Do You Thaw Freezer Meals Before Cooking?

Frozen vegetables in bags, cold healthy diet food, natural. Frozen Food. ready to thaw freezer meals

At Freezer Fit, we recommend that you thaw freezer meals before cooking.

As a busy working woman, I know how hard it is to find the time to make a healthy and delicious meal. That’s why I love freezer meals! They’re so convenient and easy to make—the perfect solution for a busy lifestyle. Prep your favorite make-ahead freezer meals, stock your freezer, and when you get home at the end of a busy day, enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Keep reading to find the best practices for thawing and cooking your freezer meals.

What Are Freezer Meals?

Freezer meals are pre-made meals that you can store in your freezer for later. They come in all shapes and sizes—from single-serve portions to large family-size servings. All you have to do is pull them out of the freezer, heat them and enjoy! We have a great database of recipes for you. Sign up to get full access to our recipe database and more!) Want meatballs? Keto meals? Vegan? Gluten-free? We’ve got it.

Why Do People Choose Freezer Meals?

There are many reasons to choose freezer meals. For starters, they’re incredibly convenient. All you have to do is that and pop them in the slow cooker or Instant Pot, and dinner is ready in minutes. Plus, they’re much cheaper than buying ready-made food from the store. And best of all, you can make them ahead of time so that you always have something quick and easy on hand when you need it! At the end of a busy day, pamper yourself with a hearty casserole, made ahead enchiladas in all of their cheesy glory, or a comforting chicken pot pie or mac and cheese.

Frozen food in the refrigerator. Vegetables on the freezer shelves ready to thaw. Stocks of meal for the winter.

Do You Have To Thaw Your Freezer Meals Before Cooking?

Most of our easy freezer meal recipes will allow you to cook them directly from frozen—just make sure you adjust your cooking times accordingly! However, there are a few exceptions to this rule—some recipes may require that you thaw your meal before cooking. In these cases, it’s best to follow the instructions included with your recipe for the best results.

Don’t forget to label your It is easier to label your gallon-sized freezer bags or airtight dishes before filling them! Take a minute to label them with their contents and cooking directions so that you know what they are and how to make them when it comes time for dinner later on down the line. This will save you time (and sanity!) when trying to find something quick in a pinch. Don’t forget to include the date they were prepared so you can eat them before they expire. And if you have special dietary needs in your family, such as allergies, gluten-free, or vegan, be sure to indicate who they are safe for on the label.

I recommend printing these labels on computer paper or water-resistant stickers and taping/attaching them to your bags PRIOR to meal prep.

How To Thaw Freezer Meals

There are several ways to safely thaw your freezer meals before cooking:

  • In The Refrigerator: Place your meal in an airtight container or bag and leave it in the fridge overnight (or at least 8 hours) until it is completely thawed.
  • In Cold Water: Place your meal in an airtight container or bag and submerge it in cold water for up to two hours until completely thawed. Change the water every 30 minutes or so as needed until fully thawed.
  • On The Counter: Place your meal on a plate on the countertop (away from direct sunlight) for 1-2 hours until fully thawed. Be sure not to leave it out any longer than 2 hours, as bacteria can begin growing if left out for too long!

Once thawed, throw into your Instant Pot or Crockpot and follow the cooking directions.

Meals in containers in the fridge or freezer ready to thaw

Tips For Storing And Reheating Freezer Meals

Once your meal has been cooked and cooled down, store any leftovers safely in an airtight container in the fridge. This will help keep them fresh tasting without compromising their safety! Leftovers should be eaten within three days for the best results.


Freezer meals are a great way to save time and money when preparing dinner, but knowing how best to cook and store them is critical! Make sure that each recipe specifies whether or not they should be cooked directly from frozen or if they need thawing first—if they need to be thawed, then there are several safe methods outlined above which will ensure that they come out tasting just as delicious as when they were first made!

Susana Ojeda West

Susana Ojeda West

FreezerFit Head Chef

Susana Ojeda West

Susana Ojeda West

FreezerFit Head Chef

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2 comments for “Do You Thaw Freezer Meals Before Cooking?

Where can I buy the bag holders?

Hi Brenda!!! You can find the freezer bags and baggy holders in Amazon. These are the ones we have: Bag Holders - Freezer Bags.

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