Friday, November 2, 2012

To Thaw or Not to Thaw?

how to cook frozen casserole

There are some tricks to reheating your frozen casserole successfully.
  • If uncooked:  To cook a frozen family size casserole, add about 40 minutes to 1 hour to the unfrozen cooking time. Deep dishes and very large size pans cooked from frozen may take up to 3 hours extra.
  • Most frozen foods do not need to be thawed before reheating. 
  • Soups, stews and even some pasta dishes can be reheated on top of the stove

  • The safest and best way to thaw frozen foods is to put them in the refrigerator the night before.  Thawing on the counter is NOT a safe option. 
  • Foods which get mushy (pasta, rice, etc) get MORE mushy if thawed first. Cook from frozen if you have time.
  • Preheat your oven following the instructions on the label you made when you froze it. Then cook it for the calculated reheating time. If the dish is large and frozen keep it covered and keep the oven temperature between 325 and 375 to avoid both drying out the edges and unsafe time for low temps in the middle of the dish.
  • Foods with pasta, rice, or other moisture-sucking ingredients should be reheated covered for most of their cooking period and may need a little extra liquid added as they reheat. Stir in milk, water, tomato sauce, or broth- what to use depends on the recipe- a little bit at a time until you like the consistency. 

For Lentil-Rice Cas serole, thaw and stovetop reheat.

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Thanks so much! I greatly value thoughtful comments!! ~ Gabriela