What dishes can safely be frozen?

We are headed into the fall/winter season, where cCertain dishes can only be made in large batches (think stews & soups).  Cooking for two, that typically leaves us with food for 3-6 days.  However, no matter how much I like homemade split pea soup, I can't handle it that many days in a row.  

#1   Split pea soup, which I typically cook for 3-4 hours so it becomes '2nd day thick'.

#2   N'awlins Dirty Rice (beef, veggies & rice dish, all cooked together, but not a jambalaya).

#3   Danish beef, potato & carrot stew (Skipperlabskovs)

#4   Lightly caramelized chopped cabbage (Brunkaal), which is then simmered with fresh and/or smoked pork. Served with dark rye bread and strong mustard.

#5   Chili Con Carne.

I shall be happy to provide recipes on any or all of these, but would appreciate comments on how suitable these dishes are for freezing.

I would think anything but the cabbage, and the only problem there would be texture.

I can personally attest that pea soup and chili freeze well.

This brings up the question of reheating rice which is sometimes in soup. I have been recently reading a lot about food poisoning occurring. Google this and you'll see what I'm talking about.Also they say chicken should only be reheated once. This is all new to me and may affect soup.

It is not the reheating that is the issue, nor the freezing.  It is the amount of time the dish stands at room tempurature.

Anything cooked and not eaten should be chilled and refrigerated promptly.  Leftovers not frozen should be reheated by portion.  That is, do not reheat the whole bowl, just reheat the amount you are going to eat (keep the rest refridgerated).

For freezing, do not leave cooked food out to cool, but cool it fast in ice water baths and get it right into the freezer.  This applies to any cooked food, not just rice (tomato sauce is another common vector).


For soup I always cook rice or pasta separately and add before serving. Otherwise those ingredients soak up too much liquid. Rice freezes well in one-cup portions in ziploc bags. 

max_weisenfeld said:

I would think anything but the cabbage, and the only problem there would be texture.

I can personally attest that pea soup and chili freeze well.

Fortunately the cabbage dish is something that can be made in somewhat smaller portions:

1-2 heads of cabbage:  Remove the stalk and dice or shred  (I prefer pcs abt 1/2"x1").

Lean pork (1/3 to 1/2 the weight of the cabbage), cut into strips or small chops.  I often substitute smoked sausage (kielbasi or similar) for 1/3 of the meat.

For 1 head of cabbage:

Heat a wok or large frying pan.  Melt 1.1/2 Tsp of sugar, when it caramelizes, add 1.1/2 Tsp of butter or margarine.  As soon as butter has melted, toss in 1/3 of the cabbage, and stir fry till lettuce has wilted and become lightly browned.

Pour browned cabbage into a stock pot.  Place 1/2 the meat on top.

Repeat with another layer of cabbage, then meat, and top with last 1/3 of cabbage.

Add 2 cups of stock (you can add a little gravy master if you want darker color), sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Cover and simmer for 1.1/2 hrs over low heat.  If you use smoked sausage, it should only cook for the last 30-35 min, so it is added on top of the cabbage.

Serve with dark rye bread and sharp mustard.  Cold beer & shots of frozen Aquavit (spiced vodka) are traditional beverages with this dish.

Using 2 (or 3) heads of cabbage, just increase the number of layers and use a larger stock pot (I have been known to use my turkey fryer).

you should post that recipe in the Recipes category. sounds pretty good!

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