83 Foods to Freeze or Foods NOT to Freeze

Published on May 25, 2015 By Lauren

Freezing foods is a great way to buy things on sale and preserve them for later. Most foods can be frozen with no problems. It is important to note that some foods need preparation before being placed in the freezer. Other foods don’t freeze well under any circumstances. See a full list of foods to freeze and not to freeze.

Last week I posted a huge article titled Freezer Cooking 101 – Everything you need to Freezer Cook Like a Pro.  Freezing foods is a great way to buy things on sale and preserve them for later.  Most foods can be frozen with no problems.  It is important to note that some foods need preparation before being placed in the freezer.  Other foods don't freeze well under any circumstances.

Here's an easy list of foods that you can freeze:

eggs (1)


  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Egg whites (must be raw)
  • Ice cream
  • Milk
  • Whipped cream (sweetened, in individual serving dollops)
  • Whole eggs (follow these extensive prep notes here)

Meat (1)


  • Bacon
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Crab
  • Fish
  • Hot dogs
  • Lobster
  • Lunch meat
  • Pork
  • Sausage
  • Scallops
  • Shrimp
  • Turkey
  • Wild game (venison, rabbit, duck, pheasant, squirrel, goose)

fruit (1)


Almost all produce can be frozen.  Here are some that freeze particularly well.  Make sure to follow prepping directions here for best results.

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado (pureed and prepped with lemon juice)
  • Beets
  • Berries
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cherries
  • Greens (including spinach and collards)
  • Mangos
  • Melon (chunks)
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Peaches (peeled, sliced)
  • Peas
  • Pineapple (chunks)
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash (summer squash, zucchini, and all winter squashes)
  • Strawberries (hulled)
  • Sweet potatoes

PRODUCE THAT YOU CAN FREEZE (but only in certain circumstances):

  • Cabbage (will be soggy, CAN be used in cooked dishes after frozen)
  • Celery (only to be used in cooked dishes)
  • Garlic (frozen in oil)
  • Herbs (frozen in water or oil to be used in cooked dishes or dressings)
  • Overripe bananas, peeled (great for smoothies and banana bread)


  • Apples
  • Citrus fruits
  • Grapes
  • Plums
  • Pomegranates

nuts (1)


These items do very well in the freezer.  Because of their high fat content they would go rancid sooner if you only stored them at room temperature.  The freezer helps preserve them for months longer than the pantry.

  • Nuts (also nut flours are great in the freezer)
  • Seeds
  • Flours (high in oil content like wheat flour)

muffins (1)


  • Biscuits
  • Brownies
  • Cakes (unfrosted)
  • Croutons
  • Muffins
  • Cookies
  • Quick breads (like banana bread)
  • Fruit cake
  • Doughnuts (unglazed)
  • Pie (fruit, meat, nut, sweet potato, and pumpkin are all okay.  DO NOT freeze pies with meringue on top)
  • Pizza – reheat at 400 degrees
  • Yeast breads

pastry shell (1)


  • Pizza dough – uncooked
  • Pie shells – blind baked (ready to fill)
  • Cookie dough -individually freeze then place in zipper bag
  • Cake Batter
  • Yeast dough


  • Pesto sauce
  • Wine (freeze in ice cube trays for use in sauces)

Tips to make dinnertime easy with COOKED FOODS THAT FREEZE WELL

(Make sure to cool completely in the fridge before freezing.)

  • Baked Breads (cooled completely before wrapping).  We load up on clearance breads from our grocery store.  They have a rack at the back of the store where all the breads are up to 75% off.  These are great time savers for Sunday afternoon meals when you are so hungry when you get home.  Also, bread helps a meal stretch to serve so many more people.  Frozen loaves reheated in the oven are perfect for when you’re hosting surprise dinner guests!
  • Casseroles (like this one!) (Unless otherwise noted in recipe, thaw overnight in fridge, bake covered at 350 for one hour or until bubbly.)
  • Chicken and turkey – deboned and chopped, freeze in 1 cup portions for easy thawing and recipe use
  • Ground beef – freeze in 1 cup portions for easy thawing and recipe use
  • Pasta, undercooked – do not rinse – do not add sauce
  • Tomato based pasta sauce
  • Here’s a great resource on how to prep your fresh meat and veggies for freezer storage.

See this great chart here for food storage times.

gelatin (1)


  • Cooked egg whites
  • Cream based soups and sauces
  • Cucumber
  • Desserts with meringue
  • Fried foods (become soggy)
  • Frostings/icing that include raw egg whites
  • Fully cooked pasta (can be frozen in dishes if undercooked)
  • Fully cooked rice
  • Gelatin
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Lettuce
  • Mayonnaise and mayo-based salads (tuna salad, egg salad)
  • Sour cream

You can learn more about how to prepare foods for freezing and some great tips here on Freezer Cooking 101.  What foods would you add to this list?

Presentation of a series of ice cubes with strawberries

Presentation of a series of ice cubes with strawberries

Join 90,000 others to get your

FREE Complete Debt Freedom Pack

sent right to your inbox!


  • Actually, fully cooked rice freezes extremely well…I grew up in a Korean household and we always froze our leftover rice wrapped in saran wrap to microwave later. The moisture is all there, perfectly reheated rice.

    • I was wondering about the rice because I’ve frozen and re-used rice many times! I may add a Tbs or two of water to it when re-heating, but it comes out fine.

      • My husband and i have been freezing our rice for years since its just the two of us and it turns out perfectly. I cook my rice in a huge casserole pan that will hold 8 cups of rice and cook it in the oven then i portion out and freeze.

  • Cooked spaghetti with sauce also freezes very well. Just be very generous with the amount of sauce and stir the sauce into the cooked noodles, then freeze. I make alot when I make spaghetti with homemade sauce, then freeze leftovers in meal-size portions in airtight containers. Place plastic wrap directly on top of the cooled spaghetti and sauce, then cover with the container’s lid and put into freezer. As long as there is an over abundance of sauce when frozen and the noodles are well coated in the sauce, it’s as good as when fresh.

  • I buy in bulk and was freezing broccoli. Then, recently, I read that freezing broccoli destroys sulforaphane the main healthy ingredient in it. To restore sulforaphane you
    have to add daikon radish powder.

  • Hi Lauren!! I am a huge fan! I love all your recipes, but my favorite is still the Ropa Vieja <3 I just invested on a freezer, so I was looking for organizing ideas and freezing foods how to and BAM found your list 🙂 Question: How do I freeze milk? won't it expand? And then when I thaw it to use am I going to make a mess 🙁 Would it be a good idea to pour out a cup or so before freezing it?

    • My parents use to freeze gallons of milk and he you do have to remove a little so it doesn’t overflow when it freezes. I don’t remember how much they poured out but a glass full should be good.

  • Hi Lauren,
    This guide was extremely helpful to me. I am recommending it to everyone in my own blog. I hope that is fine since I will be tagging you with it!

  • Can you freeze partially cooked deep fried vegetables to complete the deep frying when needed? If so do you need to thaw before continuing cooking or can you cook from frozen like frozen chips?

  • I bought lots of frozen fruits to use for next-day breakfast – how best would I prepare the fruits for use? Would it be a case of taking a handful out of the freezer and placing in a bowl in the fridge overnight?

    • I eat frozen berries (usually blueberries or cherries, but others as well) on my oatmeal or cereal every morning. I simply put them on top of my cereal/cooked oatmeal and then microwave for 60-75 seconds. If I am just eating berries, I just microwave them in a bowl for the same amount of time. They thaw, but don’t get warm/hot. Adjust time to your microwave.

  • When I make Spaghetti Sauce, I usually make way more than I need… Then, I put the leftover in Ice Cube Trays and freeze them in serving size portions. It saves a lot of aggravation when I’m just cooking small portions. I do it with meat in it also… It’s the best idea ever. I even cook way more spaghetti and pasta items and freeze it as well. Just be careful not to cook it to serving consistence since it will cook to the correct consistency when you reheat it. I drop it into boiling water and drain it right away. Works every time… JohnO

  • Can I cook a frozen bread and butter pudding which I now see advises unsuitable for freezing on the packaging? I will of course defrost it fully.

  • Hi. If you freeze pesto, leave out the parmesan. I learned the hard way. Its texture was ruined. Now I freeze the cheese separately or add after. The foodsaver has become a lifesaver in so many situations. Even the milk and cream. It keeps the odors out and the mess contained if there are any accidents. Thanks!

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *