Well-planned frozen items can make all the difference between cooking and not cooking. Also between not fun and fun times in the kitchen. Another perk: thoughtful freezer use can save you money as well as time. Be sure to label everything w sharpies and keep stuff sanely organized. Maybe even keep an inventory list (because we love lists).
  1. Chopped onions
    Every once in a while, get out your sharpest knife and chop a bunch of onions. (If the fumes make you cry, wear swimming goggles. Not kidding.) Spread them out on a tray and partially freeze for about 20 min. This keeps them separate. Transfer to a freezer bag, seal, and use as needed. Can go directly into a hot pan w/o defrosting. You will thank yourself.
  2. Garlic
    Can freeze whole peeled cloves and use as needed. They mince easily while still frozen. Can also bunch minced or crushed garlic into a tight little log, bundle in plastic wrap, and freeze in a small bag. Just slice off and use a bit at a time. I also like the little cubes of Dorot brand frozen garlic from TJ's.
  3. Minced ginger
    Same idea as the little log of crushed or minced garlic. Slice or break off desired amount and use, undefrosted, as needed.
  4. Berries to use later as "berries"
    If you can't eat fresh berries fast enough when they're in season (maybe you went full throttle on a u-pick expedition) freeze them part-way for 20 or so minutes, spread out on a tray, as with the onions. Transfer to bag, enjoy in February. (If you defrost them in a bowl, there will be Juice.)
  5. Other summer fruit to use later as "sorbet"
    You can freeze melon chunks or peach or plum slices in bags, then defrost part-way (until only slightly soft) and purée in a food processor, possibly w a little simple syrup (sugar dissolved in an equal measure of water). It's like a slushy sorbet - super refreshing.
  6. Blanched green vegetables
    They freeze superbly if packed tightly in a heavy plastic bag. Details on how-to in my earlier list re: blanching green vegetables.
  7. Roasted vegetables
    If you ever have any left over, know that they will freeze just fine. Hypothetical for me, since I always royally polish them off. Bonus insurance policy: if you don't love the texture once they're defrosted, blend w stock into a thick soup, season with salt and pepper, and perhaps round off with a touch of cream.
  8. Grated cheese
    As with onions and berries, partially freeze, spread on tray, to avoid clumping. Consider lightly coating the tray w nonstick spray first. You will be glad you did.
  9. Whole tomatoes
    If the season reaches its peak before you can eat them all - and it was too summery to even think about simmering the oversupply into sauce- just pack whole fresh tomatoes into a sealed heavy bag and throw into the freezer. Make the sauce later. Bonus: very often, the skins will pop right off as the tomatoes defrost, so...self-peeling.
  10. Pomegranates
    Whole ones freeze surprisingly well. Defrost all the way before peeling and extracting the seeds. You can also freeze just the seeds. Follow the onion-berry preliminary tray treatment to assure separateness.
  11. Cooked (or just plain soaked) beans
    If you made extra - or soaked some and then changed your mind for now - freeze. Beans are sturdy and if frozen, will be just fine a few months from now. If you went all the way to soup or chili and had leftovers, ditto.
  12. Most soups
    They should freeze just fine as long as they are nondairy or non-eggdrop.
  13. Bread dough
    Freezes like a charm. Shape it first, so you can bake it without defrosting (yes). Pizza dough, stretched and formed, also survives freezing just fine. Can also get baked straight from the freezer. @gabimoskowitz aka Pizza Dough Maven, care to chime in?
  14. Pie crust
    Pie dough, rolled out - pan and all - can be slipped into a freezer bag and sealed, and then frozen. You can then fill and bake a few weeks from now without defrosting. Unrolled-out dough obviously needs to be completely defrosted before getting worked with.
  15. Fresh baked goods
    Thoroughly wrap and freeze as soon as they're room temperature. Defrost, and they will taste freshly baked. I especially like to do this with croissants. Bagels should be sliced first. I want everyone thanking themselves here.
  16. Coconut milk
    If you opened a can for a recipe and used only a little, don't kid yourself. You will never use the rest of it because it will go bad in the back of your fridge while you are busy forgetting you put it there. Instead? Freeze it in ice cube trays, then transfer to a bag and use as needed. So frugal of you!
  17. Fresh lemon juice
    If you happen to have a lot of lemons, go on a juice-squeezing bender and freeze it in ice cube trays (same idea as coconut milk). Also works w OJ -great as ice cubes in matching cocktails.
  18. Chicken or vegetable stock
    Any extra stock can be frozen in ice cube trays (see coconut milk, above). Nice to throw a few of these into stir-fries or to use for deglazing roasting pans.
  19. Cookie dough
    Freezes excellently. Lasts in the deep cold for months. Defrosts quickly; bake as you would had it never been frozen.
  20. Uncooked pizzas
    I like to take the pizza dough idea even further by assembling a full pizza (dough, sauce, cheese, toppings), and freezing it before baking. Place the pizza on parchment paper and wrap the whole thing tightly in plastic wrap and pop in the freezer. When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425, remove the plastic wrap, peel off the parchment and bake the pizza directly on the rack as you would with any frozen pizza.
    Suggested by @gabimoskowitz
  21. Meatballs!
    As long as they are carefully wrapped in airtight containers, homemade meatballs are one of the greatest things ever to have lying in wait. They are especially great to throw into a pan of vegetables as they cook, because the meatballs will start to cook the vegetables in their delicious meatball juice.
    Suggested by @sally
  22. Pasta sauce
    I make a big batch and freeze them in quart ziplock bags flat. Then once frozen I can turn them in their side and stack them nicely in the freezer. It's a super quick meal!
    Suggested by @eatthelove
  23. Fresh pasta or ravioli
    I make ravioli as a "weekend project" every now and then. When I do, I make a ton and just freeze them. Slip them in soup or make a fast pasta dish with a quick/frozen sauce or even tossed in extra virgin olive oil or brown butter and Parmesan cheese.
    Suggested by @eatthelove
  24. Egg whites
    I have a special large ice cube tray that I use for my egg whites but you can use a regular one. I'd recommend using a dedicated ice cube tray though, for safety. I go through egg yolks at an alarming fast rate. Egg whites freeze super easy and thaw pretty well. Currently in my freezer is about 75 egg white cubes...
    Suggested by @eatthelove
  25. Brewed coffee or tea
    Freeze leftover coffee or tea as ice cubes. Then use the coffee or tea cubes for cold brewed coffee/iced tea. No dilution!
    Suggested by @eatthelove
  26. Zucchini, shredded
    At this time of year when you may feel that you are fighting a losing battle against zucchini in your CSA box or garden, just shred it! Grate with a box grater or put it in the cuisinart. You can use shreds lAyer for enchiladas or zucchini bread.
    Suggested by @kelly