Can You Freeze Meatloaf?

Succulent and packed with flavour, the humble meatloaf is an excellent addition to your weekly meal plan. When preparing from scratch, however, it can take a fair amount of preparation.

So, you’re probably wondering how best to preserve meatloaf so you can enjoy it throughout the week when your busy work schedule doesn’t allow you sufficient preparation time. Let’s take a look at whether or not you can freeze meatloaf.

The Quick Answer

Yes, you can freeze meatloaf. Meatloaf can be frozen for around 6 months. It’s perfectly fine to freeze meatloaf raw or after it has been cooked. Ensure meatloaf is well-wrapped and protected to prevent freezer burn.

How to Freeze Meatloaf

The process for freezing raw and cooked meatloaf is pretty much the same. The only difference between the two is that you need to allow your loaf to cool fully before you place it in the freezer if it has been cooked.

Other than that, below are the steps you need to take to safely freeze homemade meatloaf:

  1. Decide Whether to Portion
    Depending on how you plan to consume your meatloaf, you might find that it’s easier to portion it before freezing. This is particularly the case if you want to use your loaf for several different meals. 
  2. Wrap in Cling Film
    Whether portioned or whole, wrap your meatloaf in cling film. It’s a good idea to double wrap, particularly if you’re freezing a whole loaf. 
  3. Place Into a Freeze Bag
    Slot your wrapped meatloaf inside a freezer-safe bag and seal. Push as much air as you can from the bag before sealing. 
  4. Label and Freeze
    Grab a marker pen and note the date you prepared your meatloaf, as well as the use-by date. Remember, you can freeze meatloaf for up to six months if it’s raw and for slightly less time if it has been cooked. 

3 Tips for Freezing Meatloaf

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing meatloaf to have the best results:

  • Enjoy Within 48 Hours – Meatloaf is best enjoyed within 48 hours if you don’t plan on freezing it. If you know you won’t use your leftovers within two days, it’s better to get them in the freezer as quickly as possible to ensure they’re nice and fresh when frozen. 
  • Cook from Frozen – If you forget to thaw your meatloaf, it is possible to cook it from frozen. You will need to lengthen your cooking time accordingly to account for its frozen state and should check that it’s cooked all the way through before enjoying it. 
  • Rest for 24 Hours – Some chefs believe that leaving meatloaf to rest for 24 hours in the fridge before freezing allows the meat to tenderise and the flavours to infuse throughout the loaf.

How Long Can You Freeze Meatloaf?

You can freeze meatloaf for up to six months. 

As mentioned, we would advise you to preserve cooked meatloaf for slightly less time than if it was raw, perhaps for four or five months instead of six. This is just to ensure that your meatloaf will remain tender and flavoursome when you come to enjoy it. 

You Can Freeze Meatloaf for up to 6 Months

How Do You Defrost Meatloaf?

While it’s possible to cook meatloaf straight from frozen, the best way to defrost it is to take it out of the freezer the night before you plan to cook it.

You should place it flat on a shelf in your fridge and allow it to thaw overnight. This way, your meatloaf will be ready to cook from chilled the following day. Taking this extra step means your loaf will cook evenly and thoroughly in a shorter space of time.

Can You Refreeze Meatloaf?

Providing you defrost your meatloaf in the fridge, it’s perfectly safe to refreeze meatloaf. You should never defrost meat on the countertop, but if you have, it’s certainly not safe to refreeze.

To avoid having to refreeze meatloaf, it’s a good idea to separate it into portion sizes before you defrost it. This way, you only need to take out what you need at any given time, leaving the remaining loaf in the freezer. 

Does Meatloaf Freeze Well?

In many respects, meatloaf is the perfect make-ahead dish because it freezes so well. Providing your meatloaf is well wrapped and protected from freezer burn, it will freeze well for up to six months.

While it’s possible to refreeze meatloaf, slice it in advance for best results, so you only need to remove your desired portion size at any given time. 

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing meatloaf or meatloaf in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Meatloaf After You’ve Cooked It?

Yes, you can freeze meatloaf both cooked and uncooked. The process is similar either way. The most important step is to ensure it is stored in the freezer airtight. This is why it’s a good idea to wrap it and bag it up to prevent the air from getting in. 

Can You Freeze Meatloaf in a Metal Pan?

Meatloaf can be frozen in the metal pan that it is prepared in. This can make it far easier to reheat.

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