Freezing Meatloaves

LoriMNOctober 8, 2001

For those of you that make multiple meatloave and freeze them - Do you freeze them cooked or uncooked. If you freeze them uncooked do you thaw them before baking or just bake them longer? How much longer? I want to try this but am unsure how to prepare the item.

Thanks - Lori

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I do this all the time. Since there are only two in my household, a large meatloaf is often wasted, so I make multiple "mini-meatloaves" when good quality ground beef is on sale. (It is also good for portion patrol!). I cook them almost all the way (about 3/4 the time I would normally cook a meatloaf that size). That way they don't dry out when reheated. Then cool, wrap well, and freeze. I pull one out the night before and let it defrost in my fridge (it is usually still partially frozen when I place it in the oven though). Then I cook it uncovered at 350 F for about 30-45 minutes until reheated and cooked through. (I'd probably cook a bit longer with a larger loaf or one that was still completely frozen.)

This makes for an incredibly easy and home made weeknight meal!

I'd be interested in hearing how others do this too.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2001 at 7:01PM
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I make them and freeze them uncooked. I have never tried them partially cooked, but I may try that with my next batch. I usually thaw them first, but not for any particular reason.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2001 at 10:29PM
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I recently froze a fairly large (2-3lb) meatloaf uncooked. I put it in the oven frozen, and it took longer to cook, I'm not sure how much longer, as I was testing the internal temp, not the actual time. Probably an extra 30-45 min. I kept it covered with foil for the first 30 min so it wouldn't over-brown the outside.

It came out beautifully, and tasted great. The only difference I could detect was texture -- not quite as tender as usual. It wasn't overcooked, just not as tender. Maybe because it was cooked while frozen(?). Still, I'd recommend doing it if time/prep is an issue.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2001 at 2:51PM
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I too make the mini meatloafs and cook them. Let them cool and then freeze. To serve, I let them thaw in fridge the day and night before. Just reheat in micro and serve with other side dishes. Quick & easy.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2001 at 2:11PM
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When I make a big one to freeze - i poke holes in the center (about three for a large one) with a wooden spoon handle. Then it thaws quicker and it just fills in the holes when it cooks.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2001 at 10:04PM
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Thanks for the advice - I think I am going to do the mini loaves, because then I won't have leftovers (unless I want them).


    Bookmark   October 11, 2001 at 1:08PM
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I have a meatloaf recipe that we totally love. I always double it (it's a 9x13 size) and then put it into 6 bread sized tins. One I bake that night, the rest I freeze raw. I tried it cooking them, then freezing and reheating and both my husband and I really disliked the results - the texture and taste seemed greatly dimished. When I want one, I take it out of the freezer the night before and refridgerate until the next evening - then bake. This is our family's favorite make-ahead meal. I especially love it for company - I just have a 9x13 one in the freezer - pull it out the night before, throw in the oven while I do other stuff to get ready - everyone loves it.

And, it makes awesome meatloaf sandwiches the next day! : )

    Bookmark   October 16, 2001 at 6:47PM
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ML - would you post your meatloaf recipe? Thanks in advance.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2001 at 11:56AM
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Here is that awesome meatloaf recipe - and Lori, I emailed it to you, also.


3 lbs ground beef
1 lb Italian sausage
1/2-cup bread crumbs
1/2-cup oatmeal (can be lightly chpd in blender)
1/2-cup chpd bell pepper (any color) - - finely chopped
3/4 cup chpd onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
1 egg
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tbls mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Sauce Â
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tbls brown sugar
1 tbls worcestershire sauce

Mix all ingredients (except sauce) together  well. Pat into 9x13 pan, top with sauce. Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes.


    Bookmark   November 1, 2001 at 7:05PM
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