Freezing Soup in Plastic Containers – Quick & Easy Tips

You can freeze soup including pumpkin, tomato, chicken broth and pea soup in plastic containers by choosing a freezer safe plastic, cooling the soup quickly, and placing it in the freezer. Choose a plastic container with a tight fitting lid and leave room at the top of the container for the liquid to expand.

Soup is a great meal that you can make in advance or make a double quantity and freeze for another time.  Soup also makes a great healthy lunch.

It can be separated into small portions and is a quick and easy meal for a late dinner. What container you choose to freeze your soup in is important to keep it safely and tasting good when you are ready to eat it.

Guide to freeze soup in plastic containers

It is safe to freeze soup in freezer safe plastic containers.  The words “freezer-safe” will be written on the packaging or in the case of Tupperware, be shown by a snowflake picture.  When re-heating the soup is best to remove it from the plastic packaging and place it in a ceramic bowl or in a saucepan. This will minimize any flavor or color transfer from the soup to the plastic container.

Vegetable based soups freeze well in plastic containers.

How to freeze soup in plastic containers – Step by Step

There are a few hacks that will help you to freeze your soup in plastic containers and keep it tasting at its best.

Step 1: Choose your soup

The best soups are those that are full of vegetables and proteins.  These re-heat the best and keep their flavor.  These include chicken soup, pumpkin soup and meat and vegetable style soups based on a broth.

Step 2: Choose your containers

Decide how many people you will be feeding.  If you want to use the soup to feed your whole family for dinner, choose a larger container that will serve everyone.  If this is for individual lunch or dinner serves, choose smaller, 500ml containers. Remember, if you are using plastic, it is best to choose a freezer safe container.  This will be written on the container and may be shown by a snowflake, in the case of Tupperware.

Step 3: Cool your soup

The trick is to cool your soup as quickly as possible. Placing it in smaller containers will allow it to cool quickly.  I suggest placing these in the fridge first, then place these into the freezer.  Taking it out of the cooking pot will allow it to cool quicker as the pot will hold the heat longer than a separate container.

Step 4: Label your soup

Label the container with the type of soup and the date it was frozen. This will help you to avoid food wastage and the mystery guessing game of “what is that thing in my freezer?”.

Handy tip: Make sure you seal the lid of your container tightly and place it on a flat surface in your freezer.  This will help to avoid spills or mess when you are freezing your soup. Also remember to leave a small air gap at the top of your container so your soup can expand when it freezes.  This will stop it from overflowing.

How long to freeze soup in plastic containers

According to foodsafety.gov soups and steps with vegetable meat added will last for 3 to 4 days in the fridge (40 °F or below) or 2-3 months in the freezer (0 °F or below) (Date Last Reviewed January 28, 2021). Remember to always label your soup so you know when you put it in the freezer. 

Best plastic containers for freezing soup

The best plastic containers are freezer safe.  I would always make sure you check the label before freezing your soup in it.  That way you know that the plastic container has been made for this purpose.  Tupperware shows that it is freezer safe with a snowflake symbol by other brands will have other ways if showing, or may write it in small letters on the bottom of the container.

Best soups to freeze in plastic containers

Here are some great soups that will freeze and reheat well in plastic containers and taste delicious.

Pumpkin soup if a great option for freezing in plastic containers.

Broth based soups

Broth based soups are great for freezing and include those with vegetables and meat based on a stock.  Keep the noodles and cream out of it and they will freeze well. Some options are: Vietnamese Pho, Chicken broth soups, beef and vegetable and potato and leek.

Vegetable puree soups

Vegetable based soups like pumpkin, carrot, zucchini, cauliflower and leek are great options. These are my favorite and packed full of goodness. 

Meat and bean soups

Try chilli bean recipes, stews with added broth or lentil based soups.  All are amazing, delicious and good for you. I love hearty soups that are really somewhere between a soup and stew.

How to thaw and reheat soup stored in a plastic container

Step 1: Take the soup out of the freezer

Do this 24 hours before you want to eat it and place it in the fridge. This will mean that you can re-heat it quicker.

Step 2: Microwave or place in a saucepan

If you took the soup out of the freezer the day before, this will be a quick and simple process.  In the microwave, use the re-heat function and heat this until it is steaming hot.  When using a saucepan, you can bring this to a simmer until it is completely heated through. Remember to stir regularly and add a little more liquid if you need.

Step 3 (Optional): Add cream or noodles to your soup

Pre-cooking the noodles or pasta is a great way to have them perfect to add to your soup.  Allow each person to add their own cream to their soup or avoid it altogether if you are looking for a healthier option.

How long to keep soup after it has defrosted

If you take your soup straight from the freezer and store it in the fridge, it will be good for about 3 days at the correct temperature (40 degrees Fahrenheit or below or 5 degrees Celsius or below).  Once you have re-heated this soup however, you will need to throw out what you don’t eat.

Top mistakes when freezing soup

Not cooling your soup quick enough

It might be easy to leave soup out on a bench to cool off but this can be a mistake.  The best way to freeze soup is to place it in freezer safe containers and cool it quickly.  It can be placed in the fridge first to bring the temperature down, then once it has cooled it can be put in the freezer.  You want to make sure your soup is brought down to freezing temperature (0 degrees Fahrenheit or -18 degrees Celsius) as quickly as possible to keep it safe.

Kitchen Hack: You could place the soup pot or container in an ice bath to cool it quicker.  Give it a stir but make sure you don’t splash water into your soup.

Overfilling or underfilling your plastic container

Both of these can be a problem. If you overfill your container it can overflow as you freeze it.  Liquids expand when frozen so you might find your soup trying to spill over the edge of the container and all through your freezer.  You will need to leave a small gap to so it can expand. 

Underfilling can also be a problem. If you leave too much air space at the top of your soup, ice crystals can form, or you may get freezer burn.  Ice crystals can make the soup too watery and affect the flavor when you go to re-heat the soup.

Kitchen Hack: Make sure you place the lid on tight. This will reduce air contact with your soup and keep it fresh and tasty.  

Overcooking the vegetables

If you overcook your vegetables when preparing your soup these will be even mushier when you heat it up.  Make sure that when you cook your vegetables the first time around they are just cooked through.  This means that when you heat it up from frozen then will not fall apart.

Kitchen Hack: If you are cooking the soup to go straight in the freezer you can leave out the vegetables, especially green veg like beans or broccoli.  When you are ready to re-heat it, add some microwaved or steamed vegetables fresh and you will get a much better flavor.

How to freeze soup with noodles or pasta

You can freeze soup with noodles or pasta in it but when re-heated, the pasta can become soggy and fall apart.  The same can happen to noodles which can affect the taste.  The best approach is to freeze the soup and broth base without the pasta or noodles. When you are ready to eat the soup, you can then cook the pasta or noodles fresh and add these to the soup before you serve it.

How to freeze soup with milk or cream

Soups with milk or cream in them don’t freeze and re-heat as well as vegetable and broth-based soups.  Sometimes when they are re-heated the cream or milk can split and add a grainy texture to your soup. 

If you would like to add cream to your soup, my best suggestion is to add it to each individual bowl once you re-heat it.  This also allows each person to add as much or as little cream to their soup as they like.  If you are aiming for the healthiest choice, skip the cream altogether or add some low-fat plain yoghurt at the end instead.

How to freeze soup with potatoes

You definitely can freeze soup with potatoes in it but you should expect these to fall apart a bit when you re-heat them.  This is fine if you are planning on blending your soup anyway, like a pumpkin soup but if you want big chunks of potato, you are probably better off cooking the potato fresh and adding them to your soup after.

How to freeze pea soup

Home made split pea soup is delicious.  This soup is perfect for freezing, which is great, because most recipes made more that is needed for one night. Like all soups, separate this out into the container size that suits the number of people you will be feeding.  Like all soups, it is best if stored for a maximum of 2-3 months. If your split pea soup contains ham, this is no problem. You can freeze the soup in the same way.

How to defrost soup overnight

The best way to de-frost soup is to place it in the fridge overnight, or 24 hours before you want to eat it.  That way your soup will be brought to fridge temperature and be ready to microwave or heat in a saucepan when you want it.

Freezing soup in glass containers

I love freezing food in glass containers with rubber lids.  I use Pyrex containers, these seal tightly and the glass bottom means that they don’t absorb smells or color.  You can place these directly in the microwave and they heat up well.

I like to freeze soup in a big Pyrex container for a full size family meal

Freezing soup in freezer safe bags

You can also freeze soup in freezer safe bags.  Stand the bags inside an empty, cool saucepan or bowl and use a funnel to fill the bag.  Seal the zip lock tightly and these can lay down in your freezer. They are flat when frozen so will only take up a small space in your freezer. Make sure the bags you are using are freezer safe and remember not to overfill them.

Why freeze soup in plastic containers

Good quality plastic container can be reused over again and are a great alternative to single use plastic takeaway containers. If you are a busy mum (like me) or you just have a lot on your plate, coming home and having a pre-cooked meal that you can re-heat in the microwave can be great. 

You can prepare this ahead of time and give you and your family a healthy, warm meal.  They are easy to cook and you can include a range of ingredients like vegetables which are super healthy.  Soups can easily be made vegetarian, vegan, without gluten and without dairy if you need to.  Soup works great as a lunch or dinner meal and will last well in your freezer.

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