Which foods can you freeze? How long can you keep something in the freezer for? Roughly a third of all food produced globally is wasted, and using a freezer can help cut food waste and save money. 

We've put together a list of 15 foods that can be easily frozen, foods that don't freeze so well and some handy general tips for freezing foods safely, too. So next time you see them getting close to their best before or use by dates, pop them in the freezer to prevent them from going to waste and enjoy them another time.

1) Cheese 

The best way to freeze cheese is to grate it first and then store it in a ziplock bag, you can freeze small cubes of cheese if you wrap them tightly in cling film. Avoid freezing it in a large block as it can go crumbly. Sprinkle  on top of a pizza or pasta dish to give it a brie-lliant kick. 

2) Milk and dairy free milk

Milk can be frozen and stored for months. It will expand slightly when frozen (so use a container with some room, not glass as this doesn't freeze well) and it needs some time to defrost.

Did you know it's really easy to make your own plant milks? Check out our recipe for oat milk or rice milk. If they are homemade, they may go a bit grainy so strain them through a cheesecloth after they have thawed, if needed. 

3) Eggs 

Don’t freeze your eggs in the shell. Break them in a bowl and beat until the yolk and egg white is just about blended. Put the mix in an airtight container and label with the date and number of eggs used.

4) Mushrooms, broccoli and other vegetables

Vegetables such as mushrooms, avocados, spinach, rhubarb (yes, it is a vegetable!); beans, carrots, broccoli can all be frozen. If they naturally have a high water content it's best for them to be pureed, sautéed, stewed or made into these easy freezer-friendly veg meals before freezing.

To freeze carrots blanch sliced carrots for a few minutes in boiling water, cool them in ice water and then transfer to a freezer bag or Tupperware to be frozen.  

It’s better to freeze mushrooms cooked as they have a high water content, to freeze them slice them and steam them over boiling water before cooling them in ice water and transferring them to a freezer bag or Tupperware for freezing.  

5) Cooked rice 

Great news cooked rice can be frozen but be sure to freeze it as soon as possible after cooking so it’s safe to eat. Pack the rice into a microwavable container or Tupperware as soon as it’s cooked. When the rice has cooled, seal the container and put straight into the freezer. Make sure to reheat thoroughly so it’s piping hot before eating. Don’t freeze takeaway rice, this needs to be eaten fresh or not at all. 

6) Potatoes

You can freeze all kinds of cooked or partially cooked potatoes from mash to roasties. Make sure you do this when they're fully cooled though. For mashed potato, you could either transfer all of it into a freezer bag/container or if you're feeling particularly savvy, you can freeze your own individual servings by scooping out portions individually like ice-cream scoops.  

The best bit is you don’t need to defrost these you can just cook them straight from frozen when you want to use them.   

7) Cooked pasta

Slightly under-cooked pasta is best for freezing, this avoids it turning starchy when you reheat. Before freezing let the pasta cool a little and drizzle it with olive oil to stop it from sticking together in the freezer.  

8) Bananas

Bananas freeze fantastically without their skin, just slice them up and pop them in an airtight container before putting in the freezer. Use frozen bananas to make a healthy alternative to ice cream, or coat them in melted chocolate before freezing for a sweet treat.

9) Butter

You butter believe it, it freezes beautifully. Either wrap it tightly in aluminium foil, beeswax wrap or plastic freezer wrap or place it inside container or freezer bag. To thaw it quickly, you can grate it or microwave it…or go slow and let it defrost over time in the fridge.

10) Tomatoes

Blitz before freezing and keep in a sealed container. You'll have tomatoes for sauces to the ready when you are.

11) Bread

Whether it's homemade banana bread, Irish soda bread or shop-bought bread, you could slice it before you freeze to keep a constant supply of bread ready to toast fresh if needed. 

12) Berries

Berries freeze nicely, although they may go a bit squidgy when defrosting. Sprinkle on top of your porridge, pop them in a smoothie or whip up a healthy summer pudding.

13) Chopped up chillies and herbs

Seal in a clip lock box to avoid frostbite. Some herbs don’t freeze so well. See below.

14) Cakes, brownies and biscuits

Believe it or not, they can all go in in the freezer. If you have any left that is. Wrap well.

15) Wine

Wine can be frozen, just like water. It works best with wines that taste better chilled (like white or rose).

Ready to get freezing? Try these recipes for easy frozen meals you can batch cook and freeze.  

GET RECIPES

Foods that don't freeze so well

  • Some herbs - basil, chives and parsley turn brown in the freezer.
  • Yogurt and sour cream- use up before heading off on holiday. 
  • Some dairy - soft cheeses, cream cheese, cottage cheese, mayonnaise and sour cream.
  • Fresh salad greens - finish off that lonely lettuce with our delicious fattoush recipe
  • Deep-fried food - after defrosting, the crispy coating will turn to mush
  • Dishes with crumb toppings - the once crispiness will go soggy after freezing. 

General tips for freezing food

  • Let all food reach room temperature before freezing. 
  • Be savvy with your ice cubs tray - you can use it to freeze stock, liquid and even eggs. Creates perfect portion sizes, too. 
  • Never refreeze raw meat that has been frozen and then thawed. Never let meat defrost outside of the fridge overnight, always keep chilled. 
  • Try to freeze everything at its freshest either when it's just been bought or cooked. 
  • Make sure the freezer isn't so packed that air can't circulate. 
  • As a general rule, nothing should be kept in the freezer for longer than nine months to a year

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