Freezing Casseroles

It takes much less effort to make 2 casseroles at once than to make them on separate occasions. So next time you make a favorite casserole, you might want to consider doubling the recipe and freezing half.

Or you can reserve an afternoon and make multiples of your favorites. Many casseroles will freeze well, but not all, so I am offering some tips on which casseroles are good to freeze and how to do it.

WHICH INGREDIENTS FREEZE WELL?

You can freeze most casseroles before cooking except those that contain uncooked rice, raw vegetables, uncooked meat, mayonnaise or sour cream.

If you are freezing a casserole that contains cooked rice or noodles, then undercook them, so they don’t become mushy when they are frozen. The same applies to beans and potatoes.

Freeze casserole toppings, such as bread crumbs or cheese, separately.

As far as seasoning, season lightly then making, then add more seasoning when baking since lots of spices become weaker when frozen.

HOW TO FREEZE

Cover casserole with heavy foil or freezer paper. Make sure to use plenty of tape on the freezer paper.

To freeze the casserole and not the pan, line the pan with foil, leaving a pieces overhanging on the side.  Then place food in the pan and place in freezer. Once the casserole is frozen, use the overhanging casserole to lift the food out, remove dish and wrap food and return to freezer . The food now has the shape of the casserole without the dish.

Casseroles keep about 2 to 3 months in the freezer, make sure you mark them with the correct date.

THAWING AND COOKING

To reheat a casserole without thawing, cook for an hour or so at 400 degrees. Just keep checking to see when it is hot all the way through.

Otherwise, thaw the casserole in your refrigerator overnight. You will probably need to cook the casserole about 15 to 30 minutes more than directed, to heat it thoroughly.

ORIGINAL RECIPE

CREAMY CHICKEN CASSEROLE

INGREDIENTS

1 CUP UNCOOKED ELBOW MACARONI

¾ CUP MILK

10 ¾ OUNCE CONDENSED CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP’

2 CUPS COOKED CHICKEN

1 CUP SHREDDED SHARP AMERICAN CHEESE

4 OUNCE CAN MUSHROOM STEMS AND PIECES, DRAINED

DIRECTIONS

Cook macaroni and drain. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix soup (undiluted) with milk. Then add chicken, ½ cup cheese, mushrooms and cooked macaroni.

Place mix in 2 quart casserole dish. Bake covered for 50 minutes. Uncover and stir.

Then top with remaining cheese, bake 2 to 3 minutes longer until cheese melts.

Makes 6 servings

RECIPE MODIFIED FOR FREEZING

CREAMY CHICKEN CASSEROLE

INGREDIENTS

1 CUP UNCOOKED ELBOW MACARONI

¾ CUP MILK

10 ¾ OUNCE CONDENSED CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP’

2 CUPS COOKED CHICKEN

1 CUP SHREDDED SHARP AMERICAN CHEESE

4 OUNCE CAN MUSHROOM STEMS AND PIECES, DRAINED

DIRECTIONS

Cook macaroni and drain. (Cook just until the noodles start to soften) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix soup (undiluted) with milk. Then add chicken, ½ cup cheese, mushrooms and cooked macaroni.

Place mix in 2 quart casserole dish. (at this point freeze the casserole). Freeze cheese topping separately.

Store casserole for up to 3 months in freezer

Thaw casserole and topping overnight in refrigerator

Bake covered for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Uncover and stir.

Then top with cheese topping , bake 2 to 3 minutes longer until cheese melts.

Makes 6 servings

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KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

Great hub for we who are so busy. Thanks you for sharing.

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