The 20 Best Foods To Freeze (With Tips That Make It Easy)

foods to stock your freezer with

You can usually find a bag of grapes stashed away in my freezer, not only because I like frozen grapes, but because it’s an easy way to save money too. (When I don’t freeze them, they often sit in the fridge until they get mushy, and then no one wants to eat them.)

But grapes are far from the only food you can freeze for money-saving benefits. So I decided to do some research into how to freeze various foods, and I ended up with the following list of 20 foods you can freeze to save yourself time and money.

Watch how I freeze food to save money in the video at the bottom of this post!

But before we get to the list, let’s take a quick look at some of the benefits of making use of your freezer for food storage.

Good Reasons To Stock Your Freezer With Food

  • It saves money! You can buy in bulk and then freeze what you won’t use right away.
  • It’s convenient! Having a stocked freezer can help you avoid unnecessary trips to the grocery store.
  • It saves time! Cook things ahead of time and then freeze them for a quick meal or snack later.
  • It’s fresh and delicious! Freeze your favorite fruits and veggies when they’re in season, so you can enjoy the delicious bounty of summer any time of the year!

20 Surprising Foods You Can Freeze (And How To Do It)

things you can freeze

1. Cheese

  • You can freeze cheese in whole blocks! Just thaw it completely on the counter before putting it back in the fridge. You can also freeze shredded cheese and put a tablespoon of cornstarch or flour in the bag to prevent clumping when it thaws.
  • If you love fresh parmigiano reggiano, buy a big block and grate in a food processor. Store it in your freezer in a freezer bag and it will keep for months. Just scoop out a couple of tablespoons as you need it!

Related: This Is The Most Useful Thing You Can Add To Your Freezer

things you can freeze

2. Homemade Pancakes, Waffles, French Toast

  • Make extra pancakes, waffles, or french toast during your weekend breakfasts and freeze them for quick and easy breakfasts during the week to come. Place your pancakes (or waffles, or french toast) on a cookie sheet, then transfer them to a freezer bag. Reheat them in your microwave, toaster, or toaster oven.
things you can freeze

3. Fruit

  • Freezing fruit on a cookie sheet before transferring it to a freezer bag makes it a lot easier to pull out a small amount at a time as needed.
  • Frozen grapes are one of my very favorite treats! Give them a try sometime and let me know what you think! :-)
  • You can freeze bananas whole and use them later to make banana bread. Toss brown bananas into your freezer with the skin on, then when you’re ready to use them, pull them out, microwave for a few seconds, then squeeze the insides into your mixing bowl.
  • Keep a “Smoothie Bag” in the freezer. Toss in extra apple wedges, peaches, pears, bananas, chunks of melon, or any kind of fruit. When the bag gets full, dump it in the blender and make a smoothie!
things you can freeze

4. Veggies & Herbs

  • Dice onions, chilis, or bell peppers, then freeze them flat in gallon-size freezer bags. As they are freezing, press “score lines” into the bags using a chopstick so you can break off as much or as little as you need for your recipes.
  • You can freeze ears of corn whole, then use your microwave cooking method to cook it (see the link below for details). Cook a bit longer for frozen corn, or let it defrost before cooking. You can also cut the corn off the cob and freeze it that way.
  • Roast roma tomatoes in the oven at a low temperature (225 degrees or so) with garlic, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of olive oil for 4 to 5 hours. When cooled, transfer the tomatoes to freezer bags. Use them in chili or or to make tomato sauces.
  • Freeze fresh herbs in ice cube trays with a little water or leftover stock. Use the frozen herb cubes in soups, stews, or casseroles later in the year.
  • To freeze leafy greens like spinach, blend it up in your blender with a little bit of water and then freeze in ice cube trays. Drop a couple of cubes in your blender with frozen fruit for easy green smoothies!
  • Keep a gallon-size bag in the freezer to store leftover veggie pieces, including peels, stalks, ends, etc. When you’ve filled the bag, use the veggie pieces to make vegetable stock. Keep another bag for pan drippings or sauces that are left after cooking meat, which you can use to add flavor to soups.
YouTube video
Preserve every bit of those precious fresh herbs for future cooking!

Related: 13 Super Smart Frugal Food Tips

things you can freeze

5. Rice

  • Cook a big batch of rice, spread it on a lined cookie sheet and freeze. When the rice is frozen, transfer it to a freezer bag and you’ll have frozen rice you can use in a pinch. This tip is especially great for brown rice, since it takes so long to cook!
things you can freeze

6. Baked Goods

  • When your favorite bread is on sale, stock up and freeze it. Or when you’re in a baking mood, make extras of your favorite baked goods and freeze them for later. (Here’s a tip for defrosting baked goods or breads – place them in your microwave overnight, but don’t turn it on. The enclosed space helps to keep them from drying out.)
  • Make apple pies in the fall to enjoy throughout the year! Bake them, then freeze them in freezer bags wrapped in freezer paper. Then when you have a hankering for pie, just take one out of the freezer, remove the wrappings, and place in your oven for 2 hours at 200 degrees. (You can also freeze SLICES after baking a whole pie, or just freeze the filling. Follow the link below for more details.)

Related: How To Make And Freeze Fresh Fruit Pie Filling

things you can freeze

7. Pasta

  • Whenever you make pasta, go ahead and cook the whole package. Freeze any leftover pasta to add to soups and casseroles later. Just put the cooked pasta in a freezer bag, lay flat, and make sure to squeeze out all the air. Reheat the pasta by running hot water over the bag for a few minutes.
  • You can also freeze uncooked pasta just to make it last longer.
things you can freeze

8. Flour and Other Grains

  • You can store flour in the freezer to make it last longer.
  • If you don’t want to store flour in the freezer, you can freeze it for three days when you first bring it home to kill off any bacteria or critters trapped inside.

Related: 13 Ways To Stop Wasting Food (And Money!)

things you can freeze

9. Sauces, Stocks, and Juice

  • Freeze sauces in ice cube trays. Once frozen, pop the cubes out and put them in a freezer bag.
  • The tip above is also great for things like canned tomato paste! Most recipes only call for a small amount of tomato paste, and then you’re left with an open can that’s nearly full. Freeze it instead!
  • Squeeze lemon juice or lime juice into ice cube trays, then pop the cubes out after they have frozen and store them in freezer bags. Now you have “fresh” lemon and lime juice whenever you need it. And you never have to kick yourself for letting another bag of lemons from Costco go to waste! (Been there, done that.) And don’t forget to ZEST the lemons or limes first, and keep the zest in the freezer as well!
things you can freeze

10. Mashed Potatoes

  • Using an ice cream scoop, place even portions of mashed potatoes onto parchment-lined cookie sheet. Freeze until hard, then transfer the potatoes to a freezer bag. These will keep in the freezer for at least 2 months.

Related: Easy Crockpot Mashed Potatoes

things you can freeze

11. Doughs

  • You can freeze all kinds of homemade dough – cookie dough, pizza dough, focaccia dough, pie crust, etc.
  • For things like pizza, pie, or bread dough, shape it into a ball and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap.
  • For cookie dough, scoop it out onto cookie sheets and freeze. When they are frozen solid, put them in freezer bags. When a cookie craving hits, bake as few or as many as you want! Just add 1 to 2 minutes to the cook time specified in your recipe. You can also make “slice-and-bake” cookie dough by shaping it into a cylinder, and freezing it in foil.
  • Freeze canned biscuits, crescent rolls, pizza dough, etc. right in the tube. Stock up when they are on sale!
things you can freeze

12. Soups and Chili

  • Cool leftover soup completely and transfer to a freezer-friendly container, leaving about 1 cup worth of empty space to allow for expansion while it freezes. The day before you want to eat it again, move the frozen soup or chili to the fridge to thaw safely. Then just reheat and serve!
  • For perfectly portioned soups, pour your favorite homemade soup into paper cups and place them in the freezer. Once the soup is frozen, peel away the paper cup. Now you’ll have “canned” soup at the ready anytime!
things you can freeze

13. Breakfast or Lunch Sandwiches

  • When you pack lunches for school or work, it’s a real time-saver to pull a sandwich straight from the freezer. Just throw it into your lunch box/bag in the morning, and it’ll be thawed by lunch time. It also helps keep the meat cold. PB&J, or deli meat and a slice of cheese work well. If you’re adding condiments or veggies, pack those separately to add when lunchtime rolls around.
  • You can also freeze breakfast sandwiches! Cook scrambled eggs and sausage/bacon in bulk, pile them onto biscuits or english muffins, wrap them individually and then freeze, Grab one out of the freezer in the morning, then microwave and enjoy. You can do breakfast burritos or quesadillas as well!

Related: How To Make Easy Breakfast Quesadillas In A Waffle Maker

things you can freeze

14. Potato Chips, Crackers, & Pretzels

  • Stock up on chips, crackers and pretzels when they are on sale and throw them in the freezer. Personally, I think frozen chips actually taste better! When eaten straight from the freezer, they are crisper and the flavors really pop!

Related: Microwave Potato Chips

things you can freeze

15. Milk or Fruit Juice

  • Ever wonder why plastic milk jugs have those circle indents on the side? They are there to allow milk to expand while freezing! (I had no idea!) To use frozen milk, let it thaw then shake well before opening to make sure any solids are remixed. You can also freeze buttermilk and heavy cream as well, which means no more wasting it after using a little bit in a recipe.
  • Like milk, the only concern about freezing juice is leaving room for expansion. A good rule of thumb is to leave 8 ounces empty for every half gallon of juice you’re freezing. Stock up when it goes on sale or at a discount warehouse.

Related: How To Freeze Heavy Whipping Cream

things you can freeze

16. Frosting

  • Yep, it’s true! Freeze leftover frosting, then when you need to frost something. let it thaw in the fridge. When it has thawed completely, whip it up a bit and use like you would if you just made it!

Related: My Mom’s 7-Minute Frosting

things you can freeze

17. Eggs

  • Who would have thought you could freeze raw eggs? Just crack the eggs into a freezer bag, and freeze flat. Or crack your eggs into an ice cube tray (yolks and whites separately, to make it easier) to use for cakes and cookies. Just let your eggs thaw in the refrigerator, and use as you normally would.
things you can freeze

18. Homemade Casseroles

  • When you are cooking a casseroles (lasagna, mac and cheese, enchiladas, etc), why not double up and freeze one for later? They’re great to have on hand for when unexpected company drops by, or for busy weeknights. You can do this a couple of ways.
  • Freeze the entire casserole by lining the base of the dish with freezer paper, adding the ingredients, then place the whole dish in the freezer. When the casserole is frozen solid, remove it from the dish, rewrap the food, and return the food to the freezer. This saves room in the freezer and you can keep using your casserole dish. When you’re ready to bake your frozen casserole, unwrap and place in the original dish to defrost and cook.
  • Another way to freeze a casserole is to cook it, let it cool, and then cut into individual servings and freeze. Reheat in your microwave!

Related: Give The Gift Of Food (And How To Make Cheesy Baked Ziti)

things you can freeze

19. Meat

  • Cook a big batch of chicken, shred it up, and freeze it. Or if you get a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, just shred the leftovers store them in the freezer. Having shredded chicken in the freezer is a great timesaver when making things like enchiladas!
  • Place meat in a freezer bag, pour your favorite marinade over the top, and freeze. When you defrost it, it will be fully-marinated and ready to cook.
  • Pre-cook ground beef and portion it out for meals, and you won’t ever have to stress about defrosting a pound of ground beef for dinner! When you need ground beef for Shepherd’s Pie, Sloppy Joes, Tacos, etc., just pull it out of the freezer, add the seasoning, and microwave. (Cook for 3 minutes, or 1 minute and 30 seconds if it’s going to be baked and doesn’t need to be thawed all the way.) For crock pot meals, like chili, there’s no need to thaw first.

Related: The Secret To Perfectly Shredded Chicken In Seconds!

things you can freeze

20. Yogurt

  • Freezing yogurt is easy, and it makes a delicious and healthy frozen treat. I like to stick a popsicle stick right through the lid of the yogurt, then place the yogurt cup in the freezer. Then I just pop the frozen yogurt out of the container later when I need a frozen treat! (Or you could just defrost them in the fridge if you want non-frozen yogurt.) :-)

For more information about the benefits of frozen food, check out the American Frozen Food Institute website.

What foods do you like to keep stashed in your freezer?

YouTube video
Learn how incredibly useful your freezer can really be!

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

MORE IDEAS FROM

Bright Ideas

  • The issue I have with freezer bags is that if you leave them in the freezer too long, you will end up with freezer burn on the food. Freezer bags simply do not seal sufficiently for long term freezing. I’ve been using vacuum sealers for many years now, and in my book, that’s the only way to freeze and save food. While it’s easy to vac seal solid foods, foods with a lot of liquid are a bit tricky. You could try using the pulse button to pull the air out, but I have found a much easier way to do them. Long ago I salvaged a plastic bottle that closely matched the size of the 8″x11″ bags I primarily used, cut it in half approximately half way up the bottle, and use that to hold the bags upright by pushing the bag down into the bottle. Then fill the bag with whatever wet or liquid food you want to save, gently pull the bag out and carefully stand it up in the freezer to freeze (I leave them overnight). Once they are frozen, you can vac them down and seal them without the machine sucking the liquid out and creating a mess. We especially like to do this with strawberries when they are in season, but we also do it with chili and soups.

  • I like to grind/dice chicken (raw), put it in freezer bags (1/2 pounds each). When I need this type of chicken, it is so nice to grab what is needed for what I am making!

  • I am very curious about freezing eggs. Our new Chickies seem to be in overdrive & we’ve run out of neighbors to “bless” them with. (Our price is the return of the cartons.) I have found your photos & read the explanation. I am confused. They don’t seem to match each other. Can you help me, please? Your presentation of all of these great ideas & “secrets” are wonderful! Thank you! pj stitches!

  • I love ordering online and having my groceries delivered. One of the drawbacks for me is that they won’t pick up clearance items, or at least WalMart doesn’t.

    Since we have ground beef dinners at least once a week I like grabbing a clearance package of 80/20 and cooking it up.

    After I drain the grease and it’s completely cool, I use my hand held Food Saver quart size ziplock bags and freeze them. If it’s a good clearance, it will come out to about $2 a pound.

  • great article. I think many people don’t realize how much you can freeze.
    We take basil from the garden, wash it and make sure it’s dry then lay it on paper towel, roll up the towel and put it in a zipper lock bag in the fridge. When we go to use it we just unroll the end and cut off what we need. Tastes like fresh basil. We also freeze curry leaves and kefir lime leave just in zip lock bags dry. They keep for ages.

  • I buy those big bags of lemons. Way too many to use before they go bad. I take whole lemons , put them in a freezer bag and freeze them whole. When I want a lemon I just microwave it for 1 minute, check it and microwave it for an additional 30-60 seconds. If you need zest you have to experiment with the timing and it’s not as good as using a fresh lemon, but if you just want juice, it works perfectly.

  • I loved today’s post. Talk about great ideas. I never knew you could freeze so many things. I am embarrassed of how much food I have wasted. Never again! Thank you so much for the great tips.

  • I make refried beans in my Instant Pot & freeze them in two cup portions in quart freezer bags. Then any recipe that calls for a 16 oz can of refried beans gets fresh from the freezer homemade beans.

    A tip on freezing milk. My Dad delivered milk as a young man. He said that if your milk is in the fridge, or if you’ve thawed it after freezing, and you’re not sure it’s still good to give it a shake because sometimes it’s not good even before it starts to smell off. He said that the way they knew the milk was good was that when they shook it if it developed bubbles on the surface it was safe to use, and if it didn’t develop bubbles on the surface it needed to be thrown out.

  • We offer order an appetizer sampler when dining out; mozz sticks, onion rings, etc. Take home the extras and pop them into a zipper bag and freeze. Then reheat and crisp in a hot (400 deg) oven or air fryer. Usually about 10 min or so. Almost as good as fresh. This works for leftover fast food fries (yes there is such a thing). Also leftover pizza and bread sticks. These things seem to reheat better if frozen first not refrigerated.
    And if you doubt you can freeze canned biscuits (because the can says not to), I can testify you certainly can with excellent results.

  • Freeze whole lemons or limes! These fruits are often sold in bags of 8 or more at a better price than if you purchased them individually. Well, unless I’m making a lemon meringue pie, I don’t usually need more than 1 lemon at a time.
    Pop them into a freezer bag. When you need lemon juice or slices, microwave the lemon for 30 – 60 seconds and there you go! Perfect!
    I do find fresh lemons are better to zest though.

  • Great ideas, Jillee, if folks have a large freezer. I have a top of the fridge freezer and use it for fish, chicken, meat and frozen vegetables. As for soup, I do not have the room in my freezer, thus I keep it in the fridge and serve the rest in two or three days.

  • O love the freezable breakfast sandwich BUT I do not use a Microwave.
    Can I thaw and use in a toaster oven?
    and if yes, Do you happen to know what temp and time to do them?
    I just love You new freezable ideas!
    Many thanks!

  • Great information. The timing is just perfect. My mom has been testing out recipes for a Church group to find out what meals are good options for freezing. I know she’s going to want to read this post.

  • Freezing peppers is a great timesaver, but newbies need to know not to let any of the pepper juice get on the outside of the container while filling or handling the container because it can ruin every thing in the freezer. Nobody likes pepper flavored peaches or for that matter, any other fruit.

  • Hi Missy, I remove meat from the store packaging, then wrap the meat in cling wrap (plastic wrap), then wrap it in foil, then place it in a freezer bag. Just try to get as much air as possible out of the freezer bag. It really does cut down on the freezer burn.

  • Brilliant, Jillee !!!! I have been wasting a lot of the items you mentioned. One more: BOXES OF STOCK OR BROTH (plain or meat) after opening and using what you need for a recipe. Just close tightly and freeze.

    • Some time ago I switched to using stock cubes (not bouillon) and stock pots (concentrated jelly pots of stock). Both products can be a little hard to find but have been worth it. They aren’t cheaper for same amount of ready-to-use stock, but they keep far longer and don’t take up space in my freezer. Whenever I reconsitute these I freeze any leftovers. Win win!

  • When fruits are in season I make pie fillings. Example blueberry, strawberry, and peach pie filling. Place filling in your pie plate, freeze, when frozen pop it out wrap in plastic wrap and slip into a freezer bag. When ready to use lay it in your pie shell and bake. Add an extra few minutes to your total cooking time.

  • I freeze shelled nuts in their unopened packages. After I open the packages, I put them, original package and all, in a zip lock bag and push out the air before returning to the freezer. Also fresh blueberries frozen are delicious when put in a bowl with milk or soy milk. The frozen berries make a slush of the liquid. Yum!

  • Starter for Friendship Bread can also be frozen! You can use cups of the starter for two friendship breads. Just save the last one you have so you can make a full recipe when you’re ready to have more starter.

  • i freeze coffee creamer in a small or large size ice tray, (it depends on how much creamer you like in your coffee) then I will put the cubes into a freezer bag.

  • You mentioned freezing cookie dough in balls. I always have time around Thanksgiving to make dough but don’t want to make my Christmas cookies that early. I just freeze the dough in a log in parchment paper. I put the parchment paper logs in a freezer bag and put them in the freezer. On the bag, I mark how long they need to cook and at what temperature. That way I don’t have to find my original recipe on the day I’m trying to bake several batches of cookies. Then I can make slice and bake cookies right before Christmas to have ready for everyone. If the dough needs to be rolled in balls (or another special treatment) I just let it thaw on the counter for a little bit until I can handle it. I’ve been doing it this way for several years and haven’t had a problem yet.

  • I always end up with a couple of slices or heels of bread in the bag. Pop them in the freezer and when you have enough for a big batch of croutons, take them out, cut into cubes, season with garlic power, onion powder, paprika, season salt, dry parsley and parmesan cheese — or whatever suits your taste. Drizzle with melted butter (more or less to your taste – I drizzle, add more, drizzle without making the bread too wet). Toss well to coat each piece. Spread the croutons in a single layer on baking sheets and bake at 300 degrees for about and hour, tossing every 15 minutes or so. Let cool completely and store in an air tight container. They never last long…my family eats them right off the baking sheet. The more variety in your “leftover” bread slices, the better your croutons will be! Rye, white, multi-grain, sourdough — anything goes! ENJOY

  • I freeze rice in 1/2 cup portions, wrap in stretch tight or wax paper put in
    quart freezer bag for up to 2 months. Excellent for the great grandkids
    when they come.

  • I cook dry beans in my instant pot and freeze what I’m not going to use right away. (I can’t use canned beans because of the acidity of the can.) It works great. I use small deli containers with lids to freeze many of my foods. If there is an air space I crumple up wax paper to fill the void to avoid freezer burn. Works great!

  • If I have leftover mashed potatoes, I put them in small freezer bags and freeze. When I’m making soups with this and that, I just plop a few bags of the frozen mash in with everything else. It really helps thicken the soups.

  • Thank you so much for this tip. I absolutely feel it is among one of the best ones that I have read. You just saved me a ton of money. I make all my own butter and sometimes you can’t use it all before you run out. Now when they have heavy cream on sale I can stock up and freeze some so I have it for other things I make as well. Hugs to you and thank you so much for sharing an amazing tip.

  • Quick tip on the more aromatic vegetables like onions and green bell peppers- wrap them in plastic wrap then bag them. They can sometimes make other items (bread, ice cubes, etc) smell a little funky….

    • I make my own soup starters and freeze them too… I take onion, carrots, and celery and bag them up for individual use. Freeze them and then put them in a larger freezer bag

  • Another thing I freeze is garlic I buy it at my wholesale warehouse in bulk already peeled place it in my food processor and a little olive oil and chop to the desired consistency place it enough ice cube trays then removed after frozen into a large the zip lock bag and you have a proximately four Toes of garlic and each one you can make them a little smaller if desired I love having fresh garlic even though it’s frozen already chopped

    • we grow garlic but we grow so much we can’t use it up before it softens or starts to regrow! A friend of mine (my partner in the growing) breaks up the cloves and puts them in a bag in the freezer. He claims he doesn’t notice the difference in the quality when he takes them out – says they just slip out of their skins and he can cut or dice them. I’m trying it this year so I’ll get to find out.

  • One of the best purchases I have made is my vacuum sealer! No more freezer burn! You can spend a lot of money for one but my medium priced sealer works great.

    • I freeze my leftovers or planned-overs first in plastic storage containers; the 24oz is just right for the 2 of us. When frozen I pop the “brick” out of the container (run a little cool water over the bottom to loosen). Then seal in a food saver bag. Lable contents and date. These “bricks” stack neatly in my freezer, save space, and my storage containers are ready to use another day.

      • Brilliant. I usually try to put things in the foodsaver bag and flatten them to stack but leftovers are difficult that way. Brilliant.

      • I also use my Foodsaver to store things in jars – I fill the jar with, nuts for example, put on the metal lid and use the jar attachment to vacuum seal. Then I freeze the jars in the door of the freezer. Fair, I have a full size upright freezer so it’s easy for me to do that.

  • What a great post! I already freeze my leftover sauces in an ice-cube tray, but pasta! What a great idea. I often throw away leftover pasta when I make too much (not any more ;). And the potato chips! You blew my mind. Will totally be trying that one :)

    • I’ve been doing the chips and fritos for years. Freeze, take out of freezer and set on table or counter for a while to thaw at room temperature and you have the best tasting chips ever. Now you can stock up when the prices are low.

  • Oh, you got me today, Jillee! Fully utilizing the freezer is another brilliant list for me to follow. I’ve wondered about so many of these things, but not any more! Thank you, thank you a million times.

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