Foods You Should Never Ever Freeze

refrigerator full of frozen food purchased during the covid 19 restriction movement order

Edwin Tan/istockphoto

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refrigerator full of frozen food purchased during the covid 19 restriction movement order
Edwin Tan/istockphoto

Icy Mistakes

Sure, the freezer helps you extend the life of foods and beverages, a bonus in these tough economic times. But there are a number of items that simply do not do well on ice because the process impacts their appearance, texture, or taste. Keep the following list in mind to avoid ending up disappointed — and with a lot of waste.

Related: Stocking the Freezer? Here’s How Long Your Favorite Foods Will Last

Glass jar of mayonnaise with a spoon.
Oleksandr Todorov/istockphoto
Ruby Red Leaf Lettuce
Plate of Delectable Golden Brown Crispy Fried Chickens on Wooden Background

Fried Foods

Unless it’s French fries or onion rings, which can both be successfully reheated, avoid freezing food that’s already been fried. These items lose their signature crispiness and become soggy. Not appetizing.

Fresh avocado on cutting board


It’s tempting to think you can have the main ingredient for guacamole or avocado toast on hand at any time, but because avocados have a high water content, freezing them causes ice crystals to form, removing the fruit’s signature creamy texture. Worse, they often turn brown as they thaw.

Pint Milk Containers Arranged In Rows


There are those who swear by freezing milk, but there are numerous caveats. The thawing process can cause the milk to separate and turn grainy. To drink it, you should defrost in the fridge to prevent possible bacterial growth and then may need to put it in a blender to regain its original texture. Worth it?

Yellow noodles or spaghetti cooking in boiling water pot.
Nopadol Uengbunchoo/istockphoto

Cooked Rice and Pasta

Rice and pastas that are fully cooked may tend to feel mushy and taste overcooked once thawed and reheated. Avoid this scenario by undercooking your rices and pastas slightly before you toss them in the deep freeze.


Raw Potatoes

It’s tempting to chop up a bunch of potatoes and throw them in the freezer for use in soups, stews, hashes, and the like, but raw potatoes simply do not freeze well and therefore should be cooked, or partially cooked, beforehand.

Eggs composition

Whole Eggs

Making little egg “muffin” cups or freezing leftover frittatas in pieces for future meals can be a real time saver. But avoid putting whole eggs in the freezer, even if you score a dozen on sale. Once frozen, the insides expand and the shells often crack. 

Philadelphia Cream Cheese

Cream Cheese for Spreads

As with many items, they can be frozen, but that process will curtail how it’s best used after defrosting. While you can freeze cream cheese, freezing will change its texture, making it grainy and possibly more crumbly once it’s thawed. If you’re not baking or cooking with it, simply avoid freezing it to use again as a spread.

Homemade honey mustard sauce in a glass jar

Salad Dressings

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. This is another example of that practice. Due to the varied ingredients, some dressings may never fully freeze, while others separate after thawing.

Victor Yee/istockphoto


Despite the urge to slice up those extra cukes for future salads, avoid throwing this water-filled veggie into the freezer. As the National Center for Home Food Preservation notes, along with other veggies such as cabbage, celery or radishes, after thawing, the cucumber will appear limp and quickly develop an off color, aroma, and flavor.”

Variety of full and halved citrus fruit
Garlic cloves on a wooden board


You might be tempted to chop up your garlic in advance, throwing it in the freezer until it’s needed. Resist the urge. Along with other spices such as pepper, cloves, and some herbs, garlic tends to get strong and bitter after freezing. 

Greek salad with vinaigrette dressing topped with grilled chicken

Prepared Salads

Whether it’s egg, chicken, tuna, ham, or macaroni salad, share the leftover wealth quickly, since these crowd-pleasing preparations simply do not freeze well, according to

Ham sausage package

Canned Ham is blunt in its guidelines for unopened canned ham that’s labeled keep refrigerated: “Do not freeze.” Who are we to argue?

Homemade vanilla Christmas drink Eggnog in glass with grated nutmeg and cinnamon sticks

Homemade Eggnog

Heed this advice from, especially around the holidays. It does not recommend freezing homemade eggnog at all, which is not surprising as we’ve already established eggs and dairy do not do well in the freezer.

Tins of different sizes and opening

Food in Cans

The Food Safety and Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture cautions against this in no uncertain terms: “You can freeze almost any food. Some exceptions are canned food or eggs in shells.” As it explains, even cans frozen accidentally (left in a car or cold basement, for example), can present health problems. 

several aluminum soda cans in assorted colors

Canned Soda

Do not freeze a can of soda despite the appeal of a rapidly iced Coke. You know you’re going to forget to go back and drink it right away. It will pop, with Children’s Museum of Indianapolis offering details of why this happens.

Three Lobsters

Live Shellfish

This suggestion from is broad, as it says it’s simply “not recommended” to freeze live shellfish, from crab or lobster to clams, mussels, oysters and scallops. If you’re lucky enough to score some live shellfish, wouldn’t you want to cook it immediately, anyway?