There’s no better way to save time on a crowd-pleasing meal than freezing a batch of homemade soup.
In this post, you’ll find everything you need to know on how to freeze soup and reheat it for hot thermos lunches or a cozy weeknight meal.
Soup is a great meal prep option if you plan to be extra busy in the upcoming future or want a couple of nights off from kitchen duty during the week. Below you’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to freeze soups, which soups hold up best in the freezer, and of course, recipes!
Can You Freeze Soup?
In most cases, you can freeze soup, but the quality of taste and texture depends largely on the ingredients included. The best types of soups for freezing are broth-based and full of vegetables and protein, which we will discuss in further detail below.
How to Freeze Soup
Once you get the hang of freezing soup, there’s no going back, you’ll want to make it ahead of time so you can enjoy it any night of the week without spending an afternoon in the kitchen.
How to Freeze Soups and Stews
- Prepare the Soup
Follow the recipe but don’t add any cream, dairy, or starches such as pasta, rice, or potatoes. More on this below.
- Bring to Room Temperature
This step is very important in lowering the risk for foodborne sickness. Be patient and let the soup cool down to room temperature.
Transfer the soup into your choice of freezer-safe storage containers, seal, and freeze. Be sure not to overfill the container since liquids expand when frozen.
Tip: label the container with the date and recipe name before filling it with the soup.
Tip: if using a gallon-size zip bag, make sure to freeze the filled bag(s) flat on a baking sheet before stacking and storing in the freezer. This prevents the soup from freezing into a solid blob and taking up unnecessary room.
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What Kinds of Soups Freeze Well?
As stated above, soups with a broth base, chilis, and pureéd soups, are winners in the freezer. I’ve included a few recipes that you can freeze with good results below:
- Chicken Taco Soup
- Beef Taco Soup
- Enchilada Soup
- Lentil soup
- Split Pea Soup
- Tomato Veggie Soup
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Paleo Chicken Chili
- Slow Cooker No Bean Chili
- Curries- made with coconut milk
What Soups Do Not Freeze Well
We all love a good soup made with pasta or a rich, creamy broth, but unfortunately, these don’t freeze as well.
Freezing dairy-based soups can cause the dairy to separate and curdle when reheated. On the other hand, starches tend to soak up moisture and become mushy when reheated. Eeek!
However, there is a way to make freeze and reheat these soups without any curdles or gumminess. Here’s what to do:
- Prepare the recipe as directed, but leave out the dairy or starch and freeze.
- Once you’re ready to eat, thaw the soup, reheat on the stove-top, and stir in the dairy and/or starches.
Below you’ll find a list of recipes that include milk or cream in the recipe. Remember to leave it out if you plan to freeze the soup, then add it once it’s defrosted and simmering on the stove-top.
- Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie
- Chicken Stew
- Potato Soup
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Shrimp & Corn Chowder
- Clam Chowder
Soups with Pasta and Rice
The soup recipes below are made with pasta, rice and other starches. When preparing the soup ahead of time, leave out the starches. Then, when reheating be sure to cook the soup until the rice, pasta, or potatoes are tender.
- Chicken Udon Soup
- Chicken Parmesan Soup
- Vegetarian Minestrone
- Pasta Fagioli
- Wonton Soup
- Easy Tortellini Soup
- Beef or Chicken Pho
- Chicken and Rice Soup
- Mexican Bean & Vegetable Soup
Best Containers to Freeze Soup
There are so many options for freezer-safe containers, but what’s best for freezing soups? By far, I’ve found that plain ole freezer-safe zip bags and plastic storage containers are the best.
Usually, I choose the container based on how many people I plan to serve. Since I’m generally feeding more than one, I prefer anything from 16-ounces to gallon-size containers.
Here are my top container options for freezing soups:
You can also freeze soups in glass mason jars or storage containers, but make sure it’s a microwave-safe dish in case you plan to reheat it in the microwave.
How Long Can You Keep Soup in the Freezer
Frozen soup will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. I recommend labeling the container with an “eat by” date before filling it with the soup. Otherwise, it’s your guess.
How to Thaw & Reheat Soup
There are several ways to defrost soup, the main difference being the amount of time required for the soup to thaw out completely.
Thaw in the refrigerator
Transfer the frozen soup container(s) from the freezer to the fridge. Depending on how much soup is in the container, it will need 1-2 days to defrost completely.
Thaw in a water bath
If you’re short on time, place the frozen container of soup in a large bowl filled with room temperature water. Allow it to sit until the soup begins to loosen from the sides of the container.
Reheating soup is simple and super rewarding since you get delicious benefits fast. You can either reheat the soup on the stove-top (my preferred method) or in a microwave. Here’s how to do both :
- Place the thawed soup into a large soup pot and reheat over medium heat until simmering. If the recipe includes dairy or starches, this is the part where you add them. Remember to cook the pasta, rice, or potatoes until tender, adding additional broth or liquid to keep the consistency where you like it.
- If your soup doesn’t need any added ingredients, transfer it to a microwave-safe dish and reheat it in the microwave until the soup reaches the desired temperature.