Whether they’re cooked on their own for breakfast or whisked into cake batter, eggs are a versatile staple ingredient in many households.
While a carton of eggs can keep for 3–5 weeks in the refrigerator, you may wonder whether it’s safe to freeze those you won’t be able to use before they go bad (1).
Or maybe you’re using only egg whites to make a cake and don’t want the yolks to go to waste.
This article covers which types of eggs can be safely frozen and how to best go about doing so.
Which eggs can you freeze?
Only some types of eggs can be frozen.
Additionally, freezing raw, shelled eggs can negatively affect the texture, as the egg yolks become thick and gel-like. This can make them difficult to use in cooking or baking after thawing.
It’s also not recommended to freeze hard- or soft-boiled eggs, as egg whites can become rubbery and watery when thawed.
However, the following types of eggs can be frozen safely with good results (1):
- raw egg whites
- raw egg yolks
- raw whole eggs that have been removed from the shell and whisked
- cooked mixed egg dishes like breakfast casseroles or quiches
It’s not recommended to freeze boiled or raw, shelled eggs due to safety concerns and negative changes in texture. Types of eggs you can freeze include whisked whole raw eggs, raw egg whites, raw egg yolks, and cooked egg dishes.
How freezing affects egg whites and yolks
Eggs consist of two parts — the yolk and the white — both of which react differently to freezing.
Freezing and thawing raw egg whites, which comprise mostly water and protein, does not cause noticeable texture changes after cooking.
However, freezing may improve an egg white’s foaming ability — an important characteristic that’s utilized to create light and airy baked goods like angel food cake (5).
One study found that freezing egg whites caused some of their proteins to denature, or lose their shape. As a result, egg whites that were frozen and then thawed had greater foaming properties (
In contrast, when raw egg yolks are frozen, they develop a thick, gel-like consistency. This is referred to as gelation, and research suggests that it’s a result of ice crystals forming in the yolk (
However, egg yolks can still be frozen. Adding either sugar or salt to them before freezing has been shown to improve the texture of thawed and cooked yolks by preventing this gelation (
Egg yolks also freeze well when first combined with egg whites prior to freezing. The resulting texture works well for making dishes like scrambled eggs, baked goods, and casseroles.
Although freezing is unlikely to affect the flavor of raw or cooked frozen eggs, any ingredients added during various processing methods might.
For example, raw egg yolks may taste slightly sweet or salty depending on whether they were mixed with sugar or salt before freezing.
Additionally, commercially frozen egg products may have added preservatives or other ingredients that could affect the taste. If you’re concerned about the flavor, make sure to read the ingredient list of a frozen egg product before purchasing it.
Freezing egg whites does not result in a noticeable change in taste or texture. Contrarily, egg yolks take on a gel-like texture when frozen. To avoid this, egg yolks should be combined with salt, sugar, or egg whites prior to freezing.
How to freeze different types of eggs
While it’s not recommended to freeze raw eggs in their shells, you can still freeze raw yolks and whites — either separately or mixed. Additionally, cooked egg dishes like casseroles and quiches can be safely frozen.
To freeze whole eggs, start by cracking each egg into a mixing bowl, then gently whisk until the yolks and whites are fully combined.
Pour the mixture into a freezer-safe container. For thawing and cooking, it’s easiest to freeze each egg individually.
For food safety and convenience purposes, label each container with the date and number of whole eggs it contains before freezing.
Start by cracking and separating the eggs.
Place the yolks in a bowl and pour each individual egg white into an ice cube tray or another type of small freezer-safe container.
Label the container with the date and number of whites added.
To freeze egg yolks, start by cracking and separating the eggs, placing the egg whites in one container and the yolks in a small bowl.
Gently whisk the yolks until they’re fully combined and liquid.
For every 4 egg yolks, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt or 1/2–1 teaspoon of granulated sugar to the whisked yolks. Mix well to combine.
Pour the mixture into a freezer-safe container and label it with the date and number of yolks used, noting whether salt or sugar was added.
Cooked egg dishes
To freeze cooked egg dishes like casseroles or quiches, start by cooling the cooked dish to room temperature. To prevent bacterial growth, it’s important to cool the cooked dish to 40°F (approximately 5°C) within 2 hours (
Once cooled, cover the casserole with a tight-fitting lid and place it in your freezer.
You can also freeze individual servings. Sliced pieces will not only cool faster but also be easier to reheat.
To do this, wrap each individual serving in plastic wrap and place it on a baking sheet in the freezer until frozen solid. Once frozen, transfer the individually wrapped servings to a freezer-safe, zip-top bag and store it in your freezer.
For non-crust casseroles, consider baking them in a muffin pan for individual servings that can be easily frozen in a freezer-safe bag or container after being cooled.
Raw whole eggs can be frozen by whisking together the yolk and white. Egg whites and yolks can be separated and frozen individually. Raw eggs can be frozen for up to 1 year, while cooked egg dishes should only be frozen for up to 2–3 months.
How to thaw and use frozen eggs
Both raw and cooked eggs should be thawed and then fully cooked to 160°F (71°C) before eating to reduce the risk of foodborne illness (
To thaw, simply place the frozen raw or cooked eggs in the refrigerator overnight. If stored in a sealed container, raw eggs can also be thawed under cold running water. Raw eggs, egg yolks, and egg whites should be cooked the day you thaw them.
Some ways to use frozen raw eggs include:
- scrambling them with cheese and vegetables
- using them in a make-ahead breakfast casserole
- baking them into a quiche or frittata
- using them to make baked goods like cookies, cakes, or muffins
For cooked egg dishes, reheat the thawed quiche or casserole in the oven. However, if servings were frozen individually, they can be thawed overnight and then reheated in the microwave.
To reduce the risk of foodborne illness, frozen eggs should be thawed in the fridge and cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C). Thawed raw eggs can be used in a variety of savory and sweet recipes.
The bottom line
While raw eggs should never be frozen in their shells, freezing whisked whole eggs is a safe and effective way to reduce food waste.
Additionally, freezing whites and yolks separately is a convenient solution for making recipes that call for only one of these without wasting the other.
Given that yolks need to be whisked prior to freezing, frozen eggs are best used in dishes like scrambled eggs, quiches, or baked goods.