Homemade freeze-ahead meals provide you with a quick dinner on a busy night, allowing you to enjoy home cooking instead depending on expensive and unhealthy takeout meals. Chicken casseroles freeze and reheat well if they are properly prepared and frozen. Food safety guidelines must be followed, with the casserole quickly cooled to below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and promptly frozen, so food-borne illness doesn't become a problem once you reheat the meal.
Things You'll Need
- Plastic wrap
- Permanent marker
Assemble and bake the casserole as usual, but cook it for only two-thirds of the recommended baking time. Do not place any crumb toppings on the casserole before or after baking, because they will become soggy during freezing and future cooking.
Fill a large tub or the sink with ice. Set the cooked casserole in the ice bath, submerging the bottom of the pan. Allow the casserole to cool quickly to room temperature, replacing the ice as needed.
Wrap the casserole in foil, and then wrap it in plastic wrap to provide an effective barrier to freezer burn. Label the package with the date and contents with a permanent marker.
Place the casserole in the freezer. Store it frozen for up to six months with minimal loss of quality.
Thaw the casserole in the refrigerator for about 24 hours before reheating. You can reheat a partially thawed casserole or thaw it completely as desired. Heat in a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes to one hour, or until the casserole reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
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