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Can You Freeze Butter Chicken?

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By Kristin Henry-Dallager

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Freezing butter chicken is a great way to make it ahead of time for a quick and easy meal later in the week.

Can You Freeze Butter Chicken?

Yes, butter chicken freezes very well for up to 4 months. Any longer than that, and you’ll start to notice the flavour deteriorates. (Full Instructions Below)

Does Butter Chicken Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Butter Chicken? No

How to Freeze Butter Chicken

Easy Butter CHicken Dish

Follow these easy steps to safely freeze your butter chicken:

  1. Cool: Allow the butter chicken to cool completely before freezing. This helps maintain its texture and flavor.
  2. Label: Label your containers or heavy-duty freezer bags with the name of the dish & date of freezing. This helps you track how long it’s been in the freezer and identify it amongst all your other bags of frozen foods. And it’s much easier to label bags when they’re flat with no food in them.
  3. Portion: Divide the butter chicken into serving-sized portions that you can use for individual meals. This will make it easier to thaw only what you need – you can’t refreeze this dish after it’s been thawed.
  4. Container: Transfer portions into your chosen containers. Make sure to leave some space at the top of any plastic containers with lids (the butter chicken sauce will expand when freezing), otherwise, remove as much air as possible from the freezer-safe bag.
  5. Freeze: Place the containers or bags in the freezer, ensuring they are placed flat to freeze evenly.

3 Tips for Freezing Butter Chicken

Here are our Top 3 Tips, which we strongly recommend following, to give you the best results when freezing butter chicken:

Fully Cooled
Allow the butter chicken to cool completely before freezing. This helps prevent condensation, which can lead to freezer burn and affect the texture and flavor of the dish.

Use Quality Containers
Trust me, you don’t want this spilling in your freezer. Use airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags to store the butter chicken. And, make sure to remove as much air as possible from the bags before sealing them to prevent freezer burn. 

Freeze Separately from Rice
While it’s technically possible to freeze the rice and butter chicken together in the same bag, you’ll get better results if they’re separated.

How Long Can You Freeze Butter Chicken?

Butter chicken can be frozen for up to 4 months.

After this time, it is still safe to eat, but the quality may start to deteriorate. This is why we recommend labeling the containers with the freezing date so you can keep track of how long it’s been in the freezer.

How Do You Defrost Butter Chicken?

For a faster and more even reheating, we recommend thawing your butter chicken in the refrigerator overnight before using any of the reheating methods below:

  1. Stovetop: Transfer the frozen butter chicken to a saucepan and heat it over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of water or broth if it seems too thick.
  2. Microwave: Place the frozen butter chicken in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap. Microwave on medium power, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
  3. Oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Transfer the frozen butter chicken to an oven-safe dish, cover it with foil, and bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until heated through.

Regardless of the method you choose, make sure the butter chicken is heated to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure it’s safe to eat. You can get a full breakdown of cooking & reheating temperatures here.

Can You Refreeze Butter Chicken?

Technically, yes. But it’s not recommended. You can thaw and refreeze butter chicken only if it’s been kept at or below refrigerator temperatures during thawing.

Best practice is to only thaw as much as you’ll eat.

It’s also worth noting, with each repeated thaw and freeze, the texture of your chicken will become more damaged and the flavours will degrade.

WARNING

There is an increased risk of foodborne pathogens if you refreeze partially thawed raw or blanched vegetables.

Does Butter Chicken Freeze Well?

Yes, it freezes very well.

The creamy sauce and tender chicken are well-suited for freezing because they retain their flavors and textures relatively well when thawed and reheated.

FAQs

How Long Does Butter Chicken Last in the Fridge?

You can safely store this dish in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Any longer than that and you’ll need to freeze it.

Can You Defrost Butter Chicken in the Microwave?

You can, although we’d recommend defrosting it overnight in the refrigerator.

What’s the Difference Between Butter Chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala?

Butter chicken is made with a creamy tomato-based sauce and often includes butter and cream. Chicken tikka masala, on the other hand, features a spicier and more complex sauce made with yogurt, cream, and various spices.

Can I Freeze Chicken Tikka Masala?

You can! These instructions tell you how.

Sources

We have verified the information on this page using the following resources:

www.usda.gov

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