10 Things to Always Have in Your Freezer

Isn't it nice to be prepared?

You never got around to grocery shopping, and you really don’t want to resort to takeout again. Well, as long as you keep these ten ingredients in your freezer at all times, you’ll be able to whip up a balanced meal without having to schlep to the Safeway.

Chicken Stock

From soups and stews to rice and grains, lots of recipes call for a small amount of chicken stock. Freeze the liquid in muffin tins so you can easily thaw a little at a time.

Frozen Shrimp

We hate to burst your bubble, but most shellfish you buy “fresh” has actually already been frozen. Keep a bag of frozen shrimp and add it to pastas or salads for easy weeknight dinners. It stays good in the freezer for up to a year.


Bacon freezes beautifully and adds a jolt of flavor to just about any dish. Wrap individual slices into coils and freeze them in a Ziploc bag.


An emergency supply of butter will never go to waste. Freeze it whole in sticks, or with herbs and spices in ice trays for a single-serve flavor booster.


Slice up your favorite fruits, then assemble into little frozen smoothie packs. Just toss them into the blender with yogurt or milk for an on-the-go breakfast.



Did you know bread goes stale fastest in the fridge? Freeze anything from sandwich bread, bagels, English muffins and pita tightly wrapped in plastic and foil. To defrost, let it sit in room temperature, then heat it in the oven for up to ten minutes at 350 degrees.


Off-season veggies--say, corn during winter--are actually healthier frozen than bought fresh. That’s because by the time they’re transported from the farm to store shelves, they may lose vitamins and nutrients. So…did someone say stir-fry?

Ground Hamburger Meat

Freeze browned ground beef in small freezer bags. It’ll come in handy for a quick chili dinner, last-minute spaghetti Bolognese or spontaneous taco Tuesday.

Pizza Dough

Look at you, making pizza from scratch. Form your dough into individual sized balls and pat them with olive oil, before storing it in individual freezer bags. When you’re ready to use one, just plop it in the fridge overnight to defrost.


Chances are, you won’t have fresh rosemary, sage, basil and thyme on hand at any given moment. The easy solution: chop your herbs into sprigs, put them in ice trays and cover with olive oil. Once frozen, you can store the herb cubes in Ziploc bags for easy access and thawing.

screen shot 2020 05 14 at 6 31 35 pm

Freelance Editor

From 2015-2020 Lindsay Champion held the role of Food and Wellness Director. She continues to write for PureWow as a Freelance Editor.