Kitchen Tips

5 dishes that are ideal for cooking in bulk and freezing for later

Preparing delicious and nutritious meals every day isn't always easy or possible, so get ahead of the game by cooking in bulk and popping them in the freezer for later! We've compiled all our best tips and recipes for freezing food to help.

By Harriet Keown

1. Soups

Soup can last up to three months in the freezer, so make a huge batch on a rainy day and feast on it for weeks! There are a few important things to remember when you are freezing soup: firstly, if your recipe says to add a swirl of milk or cream, wait until you have reheated your soup and are ready to eat to prevent the dairy from separating when it defrosts. It's also important to leave your soup to cool completely before freezing, and always freeze it in portions that will be convenient to defrost. Finally, remember that liquids expand when they freeze – so ensure you leave a good inch of extra room in your container or bag!
Here are our favourite soup recipes to cook in bulk and freeze for later:

2. Pies

When it comes to freezing pies, there are a few ways to go about it. An easy way is to make your pie as you usually would, then cool completely after cooking before popping it in the freezer, either whole in its dish wrapped with tin foil or portioned into individual servings. To serve, simply put it in the oven until hot and cooked all the way through. Alternatively, you could freeze your pie before baking, then put straight in the oven to reheat – if you're using pastry, this often results in a much crispier pie! To save space, you could consider just preparing and freezing the filling, freezing flat in sealed bags and then assembling with the rest of the pie when you're ready to serve.
Here are our favourite pies to cook in bulk and freeze for later:

3. Pasta

Pasta dishes such as bakes, lasagnes and Bolognese are also great ones to freeze for later. As always, the most important step is to cool the dish completely before you put it in the freezer – but other than that, the rules are simple. For any pasta dish, you can either freeze it whole or in separate portions, just think about the way you are going to serve it and do what's most convenient for you. When you're ready to eat, defrost overnight in the fridge and cook as usual. For Bolognese, you might like to cook a big batch of sauce and then freeze flat in separate portions of the size you will need them.
Here are our favourite pasta dishes to cook in bulk and freeze for later:

4. Burgers

Just like you can get at the supermarket, homemade burger patties area great dish to make in advance and then freeze to take out as you need them. The best method is to freeze your uncooked patties in a single layer on a baking tray until firm before putting them in a bag or container – this will ensure they aren't going to stick together when freezing. This will save you so much time when you are ready to make your burgers, as you can just pull out however many you need the night before, defrost them overnight, then fry up when you are ready to serve.
Here are our favourite burger patties to cook in bulk and freeze for later:

5. Baking

Baked goods are especially easy to freeze, which is perfect if you want to make a double batch and save half for later. Raw sweet treats make freezing so simple – just make your mixture like you usually would, then freeze individually in a container or sealed bag - our no-bake oatmeal balls or these apricot coconut bars are ideal recipes to try. For freezing cookies, cool your batch once baked, and then put them in the freezer in a container or bag. When it comes to cakes, muffins and loaves, bake them as usual and freeze once completely cool – but make sure you hold out on making the icing until you are ready to eat! If cakes tend to disappear quite quickly in your household, cut them in half before freezing so you aren't tempted to scoff the whole thing in one go. If you have limited space in your freezer, you might prefer to freeze your dough or mixture uncooked in a flat, sealed bag, then thaw and bake when ready to serve.