Here is our Ultimate Guide to Freezing Sandwiches for School Lunches!
Now before we begin on the best way of freezing sandwiches for school lunches, let me stress, FRESH IS BEST. Yep – although there are a few sandwich fillings that freeze decently, there is nothing like a freshly made lunch. In saying that, not all of us have the luxury of time in the mornings, and freezing sandwiches in advance can be a great way to get the lunches done quickly and efficiently.
Making school lunches at home and freezing them is also a terrific way to save a lot of money – and provided you follow our tips, it can work well. Plus if you have time on a Saturday morning – you can freeze a month’s worth of sandwiches for the whole family! So if you have children at school, you work or you send hubby to work every day – be prepared and try it and see if it works for you!
Here is our guide to Freezing Sandwiches for School Lunches – without getting complaints!
Table of Contents:
- How I Go About Freezing School Lunches in Bulk
- Choosing the Right Bread for Freezing Sandwiches
- Sandwich Fillings That Work Being Frozen
- Sandwich Fillings That Don’t Work Being Frozen
- Freezing Tips to Get a Good End Result
- What Other Foods Freeze Well for School Lunches
- Become a ‘Toastie God’ for After School Snacks
- Some Other School Lunch Foods to Freeze
More Reading: 10 Ways to Save Money on School Lunches
1. How I go About Freezing School Lunches in Bulk
Every Sunday, I spend the time after lunch ensuring that I have used up everything in the fridge and freezer – give it a quick wipe of any spills, before grabbing my grocery list and heading to the supermarket.
I always shop on a Sunday – why?
- It is the quietest time at the Supermarket (quiet is good, helps you focus on your mission!).
- My husband is home so he can watch the kids. Kids make shopping a nightmare. I know not all of us have that luxury.
- Sundays always have the best deals on marked down meat and veggies. Usually after 4pm – so this is a great way to fill your freezer with cheaper than usual meat.
My shopping list is sorted into the aisles – that way I can scoot around and grab exactly what I need without forgetting any items as they are already in order.
As soon as I get home from grocery shopping – the school lunches (ie the freezing sandwiches bit) get made right away.
For the ultimate guide on Freezing Foods – we recommend Once a Month Cooking by Jody Allen.
Lightly butter all the bread, use all the toppings (I usually always make ham and cheese). Put them together neatly, wrap them in plastic wrap to ensure no air can get inside – then store them in the freezer somewhere where the sandwiches won’t get crushed.
Any leftover fruits or veggies from the last week that didn’t get used up are kept in a bowl where I do all my food preparation – these are the ingredients for the ‘School Muffins’ I then make. This week it is grated Pear Muffins and Apple and Cinnamon Muffins. They are then cooled, wrapped, dated and frozen for the week.
2. Choosing the Right Bread for Freezing Sandwiches:
Most bread actually freezes very well. As we mentioned above, just make sure they are fresh when freezing. Steer clear of wraps or tortillas if you can, these tend to get very brittle in the freezer and you’re more likely to end up with a mess.
I think seeded bread, gluten-free bread and wholemeal or multi-grain bread tend to fare better in the freezer as they are more ‘dense’ and a lot better for you.
3. Sandwich Fillings that Work GREAT Being Frozen:
- Meats such as canned salmon and tuna, cooked chicken (chopped), ham, roast beef, roast pork, turkey, salami, meatballs
- Peanut Butter, Nutella and most nut butters
- Butter (firm though – not melted or it will make the bread soggy)
- Cream cheese
- Grated cheese – cheese slices don’t work so well – so if you want to freeze it, grate it first!
- Mayonnaise, Sweet Chili Sauce and Pesto
- Pickles, chutneys and relishes
- Sundried tomatoes (chop finely first)
4. Sandwich Fillings that should be AVOIDED:
The freezer isn’t suitable for all sandwich fillings. Although most foods can be frozen, these don’t freeze half as well.
- Fresh tomato
- Egg (especially egg white, gets very rubbery on defrosting)
- Fresh vegetables
- Anything that has a high water content such as cucumbers and fresh onion. Most salad ingredients don’t freeze well.
5. Freezing Tips To Get a Good End Result:
Follow our freezing tips to make sure you get the best end result!
- Make sure the bread is extremely fresh if you are going to use it for freezing. Preferably bread bought that day!
- Ensure the sandwich is well wrapped. The best wrapping possible is plastic wrap as it doesn’t allow air to circulate around the bread, thus making it stale. I do not recommend zip lock bags for freezing sandwiches or even air-tight containers.
- Place the sandwich on a flat surface in the freezer and avoid the white plastic racks if you can. Sometimes the sandwiches can ‘fall through the gaps’ and then they won’t fit in the lunch box and be a funny shape!
- Make sure you note on the bag the type of sandwich and the date it was made. I would not recommend freezing sandwiches more than a month in advance!
- If you have a sandwich press at work, perhaps consider making sandwiches to be toasted!
- Once all your sandwiches have been made and wrapped, it’s always a good idea if you have room to keep them all in a sealable plastic box in the freezer to stop them getting crushed.
More Reading: How to Get Your Kids to Eat Their School Lunches
6. What Other Foods Freeze Well for School Lunches?
As well as sandwiches, a lot of other items for school lunches freeze well too. Think of items such as:
- Custards and Yoghurts (individual serves can be put in the freezer straight in their container)
- Buns and Rolls
7. Becoming a ‘Toastie’ God for After School Snacks
Are your kids always ‘starving’ when they get home from kindy or school. Mine sure are. And to attempt to stop them from eating garbage, I have another strategy – pre-frozen toasted sandwiches. My boys now know to grab out the sandwich press, grab their pre-made and pre-frozen sandwich toasties (that are already pre-wrapped in aluminium foil) and in less than five minutes, they have a delicious toastie ready to go!
Best Toastie Combinations Include:
- Ham, Cheese and Mayonnaise
- Chicken, Cheese and Sweet Chili Sauce
- Chicken, Cheese and Pesto
- Corned Beef, Cheese and Pickles
- Salami, Cheese and Tomato
- Bacon, Cheese and Tomato
I make these up just like normal sandwiches – and lightly butter the top of each side of the bread before cutting the into four and wrapping them in aluminium foil. I pop them in the freezer drawer with the fillings written in a Sharpie on the foil.
The boys pop the sandwiches foil and all into the sandwich press. The foil keeps the sandwich press clean (because boys won’t clean it up afterwards).
These pre-made toasties are also a great idea to take to work if you have a sandwich press there! So no excuse not to make your own lunch!
8. Some Great School Lunch ideas That Freeze Beautifully:
Click on the link to go to the recipe!
- Pizza Muffins
- Cheesy Beef Puffs
- Mince Scrolls
- Hawaiian Scrolls
- Cheese and Vegemite Scrolls
- Ham and Pineapple Pinwheels
- Zucchini Slice
- Chicken and Apple Croquettes
- Chicken and Vegetable Sausage Rolls
- Sweet Potato and Baby Spinach Balls
- Homemade Sausage Rolls
- Ham and Vegetable Muffins
- Easy Cheesy Muffins (with only 3 ingredients)
- Banana Muffins
- Apple and Oat Muffins