Freezing meals for later - better to cook first or freeze raw?

I'm expecting my second child in a couple weeks and I'm trying to prepare some meals in advance to keep in our deep freezer. Is it better to make them and freeze them raw or to make them, cook them, then freeze? I was going to make a breaded oven-baked chicken dish with fresh chicken that I have and I was also going to make a lasagna. Wondering which way would help the meal taste better later after I take it out of the freezer? Thank you!

Update:

You are all so helpful! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

7 Answers

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  • Doreen
    Lv 4
    8 years ago
    Favourite answer

    cook first i would say then you only need to re-heat. All the best for the birth!

  • 8 years ago

    This will be no help at all - some you should cook, and reheat, and some you prepare and freeze, cooking it later.

    I cooked all kinds of meals for the births of my grandchildren - and they were mostly all cooked ahead of time. Except for a meatloaf that I found in

    "Don't Panic - Dinner's in the Freezer: Great-Tasting Meals You Can Make Ahead" by Susie Martinez, Vanda Howell and Bonnie Garcia (Sep 1, 2005)

    - which allows you to make 1-3-6+ meals, as do most of the recipes (I did lower the amount of thyme - and you can toss the meat loaf in the oven right from the freezer).

    I would also cook up spaghetti sauce, and freeze that in bags. Pot roast actually does better after freezing. This is a great time to get acquainted with your slow cooker - make a big enough batch:one meal for today, and freeze the rest for a second even third meal.

  • 8 years ago

    Assemble the lasagna like you are about to pop it into the oven, then freeze it. It can come straight from the freezer to the oven. Cook your chicken fully, allow to cool completely then wrap it in Saran wrap before freezing. Other easy freezer meals are meatballs, baked before freezing that can be reheated in the microwave or oven, waffles, pulled BBQ pork, and chili. Any soup or stew really.

    Source(s): Freezing Meals For A While Now
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Most casseroles can be frozen, if you precook them, seal them in an air-tight as possible container and do not keep them in the freezer very long. Do keep in mind the larger the casserole, the longer the defrosting and cooking time. What you store them in also makes a big difference. If you have a seal-a-meal or similar product, prepare individual servings or several servings in boil-safe bags or microwave safe bags. These are much easier to make, cook and clean up after. Laying them flat in the freezer will distribute the food evenly and make it easier to defrost and/or cook. Note on the bag with a magic marker what it is and the date it was made. Sliced meats for sandwiches is always an easy thing to fix ... just thaw and place on bread ... no cooking and no fuss ... easy clean-up. Different kinds of meats should be sealed in individual sealed packages ... do not mix your meats, please. Turkey you have cooked or a roast or chicken will always taste better than ones you purchase in a deli. Sliced turkey or chicken with stuffing can easily be used as the main dish. Baked spaghetti is a favorite of mine. Meatloaf is easy to fix. Veggies are usually easy on the tummy. Some fruits freeze and keep very well ... defrost in frig and they are still cool/cold when served. Hint: Blue berries, rhubarb, strawberries and many fruits can be frozen on a cookie sheet, then poured into a zip-lock bag and thawed as needed ... no cooking necessary. Make it simple and easy on both ends! Home made soups and stews are always welcome. Do not confine yourself to just casseroles ... be creative! If you plan on cooking on the grill before you go ... package up some of the items to take to your friend. This shows you were thinking about them and wished they could have been there for your cook out. Cooked hamburgers and hot dogs freeze well ... just take along some lettuce, tomato and buns with you! Start their morning out easy and with a thank-you smile ... even if you don't see it ... buy or make some waffles/pancakes that can be heated in the toaster or microwave and add a bottle of home made fruit syrup. Mash/blend most any fruit ... add sugar or Karo Syrup, cook until it thickens, place in a jar to be refrigerated. Honey with soft butter that has been whipped into it is also a good topping ... real butter, no margarine, please. Jars that have a large opening is usually best, so it can be dipped out with a small dipper or spoon.

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  • John W
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Cook the chicken.

    With lasagna, I make up the sauce and then layer it, the shredded cheese and uncooked dried lasagna noodles into the mini-loaf pans, wrap them with tin foil and freeze. When I want them, I pop them into a toaster oven at 350 ℉ for about an hour and a half to two hours, removing the tin foil during the last few minutes to brown the cheese. The lasagna cooks in the sauce juices.

  • 8 years ago

    Congratulations! Just for your own ease, I would cook it first. I'll take less time and attention to reheat later.

  • 2017
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    cook first then freeze

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