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Jul 19, 2010 09:53 AM

Freezing meals - ingredients to avoid?

There are a ton of great ideas for make-ahead, freeze-able meals on the board, which have encouraged me to freeze as much as I can. But I've noticed some ingredients don't do so well with that process. Potatoes for instance, but I don't know if that depends on what form they're in. In curries however, they always end up.... mushy and gross after being frozen. What other ingredients should I avoid if I plan on freezing?

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  1. Cheeses can be a crapshoot.

    1. Potatoes turn out well if they are roasted first. Actually many vegetables like mushroom and zucchini turn out so much better if they are roasted/slightly dehydrated first. Cheese will crumble if frozen whole but does fine preshredded.

      4 Replies
      1. re: just_M

        Seems like for the most part, dry stuff doesn't work. Pasta and chili and stuff can be ok, but you have to make it a lot more liquidy than you usually would.

        1. re: jvanderh

          Dry stuff works if it's kept dry -- for instance, pizza or bread freeze well if they're by themselves and don't have a lot of sauce.

          In general, I think the key is absorption of moisture. If you have ingredients that will absorb moisture (like potatoes) and they're in a sauce or with other moist ingredients, the end product will be mushy. For some things that's okay -- for instance, you can freeze a strata or breakfast casserole because it's supposed to be moist anyway. For some things it's not -- I don't like to freeze anything with pasta because the pasta always ends up mushy.

          1. re: Pia

            I always hear people say that pasta ends up mushy - but I freeze sauced pasta all the time and don't find it mushy as long as it was cooked al dente to begin with. If it was cooked just a bit past al dente I won't freeze it.

            1. re: Bigley9

              I don't have a problem with pasta either. I freeze my lasagna all the time and it's not mushy.

              I find carrots get kind of woody, but they're not the main ingredient in the things I freeze, so I put them in anyway.

              And I only freeze potatoes if they are mashed. But have always liked my potatoes cooked separately for stews anyway, so I leave them out.