You can freeze spaghetti sauce in glass jars if the glass is strong, if there is at least 1/2 an inch of space at the top of the glass so the sauce can expand and if the lid seals tightly. It is best to choose a jar made from freezer proof glass rather than the jar that it comes in. If the glass is thin or damaged it is best to move the sauce into a freezer safe container like Pyrex instead.
Whether you make your own homemade spaghetti sauce or you use sauce that comes from the store, it’s not that uncommon to have leftovers once your meal is over. If you think spaghetti sauce is a good food item to freeze, you’re absolutely right, but this doesn’t mean that you should just shove the sauce in a jar and stick it in the freezer.
This article will explore all you need to know about freezing glass jars of spaghetti sauce and easy alternatives.
Freezing Spaghetti Sauce in Glass Jars
Glass jars can be used to freeze spaghetti sauce, but there are certain jars that work better than others.
Glass jars that have straight sides and are wide at the opening and not narrow work best for freezing things such as spaghetti sauce. Choose a thick, strong glass and it is best if it is marked “freezer safe”.
You should also make sure that there around 1 inch of empty space above the sauce in the jar because sauce can expand when it freezes. If you have a standard twist-off lid jar previously used for foods such as honey or jelly, it will work. Finally, you should always store glass jars upright in the freezer, regardless of the foods inside the jar.
It is also important not to leave to much room at the top of the jar. This will allow too much air in the jar causing frost to form on the surface or freezer burn which will affect the taste.
You can also get glass jars that are specially made to freeze foods. It’s a good idea to get them if you freeze lots of spaghetti sauce on a regular basis.
If you’re thinking of freezing the sauce in the same jar it was in when you bought it at the store, you’ll have to be careful. This is because some of these jars are thinner than normal and can break when the sauce is freezing or even when you thaw it out later on.
When choosing a jar to freeze your spaghetti sauce in, make sure it is thick enough to handle being frozen and thawed so that no problems occur. Some thinner jars break whenever they are exposed to a freezing environment, which can be dangerous.
Can All Spaghetti Sauces Be Frozen?
If you’re thinking that all spaghetti sauces can be frozen successfully, think again. Tomato- and meat-based sauces are fine, but if you choose a cream- or cheese-based spaghetti sauce instead, those should not be frozen.
This is because cheese and cream can lose their flavor when frozen and thawed out later on, so the sauce simply won’t taste the way it should. Certain vegetables (e.g., celery) and certain herbs can also lose their flavor, but there’s something that you can do about this.
When you thaw out the spaghetti sauce, you can simply add some herbs and even some fresh vegetables, including shredded carrots, to pump up the flavor of the spaghetti sauce and make it tasty again.
If you decide to freeze a basic tomato-based sauce with lots of spices, it won’t be a problem. It is also fine to to freeze a meat-based sauce. Whether the meat is diced, minced, or even shaped into meatballs, you can freeze this sauce and thaw it out whenever you need.
Of course, just because you freeze your spaghetti sauce doesn’t mean that you can keep it in the freezer forever. Both homemade and store-bought spaghetti sauces last well in the freezer for up to 6 months.
If you put the sauce in a deep freezer, it’s possible that it will keep for around two years, which is why it is so important to label the container with the date before placing it in the freezer. Use a permanent marker to label the container and remember that freezer burn can set in if you keep your sauce in the freezer for too long.
Alternatives to freezing spaghetti sauce in glass jars
there are great alternatives to freezing spaghetti sauce in glass jars. Plastic bags that seal well such as a Ziploc bag can be used to freeze sauce. The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure the sauce cools down completely before freezing it, but don’t let it sit more than two hours as bacteria can start to grow after that point.
Reclosable plastic bags are perfect because they take up less room in the freezer, are inexpensive to purchase, and are very unlikely to cause freezer burn to the sauce. Once again, even if you’re using reclosable bags to store and freeze your spaghetti sauce, you need to leave some space at the top of the bag.
For more on freezing food in sandwich bags, check out my previous article here: Can I freeze food in sandwich bags? | Top 5 tips for success
Make sure that the bag is closed as tight as possible so that no air leaks into it. Use a permanent marker and date the bag before putting it in the freezer. Sealable bags offer advantages that glass jars don’t, such as being stackable which means even more sauce will fit inside. Some people even flatten the bags out so it’s easier to stack them in the freezer.
Can You Freeze Glass Jars of Spaghetti Sauce? – Summary
You can certainly freeze both homemade and store-bought spaghetti sauce upright in glass jars. Strong glass jars that are freezer safe (like mason jars) with well sealing lids are fine to put in the freezer. You could also pour extra sauce in Pyrex dishes or any other glass dish that seals well. Remember to leave at least half an inch of space in the top for the sauce to expand.
Keep in mind that sauces with cheese or dairy products usually don’t do well when frozen and thawed out, so you’re better off keeping them in the refrigerator and using them within a few days.