Best recipes for freezing

Growing up in a family of six, cooking dinner usually involved some kind of vat and enough potatoes to feed a small army. When I began cooking for one, I struggled to scale down my meal sizes, and ended up with a lot of leftovers. I learnt the hard way that some meals freeze better than others.

If you enjoy saving time and money by cooking up large batches of food, it’s important to know what meals will come out of the freezer looking and tasting the same as when they went in.

Pumpkin soup
Almost as easy to make as it is to reheat, pumpkin soup is good for the body and soul. Having a frozen meal prepared is perfect for coming home late on cold nights. YourLifeChoices is a big fan of pumpkin soup, so choose between our four favourite recipes. Butternut Pumpkin Soup, Spicy Pumpkin Soup, Perfect One-Pot Pumpkin Soup or Roasted Pumpkin Soup.

Lasagne
This meal is just as delicious reheated as it is fresh, and the gooey melted cheese makes for the perfect, easy but satisfying meal. For a hearty vegetarian lasagne, try our Easy Eggplant Lasagne. For a quick take on an old classic, try our Cheat’s Noodle Lasagne.

Curry
Curry can be frozen and reheated with very little change in the flavour, just make sure you stir it while you heat it up, as the fat in the coconut milk can separate. Try our Thai Green Curry Meatballs, Duck Red Curry or our Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry.

Chilli Con Carne
Filling and warming, chilli con carne is not only delicious, but also healthy. Try Leon’s simple Chilli Con Carne that is packed with vegies and flavour.

Pasta Bake
Pasta bakes are affordable and simple to make. When reheated you get all the cheesy goodness and flavour just like a lasagne. Depending on your personal taste, choose from Lamb Pasta Bake, Pasta and Roast Potato Bake and our Classic Pasta Bake.

Our favourite freezer friendly desserts
Just like main meals, desserts are often cheaper and easier to make in bulk. Freezing desserts for another day helps to ease the pressure to singlehandedly eat an entire cake before it goes dry – or is that just me?

A basic rule when it comes to freezing desserts is that pastries will likely go soggy, and ‘fragile’ dishes may lose their shape. For this reason, my all-time favourite freezer friendly dessert is strewed fruit. I like to buy a big bag of peaches, apples or pears – whatever is seasonal and on sale – and stew them up with brown sugar. For an easy stewed dessert, try our Simple Cinnamon Stewed Apples or our Middle Eastern Stewed Fruit Salad for a more flavourful approach.

Puddings, like rice pudding and lemon pudding, also freeze well. And baked desserts like cakes, muffins and slices are perfect for freezing, too. Try our mouth-watering Cheesecake Brownies, Apple Cake, Almond Cake, Butter Cake or our Easy Chocolate Cake.

When freezing food, be sure to freeze it in the portion sizes you’ll want to eat it in. Freezing a full litre of soup can cause more of a hassle than anything, as defrosting it can be a time-consuming nightmare that leaves you with a small vat of soup.

Do you cook and freeze large batches of food? What advice on cooking and freezing meals do you have for other readers?

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Written by Liv Gardiner

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