Freezing casseroles without tying up a pan

It’s always a good idea to have some casseroles and meals in the freezer.  They’ll save you all kinds of time and if you have company dropping in for the holidays it’s just smart to have a few things made ahead.  But when doing so that usually means committing a pan to the food until it gets used and most of us don’t have an endless supply of pans that we can have lying around in the freezer.  So here’s a clever way of getting around that. 

9x13

Let’s say you are making a lasagne.  Take your 9×13 pan…

lined-with-foil

and line it with heavy duty foil.  It is important to use a heavy foil or at very least use two thicknesses of lighter weight.

lasagne-in-apn

Assemble your lasagne in the foil (or whatever ingredients you are using for you dish).  At this point you can freeze the casserole unbaked or you can go ahead and bake it.  Either way before or after baking, take the food to the freezer and let it set up over night. 

inverted

The next morning, take it out of the freezer, invert in onto the counter, wrap it carefully with more foil or plastic wrap…

label1

label it and send it to the freezer without the pan.  You have a ready meal and you still have your pan for other uses.  When you are ready to use the food item simply set it back into the pan for warming.  This is a great technique for all kinds of dishes, not just lasagne.

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