Make some room in your freezer because after you read this list of 10 things you didn’t know you could freeze, your life—or at least your refrigerator and your grocery budget—is about to change for the better!
I’ve been freezer cooking for years and I’ve experimented with freezing just about anything I can. Some were major fails, but I’ve discovered that you can actually freeze a wider variety of items than you probably realize!
I decided to put together this list of 10 out-of-the-ordinary things you can freeze. I’ve tried all of these and they have all worked for me! Just follow the links below to find the freezer tutorial for each item.
Here’s my list of 10 things you probably didn’t know you could freeze…
1. Cottage Cheese
Frozen cottage cheese doesn’t taste great plain once it is thawed, due to it being a little watery. But I love freezing cottage cheese to use later in my smoothies. It works perfectly!
I usually like to divide the containers into smaller bags so I can just thaw out a little bit at a time as needed. This also allows me to freeze them flat in plastic bags to save space in my freezer!
2. Taco Meat
Taco meat is one of my favorite things to make during a freezer cooking session. You can whip up a huge batch of taco meat at one time, and it’s SO versatile!
Taco meat can be used in all kinds of different recipes and it thaws really quickly, so it makes for a great last-minute dinner idea if you forgot to pull something out from the freezer earlier in the day.
Go here to see how I like to freeze taco meat, some of the frugal ways I stretch it to feed more people, and some of our family’s favorite recipes!
I’m often able to find organic milk on clearance that’s close to the expiration date. We use what we can until the expiration date and then I freeze the rest. By buying it on clearance, we’re able to buy higher quality milk without spending a fortune to do so.
While I don’t recommended using frozen and then thawed milk for drinking (due to the changes in consistency and flavor), I do freeze milk frequently for all kinds of other uses! For example, it works beautifully in pancakes, waffles, french toast, or other baked goods.
I’ve never had a problem freezing it in a cardboard container. It will expand some when it freezes, so you might want to drink or use a half cup or so before freezing. But otherwise, just stick the milk in the freezer in the paper carton!
When you’re ready to use it, you can thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Or, you can stick the carton in a sink full of cold water for 15 or 20 minutes.
While I know that some people like pancakes and waffles fresh, I’ve found it’s so much more convenient to make a big batch of waffles and then freeze them for breakfasts later in the month!
This is one way we make sure we have filling, healthy breakfasts on busy mornings. We love trying different varieties and mix-ins, such as Carrot Cake Waffles, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Waffles, Gluten-Free Waffles, or even Red, White, & Blue Waffles!
5. Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
I first happened upon the idea of freezing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when Jesse was in law school and we were eating a LOT of PB&J.
While it doesn’t really take that long to make PB&J, it can still help speed things up a bit when your time is really crunched in the morning. Plus, it’s nice to have sandwiches at the ready if you end up needing to go somewhere unexpectedly and no one has eaten any lunch yet.
6. Pizza, Cookie, and Biscuit Dough
Our family loves homemade breads, and one of the easiest ways to speed up the process of bread-making is to make the dough when you have time and freeze it to bake later!
There are all kinds of different doughs I’ve experimented with freezing, but these 3 recipes are my favorite: Pizza Dough, Cookie Dough, and Biscuit Dough.
This pizza dough recipe has been my go-to recipe for years. Keep it on hand and pizza night will be a breeze.
Even if you’re not a fan of most freezer meals, I encourage you to try making cookie dough and freeze it! I can almost guarantee you won’t be able to tell a difference between frozen cookie dough and fresh cookie dough.
It makes it so easy to make a batch of fresh-baked cookies when you have drop-in guests or need to bring a dessert or snack to some event at the last minute. It’s also very handy for those times when you get a late-night craving for chocolate! 😉
These chocolate chip cookies are SO good and the dough freezes beautifully!
This biscuit recipe is quick, easy, inexpensive, and so practical! Say goodbye forever to canned biscuits with this winner recipe — especially when you freeze the dough ahead of time to make it even easier.
7. Fresh Herbs
This a super simple way to preserve fresh herbs so that they don’t go to waste before you have a chance to use them! Frozen herbs work especially well in sauces, stews, and soups.
I decided to try freezing avocados when I found clearance bags of avocados for just $0.99 at Kroger. I couldn’t pass up that price, so I bought 6 bags and was determined to not let them go to waste once I got them home!
It was a little hesitant to try freezing avocados… and I honestly didn’t love how they turned out when I thawed them. However, I have heard from many readers who have had great success with freezing avocados. I froze mine with salsa and lime juice since that’s the way I love to eat my avocado. You could experiment with all kinds of different seasonings and flavoring, though. (And if you’ve found a great trick for freezing avocados, let us know!)
I really do not enjoy chopping up onions (does anyone?), but I do love how they taste in recipes, so I often chop them in bulk and freeze them for later use. It’s such a time-saver!
10. Cooked Beans
Dried beans are much more economical than canned beans. Unfortunately, since they need to be soaked and softened, they can be inconvenient to prepare them on the same night you want to use them in a recipe.
Freezing them ahead of time is a huge time-saver — especially if you freeze a bunch of different types in bulk at one time!
Looking for more ideas?
Be sure to check out this post for a list of 15 more surprising things you can freeze!
Enjoy experimenting with some of these freezer-friendly foods on this list, and you’re sure to see a reduction in food waste and an increase in the amount of money you save!
What crazy food items do you like to freeze? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments below!
SE Cingle says
Do you freeze shredded cheese or block cheese? Or both?
I find it works better if you shred it ahead of time and then freeze it shredded. Hope that helps! -Meg, MSM Team
Crystal Paine says
I only recommend freezing shredded cheese. You can freeze block cheese, but it will crumble when thawed.
susie liberatore says
This is mind blowing.. the peanut butter and jelly – OMG. what a life saver, going to try that.
Anna Rose says
We eat rice often and I have been freezing some lately. It is great to pull that out and reheat than have to wait until the rice is done in the rice cooker. Texture stays pretty much the same reheated.
I also freeze extra cooked bacon, so handy!
Other things to freeze:
Bananas that are getting too ripe. Peel and break into chunks. These are fantastic in smoothies.
Veggie scraps for broth-making. I save carrot peels, potato skins, sweet potato bits, celery tops, onion skins, etc. when I have a hello bag full, I dump them ina stock pot, cover with water, and boil for an hour to make delicious and free vegetable broth.
Diced jalapeños. We grow peppers and always have more than we can use in the summer. I dice the extras and put them in a freezer bag. In the winter, I break off a chunk to use in soups. They make all soups delicious.
Chicken bones. If we eat roasted chicken, I toss the bones in avoid bacon a go i need the freezer until I have enough to make chicken broth. So much tastier then store bought stock.
I LOVE to freeze beans. We love to use black beans on nachos and in quesadillas for lunch. But we often would not use up a whole can before they went bad. I now cook 4 cups of dried black beans in the pressure cooker. We will use some for dinner that night and then I drain and rinse the remainder. I spread them in a single layer on a large cookie sheet and put them in the freezer. When they are frozen, I take the cookie sheet out and pass it over a burner on the stove for a few seconds to release the frozen beans from the sheet. Works like a charm! I then break them up so they aren’t stuck together and put them in a freezer bag. Now I just reach in the freezer and grab a handful as I need them for lunches. No more waste!
Doreen Sevestrean says
I loved this tip for freezing the beans on cookie sheets. I do that with almost all other fruits and vegetables I freeze but I never thought of doing it with beans!!
I had forgotten about the herb trick! I need to do that this weekend. Last year I was gifted several huge bags of lemons from a friend’s tree. I had my children squeeze them and we froze them into the amounts needed for lemon pie and lemonade. It makes me so happy to see them in the freezer. 🙂 We routinely freeze bananas for smoothies but I love the suggestions of freezing chunks of other fruits before they go bad.
Some things I like to freeze:
Any kind of marked down fruit I get that I don’t have time to use up gets chopped up in chunks and put in a bag to throw in smoothies.
When I get a great deal on ground meat I make lots of meatballs using my favorite recipe for meatballs and freeze them RAW on a cookie sheet. After they are frozen I take them off the sheet and put them in a bag and they are ready to take out and use in whatever recipe I need meatballs for. It’s great for placing in a pan and baking with a sauce, or making meatball soup. My favorite current meatball recipe is a homemade idea of taking my regular meatball recipe and adding in a pkg. of chopped spinach sometimes a bit of shredded cheese. That’s how I get my children to eat spinach!
Something I learned from my mom is that when you have seasoned breadcrumbs for coating meat and you don’t use them all you can put them in the freezer and pull them out next time you need them instead of just throwing them away.
When I get butter and cheese on sale they go in the freezer too. Cheese sometimes changes texture in freezing but someone told me to let it thaw overnight in a slightly warm place (like on top of the fridge) and that helps it not to crumble so much. It really does work most of the time.
Another thing that can be frozen is pie dough. Most recipes work (not sure if gluten free/etc. works the same as regular pie dough) If you have enough pie dough left for another pie, form the dough in a ball and put it in the freezer in a bag or container. Let it thaw completely in the fridge and roll out as usual. I have already made a LARGE batch of pie dough just so I can have it in the freezer ready to use when needed.
Crystal Paine says
These are such great tips! Thanks so much for sharing!
karen b says
I buy peppers when marked down in red bag (usually 3-4 in a bag). I either chop them to put in stuff or slice them for fajitas. They are so expensive that I don’t buy them often but when you can get them this way its awesome to have. I think right now I have like 4 bags for fajitas.
Crystal Paine says
A great tip! Thanks so much for sharing!
Christine Goeckeler says
The pizza dough recipe that you gave here is the one I have used for several years now. I was thrilled to find it on your site and it works GREAT!!! We do pizza most Friday nights and my family loves it. I make the full recipe and freeze half of it. (We only need 1 pizza at a time.) It makes things so much easier on pizza night to just pull it out and let it thaw.
Crystal Paine says
I love it! Thanks for sharing!
I freeze lunch meat in package when I buy with a good deal. We freeze our milk the night before we go camping each year to ensure the milk will stay cold all weekend long. Bananas of course unused spaghetti sauce to bring out for quick lunches.
I love the onion idea though.
Crystal Paine says
Oh! I was JUST thinking recently that I wondered if you could freeze lunchmeat. Thank you for sharing!
How do you freeze your bananas.
I slice them onto a piece of waxed paper and once they freeze I just pour them into a freezer bag. I also do whole grapes and strawberries that way. Yummy as a quick, crunchy snack and great in smoothies!!!