Cottage pie is a delicious, hearty, and excellent dish perfect for cold winter nights. Like most people, you probably have a go-to and awesome make-ahead dishes like cottage pie that you make repeatedly.
But even the most experienced cooks can find themselves with leftovers from time to time.
So what do you do with those extra servings of cottage pie?
Can you keep them in your fridge, or should you just eat them within a few days?
Read on to learn everything you need about freezing and reheating this classic dish.
Is It Safe to Freeze Your Cottage Pie?
The answer is yes!
Freezing cottage pie is a great way to enjoy the dish at a later date. Cottage pie is a classic comfort food (just like pizza which you can freeze) that can be made in advance and frozen for later.
The dish typically consists of ground beef, vegetables, and mashed potatoes.
3 Tips for Freezing Cottage Pie
Are you wondering how to freeze your cottage pie? It’s a great way to make a big batch and have dinner ready for later in the week. This easy guide will show you how to do it! Here are three tips for freezing cottage pie:
Glass Dish or Plastic Container
The first step in freezing leftover portions of cottage pie is to choose the right container. You may use glass containers or high-quality plastic containers.
Freezer bags are a great option for storing cottage pie because they’re lightweight and take up very little space in your freezer.
To prevent freezer burn, remove as much air from the bag as possible before sealing it shut.
One downside of freezer bags is that they’re not as durable as other storage options and can easily tear. For example, I would not tend to freeze scrambled eggs in a plastic bag.
Heavy-Duty Aluminum Foil Container
A foil tray is great if you plan on reheating your cottage pie directly from the freezer.
These foil baking containers are durable and will keep your food fresh-tasting for months. Just wrap the container tightly in plastic or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.
How To Freeze Your Cottage Pie
Once you’ve chosen a storage container, it’s time to freeze the cottage pie. Cottage pie can be frozen either before or after baking. If you are freezing it before baking, simply assemble the pie according to the recipe instructions and then wrap it tightly in plastic. Be sure to label the pie with the dish’s name and the date it was made.
Let it cool completely at room temperature, or use a water bath before slicing and serving if you have already baked your cottage pie. Wrap individual portions in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe container or bag. Label the container with the dish’s name and the date it was made.
How Long Can You Store Your Frozen Cottage Pie?
Cottage pie can be stored in your freezer for up to three months. However, eat within the first month for optimum flavor and texture for the best results. Test the center of your pie when reheating to ensure it is piping hot before serving. Enjoy!
Does Cottage Pie Freeze Well?
The good news is that cottage pie freezes very well. In fact, it’s one of those dishes that actually taste better when it’s been reheated.
How To Defrost Cottage Pie
There are two safe ways to defrost cottage pie: in the refrigerator or the microwave. If you’re defrosting in the fridge, allow enough time for the dish to thaw completely—this can take anywhere from 24 hours to 48 hours, depending on the size of your serving. If you’re short on time, you can defrost cottage pie in the microwave using the “defrost” setting. Microwave defrost times will vary depending on your microwave, so follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to prevent overcooking.
How to Reheat Frozen Cottage Pie
To reheat a frozen cottage pie, remove it from the freezer and thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat your oven to 350ºF oven. Place the pie in a baking dish and cover it with foil or in a microwave or oven-proof container. Bake for 30 minutes or until heated through. Remove the foil during the last 10 minutes of cooking time to allow the top layer of your pie to brown. Let the pie cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Can You Refreeze Your Cottage Pie?
Once cottage pie has been thawed, it should not be refrozen. This is because thawed food has already been exposed to bacteria which can cause food poisoning if eaten. If you have leftover cottage pie after reheating, eat it within two days or throw it away.
Regarding cottage pie, the freezer can be your best friend. Freezing cottage pie is a great option whether you have leftovers or are looking for a quick meal. Be sure to use an appropriate storage container and defrost properly before reheating and eating. And don’t forget—once thawed, cottage pie should only be eaten within two days! By following these simple tips, you can enjoy delicious cottage pie any time of year.