Freeze a casserole to store and make a wonderfully convenient leftover ready when you need it most. Like when you are too hungry to wait and too busy to deal with starting something from scratch.
The best part of leftover casseroles? Well, in most cases, they taste even better as a leftover!
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How to Freeze a Casserole
- Prepare the casserole. If baking before freezing, bake and cool completely.
- If freezing unbaked, prepare the ingredients, layer in casserole dish.
- Wrap the casserole and the dish tightly in plastic wrap.
- Cover the plastic wrap in aluminum foil.
- Label with date, name, and use by date with marker.
- Freeze and enjoy later.
Freeze a Casserole The Right Way
When you want to freeze a casserole, then it helps to have a few things handy. Storage containers that are freezer safe make a huge difference. Good, airtight glass and plastic containers or heavy duty zipped lock bags do come in handy.
But having some tape, like masking tape, which you can write on, and a permanent marker come in handy too.
With a proper storage container, you get about 2 or even 3 months of storage in the freezer. This is where marking the container comes in handy.
- Make a note of the date you made the casserole
- Add a “use by” date next. This helps you keep track even if you lose the frozen casserole or whatever somewhere in the back of the freezer for a while. You won’t have to stare at it and wonder “Is this still good”. (Then take a chance on eating it only to find out it would have been best to feed it to the garbage can).
- Ideally, use containers for individual or double portion sizes. That way, you can reheat just what you want to eat and not feel like you have to chance returning it to the freezer for leftovers part two.
- If you freeze the entire un-portioned out casserole, then best to keep it in a dish that goes easily right in the oven or microwave to reheat it all at once. No need to transfer it. Just heat and serve! Even better, nowadays you can find casseroles that come with a lid for easier storage.
Things to Consider Before Storing Leftover Casseroles
Most casseroles hold up very well when you freeze them, then reheat and serve. However, not all ingredients hold up as well during the time in the freezer.
Things like vegetables tend to lose their texture and become mealy or mushy. Meats sometimes dry out and become more tough.
But, where perhaps the texture might not be as ideal, the flavor stands oftentimes to improve. This is because freezing a casserole can dehydrate everything a bit. (Ever heard of “freeze drying?” That is just taking it to an extreme.)
This helps combine and elevate the flavors even more. So, as long as you can handle things like onions losing any sort of crunch, or noodles falling apart, then no problem.
Truth be told, the improvement in flavor actually overcomes any sort of texture issue for most people.
Best Casserole Tips
- Clearly label with date and name of the casserole
- Use freezer safe casserole dishes that can go straight from the freezer to the oven.
- Wrap the casserole tightly with plastic wrap and then again with aluminum foil to avoid freezer burn.
- Freeze in smaller portions for easier reheating.
- Check that all ingredients are made for freezing.
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