A few weeks ago I sent out my weekly, with tips for freezing plant-based food. It was a popular topic and I often get questions about which meals can be frozen.
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It takes some trial and error to figure out which plant-based foods freeze well. I’ve found foods like soups and casseroles typically do OK when they’re frozen and reheated though the texture may change. For example, I always cook my rice so that it’s sticky. Frozen and defrosted rice will lose it’s stickiness every time. It still makes a great addition to soups, burritos, etc.
Tips for Freezing Plant-Based Foods
Cool Before Freezing
The important thing is to make sure you are freezing food that is already cooled off. You may need to let foods cool on the counter, then further cool them in the fridge before putting them in the freezer.
Do not put containers straight from the freezer into the oven. Even high quality baking dishes can shatter from rapid temperature change. There are some companies that make bake ware specifically for freezer to oven use but don’t assume yours will work. I haven’t tried this. I’m too afraid of shattering my pans.
Avoid Contact with Air
If you are freezing something like Banana Bread or Bean Burritos, wrap it in parchment paper or wax paper, then place in a freezer proof container or freezer bag. I used to make big batches of burritos and wrap them in parchment, then reuse the same freezer bag forever! I’m eyeing a set of reusable storage bags that look perfect for the job.
Even casseroles or other foods will taste best if they are carefully wrapped to reduce open air exposure. If you are freezing something in a casserole dish or bowl, consider covering it with a layer of foil or some other type of wrap to minimize the exposure to air. This will help with freezer burn.
Leave Room for Expansion
Soups and casseroles need room to expand once they’re frozen. If you are using a jar or glass container, make sure you leave a couple of inches at the top for expansion. Containers can break if there isn’t enough room for the food to expand as it freezes.
Some foods like fruit, veggies, burritos and any other foods you don’t want frozen in a clump, should be flash frozen. After the food cools, place it on a baking sheet or cutting board, and place it in the freezer. Once it’s frozen, place the individual items in a freezer bag or container.
My Favorite Plant-Based Foods to Freeze
- Whole cooked beans
- Brown Rice
- Refried Beans
- Banana Bread
- Taco Soup
- Enchilada Soup
- Broccoli Potato Soup
- No Bake Chocolate Bites (make them small because they are hard to bite when frozen)
- Mexican Casserole
- Lentil Tacos (just the lentil filling, not whole tacos)
I don’t freeze things that have pasta but there are many frozen food companies that sell frozen pasta dishes that it should work. If you’ve successfully frozen recipes with pasta send us your tips!
What are your favorite foods to freeze? Do you have tried and true methods for freezing your favorite foods?