When you want a warm and satisfying family meal, but you don't have time to actually make one, a freezer full of ready-to-bake casseroles is the answer. Try these recipes for 10 of our most popular make-and-freeze casseroles, and get tips for freezing, thawing, and baking them.
Rave review: "I've actually made this recipe twice on our newly adopted 'Meatless Monday'. I used fresh baby spinach the second time and just laid a single line down the middle over the cheese mixture. My children love it." -- JuiceBoxx10
This popular casserole calls for French fries, but many reviewers substituted frozen potato nuggets, hash browns, or thinly sliced potatoes with happy results. SURELEE says, "Put this dish in the freezer and bake whenever you're too lazy to cook!"
This recipe freezes well, whether baked or unbaked. If you freeze it unbaked, cover it in foil while you bake it for an extra 30-40 minutes until cornbread is golden and casserole is heated through.
Here's a great tip for making the cottage cheese in this recipe look more like ricotta. Baricat says she's a big fan of ricotta, but she likes the tang that the cottage cheese adds to this dish. Here's her solution: "Process the cottage cheese in the food processor for a minute before adding it to the recipe. This way, you'll get that intriguing, tasty result, and your plate won't be covered in unsightly curds."
Rave review: "This is good stuff! But it makes a LOT. I just put about 2/3 of the recipe in a 9x13 pan, and froze an 8x8 to have on hand during the hectic holidays." -- cecefltrn
Most casseroles can be baked before they're frozen. For this one, the recipe submitter suggests you assemble and freeze the casserole, and bake it later.
Tip: To make the cabbage leaves easier to remove, cut the core out of the head and simmer the whole head of cabbage in salted water for a few minutes. The leaves will float to the top as they become tender enough to roll.
The filling is made from scratch, but it's okay to use premade pie crusts to speed up production. You can freeze this easy pot pie baked or unbaked. Either way, you don't have to thaw it before baking. If the crust starts getting too dark before the filling is hot, just cover it with a sheet of foil -- the filling will continue to heat but the crust will stop browning.
It's so easy to throw extra vegetables into this made-from-scratch casserole. Some reviewers doubled the tuna or doubled the sauce, depending on their preference. To add extra crunch, top this with potato chips or buttered bread crumbs before baking.
10. Baked Ziti IV
If you're not feeding a big crowd, you can bake half of this recipe and freeze the other half for another meal.
Top Tips for Freezing Casseroles
- Cool baked casseroles before wrapping it and freezing.
- To bake a frozen casserole, you can first thaw it in the fridge overnight and bake it the next day. Alternatively, you can put a frozen casserole in the oven, then turn on the oven. The casserole will slowly heat as the oven comes up to temperature. To crisp the top, pull back the foil in the final 10 minutes of baking at full temperature. It's important to heat a casserole thoroughly before eating it; use an instant-read thermometer to make sure the casserole is at 165 degrees F for safe consumption.
- Instead of storing a casserole pan in the freezer, line the pan with foil, fill it with casserole, and freeze the casserole in the lined pan. When it's frozen solid, lift out the frozen casserole, wrap it tightly in foil, label it with the use-by date and baking instructions, and pop it back into in the freezer. You'll save space and your casserole pan will be ready to use for another meal.
- Properly wrapped and sealed casseroles can be frozen for up to 6 months without damaging flavor or texture.
- Get more tips for safely freezing and reheating foods.
- Try our best make-and-freeze pasta sauces for quick dinners anytime.
- Stash away these make-and-freeze soups to speed up dinnertime.
- Browse our entire collection of make-ahead and freezer-friendly meals.