How to Freeze Ratatouille
The trick to freezing ratatouille well is making sure the vegetables are not overly well done [as we will go into more detail in the following section]. Whether you’re preparing your ratatouille intentionally to freeze it or have some leftovers, the process is the same. Here’s how to go about it:
- Allow to Cool
When your ratatouille is cooked, you will need to leave it to cool before transferring it to the freezer. Depending on how much you have prepared, it could take a couple of hours to cool down fully.
- Split Into Portions
It’s a good idea to separate your ratatouille into individual portion sizes before you freeze it. Even if you’re likely to enjoy it as a family meal, it’s useful to split it into portions anyway, as it gives you the flexibility if you decide to take it to the office one day for lunch.
- Place Into Freezer-Safe Bags
Use freezer-safe bags to store your ratatouille in the freezer. It’s also fine to use a Tupperware box or another freezer-safe container if you prefer, but bags are a better option if you’re struggling for space in your freezer. Ensure you press out as much air as possible before you place the bags in the freezer.
- Label and Freeze
The last step is to label the bags with a marker pen before placing them in the freezer. You should write the date on which you prepared the ratatouille, as well as the use-by date. Remember, you can keep ratatouille in the freezer for up to three months.
4 Tips for Freezing Ratatouille
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 4 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing ratatouille to have the best results:
- Undercook It – To avoid your ratatouille going mushy when it comes to reheating it, you will need to slightly undercook your vegetables, particularly the zucchini. If you’re preparing your ratatouille to enjoy immediately after cooking and you also hope to freeze some from the same pan, remove the ratatouille you wish to freeze 6 or 7 minutes before it’s ready and leave to one side.
- Transfer to a Dish to Cool – In order to speed the cooling down process of your ratatouille before you transfer it to the freezer, you could transfer it to a bowl or dish instead of leaving it in the pan on top of the stove. Don’t be tempted to put it in the refrigerator while it’s still hot to try and speed up the process even further!
- Don’t Refreeze It – It’s not a good idea to refreeze ratatouille once it has been defrosted. This is because the vegetables will turn to total mush and will leave you with a pretty unappetising texture!
- Add Herbs After Reheating – You can mask the fact that the ratatouille was ever frozen by adding a sprinkling of freshly chopped parsley to the top after reheating it. This will bring a hit of freshness to the dish.
How Long Can You Freeze Ratatouille?
You can freeze ratatouille for around 3 months.
If you think you and your family will enjoy the leftovers after a couple of days, you don’t need to freeze them, as they will be perfectly preserved in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Whether you freeze or refrigerate your leftovers, just make sure it’s appropriately wrapped.
You Can Freeze Ratatouille for up to 3 Months
How Do You Defrost Ratatouille?
The best way to defrost ratatouille is to remove it from the freezer the night before you plan to cook it. Remember, you will need to cook it for enough time once you’ve taken it from the freezer to make sure the vegetables are fully cooked and to the desired texture.
We wouldn’t advise defrosting ratatouille in the microwave, as you run the risk of overcooking the vegetables and creating that dreaded mush that we’ve mentioned a few times already!
If you’re in a rush and don’t want to wait overnight, consider putting the ratatouille in a bowl of room temperature water and leave it to defrost for a couple of hours on the countertop. Just make sure you reheat it immediately after it has been defrosted this way.
Can You Refreeze Ratatouille?
We wouldn’t recommend refreezing ratatouille. While it won’t cause you an upset, you will likely be very disappointed with your meal, as the vegetables will mush together.
To avoid having to refreeze leftover ratatouille, be sure to split the dish into suitable portion sizes before you add them to the freezer. This way, you will only take out what you need and don’t have to worry about further leftovers.
Does Ratatouille Freeze Well?
Providing you undercook the vegetables slightly to avoid them going mushy when it comes to reheating, ratatouille freezes well. This delicious, hearty family meal can therefore be enjoyed all year round if you prepare it in batches and preserve it in the freezer without going to the hassle of preparing it freshly every time.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing ratatouille or ratatouille in general, then these may help:
How Long Can You Keep Ratatouille in the Fridge?
Ratatouille actually tastes better the following day once the flavours have had time to develop. If you want to make it ahead but don’t fancy freezing it, you can store it in the fridge for around 5 days.
Can You Freeze Vegetable Ratatouille?
Most ratatouilles tend to be vegetable-based, so the method we’ve outlined on this page is directed towards vegetable ratatouille. Provided that the vegetables in your ratatouille freeze well, then you can freeze it.
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