I am just starting on mat leave and would like to fill the freezer with some meals to save us cooking when lo arrives. So far on my list is lasagne, cottage pie, soup, chilli, spag Bol. If I cook all of these using fresh ingredients, and freeze in foil dishes, food bags or plastic tubs, do I need to defrost before cooking or can they go straight into microwave/oven? How long would a frozen lasagne take for example to cook from frozen or will I need to defrost first? If anyone has any other ideas (including recipes) that would be very much appreciated. Thank you in advance.
You can cook lasagnes/pies from frozen but they take longer and you would need to keep a foil top on them to avoid burning the topping. In my mind cooking from frozen will take a bit more attention. A frozen lasagne depending on size could take an hour and a half perhaps. Far, far better to just simply remove an item from the freezer that morning and leave it to defrost during the day (refrigerate once fully defrosted) and bung it in the oven for 20-30 mins to heat through. For things in bags like sauces, soups, chilli, bolognaise use etc you can defrost in the microwave or empty into a pan and put on a low heat to defrost and heat through. But again takes a little more of your time as you have to keep watch. The easiest all round is defrost in advance and simply heat through when ready to eat.