This guest blog post comes to us from Ginny McMeans from Vegan in the Freezer.
Freezing some of your casseroles is not only rewarding, it is also very liberating. You are able to cook on your own time schedule, which saves time and energy. It takes almost the same amount of time to prepare two casseroles as it does one. That saves about 50% of your time. It feels so good when a recipe is completed and there is enough food to serve right now plus more for another day. Wouldn’t you love to make AllFreeCasseroleRecipes’ Broccoli Rice Casserole once, and enjoy it on two different occasions?
To me, the hardest part of cooking isn’t in the preparation but in the meal planning. Well, if you already have a casserole in the freezer, all you need to do is add a veggie or salad and Voila! The only planning involved is to take something out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator to serve the next night. If you don’t get to it the next night for one reason or another it will still be perfectly good in the next day or two. Simple.
There are 3 ways to freeze casseroles:
- Use glass baking dishes that have air tight lids made for the freezer.
- Use glass baking dishes with lids that are not air tight. These will need to be slid into freezer bags.
- Freeze the casserole in a baking dish, and then remove the casserole and place it in a freezer bag. This is to keep the inventory of your glass baking dishes to a minimum.
The glass containers with the airtight lids are very easy. All you do is put your food inside as if you were going to bake a casserole. Then you snap on the lid, slide in the freezer and that is it. They do take up a bit more space in the freezer but they stack neatly.
You do the same thing for the glass containers with the non-airtight lids except you will need to slide the casserole into a freezer bag before freezing.
If you don’t have many baking dishes and do not want to buy more, here is a another great technique. Lay plastic wrap in the bottom of the casserole dish so that it hangs over the edges quite a bit. Do this in both directions so that the bottom and sides are completely covered. Lay your ingredients on top of the plastic wrap just as if you were going to bake the casserole. When you are all done filling your casserole dish fold the sides of the plastic wrap up and over the top of the casserole. Put into the freezer like this for a couple of hours until it is frozen enough to be removed from the glass baking dish. Now you slide the plastic wrapped casserole into a freezer bag. Done. When you want to bake it take the wrapped casserole out of the freezer and remove the plastic wrap. Place the frozen casserole back into the same size dish that you prepared it in. Let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight and bake the next day – or the next.
You can only see about two casseroles in this freezer. The enchiladas are on the top right and there is chicken tetrazzini on the bottom right. Both of these casseroles were left in their glass baking dish with lids and then slid into freezer bags.
Lastly, don’t forget to label your casseroles. It makes life so much easier. I use freezer tape and sometimes I write on the freezer bag with a permanent marker.
Casseroles can stay in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. It is so rewarding to open your freezer and have dinner all ready.
Do you freeze your casseroles? If not, will you start?