Foods That Don’t Freeze Well
Being a frugal gal with not one, but two deep freezers, I know that freezing food items is one of the easiest ways to preserve food but I often ask what foods don’t freeze well.
The mantra buy now when the price is low and put up for later is one every smart shopper should live by. Of course you can preserve, pickle, can, dehydrate foods but those methods take more time and popping something in the freezer is easy!
But there are some foods that should not be frozen or if you freeze them their uses are different than if you were to use them fresh.
So if you have ever thought to yourself what foods don’t freeze well, check out our list of 26 foods that don’t freeze well below.
Vegetables & Fruits That Don’t Freeze Well:
Fruits and veggies with high moisture content can become very mushy when thawed and the texture is greatly affected.
When the water in the fruits and veggies freeze it expands and breaks open the cell walls creating a mushy unappetizing texture. If you are planning on eating these items in their frozen state they are OK or some may be OK to cook with. Just don’t expect the same texture.
- Apples & Pears – they discolor and turn mushy. Cooked apples and pears in pies or pie filling are OK though.
- Celery – like onions they turn to mush when thawed but are ok in cooked dishes.
- Citrus – Thawed citrus that has been frozen is not going to compare to fresh. Juice your lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges instead and freeze that. However frozen slices of citrus make for pretty ice floats in lemonade, iced tea and party punches.
- Cucumbers – again these turn to mush. Don’t freeze.
- Grapes – fine to eat frozen (in fact frozen grapes are one of my kids favorite summertime treats) but they are pretty gross when thawed.
- Mushrooms – they turn to slime when frozen. Don’t freeze.
- Onions – fresh onions when frozen are mushy when thawed. They are fine in soups, stews and casseroles but don’t expect them to be any good on a hamburgers.
- Peppers – ok in cooked dishes but otherwise you don’t want to eat thawed peppers.
- Potatoes – raw potatoes cannot be frozen, they turn a funky color and taste horrible. You can however freeze well cooked potatoes. If I have extra potatoes I usually make a large batch of and freeze that instead.
- Salad greens – lettuces and other greens turn into a soggy mess when thawed. However fresh spinach can be frozen and used in dishes that call for frozen spinach such as Spinach Dip.
- Sprouts – thawed frozen sprouts are a mushy mess.
- Watermelon – turns to mush when thawed. If you have excess fresh watermelon you can juice it or puree the flesh in a blender and freeze that instead for smoothies. If you want to eat your melon frozen you can do that too.
- Herbs – Basil, chives, parsley and other soft herbs are no good frozen on their stems, however you can make them into pesto or blend with oil or water and freeze in ice cube trays and plop those ice cubed into soups and stews.
Dairy Products That Don’t Freeze Well:
Dairy is one of those tricky items to freeze, some dairy products freeze just fine like fluid milk while others have a texture change once frozen.
- Cottage Cheese – does not freeze well at all.
- Cream Cheese – if you plan on cooking with it (like making a cheesecake) it will be OK however don’t expect to spread cream cheese that has been frozen on your morning bagel.
- Creamy Salad Dressings – dressings like ranch and Caesar do not freeze well.
- Custard or Pudding – does not freeze well, you can however make pudding pops and eat them frozen.
- Mayonnaise – mayo separates when frozen and no matter how much you blend, whip or stir it will not go back together.
- Soft Cheeses – like cream cheese these just don’t hold up well but if you are cooking with them or are going to melt them into a fondue you should be OK.
- Sour Cream – the texture changes however you can use it in cooked dishes like casseroles.
Other Foods That Don’t Freeze Well:
Here are a few other items that don’t freeze well…
- Eggs in the shell – if you freeze eggs in their shell they will explode (what a mess!) instead crack your eggs and scramble them and pour into freezer containers. Thaw and use in any recipe that calls for scrambled eggs or eggs for baking.
- Fried foods – Greasy foods just don’t do well in the freezer. French fries and onions rings are the exception. You can reheat these and they will come out crunchy.
- Frosting – egg white and cream based frostings do not hold up well in the freezer.
- Gelatin (Jell-O) – when frozen your Jell-O will weep or turn runny when thawed.
- Sauces – Sauces that are thickened with cream, eggs, cornstarch or flour do not freeze well. Think sauces like hollandaise, alfredo, etc.
For best results never freeze the items above, however, check out the 10 surprising foods you CAN FREEZE here!