HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese? Tell us about it

Freezer staples: not meals

Faraway11 Sep 8, 2013 04:52 PM

I'm trying to come up with a decent list of freezer staples...things that are a pain to make on the fly, but useful to have ready to roll from the freezer. I'm not looking for full meals to be frozen, more like recipe additives. My ideas thus far are stock of various make and model, roasted garlic, Carmelized onions....and what else?

  1. l
    ladybugs65 Sep 11, 2013 07:51 AM

    Chipotle peppers in adobo - frozen in ice cube trays then transferred to ziplock bag. They are easy to cut up when frozen.

    Caramelized onions
    Roasted garlic
    Whole ginger
    Homemade biscuits and scones - cook from frozen at same temp as recipe suggests
    Ziplock bag for vegetable trimmings, etc to make stock
    Frozen balls of cookie dough - cook at same temp as recipe suggests
    Pizza dough - defrost in fridge
    Slow roasted tomatoes

    1. t
      Tam38 Sep 11, 2013 07:43 AM

      stock--chicken or beef
      berries--all types
      nuts, seeds, or their flours
      wheat and rye flours
      roasted tomatoes
      a chicken carcass
      cheeses--grated mozz in sq. containers, hard cheeses, parm rinds
      pesto cubes
      leftover frosting
      leftover almond paste
      a cake
      cookie dough
      pie dough
      bags of vegetables

      1. LindaWhit Sep 10, 2013 11:24 AM

        Chicken, pork, beef and corn stocks
        Roasted garlic
        Caramelized onions
        Meat sauce
        Bags of roasted tomatoes
        Chopped red and green peppers, onions, celery and celery leaves in separate vacuum sealed bags
        Grated ginger root
        Pizza dough
        Fresh corn cut off the cob and frozen in the vacu-sealed bags
        Sauteed mushrooms (when a large container was just starting to go bad, sliced and sautéed and frozen for later use)
        Fresh CSA kale chopped and vacu-sealed for later use in soups

        1. MidwesternerTT Sep 9, 2013 08:08 PM

          Cooked wild rice - cook the entire pound bag at one time, freeze in 1 - 2 C. portions.

          Waffles - make a double batch, freeze extras.

          1. d
            DebinIndiana Sep 9, 2013 07:11 PM

            Carmelized onions following JoanN's method http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3611...

            1. g
              Goatjunky Sep 9, 2013 06:36 PM

              Vegetable trimmings for making stock
              Parm rinds
              Several bags of stock
              Bags of fruit that I freeze if we cant eat before its time
              And my favorite are the lemon juice cubes and cubes of the fresh herbs I couldn't use up

              1. j
                jankp Sep 9, 2013 05:48 PM

                *Potstickers from Dominicks/Safeway (chicken & pork delicious)
                *cooked breakfast-type sausage such as Bob Evans, to top pizza or throw into pasta sauce
                *Dorot herb cubes: garlic, ginger, cilantro, basil0 i get them at Trader Joes, Costco, sometimes Target
                *leftover cooked chicken, usually from Costco to throw in casseroles, soups, tortillas
                *frozen soups- I always make a double or triple batch,
                *frozen homemade lasagnas in single or double serve sizes, for kids coming in from sports at staggered times,
                *leftover broth or stock from a larger container
                *fresh herbs ground in mini chopper with a bit of olive oil, pressed flat in freezer bags- break off a bit as needed- for herbs that Dorot doesn't make or that need cutting back in my pots
                *flank steak frozen in marinade mix, so when they thaw they are already marinated and ready to grill
                * when my kids were younger and we ate more of this, I would pre-cook ground beef, onions, garlic, and green or red pepper, place in freezer bags and add to chili, soup, pasta, sloppy joes to get dinner ready in a flash
                * citrus zests and juice

                3 Replies
                1. re: jankp
                  cheesecake17 Sep 10, 2013 11:14 AM

                  Costco has the Dorot cubes? What flavors?!

                  1. re: cheesecake17
                    picholine Sep 10, 2013 04:53 PM

                    Different kinds of home made pesto
                    left over tomato paste
                    cooked beans and chickpeas
                    veg trimmins for stock
                    herbs in olive oil
                    lemon juice and zest
                    meat: cut up,chicken, sausages etc
                    seasonal fruit
                    right now I'm freezing corn and kale to use in winter

                    I need a bigger freezer.... :-)

                    Oops, posted in the wrong spot. Sorry.

                  2. re: jankp
                    cheesecake17 Sep 10, 2013 11:15 AM

                    I don't precook my ground beef, but I buy 6+ lbs in sale, and freeze in 1lb portions. Perfect for tacos, chili, shepards pie

                  3. d
                    Dirtywextraolives Sep 9, 2013 05:21 PM

                    Besides various cuts of meats, fish & poultry, and snacks for my kids, here's my list:
                    Citrus zests
                    Ginger root
                    Bread dough
                    Hard cheeses
                    Puff pastry dough
                    Demi glaces
                    Vegs to steam or add to soups
                    And my most current addition : fresh, roasted & seeded Hatch chiles

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                      cheesecake17 Sep 10, 2013 11:14 AM

                      I grate my ginger then freeze.

                      Just put a batch of meatballs in the freezer today.
                      Cleaned and sliced 4 packs of chicken cutlets, froze them

                      1. re: cheesecake17
                        Dirtywextraolives Sep 10, 2013 01:41 PM

                        That's funny, I just put the whole root in. Grates very easily when frozen and lasts forever.

                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                          fldhkybnva Sep 10, 2013 02:12 PM

                          Do you find the flavor is different? I started freezing the ginger but the frozen ginger just seems to taste different to me for some reason.

                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                            Dirtywextraolives Sep 10, 2013 02:15 PM

                            Actually, I hadn't noticed, but it's usually cooked in a dish, so I will have to compare next time. I'm making some Thai curry soon, and then some Korean BBQ, so I will let you know, as I think I still have a knob in the vegetable drawer to use up also.

                          2. re: Dirtywextraolives
                            JerryMe Sep 10, 2013 02:22 PM

                            That's how I do my ginger as well, Dirtyw/ExtraOlives

                      2. monavano Sep 9, 2013 05:18 PM

                        Parm rinds
                        demi glace
                        tomato paste

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: monavano
                          foodieX2 Sep 9, 2013 05:28 PM

                          Good call on the parm rinds. I do the same, great added into soup!

                          1. re: monavano
                            Dirtywextraolives Sep 9, 2013 06:15 PM

                            Oh yes, forgot about my stashes of pecans, walnuts & pine nuts!

                            1. re: monavano
                              tcamp Sep 10, 2013 11:35 AM

                              Oh, yeah. I do keep parm rinds but in a baggie in the back of the cheese drawer rather than frozen. And when I'm making a suitable dish, I invariably forget all about them.

                              1. re: tcamp
                                Dirtywextraolives Sep 10, 2013 01:41 PM

                                Me too, they are. In the cheese drawer. I need to make some gravy soon.....

                                1. re: tcamp
                                  fldhkybnva Sep 10, 2013 02:11 PM

                                  I made chicken Parmesan Sunday and nearly slapped myself when I actually remembered that I wanted to throw in a parm rind only to realize that I had just thrown the rind out from a used up chunk of cheese.

                              2. g
                                gimlis1mum Sep 9, 2013 05:13 PM

                                Blanched greens - kale and collards, mostly.

                                1. fldhkybnva Sep 9, 2013 04:58 PM

                                  Pasta sauce
                                  Deli meat
                                  Coconut milk
                                  Pizza dough
                                  Blanched veggies - favorites are spinach and arugula

                                  1. pinehurst Sep 9, 2013 06:20 AM

                                    Salt pork. That's about it for me in terms of non-meals.

                                    1. n
                                      NekoNekoFancyPants Sep 9, 2013 06:08 AM

                                      Home made pasta sauce, always in the freezer here. Cooked beans, some home made refried beans. Home made marshmallows for that sweet tooth :)

                                      1. tcamp Sep 9, 2013 05:06 AM

                                        Quartered baby artichokes
                                        Carmelized onions
                                        Pizza dough
                                        Chicken/turkey broth

                                        1. t
                                          tastesgoodwhatisit Sep 8, 2013 07:53 PM

                                          Sauces and spice pastes are useful - I like to freeze them flat in a plastic ziplock bag, so I can cut off small amounts as needed. Pesto, romesco, harissa, Thai curry pastes, etc.

                                          Stock in small quantities, when you just need a bit for a sauce. Ditto for wine. Leftover coconut milk for curries freezes well this way too.

                                          Roasted red and yellow peppers. Baked squash.

                                          Pureed vegetable soup bases. Roast or simmer squash, pumpkin, tomatoes, onions, asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, etc, with onion if you like. If simmering, use the minimum amount of liquid required. Puree, and package. You can then take them out, add stock, season and have a quick, hearty, tasty soup.

                                          Braised or roasted meat - beef or lamb shanks, pork shoulder roast, pot roast, baked ham, roast beef etc. Cook them, slice them, drizzle a bit of stock or or gravy or pan juices over them, wrap and freeze. The bit of extra liquid will keep them nice and juicy when you thaw them out. Something like braised beef shanks can seriously cut down on cooking time for a stew or curry.

                                          Cooked beans of various sorts - chickpeas, lentils, beans. Use dried beans and cook a big batch.

                                          Various tomato sauces - a simple pureed one, a hearty bolognese meat sauce, a thick mushroom/tomato/basil sauce.

                                          Pizza dough rolled out ready to go, and some pizza sauce to go on it.

                                          1. k
                                            Kontxesi Sep 8, 2013 06:56 PM

                                            I've been pulling the peppers from my garden and tossing them in the freezer whole.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Kontxesi
                                              c oliver Sep 8, 2013 07:06 PM

                                              I used to peel, seed, cut in strips and freeze.

                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                Kontxesi Sep 8, 2013 07:24 PM

                                                That's what I did with a bunch of poblanos last week. Doing it whole is mostly about laziness. :-P

                                                1. re: Kontxesi
                                                  kitchengardengal Sep 9, 2013 12:10 AM

                                                  I always leave the jalapeños whole, and nuke them for a few seconds before mincing. Thanks for reminding me- those a a real staple in my freezer.

                                              2. re: Kontxesi
                                                pine time Sep 11, 2013 08:13 AM

                                                At the end of tomato season (for me, weeks and weeks ago), I did the same with whole tomatoes and grape tomatoes--washed, dried, and tossed whole into the freezer. They'll skin themselves when thawing in a nice vat of chili come this winter.

                                              3. f
                                                foodieX2 Sep 8, 2013 06:28 PM

                                                Chopped/minced veggies- especially onions, garlic, garlic, celery, carrots


                                                Pizza dough

                                                Unbaked loaves of bread, rolls

                                                Stock-beef, chicken, veggie

                                                Baggies full of roasted bones that I keep adding too-chicken, beef, etc

                                                Bacon fat, chicken schmaltz

                                                Bags of various veggies stems-broccoli stalks, onion stems, woodie ends of asparagus etc. good for stocks and soups.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: foodieX2
                                                  c oliver Sep 8, 2013 06:45 PM

                                                  I just keep my various 'fats' in the fridge. Seem to last forever or at least til I use them all.

                                                2. sunshine842 Sep 8, 2013 06:15 PM

                                                  boneless, skinless chicken *thighs* (more flavor than breasts at half the price)

                                                  frozen stir-fry vegetables

                                                  meatballs (whether my own home-made or a good brand)

                                                  pearl onions

                                                  ice cream

                                                  some sort of frozen berry medley

                                                  pie crust

                                                  1. m
                                                    MrsJonesey Sep 8, 2013 06:04 PM

                                                    Pie crust dough.

                                                    1. Veggo Sep 8, 2013 05:53 PM

                                                      Roasted, peeled, seeded peppers in small ziplocks.
                                                      Duck livers, until you have enough to do something useful.

                                                      1. jadec Sep 8, 2013 05:41 PM

                                                        curry pastes

                                                        1. weezieduzzit Sep 8, 2013 05:34 PM

                                                          Just marking my place with interest... I just got a vacuum sealer today...

                                                          1. t
                                                            Ttrockwood Sep 8, 2013 05:32 PM

                                                            Compound butters
                                                            Slow cooked tomato sauce
                                                            Dinner rolls

                                                            1. s
                                                              smtucker Sep 8, 2013 05:28 PM

                                                              onions, cooked and raw
                                                              fresh pasta
                                                              sauces, mexican, italian, turkish
                                                              doughs, pizza and bread
                                                              cheese, grated enough for one pizza per bag
                                                              cooked beans, in family sized containers
                                                              vegetable trimmings to make stock

                                                              1. Will Owen Sep 8, 2013 05:26 PM

                                                                Frozen beans (limas etc.) and field peas, baby peas, okra, roasted/shredded poblanos, hash browns. I also keep some vegetarian pot-stickers handy (and maybe some non-veggie ones for me), because we like to steam those to have with scrambled eggs for weekend breakfasts.

                                                                Since I'm the cook as well as the sole omnivore in the household, some of the dishes I make for myself when she's off elsewhere are designed with leftovers that can be bagged and frozen: braised meats, casseroles, things like that.

                                                                1. c oliver Sep 8, 2013 05:16 PM

                                                                  Various beans made from dried. Especially these "Cowboy Beans" from Rick Bayless.


                                                                  1. greygarious Sep 8, 2013 05:10 PM

                                                                    Grilled or roasted eggplant.
                                                                    Cheese sauce.
                                                                    Roasted tomatoes.
                                                                    Mashed sweet potatoes - can be reheated as is, used for pureed soup, for pie (and pound cake), or to thicken and flavor pan sauces for poultry and pork.

                                                                    1. ipsedixit Sep 8, 2013 05:07 PM

                                                                      Sauces, fresh noodles, pizza dough, and ice cream.

                                                                      1. k
                                                                        kitchengardengal Sep 8, 2013 04:59 PM

                                                                        Pesto and demi glace. Poached chicken or turkey, chunks or shredded.

                                                                        Show Hidden Posts