Our Basic Guide to Freezing

It's a million dollar question we're asked time and time again: Can it be frozen? Here's our handy guide filled with tips, tricks and recipes that will make turn your freezer into your ultimate ally.

Basic tips

Freezing

Divide the recipe in meal-ready portions in sealable freezer containers , or freezer bags, while removing as much air as possible. Leave some headspace, since food will expand when frozen.

Don't freeze meat or raw poultry again without cooking it beforehand. However, once cooked, these products can be safely frozen.

With an indelible marker, label the content and note the date of freezing.

Regularly check the temperature of your freezer, which should ideally be around -18 °C.

Don't freeze meat and raw fresh poultry inside their original packaging. The plastic film used in groceries are not resistant enough to oxygen. Rewrap those food in freezer bags or with a plastic wrap designated for freezing.

If you are freezing a meal directly in its cookware (i.e. lasagna, pie), cool it down, then tightly wrap it in aluminium foil, then wrap it in plastic designated for freezing again.

If the portion is still warm, cool it down inside containers or bags soaked in a sink full of ice water. During winter, you can even leave them outside until they're cold. Transfer to the freezer afterwards.

Defrosting

Never defrost a dish at room temperature : this will favor the growth of dangerous bacteria. Defrost in the refrigerator instead, which might take several hours, but is safer.

Some type of food (mostly pastries) can be defrosted at room temperature. Consult our guide.

Reheat in the oven, on the stove or in the microwave oven (if applicable) until the food is very hot (at least 75 °C/170 °F). Consult our guide for more information.

In a hurry? Here are 3 safe ways to defrost faster:
  • Use the « Defrost » function of your microwave oven. Make sure the container used is microwave-safe.
  • Place the container or the bag inside a large bowl or in a sink full of cold water. Change the water often to keep it cold. The food will defrost much quicker than in the fridge.
  • For sauces, broths and other liquid dishes : defrost the outside of the container or the bag by rinsing it with water, then place the content directly in a pan. Add a trickle of water and gently heat it up, while breaking up the block with a wooden spoon and stirring often.

Recipe freezing guide

Salads

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Type of recipe Freezes? Tips Storage life
Rice, potato or pasta salads No Rice, potatoes and pasta become rough and granular once thawed. Some vegetables used in these salads (radish, celery) don't freeze well.  
Vegetable salads (coleslaw, lettuce, tomato, cucumber salads, etc.) No Vegetables will lose their crispiness after being thawed.  

Dressings

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Type of recipe Freezes? Tips Storage life
Mayonnaise based dressings. No The mayonnaise might split up.  
Yogourt or buttermilk based dressings. +/- The texture might become granular. Defrost in the refrigerator. Beat thoroughly to smooth out the texture. 3 months
Oil and vinegar based dressings Yes   3 months

Soups, broths and stock

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Type of recipe Freezes? Tips Storage life
Chicken, beef or vegetables broths Yes   3 months
Broths Yes Add water or stock while reheating if the sauce is too thick. 3 months
Vegetable Soup Yes If the soup contains rice or pasta, avoid cooking too thoroughly, as cooking resumes as soon as you start reheating. 3 months
Creamy soups and bechamel sauce +/- The texture may suffer. Whisk the sauce vigorously while reheating to keep the texture uniform. Add milk or broth if the sauce is too thick. 3 months
Pea Soup Yes If the soup is too thick, add broth or water when reheating. 3 months

Sauces

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Type of recipe Freezes? Tips Storage life
Bechamel based sauces and cheese sauces +/- These sauces have a tendency to separate while reheating. Whisk vigorously to smoothen out. 3 months
Tomato Sauce Yes Tomato sauce tends to be watery after defrosting. 6 months
Spaghetti sauce with meat Yes The sauce tends to be watery after defrosting. 3 months

Cooked dishes

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Type of recipe Freezes? Tips Storage life
Meat Balls Yes Place the meatballs on parchment paper while ensuring they don't touch each other. Place in the freezer until the meatballs harden. Transfer them to into a ziplock or tupperware container. Frozen meatballs can be tossed right into a sauce (tomato, soup, ragout) while cooking. 3 months
Vegetarian or Meat Chili Yes   3 months
Pork Spread Yes   3 months
Meat Patties Yes Place the patties on a baking sheet with parchment paper ensuring no overlap. Place them in the freezer until the patties harden. Place them into ziplock bags or tupperware containers. Defrost in the refridgerator. Reheat at 350 °F for about 30 minutes. 3 months
Baked beans Yes   6 months
Baked Ham Yes   6 months
Cooked Lasagna Yes   3 months
Uncooked Lasagna   Don't garnish with cheese. Hermetically seal. To serve, partially defrost in the fridge. Garnish with cheese and cook according to the original recipe's instruction, while adding about 15 minutes to the cooking time. 3 months
Meat Loaf Yes Cook and allow to cool in the container. Remove and transfer into a freezing bag. To serve, defrost in the fridge and place loaf back into baking recepticle. Reheat at 350 °F for approx. 30 minutes. 3 months
Foie Gras Yes   3 months
Potatoes dauphinoise Yes   2 semaines
Ragout and other stewed dishes Yes The potatoes are usually lumpy after defrosting. Avoid potatoes in such recipes if you prefer. 3 months
Risotto Yes Add a bit of soup broth as needed at the moment of reheating. 3 months
Quiche Yes Place the quiche on a baking sheet in the freezer until the top has hardened. Transfer into a freezing bag or aluminum envelope. To serve, do not defrost. Uncover and place directly into the over at 375 °F until the quiche is completely heated. 3 months
Meat Pies and uncooked Pâté Yes Prepare garnish as usual, let chill. Pour contents into pie base and cover with pie dough. Place on rack in freezer until the toppings have hardened. Transfer into a freezing back or aluminum paper. To serve, allow to partially defrost and cook along the recipe's instructions, while adding approx. 15 minutes to the total cooking time. 3 months
Meat Pies and cooked Pâté Yes Place on a rack in the freezer until the toppings has fully hardened. Transfer to a freezer bag or wrap in aluminum paper. To serve, do not defrost. Unwrap and place directly in the over at 375 °F, until the toppings are piping hot. 3 months

Meat

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Type of recipe Freezes? Tips Storage life
Cooked cuts of Meat (ribs, chops, fillets, roasts, Tbones, etc.) or poultry (thighs, breasts, etc.) Yes All cooked meats can be easily frozen, even if you defrosted them prior to cooking, there is no hazard in doing so. However, defrosting meat and refreezing it without cooking it is highly discouraged. 3 to 6 months

Side dishes

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Type of recipe Freezes? Tips Storage life
Rice, quinoa, orge and pasta dishes Yes Grains and cereal contain yeast, which hardens in the cold. These types of side dishes must always be reheated to regain their desired texture. Add a small amount of water as needed at the time of reheating. 3 months
Guacamole Yes   3 months
Hummus Yes   3 months

Yeast based Bread and Pastry

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Type of recipe Freezes? Tips Storage life
Baked breads of all kinds (baguette, brioche, naan, etc.) Yes Defrost at room temperature. The bread's texture will be more ideal if reheated in the often. Wrap in aluminum foil at reheat at 300 °F between 5 and 15 minutes depending on size. 3 months
Raw Pizza dough Yes Cut the dough into individual pizza portions. Wrap in cellophane paper and place into bags for freezing. Defrost in the fridge and place at room temperature in a place that is slightly warm and humid to stimulate the yeast.  

Pastries

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Type of recipe Freezes? Tips Storage life
Baked cookies Yes Freeze these cookies in levels, in a bag for freezing or a hermetically sealed bag, by placing a parchment or wax paper between each level. Allow to defrost at room temperature. 6 months
Cookies and cookie dough Yes Cut the cookie dough into single cookie portions, place on a sheet of parchment paper while ensuring no overlap. Place in the freezer until the dough is rigid. Transfer to a freezer bag or sealed container. To bake, simply bake them right out of the freezer, adding 2 or 3 minutes to the total cooking time. 3 months
Bars, squares and Brownies Yes Do not put any icing or powdered sugar on the bars. Can be frozen right in their baking rack (placed inside a freezer bag). Alternatively, you may cut into individual portions and freeze on a sheet. Transfer to a tupperware or freezing bag afterwards. Let defrost at ambient temperature. 3 months
Doughnuts Yes Do not ice or sugar. Defrost at ambient temperature or in the oven at 400 °F for 5 to 10 minutes. 3 months
Choux and Cheese Puffs Yes Cook as usual, do not garnish. Place on a plate in the freezer until hardened. Transfer to sealed container or freezing bag. Defrost at ambient temperature. 2 months
Crepes Yes Place a square of wax or parchment paper between each crepe. Transfer to a freezer bag. Defrost at room temperature. 3 months
Butter Cakes, Cupcakes Yes Do not put on icing. Wrap each cake in plastic wrap and transfer to a freezer bag. Defrost at ambient temperature. 2-4 months
Angel Cake Yes Defrost at ambient temperature. 6 months
Cheese Cake Yes For reduced fat cheese cakes (tofu, yoghurt, soy or ricotta based for example) contain more water that traditional cheese cakes and will usually come out lumpy. Defrost in the fridge. 4 months
Fruit Cake Yes Wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum and transfer into a freezing bag. 12 months
Waffles Yes Freeze in a single pile on a sheet. Transfer to a freezing bag, separating each waffle by wax or parchment paper. Do not defrost, instead reheat in the oven at 400 °F for 3 to 5 minutes, or in the toaster. 3 months
Muffins Yes Wrap individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and transfer to a sealed container or a freezer bag. Defrost at room temperature. 3 months
Rustic Bread Yes Freeze whole or in individual portion slices, covered in plastic wrap and then transfer to freezer bag. Defrost at room temperature. 3 months
Pancakes Yes Freeze on a single plate. Transfer to a freezing bag, separating the pancakes with parchment or wax paper. Do not defrost, but instead reheat in the oven at 400 °F for 3 to 5 minutes, or alternatively in the toaster.  
Raw Pie Crust   Separate the dough into individual balls (sufficient to spread into a crust). Wrap in plastic wrap and transfer to freezer bag. Defrost in the fridge. 1 to 2 months
Unleavened Raw Pie Crust Yes Press the dough and mould it as you would into a disposable aluminum pie mould. Place on a plate in the freezer until the dough hardens. Transfer entire crust into a freezer bag, or seal hermetically with aluminum foil. Do not defrost, poke holes and bake at 475 °F until the crust is golden, or garnish and cook along the indications of the recipe. 1 to 2 months
Cooked Pie Crust Yes Ideally, leave the crust in the container with which it was baked. Otherwise, remove from plate and place on rigid cardboard sheet. Transfer to freezer back. Allow to defrost at room temperature. 3 months
Fruit Pie Yes Place on a rack in the freezer until the toppings have hardened. Transfer to freezer bag or seal in aluminum paper. Can go directly from the freezer to the over. Reheat at 375 °F until the fruit is warm, about 30 minutes. 3 months
Sugar Pie Yes See "Fruit Pie" 3 months
Pie with eggs or cream pastry No The toppings will get lumpy and will release liquid and the crust will get soggy.  

Other Desserts

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Type of recipe Freezes? Tips Storage life
Coulis and Fruit Sauces Yes The texture may be a bit more liquid. 6 months
Flan No The texture will likely become grainy/lumpy.  
Crèmes Brulée Yes Freeze the cream without caramelizing the crust. To serve, defrost in the fridge. Powder with sugar and caramelize the crust based on the recipe's direction. 3 months
English Cream Yes Defrost in the fridge. Whisk vigorously if the texture seems grainy. 3 months
Fruit Custard Yes May be transfered right from the freezer to the over. Reheat at 375 °F until the toppings are warm, about 30 minutes. 6 months
Ganache Yes   3 months
Lemon Curd Yes   3 months
Caramel or Chocolate Sauce Yes   6 months
Caramel bites, fudge Yes Cut into squares. Place on a sheet of parchment paper and freeze until the candy hardens. Transfer to a freezing bag or sealed container, placing a piece of parchment or wax paper between each level. Defrost at room temperature or server frozen. 3 months