Cooked or raw, empty or filled with your favorite toppings, dumplings can be frozen quite simply up to three months, considerably extending their shelf life while retaining most of their usual taste, flavor, and texture.
The process isn’t complicated, but there are several things to keep in mind, such as the maximal freezer time of certain toppings, choosing the right freezing container, and so on. Follow this guide for a more detailed explanation of how to freeze dumplings and their most popular varieties:
Do Dumplings Freeze Well?
Unfilled dumplings freeze tremendously well while filled dumplings fare decently good. Depending on the moisture count of specific fillings, certain dumplings will be almost the same after thawing (less moisture) while others may turn soggy and flavorless (more moisture).
Do You Freeze Dumplings Cooked or Uncooked?
Dumplings can be frozen cooked and raw; it’s ultimately a matter of preference. When frozen raw, you’ll preserve their natural state, and you’ll get to use them the same way you normally would upon defrosting. When frozen cooked, you can use them even without defrosting them, although they probably won’t taste the same.
Can You Freeze Raw Dumplings?
I prefer freezing my dumplings raw for several reasons. Given that the enzymes are dormant, there’s minimal interaction with the core ingredients of flour. In simpler words, your dumplings are healthy and primed for use when raw, whether you want to cook or freeze them.
- The texture, flavor, and taste will remain intact
- With the cooking step skipped, you can freeze raw dumplings more quickly
- Much easier to refreeze
- You’ll need to wait for them to defrost, prepare them, and then use them
Can You Freeze Cooked Dumplings
Freezing cooked dumplings is still a much better idea than throwing food away. On the upside, you can use frozen cooked dumplings.
Furthermore, you can thaw them by boiling, in addition to the countertop, microwave, and fridge thawing. The only downsides to this approach are that your dumplings may have a diminished flavor, a firmer, mealy texture, and a bit different taste.
- More flexible thawing options
- Can be used while frozen
- They freeze a bit better due to the lack of moisture
- Their taste and flavor may not be the same
- They will probably be ruined if frozen again
How to Freeze Dumplings?
You only need a package of plastic wrap and enough freezer bags or airtight containers to fit all your dumplings in. Follow these steps when freezing your dumplings:
Step 1: Double-wrap Your Dumplings
Pre-made dumplings are quite sensitive and need that extra protection against freezer burn. Double wrap them to prevent the air from coming inside the container.
Step 2: Keep Dumplings Apart from Each Other
If your dumplings touch, they will freeze while connected; the walls of either one may be destroyed if you attempt to remove the stuck dumpling from the other. Keep them apart by placing wax paper between them.
Step 3: Place Dumplings in Airtight Containers
Freezer bags may do the trick and serve the same function as airtight containers. For freezing a bulk of dumplings, bigger containers are recommended.
Step 4: Place the Containers in the Freezer
The final step to freezing dumplings. You may want to place them at the back since that’s the coldest area inside a freezer.
How Long Do Frozen Dumplings Last
Frozen pre-made dumplings can endure approximately three months inside a freezer. Similar to freezing other pasta, such as ravioli, I recommend using them around the second month, as they can lose some of their flavor and aroma towards the end.
How To Defrost Dumplings?
I always defrost my dumplings in a microwave, if for nothing else, to save time. For people that do not own a microwave, I recommend fridge thawing as a somewhat slower, but safer alternative if you’re not too experienced with the former.
Countertop thawing is the only option I’m not particularly a fan of, but it’s still an option for people who can’t find enough space in their fridge (and people who don’t own a microwave):
In my opinion, Microwave Thawing is the way to go, regardless of what you’re trying to defrost. It’s much healthier for the food, as quick heating means minimal loss of quality and quick stabilization of the food’s texture. It’s the quickest and the healthiest option in terms of defrosting dumplings.
This is a good idea for defrosting yeast-based foods, especially dumplings. When thawing veggies or meat, you’ll usually need several hours to thaw them in your refrigerator; however, thawing dumplings takes only about two to three hours, even for larger batches. Just make sure to put the bowl at the bottom rack of the fridge to avoid soaking the foods or groceries directly below.
I don’t recommend this option, as yeast attracts unhealthy bacteria when left out in the open, which can ruin the quality of your dumplings. If fridge and microwave thawing aren’t viable options, you can leave your frozen dumplings in a bowl and leave them to thaw at room temperature.
Make sure to use a big bowl, as your frozen dumplings will expand as they come close to defrosting.
Can You Refreeze Dumplings?
It’s not a particularly good idea to refreeze your dumplings, as they are likely to have a bland taste and a crumbly texture. Repeated freezing can break vitamins and other healthy ingredients of certain dumpling fillings, which is another reason why I don’t recommend doing it.
Freezing different Types or variations of dumplings
Different dumping variations have different freezing times, and some may require extra steps while freezing:
Can You Freeze Soup Dumplings?
Freezing soup dumplings is feasible, but only for up to two weeks.
Can You Freeze Potato Dumplings?
Potato fits well with pretty much anything, and since it freezes well, your potato dumplings are freezer-safe.
Can You Freeze Suet Dumplings?
Suet dumplings can sit twice as long in the freezer in comparison to standard dumpling recipes. They’re the least demanding dumplings in terms of thawing, as they don’t require defrosting at all.
Can You Freeze Dumplings in Stew?
Meat stews freeze a bit better than vegetable stews. Given that dumplings aren’t the best-freezing dish, you may want to consider freezing meat dumpling stews over veggie-dumpling stews. Both can be frozen, it’s just that meaty dumplings freeze much better and longer.
Can You Freeze Apple Dumplings?
Yes, but it’s important to double-wrap them in plastic to protect the sensitive apples from freezer burn.
Can You Freeze Chicken Dumplings?
Yes, and I recommend fridge thawing over microwave thawing for this one to ensure they taste the best.
Simple Dumpling Recipes
One of the tastiest dumpling recipes I have isn’t the simplest one in my book. However, you’ll love Pot Stickers if you’re into spicy food. Grab a pound of ground pork, two tablespoons of minced ginger, a cup of minced cilantro, five cloves of garlic, and some peppercorns. Liberally fill each dumpling, but do so in equal measure for individual ones.
Another favorite is cheese-filled dumplings with a modest plate of deli meat. This is one of my go-to breakfast recipes when cooking light. Use softer cheeses as fillings and some salami for the best effects.
Finally, a meal that is great for any occasion – cream cheese and mushrooms as filling for your dumplings, topped with minced meat and served with tomato slices.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve covered pretty much everything so far, but there are still a few questions that I haven’t yet addressed, including
How Long Do Dumplings Last in the Fridge
Whether fresh or cooked, dumplings can sit inside a fridge for up to four days. Personally, I don’t leave them longer than three, but they will be healthy and tasty on the fourth as well.
Can You Freeze Dumpling Dough
Yes, dumpling dough freezes even better (and longer) than premade dumplings. To freeze dumpling dough, it’s only important to cut it into smaller bits and wrap individual pieces in plastic. For more details, you can check out my step-by-step How To Freeze Dumpling Dough guide.
How to Reheat Frozen Soup Dumplings
The best way to reheat them is with a steamer. The process shouldn’t take more than ten minutes and is, in my experience, the simplest method of reheating frozen soup dumplings.
Conclusion & Best Tips
If you’ve followed the steps in my guide, you now know how to freeze dumplings and thaw them in several ways. Just a few quick tips before I leave you to your cooking:
- Whenever possible, freeze raw dumplings
- If you’re using bigger airtight containers, divide individual dumplings with wax paper
- Use within two months, as that’s when they taste the best
- If you have to refreeze them, don’t leave them in the freezer for more than a month
What are your favorite dumpling recipes? I am absolutely in love with the combination of deli meat and cheese-filled dumplings, and they’re so fun to make! Leave a comment below if you’ve liked my guide, and make sure to check my other content. In the meantime, enjoy your meal!