Rehydrating Freeze Dried Full Meals, Breads and Cakes

chicken alfredo penne pasta

Harvest Right freeze dryers make it easy to freeze dry full meals, even in one cycle. You can place different foods on separate trays (or on the same tray) and there won’t be any flavor transference (foods with strong flavors/scents such as onions, garlic, and jalapeños may have some flavor transfer and may be an exception to this rule). That means you can freeze dry all of your leftovers or grocery surplus at once. At home freeze dryers make food preservation easy; meatloaf, mashed potatoes, stir fry and chocolate cake can all process together, for example.

food in freeze dryer trays

When you’re ready to rehydrate your meal, often just adding warm or hot water until it returns to the original consistency will be the trick. You can also finish warming it in the microwave or stovetop. For pastas such as spaghetti and lasagna, steaming them back to life helps them retain their original appearance — simply add hot water, cover with a lid or plastic wrap and the pasta will come back to life perfectly in a steam environment.  To rehydrate casseroles you can also add warm water to about 1/3 the height of the casserole dish then cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes. You’ll be amazed that it looks and tastes exactly the same as when it was fresh.

Turkey Dinner on a plate

To freeze dry breads, cakes, and brownies, you can place sliced right on the tray. To rehydrate breads and cakes, fold a moist paper towel around each slice and let them slowly absorb the water (this may take a few hours). Or, you can also place several slices in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel and let the bag rest in the refrigerator slowly absorbing water until it’s rehydrated.

Hungry yet?


Hi there,
I recently freeze dried some pizza! Both have different kinds of meat and cheese on them. The one has a bit of pineapple on top. What’s the best to rehydrate the pizza so that it’s just like getting it fresh from the oven?

Any tips would be appreciated!


Honey, pure chocolate, peanut butter. Butter, syrup, high fat meats, and jams are the main items. Other items don’t do well either. I have yet to find an ice cream sandwich that does not expand. High sugar candies and gummy items are more difficult. Skittles are easy and very good. We have just been experimenting. Most come out good. Some don’t.

family members or pets are adamantly discouraged from freeze drying. As a matter of the utmost importance it is universally never acceptable to freeze dry children under the age of 17 months, Electronics not shielded by a faraday cage, clothing and furniture (except for coffee tables which serve and are named after a freeze dried item, so freeze drying by proxy is acceptable.) are also not recommended to undergo any form of freeze drying. Food that has already been freeze dried, should not undergo a duplicate procedure except in situations of dry freezing which is encouraged with lab embryos, vegetables and unleavened bread products. A minority group of the harvest right family has stated they freeze dry socks and footwear in the summer in order to cool down their feet with amazing results. I hope this bit of info is helpful as you embark on arid chilling.

Has anyone freeze dried packaged dinners? Some time back, my local Walmart put their frozen dinners on sale. Some were selling for 98 cents a meal. I freeze dried a bunch of them. I slit or peeled back a part of the cover freeze dried the whole tray and after freeze drying, I put in oxygen absorber and slipped meal tray back in the box, to identify it later, and vacuum sealed it.

My Alredo has butter, cream cheese, milk and Parmesean cheese. Will the butter keep it from freeze drying properly?

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