Simple Solutions: Freezing Casseroles

Photo By Amanda

My freezer almost always contains at least a couple frozen dishes of some kind. I like to freeze prepared, but uncooked, casseroles, lasagnas and enchiladas. It’s always nice to be able to get these out and cook them on days I’m tired or just don’t have the time to cook them completely from start to finish.

You might be asking how this could get any simpler.

Well, if you’re like I used to be, you still have to go pull out the cookbook or look up the recipe on the computer to see what temperature to set the oven to and how long to cook the casserole and so forth.

Thanks to my mother-in-law, I no longer have to take the time to look this information up again just to cook the casserole. She does a lot of cooking for the holidays, and I noticed that the dishes she took out of the freezer had little sticky notes attached to the tops of the covers.

I asked her what the little notes were and she told me it was any information she needed to finish cooking the casseroles. What a great idea! No need to drag out the cookbook again.

So now when I put a casserole in the freezer, I make sure the following information is attached to the top:

  • the name of the dish (obviously)
  • the date I prepared it
  • the temperature for baking
  • the length of time to cook
  • whether it should be covered or uncovered while cooking (may be both – be sure to document)
  • any other special cooking or serving instructions

As with my mother-in-law, this is a must for times when you are feeding a crowd and have prepared and frozen several dishes ahead of time.

In my case, I’m usually cooking these dishes on days I’m already short on time, so this just makes things a little faster.

Just give it try. I think you’ll like it too.

Do you label your dishes before freezing them? Are there any hints you can share for freezing casseroles?

This post is linked to We Are THAT Family for Works for Me Wednesday.

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Posted on April 21st, 2009 in Food and Entertaining | 14 Comments
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  • Mrs. Petrie says:

    Do you defrost the casserole first? I’m guessing you do since the cooking time on your post-it is pretty short.

    Mrs. Petrie’s last blog post..Removing Labels And A Giveaway

    • Amanda says:

      Yes, I do defrost my casseroles first. Since I plan my menus each week, I know to stick it in the refrigerator the morning of the day before I intend to cook it.

  • Krista says:

    Do you have a resource for easily frozen casseroles? I would love to try this out… especially for bringing meals to new moms.

  • Thank you! I write the info on the ziploc/foil with a sharpie but it sometimes wears off. Will use your post it trick!

    Single Income Dual Kids’s last blog post..Stop Your Child’s Vomiting with Anti-Nausea Medication

  • Amanda says:

    @Krista – I don’t have a specific resource, but most any casserole that I have tried has worked out okay. I think the key is freezing it before it’s cooked.

    Honestly, I usually just have to try it and see how well it does after freezing. I do try to make sure I cook them within about a month’s time also to ensure freshness.

    @Single Income Dual Kids – You will probably need to stick a piece of tape on top and bottom of the sticky also. I do this to make sure the sticky doesn’t fall off. You really could use any kind of label you like.

  • Jendeis says:

    Wrote a comment and then the computer monster deleted it. Shoot.

    Just wanted to write that this is such a good tip and will be helpful not just for food in our own house, but also with food that is donated (to new neighbors, during an illness, new babies, etc).

  • sandy toe says:

    What a wonderful idea!!! Now, I just need to cook the casserole….
    sandy toe

    sandy toe’s last blog post..Don’t Mess With My "Sleeve"

  • Great tip! I always write the name of the casserole and date, but never the baking instructions 😉

    I’ll be making changes! Thanks, Amanda.

    Amy @ AmyLovesIt!’s last blog post..Works-for-me-Wednesday – Laundry Schedule

  • Amanda says:

    @ Sandy Toe – That’s right, just cook it. I doesn’t get much easier than that.

    @ Amy – Glad I could help. 🙂

  • Great idea! I once went on a kick where I would take two days and basically cook for most of the month. My freezer was overflowing, but life was easy day to day and we always had something to eat.


    • Amanda says:

      Wow! I guess getting through those two days were probably tiring, but I’m sure the rewards throughout the rest of the month were worth it. Thanks for commenting.

  • Kristin says:

    I never realized that casseroles shouldn’t be cooked first (then frozen) no wonder the one time I froze a casserole it turned into gruel. My husband pretty much refuses to eat casseroles but I do go to potlucks where I’d love to have something homemade when I don’t have the time to whip it up that afternoon.


    Kristin’s last blog post..Secret Scrolls

    • Amanda says:

      I have actually tried the casseroles both ways, cooking them before freezing and not cooking them before freezing. From my experience, if I freeze it uncooked, it seems more like a fresh made casserole. Maybe it’s because, if you cook it first, then freeze it, you basically have to cook it again to re-warm it for your meal, and that makes it seem more like leftovers rather than a fresh cooked meal. I hope all that made sense. 🙂

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