Can you freeze ricotta cheese? That’s the question quite a few people are struggling with. This article will give you all the answers you need. If you’ve got some leftover ricotta or you’ve simply bought too much of it, it’s a natural thing to look for a way to use it right away or find a way to store it for an extended period of time. When it comes to ricotta cheese, freezing is a pretty good way of storing this dairy product for a period of time longer than it would normally do. Unfortunately, it isn’t a perfect way – sometimes freezing ricotta isn’t a good option. If you would like to know more about freezing ricotta cheese, read on.
Freezing ricotta cheese – important information
The first thing you need to now is that freezing ricotta cheese changes its texture. This dairy product will separate a little and become watery once thawed, that’s for sure. Is this big of a problem? As always, it depends. First thing you should know is that you can try to fix this by using a mixer or a larger spoon. That will help a little, but often you’ll have to drain the product anyway, because it will still be too watery.
(credit: Shockingly Tasty)
As I have mentioned. the texture of thawed ricotta is altered (even after stirring it and draining). That’s something you need to take into account when freezing ricotta. Because of that, you probably won’t find this cheese as tasty and appealing as it was before freezing. That’s why it’s not recommended to use thawed ricotta in dishes in which it’s the main component of the dish. If ricotta is just one of many components, it will work well and in many cases you won’t be able to tell the difference. Same thing with cooked or baked dishes (like lasagna) – if ricotta is just a part of such a dish, you can use thawed ricotta and the dish will be fine.
One more thing worth knowing – many people suggest preparing the dish with ricotta cheese and freezing it instead of freezing the cheese itself. If you have only as much ricotta as you would use in a single dish, I suggest you really should consider cooking that dish and freezing it. The results you’ll get in many cases will be definitely better. If you have a larger potion of ricotta and can’t (or don’t want to) use it in a dish that can be frozen, you always can freeze just the cheese. To do that, read the guidelines below.
How to freeze ricotta cheese
If the cheese is still in its original package, you just need to seal it tightly and put it into the freezer. If would like to keep it in the freezer for more than a month, consider putting the sealed package into a freezer bag.
Instead of freezing ricotta in its original package, you can portion it and pack separately. This way you’ll be able to easily thaw only as much ricotta as you need at a time. First off, transfer each portion into its plastic bag and seal tightly (remember to squeeze out all the air), then you should put those plastic bags into freezer bags (you can put a few plastic bags into one freezer bag) or airtight containers. This way the cheese will be protected from the cold.
When it comes to thawing, if you’re using ricotta in a cooked dish, you can add it frozen. If not, thaw in the fridge. If the texture isn’t right, consider following my suggestions mentioned earlier. It’s suggested to not freeze ricotta for more than 3 months, for quality purpose.
As you should know by now, ricotta cheese can be frozen, but freezing it changes its texture. If you’d like to use it in a cooked dish or any other in which ricotta cheese is just one of many components, it’ll be fine and in most cases you won’t even notice the cheese was frozen. Freezing it for dishes in which it’s the main component isn’t a good idea – you probably won’t be satisfied with the dish due to the mentioned change in texture.