Can I freeze sandwiches for the week?
…Can I freeze sandwiches for lunch?
Yes, you absolutely can freeze sandwiches and they are delicious!
There are some important rules to follow …
It sounds crazy right? Anyone you speak to will have their own opinion on it, I find children of the soggy sandwich generation (circa 80’s/90’s) will have a definite voice on this …
… STAY WITH ME …
I’m a busy mum of 4 kids under 11 and I have this down to an art.
PLUS … it’s going to save you time and money!
Rule Number 1 – Fresh Bread
It’s really important that your bread is super fresh – and I mean, straight from the bakery or supermarket fresh, it makes a big difference in softness at the defrost stage. Try to make them within 1 day of buying. This will keep the bread light and fluffy. I have tried this with lots of bread variations and White, Rye and Wholemeal seem to have the most effective defrost process. Just choose the bread your child normally prefers.
Rule Number 2 – Butter
Butter is your secret weapon. It acts like a protection layer between the bread and filling when it’s in the freezer. Use a decent amount on each side and it will preserve the flavour of the filling and keep the bread fresh. There’s probably a very scientific way to explain this but if you only have 2 minutes left to read this, lets just go with ‘it works’. Butter / Margarine / Olive Oil spread – whatever you have will work. If you can’t have butter or you don’t like butter, then try a cream cheese spread or similar instead.
Rule Number 3 – Filling
#captainobvious … Avoid fillings that are too juicy, like tomatoes, lettuce, onions and cucumbers. These can make the lunches go soggy.
What Are The Ideal Fillings For Freezing Sandwiches?
- Cream cheese
- Tuna (remove as much oil as you can)
- Avocado (mix with a drop of lemon juice)
- Peanut butter
- Last Night’s Spaghetti Sauce
Test out your favourites and see if they work.
You can combine fillings together … ham and cheese, chicken and cheese, turkey and cranberry sauce, tuna and mayonnaise. Combo’s are much tastier. BBQ chicken and mayonnaise together are a highlight for my kids.
Pro Tip… If you’re doing anything with mayonnaise, mix it with the filling (tuna, chicken, etc) in a bowl first. It defrosts better like this as opposed to just squirting on top.
Rule Number 4 – Zip lock bags
Another really important rule is to have an airtight zip lock bag or container. I use a combination of Multix re-usable, Kmart re-usable and Supermarket ‘disposable’ sandwich bags as they store neatly in my freezer. My kids know to bring them home, so they are all washed and re-used (even the disposable). Having an airtight zip lock bag or container will keep the bread fresh and soft and it will also keep the filling together. Make sure you get all the air out before sealing.
If you have a Yumbox, Munchbox, Tupperware lunchbox or similar and you like to avoid using any extra plastic in the lunchbox, you can just take the sandwich out of the bag in the morning and put it straight into the lunchbox yourself. Then just wash and re-use the bag.
Rule Number 5 – How To Defrost
This will depend where you live. We are in Sydney, Australia and I can put the sandwiches straight into the lunchbox frozen and they will defrost by lunchtime (approx 4 hrs later). If it’s a particularly hot day, you can put an ice brick in the lunchbox as well. The frozen sandwich on it’s own will work as a cooler for the other items in the lunchbox, keeping everything nice and fresh. I use insulated lunch bags to pack everything into which are handy … if you don’t have these, just pop an ice brick in.
Another option is to put the sandwich in the fridge the night before to defrost, then just use an ice brick on the day. Doing this can sometimes make the bread a bit firm though so be mindful of that. Whatever works for your family and climate. It’s an idea to do a test run on a Saturday night and then trial it out Sunday lunch time to be sure … Just don’t tell anyone it’s been in the freezer, see if they can taste any difference.
So simple but so effective. I make a big batch on Sunday (4 loaves) and that lasts us a week with 4 kids. If you can, get the kids to help with the prep work so they appreciate what’s going into their sandwiches. Mix up the options and usually have a selection of 4-5 choices. I like to write on the packet what’s inside with a whiteboard marker, then in the morning the kids can choose what they want for that day, or, if we are running late, I will
make the decision for them surprise them, because sometimes … #kids #take #too #long #to #put #pants #on …
If you’re loving this idea but just don’t have time to make them in advance or would like to give your kids other options, these bakery treats also freeze well:
- Cheese and Bacon Rolls
- Cheese Rolls
- Pizza Scrolls
Usually I just pick them up from the bakery – if you can make them yourself, even better. Make sure you put them in individual zip-lock bags or containers. You will need to remove all the air for it to remain fresh.
Do you prefer toasted sandwiches? No problem, just put your frozen sandwich or wrap in a sandwich press. It takes no time at all.
A few simple steps on the weekend will save you about
a hundred hours 15 minutes each morning before school. More time for you to find the uniform you forgot to put in the washing machine 😉
What are your favourite lunch fillings?