooking series. Last week, we talked about Styles of Freezer Cooking, and you can find all posts in the series listed on the introduction page.

Knowing which foods to freeze are one of the first steps to freezer cooking. Follow these tips for choosing the best freezer cooking recipes!

Today I want to go over some basic tips to prepare for a full day in the kitchen. That means starting with the absolute essentials of freezer cooking – the right recipes!

Recipes can truly make or break your freezer cooking day. You could end up with a fabulous meal that tastes fresh, or find a freezer burned mess that absolutely no one wants to eat.

Here are some tips to make each freezer cooking recipe you choose a success!

1. Understand what can, and cannot be frozen

Basic research on Google will tell you what types of foods are freezer-friendly, and which ones are not so much. This is important, because you don’t want to waste money on making food that just won’t freeze well. 

Here is a list of 31 items that you can freeze, including a few surprises like milk and eggs. Who knew?

Likewise, here is a list of what not to freeze. Although, if you read closely, some of the same items end up on both lists. Hmmm….I guess you will just have to experiment for yourself!

2. Decide on no more than 5 recipes

You might only want to pick 2 or 3 recipes, but if you’re feeling really ambitious, cap it at 5. Any more than that and you will be completely overwhelmed.

I was so excited to start freezer cooking, that I wanted to make anything and everything. If that sounds like you, be conscious about setting limits.

This also isn’t the time to be trying a bunch of new recipes either. What happens if you don’t like them? You’ll be eating them for months. Make recipes you know your family loves, and experiment with those first.

Of course, there’s always an exception…like the cinnamon rolls I tried from Money Saving Mom. You really can’t go wrong there.

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls

3. Pick recipes that have a theme, or a similar ingredient

If you’re making breads, casseroles, soups, desserts, and breakfast-type foods, you’re going to wear yourself out! Not to mention buying, and using a ton of ingredients.

By creating a theme, you limit yourself to ingredients within that theme.

For example, if you choose to freezer cook with bread-like products, you could make sandwich bread, cinnamon rolls, waffles, pancakes, and/or monkey bread, all on the same day.

Flour, yeast, and sugar will be your main staples, which makes it a lot easier to stock up on just those  ingredients, rather than buy 20 different ones.

4. Package for ultimate freshness

Whatever you make, you should have a general idea of how to package food to maintain the freshest taste. I’ve rarely had a problem with freezer burn, and I truly believe it’s because of the packaging.

This is how most of my meals are stored:

  • Sandwich breads are sliced, then wrapped in plastic wrap and aluminum foil.
  • Casseroles are made in 8×8 or 9×13 glass dishes, then topped with plastic wrap and foil. If you don’t have enough pans, foil dishes work great too.
  • Seasonal fruits and veggies {and applesauce!} are put into empty cool whip containers, and stack really nicely.
  • Freezer jams, broth, and homemade soup are put into leftover glass jars.
  • Rolls, muffins, shredded chicken, cheese, pizza dough, and just about everything else gets put into freezer bags. Depending on the type of food, you might need to flash freeze first. 

Note: Up & Up {Target} freezer bags just don’t seem to work very well, so I like to stick with Ziploc and stock up with coupons. I’ve never had a problem since!

All freezer foods should be eaten within 3-6 months, but with some items like jams and fruits, you can freeze up to 1 year. Although, if I’m being really honest, I’ve certainly eaten homemade applesauce after its been frozen for longer than that….and it still tasted amazing.

The more you practice, the more you will figure out which recipes will soon become your favorites to freeze, and which ones should stay as fresh as possible. You could even start a binder full of favorite freezer recipes, along with good-to-know tips, and freezer expiration dates.

Just have fun with it, and you’ll soon see the benefits freezer cooking can have on your family. You’ll never go back!

Do you have a favorite freezer-friendly recipe?



  • Start with the absolute essential to freezer cooking — the right recipes! Read more on Creative Savings. <– {Click to Tweet}
  • Find out what you can freeze, how to avoid freezer burn, and more to help your #freezercooking day be a success! <– {Click to Tweet}

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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  1. I’ve been freezer cooking for almost 8 years and love the convenience. I put a full day in about every 6 – 8 months. In addition to the basic lasagne etc we all do I also buy large quantities of steak and make a couple of awesome marinades. I put a family sized portion in ziplock bags, pour marinade over and freeze. Upon thawing the steak is ready for the bbq grill or pan frying. Works great for chicken breasts in an Asian style marinade too. Just toss in veggies for stir-fry.

    We also do side dishes like twice-baked potatoes and rice pilaf. Things it would be a hassle to make just for one meal.

    Great site,

  2. Just found this – great tips! I started freezer cooking a while back and love it! It’s certainly come in handy (sick family member) and I have enjoyed figuring out what I can cook to freeze.

    So far, I have made:
    * Lasagna – I don’t cook the pasta and I don’t bake the lasagna before freezing, it does something weird to the cheese. I wrap it in aluminum foil and place it in a Ziplock freezer bag. I use an aluminum pan. Works great! (I also date it and put cooking directions on the bag so the hubster can cook it up on a night I am not around).
    * Soups – chicken, butternut squash, etc. Souper easy ;o)
    * Spaghetti and sauce – I make up the sauce ahead of time and toss in the dried noodles. Once it cooks up and cools down, I put it in bags, lay them flat in a baking dish (so they will stay flat) and then put them in the freezer. It’s like some sort of awesome food library in my freezer since they are all stacked up sideways LOL
    * Chili verde (with and without the chicken)
    * Minestrone soup

    I also freeze up:
    * Broths
    * Pureed pumpkin, butternut nut squash
    * Cubed butternut nut squash
    * Freezer jam
    * Tomatillos
    * Tomatoes
    * Homemade
    * Berries and other fruit
    * Pesto (I make it up, drop into ice cube trays, then pop the cubes out into a zippy bag)
    * Rind of parmesan cheese for soups (minestrone in particular)


  3. I am loving your series! I agree with the themed cooking. I like to do a burrito session where I make breakfast burritos and regular burritos. I make a HUGE batch of Denver scrambled eggs that morning (ham, peppers, onions, cheese) and use the left over scrambled eggs for the burrito filling. Then I make an assembly line to put together the regular burritos. Homemade refried beans, seasoned beef/chicken, salsa, and shredded cheddar. I buy tortillas for a $1.00 a pack from Dollar Tree or Aldis. I also like to make several types of cookie dough and freeze them up for fresh baked cookies whenever I want.

  4. Oh my word a binder is a great idea. Thank you!

    Also I do think I have to have like 10 different recipes to make the 5 recipes cap is awesome.

  5. Great post! I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this series.
    May I suggest: for casseroles- if you don’t have many pans or don’t want to buy aluminum ones, you could put parchment paper in the dish before adding your ingredients. Freeze until solid, then place in a freezer bag or other container. The shape will stay the same and you can plop it back into the pan to thaw and reheat. =)

  6. Interestingly enough I love my recipe for Cinnamon Rolls, which I always freeze. I’ll sometimes make a big batch of chicken pot pie filling and freeze it. I can always use it for pot pie, tetrazzini, or chicken and biscuits.

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