Freezing Casseroles


By Ellen Brown

Preparing for Freezing: Select recipes that can be prepared in advance. When preparing meals, plan for extra servings that can be packaged and frozen as individual meals.

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Best Freezing Method (s): Cooked casseroles can be stored in the refrigerator until cool and then transferred directly into the freezer.

Suitable Packaging: Casseroles should be frozen in moisture and vapor resistant containers that are not be prone to cracking or breaking at low temperatures. Containers should provide protection against absorbing flavors or odors and should be easy to label. Suitable packaging for freezing casserole will depend on the method of reheating: oven-ready dishes with an airtight cover, freezer-grade plastic bags, rigid plastic containers or glass containers or heavy-duty aluminum foil. Microwave casseroles should be frozen in ceramic, glass or microwave-safe plastic container. To keep food fresh to the longest time, it's important to match the size of your casserole to the dish, allowing for 1/2 inch of headspace.

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Maximum Storage Time: from 3 to 4 months at 0ºF.

Thawing: Casseroles should be thawed in the refrigerator, or in a microwave oven on a defrost setting.

Tips & Shortcuts: Line a baking dish with heavy-duty aluminum foil, fill with food and freeze it until firm. Remove the foil package, now in the shape of your baking dish, to free up your dish for other purposes until you're ready to reheat your casserole. Reheating will be faster if you freeze individual portions. Foods that are fried or have a crisp outer coating may need to be reheated for 2 to 3 minutes in a hot oven to retain crispness.

Refrigerating Casseroles: Store meat based casseroles in airtight containers for 3 to 4 days.

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