10 Foods You Should Never, Ever Refreeze



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The Refreeze Risk

It's tempting to refreeze food after you've thawed it out multiple times in order to not waste a meal or ingredient. After all, how bad can it be to take bread in and out of the freezer over a few hours? However, there are certain foods that you should absolutely avoid refreezing. From cooked pasta to cream-based sauces, here are some foods you absolutely should not refreeze. 

Raw Seafood Cocktail close up

1. Seafood

Both fish and shellfish are extremely perishable and thus prone toward spoiling quickly when exposed to any temperature changes. Once you’ve actually thawed your seafood, you’d be wise to eat it sooner than later. Refreezing simply isn’t the way when it comes to seafood.

Chicken breast isolated. Raw chicken fillet on white background. Poultry raw. Chicken meat with clipping path.
Tim UR/istockphoto

2. Raw Proteins

When we say “raw proteins,” we’re talking about anything within the realm of seafood and meat. The key distinguishing factor here is that if your raw proteins are thawed in an environment that's less than 42 degrees Fahrenheit, then you’re totally fine to refreeze them. However, if you thawed the proteins on your kitchen counter, or if they have any kind of suspect coloring or smell weird, you should probably toss them out.

Homemade Vermouth Penne Pasta

3. Cooked Pasta

While you wouldn’t necessarily be putting yourself in harm’s way if you ate frozen leftover pasta, you would end up having a miserable time trying to enjoy pasta that’s been repeatedly frozen and thawed. Pasta that’s undergone rounds of temperature fluctuations will end up coming out the other end as an unappetizing mess.

Related: 10 Popular Trader Joe's Pasta Sauces, Ranked

Chocolate ice cream scoop ball serving ice-cream macro close-up

4. Ice Cream

Sadly, many of us have found ourselves dealing with the melted to refrozen ice cream debacle. Ice cream that’s been left out at room temperature for too long and then hastily tossed back in the freezer can end up sporting a strange and undesirable icy exterior. Avoid it at all costs.

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Irish Guinness Brown Bread

6. Eggs

Of all the foods we’ve covered so far in this list, eggs seem like the biggest common sense food item to never refreeze. When you freeze eggs, they can end up expanding and then cracking. Once they’ve thawed out, their actual texture will also end up becoming rubbery. Nobody wants rubbery eggs.

Related: 13 Simple Ways to Cook Eggs

McDonald's chicken nuggets

7. Fried Foods

While you might assume that it’s all well and good to refreeze a fried food like French fries — after all, you can find plenty of frozen french fries at the grocery store — this is not the case. When you refreeze french fries or a fried food like chicken tenders, they can end up becoming soggy due to the moisture that’s trapped in the breading or coating.

Spicy Mango Juice
pada smith/istockphoto

8. Juice Concentrates

The fermentation process occurs at a much more rapid pace than you might assume. This holds especially true when you’re dealing with fruit-based drinks. While it makes sense that you’d want to get the most out of a leftover smoothie, your best bet is to consume it as quickly as you can.

Chicken and shrimp fettuccine alfredo
samuel howell / istockphoto

9. Cream-Based Sauces

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to refreeze that jar of Alfredo that you have on hand. Whenever you refreeze a cream-based sauce, it can end up separating and becoming grainy when it’s frozen and thawed out in a repeating cycle.

Lettuce and Greens
stephanie phillips/istockphoto

10. Salad Greens

You’ll definitely want to avoid refreezing any salad greens that you have on hand. Those temperature fluctuations can end up wilting the actual salad greens. They’ll become soft and lose much of their flavor once they’ve been frozen and thawed out.