Freezer cooking is a wonderful way to save time and money in the kitchen! Here are 50+ gluten-free freezer-friendly recipes, plus tips on how to freeze foods, and which foods do and do not freeze well.

Freezer cooking is a wonderful way to save time and money in the kitchen! Here are 50+ gluten-free freezer-friendly recipes, plus tips on how to freeze foods, and which foods do and do not freeze well. | iowagirleats.com

Similar to my post on how to eat healthy on a budget, one of the most requested posts OF. ALL. TIME. here on IGE is one that’s all about freezer cooking! So many of you are parents to young and busy children, are busy professionals, cooking for one of two, and/or like to stay ahead of the game, which means freezer cooking is perfect for you.

They say necessity of the mother of invention, though in my case it’s the mother of getting my buns in gear and finally tackling this highly sought-after post because I could sure use it right about now. Le bebe #2 is coming in T-minus one month (or less!) and one of my biggest regrets after Lincoln was born was not having enough meals stocked in the freezer to pull out during the insanely insane time that is having a newborn. Let’s just say we could have bought a whoooole heck of a lot of freezer bags with the amount of money we spent on Chipotle burrito bowls! This time will be even harder as I can’t accept meals from friends on account of my Celiac Disease, so I need to get the freezer stocked with healthy, gluten-free recipes NOW!

First let’s talk about foods that freeze well – I’m looking at you, non-dairy-based soups, stews, and chilis, pasta and meat sauces, all kinds of raw and cooked meat and meat-based dishes, some casseroles, baked goods, and bites and snacks – whew! I’ve got sections for all these foods below with links to recipes that are freezer-friendly, as well as instructions on how to freeze, thaw, then serve them. When I’m making a freezer-friendly recipe, I like to buy double or triple the ingredients so I can make double or triple the recipe to freeze.

Let’s also chat real quick about the best materials for freezing foods and recipes, freezer cooking tips, tips to avoid freezer burn (the worst!) foods that freeze well and, equally as important, foods that don’t freeze well.

 

Materials needed for freezer cooking:

You can get away with freezing a ton of foods and recipes in Ziplock freezer bags, though some won’t fit inside so you’ll want to first wrap those in plastic wrap and then foil. Instead of tying up glass bakeware, assemble casseroles inside disposable foil pans then cover with foil, label, and freeze.

Freezer cooking tips:

  • Chill foods completely in the refrigerator before freezing them. This will not only prevent ice crystals from forming on top, but will help keep the temperature of the freezer from drastically dropping when adding unfrozen foods to it.
  • Freeze foods FLAT in Ziplock bags to avoid clumping and so they can stack in the freezer.
  • Chop raw ingredients like fruits, vegetables, etc. before freezing flat in a Ziplock freezer bag.
  • Label bags/packaging with date frozen, enjoy-by date, contents, and reheating instructions.
  • Click here for recommendations on how long to store frozen foods.

Tips to avoid freezer burn:

My two best tips for preventing freezer burn is to never freeze warm or hot foods, and wrap as airtight as possible! More on that…

  • Never put hot or warm foods into the freezer. Chill completely before packaging.
  • Remove as much air as possible from freezer bags before freezing (sometimes I stick a straw in the corner of the Ziplock bag to suck all the air out.)
  • Wrap foods that don’t fit in freezer bags, like quick breads, first in plastic wrap and then foil.
  • If using plastic or glass containers to freeze liquids like broth or soup, leave room at the top for liquid to expand once frozen.
  • Don’t overload the freezer with a ton of unfrozen foods at once, which will bring down the temperature of the freezer. Freeze unfrozen, chilled foods in batches.

Foods that freeze well:

  • Chicken breasts (cooked or raw)
  • Ground meat (cooked or raw)
  • Salmon filets (raw)
  • Shrimp
  • Bacon (I prefer raw)
  • Shredded cheese
  • Butter
  • Bread/buns
  • Tortillas
  • Broth
  • Berries (slice larger berries like strawberries first)
  • Chopped fruit: bananas, pineapple, mango, peaches, pitted cherries
  • Vegetables: peas, chopped carrots, sweet corn kernels, chopped onions
  • Chopped squash (for pureeing once thawed)
  • Lemon/lime juice
  • Marinara sauce
  • Baby spinach and chopped kale (throw directly into smoothies)
  • Chopped fresh herbs (freeze in ice cube trays in extra virgin olive oil)
  • Prepared mashed potatoes
  • Prepared waffles/pancakes
  • Cooked brown rice
  • Cooked wild rice
  • Uncooked gnocchi
  • Cooked or dried beans
  • Coffee
  • Ground flax seed

Foods that don’t freeze well:

  • Cooked gluten-free pasta (for this reason I don’t recommend freezing casseroles made with GF pasta)
  • Previously fried foods – freeze breaded foods un-fried then thaw before frying
  • Cheesy/milk-based soups
  • Fruits or vegetables with high water content – watermelon, cucumber, lettuce, cabbage, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, celery
  • Recipes with cooked white rice (cooked wild rice freezes fine)

Alrighty, let’s get to stocking that freezer with these 50+ gluten-free, freezer-friendly recipes!

 

Soups, Stews, and Chili

Prepare then chill completely, scoop into gallon Ziplock bags, and freeze flat. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then heat in a soup pot or in individual portions in bowls.

Signature-Spicy-Smoky-Sweet-Chili-iowagirleats

 

Sauces

Prepare then chill completely, scoop into gallon Ziplock bags, and freeze flat. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then reheat in a saucepan and serve.

Shortcut Vegetable Ragu #glutenfree | iowagirleats.com

 

Meats

You can freeze burgers, meatloaves, and meatballs cooked or uncooked. I prefer to freeze meat raw on a baking sheet then transfer to a Ziplock freezer bag once frozen. Thaw meat in the refrigerator then bake/prepare according to recipe instructions. In the case of freezing cooked ground meat, cool cooked meat completely then transfer to a freezer bag and freeze flat.

Crock-Pot-Sausage-and-Peppers-iowagirleats

 

Casseroles

Assemble casseroles up to the baking step then chill, cover tightly with plastic wrap and then foil, and then freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight then bake according to recipe instructions. You can bake casseroles directly from the freezer but there is a bit of guesswork involved in timing and temperature.

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas with Homemade Gluten-Free Enchilada Sauce will please the whole family. Make ahead, and so simple! #glutenfree | iowagirleats.com

 

Quick Breads/Muffins

Quick breads, muffins, cupcakes, and cookies are perfect for freezing! Cool completely then, in the case of muffins, cupcakes, and cookies, transfer to a Ziplock freezer bag and freeze. Cool quick breads completely then wrap in plastic wrap and freeze in a Ziplock freezer bag or wrap in foil if they won’t fit in a bag. Thaw in the refrigerator, on the counter, or wrap in paper towels while frozen and microwave at 50% power until warm.

gluten-free-zucchini-coffee-cake-iowagirleats-594

 

Bites and Snacks

Chill bites and snacks completely then freeze on a baking sheet and transfer to a Ziplock freezer bag once frozen. All of these recipes (except granola and Puppy Chow which don’t need to be thawed!) can be reheated in the microwave at 50% power from frozen.

Mini Quinoa Pizza Cups | iowagirleats.com

 

Breakfast

Each recipe contains freezing instructions so refer to the post when making and freezing these gluten-free breakfast recipes!

Simple Homemade Breakfast Sausage is just that - simple! Made in just one bowl with pantry staples, this breakfast sausage is freezer-friendly, and preservative and gluten-free, too. | iowagirleats.com

 

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Freezer cooking is a wonderful way to save time and money in the kitchen! Here are 50+ gluten-free freezer-friendly recipes, plus tips on how to freeze foods, and which foods do and do not freeze well. | iowagirleats.com