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Can you freeze potato soup with milk in it?

Whether you can freeze potato soup that contains milk is a common question for home cooks. The short answer is yes, you can safely freeze potato soup made with milk. However, there are some important considerations to keep in mind when freezing and thawing milk-based potato soup.

Can Milk Curdle When Frozen?

Milk and cream can curdle and separate when frozen, leading to an unpleasant texture in the thawed soup. This is because the fat molecules in milk tend to clump together when frozen, causing the liquid to separate. However, there are a few things you can do to prevent curdling:

  • Use whole milk – The higher fat content makes it less likely to separate.
  • Stir constantly – Continuously stirring the soup as it freezes distributes the milk evenly and prevents separation.
  • Add starch – Adding a small amount of cornstarch, potato starch, or flour before freezing can help stabilize the milk.
  • Freeze in single servings – Freezing in individual portions means the soup freezes faster, giving less time for the milk to separate.

Should You Thicken the Soup Before Freezing?

Thickening the soup with starch before freezing can help prevent the milk from curdling. The starch acts as an emulsion stabilizer. About 1-2 teaspoons of cornstarch per 1 cup of liquid is usually sufficient to stabilize the soup. Whisk the cornstarch with a little cold water first to form a slurry before adding it to the hot soup. Bring to a boil for 1 minute to activate the cornstarch.

What About Using Cream Instead of Milk?

Heavy cream and half-and-half are even more prone to separating when frozen compared to milk. The higher fat content makes the liquid unstable. If you want to use cream in potato soup for freezing, try to limit it to 1/4 to 1/2 cup per quart of soup. You can also stabilize it with a starch slurry as mentioned above.

Should You Freeze Potato Soup With Potatoes In It?

Potatoes become mushy when thawed after freezing. For best results, freeze the potato soup base without the potatoes, and add freshly cooked potatoes after thawing the soup base. Here are some tips for freezing potato soup without potatoes:

  • Prepare the soup base and cool completely.
  • Strain out the potatoes, reserving the liquid.
  • Portion the potato-less soup into freezer bags or containers.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to eat, thaw the soup base and add diced cooked potatoes.

What Container is Best for Freezing Soup?

The best containers for freezing soup are freezer-safe plastic containers, mason jars, or freezer bags. Avoid glass containers which may crack under freezing temperatures. Here are some tips for each type of container:

Container Tips
Plastic container Leave headspace for expansion, use round containers to limit surface area exposed to air.
Mason jars Use wide-mouth jars, leave 1 inch headspace, and use plastic lids not metal.
Freezer bags Squeeze out excess air before sealing, use durable plastic bags designed for freezing.

How Long Does Potato Soup Last In the Freezer?

Properly frozen homemade potato soup will maintain best quality for 3-6 months in the freezer. The shelf life depends on these factors:

  • Ingredient quality – Fresher ingredients last longer.
  • Packaging – Airtight, moisture-proof packaging prevents freezer burn.
  • Freezer temperature – Colder (0°F or below) extends shelf life.
  • Fat content – Higher fat can cause faster spoilage.
  • Reheating – Repeated thawing and refreezing diminishes quality.

For best flavor and texture, use frozen potato soup within 3 months. Unopened store-bought potato soup can last 6-12 months frozen.

What Is the Best Method to Thaw Frozen Potato Soup?

To safely thaw frozen potato soup, there are a few good options:

  • Refrigerator thawing – Place frozen soup in the fridge for 24-48 hours until completely thawed.
  • Cold water bath – Submerge sealed frozen container in cold tap water, changing water every 30 mins until thawed.
  • Microwave – Microwave individual portions on defrost setting, stirring occasionally.
  • Stovetop – Gently heat frozen soup on stove on low heat, stirring frequently until thawed and warmed through.

Avoid thawing at room temperature as this allows exterior to thaw while interior remains frozen, which can promote bacterial growth. Refrigerator and cold water methods thaw gently and evenly.

How to Prevent Curdling When Reheating Thawed Potato Soup

To prevent the milk from curdling when reheating thawed potato soup, follow these tips:

  • Heat gently and stir frequently.
  • Add milk or cream after reheating if not already included.
  • Simmer once thawed, don’t boil to prevent curdling.
  • Add a splash of fresh milk or cream before serving.
  • Stir in a starch slurry to stabilize.
  • Blend with an immersion blender to emulsify.


Freezing milk-based potato soup is perfectly safe with proper handling. Allow it to cool completely before freezing in airtight containers. Thaw slowly in the refrigerator or with a cold water bath. Avoid boiling when reheating to prevent curdling. With careful freezing, thawing, and reheating, you can enjoy delicious homemade potato soup even months after making it.