How to Freeze a Casserole

Casseroles are the perfect one dish meal. They usually contain several food groups and are an easy option to reach for when entertaining a crowd. But, they also can dirty several cutting boards, pots, pans and utensils in the kitchen during preparation of the one perfect dish. So, make best use of your time by doubling (or tripling or quadrupling, you get the picture) the recipe in order to reap the most benefit from your time and trouble. That’s a good idea whether you’re throwing a huge party, anticipating unexpected company, stocking up, or just feeding the family.

It turns out that casseroles actually freeze rather well, do not need to tie up your baking pans and can be cooked from frozen when suddenly needed. So, if found snowed in with a day to spend in the kitchen, make the most of the situation by making multiple casseroles for future use.

Freezing a casserole

How to Freeze a Casserole

Instructions to Freeze a Casserole

Steps for assembling a casserole that will be frozen:

  1. Line the baking pan with a large piece of aluminum foil.
    Use heavy duty aluminum foil if you’ve got some. Let the foil extend over the sides of the casserole dish far enough that they will be able to meet and fold over the top of the casserole. Don’t seal it up, just leave the edges hanging.

  2. Freezing a casserole

  3. Put a layer of plastic wrap on top of the tin foil.

  4. Prepare the casserole according to the recipe directions in this prepared pan, but do not add any toppings to the dish.
    Do NOT bake the casserole.

  5. Wrap and seal the Saran Wrap around the unbaked casserole.

  6. Place the entire pan into the freezer.

  7. Once the casserole is completely frozen (a couple of hours), carefully lift it from the preparation dish.

  8. Freezing a casserole

  9. Wrap the extended foil over the top of the casserole and seal tightly.

  10. Use a permanent marker to label the foil with the name of the dish, the date, and baking instructions.

  11. Return the pan shaped casserole package to the freezer.

How to Freeze a Casserole

Instructions to Use a Frozen Casserole

1) The night before you are ready to make use of the casserole, unwrap the frozen casserole from all of the packaging and place the frozen block back into the same sized baking dish (sprayed or greased according to the original directions). Let the covered dish thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Freeze a casserole

2) When ready to bake, add any desired toppings to the casserole and then bake as originally intended by the recipe (that’s why we wrote the baking instructions on the frozen package in case you forgot what recipe you used to make the dish).

NOTE: If the casserole will be baked from frozen, remember to add half again as much time to the baking instructions.
For example; if the fresh casserole needs to bake for 30 minutes, then the time it will take to bake that casserole from frozen will instead be 45 minutes.

Notes about the Shelf Life of Frozen Casseroles

– A frozen casserole can be kept in the freezer for at least three months, beyond that there is a greater risk of freezer burn. Remember that a very well wrapped casserole will always last longer than a poorly wrapped casserole.
– A thawed casserole should be baked as soon as possible once thawed. If it is not, the added moisture from freezing may change the textures and make the casserole mushy.

How to Freeze a Casserole

Additional Info

To find out how long lasagna lasts, see our lasagna page.

For instructions on how to safely thaw frozen foods, see our safe thawing instructions.

To cook foods from frozen, see our safe cooking from frozen FAQ.

To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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