Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I Don't Like Leftovers

Our family does not do well with leftovers. If I tell my husband it is leftover night and there is casserole, pasta, or meatloaf as your choices he almost always goes to the freezer and gets out his favorite Lynn Wilson bean and cheese burritos! That kind of defeats the purpose of leftover night. I've found if I don't eat the leftovers for lunch the next day they just sit in the refrigerator for a week until I end up throwing them away. One solution I have found to this problem is to freeze half of our dinner immediately after dinner. If I just throw it in the refrigerator with the intent to freeze it the next day, it just doesn't get done. However, if when I am cleaning up the kitchen after dinner I take the time to get out a freezer bag then it gets done.

Many meals will freeze well in freezer storage bags. Examples include spaghetti sauce, other pasta sauces, or most soups. Some meals are best split into two portions before baking like casseroles, enchiladas, lasagna, or others. If you don't want to use disposable aluminum pans for freezing these meals, first, line your baking dish with aluminum foil. Then, add your casserole or meal. Third, cover the pan with aluminum foil. Fourth, freeze the meal. Lastly, when the meal is completely frozen you can remove the pan and the meal will easily stack up in your freezer. The nice part about frozen casseroles or lasagna is that you can place it in a baking pan and put it frozen into the oven. It does take considerably longer to bake but no defrosting is necessary.

What are some meals you have had success freezing? What doesn't work well for freezing? Let me know so I can try it too!


  1. Whenever I make Cafe Rio pork, bbq beef or bbq pork in the crock pot, I do lots so I can freeze half of it for later. It works really well for a quick, easy meal later on.
    Also, my friends and I have been experimenting with freezer meals. Calzones and that turkey sandwich roll do not work. We thought frozen dough would work but it doesn't. Everything gets done before the bread dough and so it's doughy.

  2. I'll sometimes freeze old bananas if I have a hankering for banana bread or muffins but no time. My mom freezes them in the peel, but I take the peel off and put them in a ziploc bag. Then every thing's mashed and I don't have to deal with a yucky peel. On a side note, bananas don't do well defrosting in the microwave. It makes them stink. A lot of casseroles freeze well. I often will split them especially if the recipe calls for a 9x13 pan. 9x13 is too much for two people (A LOT of leftovers) but works great in 2 smaller pans. I recently tried freezing half of a recipe of cinnamon buns. I let them rise, etc then shaped them and then when I want them, I'll pull them out of the freezer and let them defrost and rise over night. Hopefully it works!!

  3. I have not usually frozen much for later use, but when beef and mushrooms were both cheap in January I made two batches of boeuf bourgignon, and froze one that we ate (with company!) last week. It turned out fine. The key was to freeze it in an air-tight freezer back, and defrost it slowly (I took it out the night before I needed it and put it in the refrigerator). - Marsha Calhoun

  4. We bought a lot of sandwich sized gladware (some disposable and some that are more like tupperware). They both are holding up really well. What we do is go ahead and serve dinner then right after dinner we make lunch sized portions and individually freeze them in those sandwich buckets. Then we put some low tack painters tape on the lid and mark on it with a marker what is in the container. These make great ready to eat microwave lunches or even future meals for nights that you are too busy to cook. My husband takes one every day to work for his lunch. Once you build up a bunch in the freezer it makes for a great variety of lunches. :) Oh and the same sized containers stack really well in the freezer too and keeps it all neat.