Can You Freeze Cooked Prawns?

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By Ross Young

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Prawns are among the most popular seafood options that we can serve up to our families. They also come in many forms and sizes, making them a great addition to your weekly meal plan.

But what do you do if you have some leftover prawns from a previous meal? Can you freeze cooked prawns? And is it safe to do so?

Cooked prawns can be frozen for up to 4 months. Timing is crucial when you’re freezing seafood, and you need to freeze it as quickly as possible. After cooling, place your cooked prawns in a freezer-safe bag, seal and place them in the freezer.

Do Cooked Prawns Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Cooked Prawns? No

How to Freeze Cooked Prawns

There’s nothing too taxing about freezing cooked prawns, but you just need to limit the amount of time they’re sitting out at room temperature.

If you leave your prawns on the countertop for any longer than two hours, it’s likely that harmful bacteria will grow and cause them to spoil.

This is true with most types of seafood, so the quicker you can get them into the freezer, the better. 

Therefore, to ensure your cooked prawns will be perfectly safe to enjoy in the future, here are the steps you need to follow to freeze them properly: 

  1. Cool
    Regardless of the way in which you’ve cooked your prawns, you will need to allow them sufficient time to cool before you freeze them. You should allow them to sit at room temperature for an hour or so before proceeding to the next step. 
  2. Prepare Prawns
    Place your cooked prawns in a suitably sized freezer-safe bag. Before sealing, push as much excess air from the bag as possible. 
  3. Label and Freeze
    After sealing the bag, write today’s date and the use-by date on the bag and place your prawns in the coldest part of the freezer. Remember, you can freeze cooked prawns for around four months.

3 Tips for Freezing Cooked Prawns

Now you know how to freeze them, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing cooked prawns to have the best results:

Check Prawns Before Freezing
Before you cook and freeze your prawns, you need to check that they’re in good shape. The first sign that your prawns aren’t what they should be is if they give off a strong odour, and the smell may resemble that of ammonia. You should also discard discoloured prawns.

Only Freeze Once
It’s so important that you only freeze cooked prawns once. This is because they have almost certainly been frozen already, even if you bought them fresh. In most instances, fishermen freeze prawns on their boats to preserve their freshness. Freezing cooked prawns more than once could cause you a serious stomach upset! 

Freeze Plain or in a Sauce
The steps above detail how to freeze plain cooked prawns. But it’s perfectly fine to freeze prawns that have been coated in a delicious homemade sauce. You can also freeze cooked prawns as part of other recipes like curry or stir fry. 

Cooked Prawns in Sauce Frozen

How Long Can You Freeze Cooked Prawns?

You can freeze cooked prawns for around four months. Most seafood freezes really well, and prawns are no exception, even when they’ve already been cooked.

We wouldn’t advise freezing them any longer than this as they may start to deteriorate in quality.

Providing your prawns were fresh when you froze them, they should be perfectly fine in the freezer for several months. 

You Can Freeze Cooked Prawns for up to 4 Months

How Do You Defrost Cooked Prawns?

When it’s time to thaw your cooked prawns, you should only defrost them in the fridge. You need to be really careful when it comes to thawing seafood, as it can easily spoil.

Never defrost your prawns at room temperature, even if you’re hoping to save yourself some time. We also wouldn’t recommend thawing cooked prawns in the microwave, as they can go rubbery as a result.

The best thing to do is to remove your cooked prawns from the freezer the night before you plan to reheat them, which gives them ample time to thaw.

Can You Refreeze Cooked Prawns?

No, you can only freeze cooked prawns once. Freezing cooked prawns several times is potentially bad for your health, as you need to be really careful when it comes to preserving seafood.

If you’re concerned about wasting cooked prawns, consider freezing them in smaller portion sizes so you can easily remove whatever you need at any given time.

Do Cooked Prawns Freeze Well?

Overall, cooked prawns freeze extremely well. We would always recommend freezing uncooked prawns to give you greater flexibility when it comes to preparing them, but freezing cooked prawns is a perfectly safe alternative.

So, whether you have some leftover king prawn curry or the remains of a creamy prawn linguine, you can freeze your cooked prawns safe in the knowledge that they will be perfectly safe to enjoy in the future.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing cooked prawns or prawns in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Raw Prawns?

You can freeze raw prawns in much the same way. Once you get them home from the store, bag them up and get them into the freezer as soon as possible. Avoid leaving them out at room temperature. If you need more information then check out this guide.

Can You Eat Cooked Prawns Cold the Next Day?

You can eat cooked prawns cold the next day but it’s vital that you keep them stored in the fridge until you want to eat them and not at room temperature where they could harbour dangerous bacteria.

Can Frozen Prawns Go Off?

Assuming that you have stored them correctly and not let them sit at room temperature beforehand then there is little chance prawns will go off in the freezer. Their quality will deteriorate, however. It’s also a good idea to use common sense to determine whether they have gone off or not.

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