Category: Dairy

Dairy

Can You Freeze Cream Cheese?

Can you freeze cream cheese? Everyone knows it tastes best when it’s fresh. While many people use it often, many ask if it is okay to freeze it.

 

Cream cheese is a delicious cheese that is soft in texture and has a high-fat content along with a mild taste. The cheese is most useful as a spread on top of bagels, crackers and vegetable sticks. Others use it for making creamy sauces for pasta dishes. Or for making creamy frostings that top cupcakes and cinnamon rolls. As you can tell, those popular uses won’t be that good with frozen and thawed cream cheese.

Freezing cream cheese changes its texture significantly. The texture becomes crumbly. In most dishes, crumbly cream cheese is a no go. But if you plan to use it for baking goods, the altered texture is not a big deal because you cannot notice it. With that said you could stock up on cream cheese when it is on sale and freeze it if you plan to use it for baking goods only.

Otherwise, cream cheese is best, as it is fresh out of the package and not frozen. You can keep it stored in your refrigerator safely for about a month without it spoiling. So the freezing method should only be used if you do not plan to use the cream cheese up within that time. Below is a guide on how can you freeze cream cheese:

how to freeze cream cheese

Image used under Creative Commons from sittered

How to Freeze Cream Cheese?

Freezing Unopened Cream Cheese

If you do decide to freeze cream cheese, it is best to freeze it once you buy. Leave it in its original packaging, but place the entire package into a freezer bag and freeze it that way. This prevents any frost burn from occurring on it.

You can keep cream cheese frozen this way for up to 6 months, but storing it any longer than that is not a good idea.

Freezing Leftover Cream Cheese

If say, you have leftover cream cheese that’s nearing its expiry date, you can use its original packaging or transfer the product to an airtight container prior to freezing.

If you’re using the original packaging, wrap the product well to seal it. Then, place the product in a resealable plastic bag. The extra layer of protection will prevent frost from seeping into the cream cheese. Squeeze out the air as you seal the plastic bag. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

On the other hand, if you’d like to transfer the leftover cream cheese in an airtight container, do so using a spoon. Carefully spoon in the product into the container, filling it halfway through. Cover with cling wrap before sealing with the lid. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

How to Defrost Frozen Cream Cheese?

To thaw it, remove it from the freezer the day before and allow it to defrost in the refrigerator overnight. After, you can use the cheese for whatever recipe you decide to use it in, but keep in mind it will not make good creamy sauces or spreads.

During the freezing and defrosting process, your cream cheese will become dried out and crumbly in texture and even a bit watery. The cheese though will still keep its mild-tasting cheesy flavor.

Summary

When it comes to freezing cream cheese it should only be considered if you cannot use it within a month or only plan to use it in baked goods. Otherwise, buy it from the store on sale in bulk and just leave it in your refrigerator this way.

Now that you know how to freeze cream cheese properly, the product will keep fresh for a while and hold its true creamy texture for months.

Dairy

Can You Freeze Goat Cheese?

If you have ever thought if freezing goat cheese will work and how to do it properly, this article is what you’re looking for.

A culinary delight, and a dietary staple of Greece and Mediterranean countries, chèvre cheese or goat cheese, as it is commonly known, is a wonderful addition to your favorite recipes. Or, the ones you are yet to create. Although the discovery of goat cheese is European, where it has been a dietary staple for centuries, there are dairies in Vermont, Wisconsin and other states where goat farms have become more common that make fine products, worth trying.

Flavoring dishes such as ravioli, Greek salad, spanakopita, and pizza, goat cheese adds a sharp, tangy flavor to your meals. You certainly don’t want to waste any of this delectable delight when you have more than you can use, so keep in mind that it will only keep for two to three weeks in the refrigerator, a few weeks longer if left sealed.

Goat cheese

Image used under Creative Commons from Rebecca Siegel

Can you Freeze Goat Cheese?

You can freeze goat cheese, both the spreadable and log variety. It is a great way to keep it stored for a longer period, than if only refrigerated, where it will become hard and chalky with age. However, as with any food item that you freeze, you must wrap it properly, date it, thaw it properly and use it within the first few months of freezing, for peak flavor.

Can you Freeze Goat Cheese Tarts?

Any type of baked goods aren’t ideal for freezing but if you are avoiding waste then you can freeze the goat cheese tarts if left with no other choice. If you are making the goat cheese tarts in advance, then you’ll get better results as opposed to freezing store-bought goat cheese tarts. That’s because you can skip the baking part until you are ready to serve the goat cheese tarts.

To freeze the goat cheese tarts, whip up the tarts as you normally would. Then, instead of baking the tarts, pack the unbaked tarts in an airtight container. Make sure the container is sealed completely before freezing because the frost could alter the texture of the tarts once they have been baked. As soon as you are ready to serve, thaw the unbaked tarts overnight in the freezer. By the next day, pop the tarts in the oven and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown.

Can you freeze Goat cheese Crumbles?

Goat cheese can be defined as soft, semisoft, firm, or hard depending on the product’s moisture content. A cheese product’s moisture content affects its quality if the said product is frozen. Hard goat cheese, which is a little crumbly, will fare better when frozen as opposed to a softer variety of goat cheese. As such, goat cheese crumbles are ideal for freezing.

To freeze goat cheese crumbles, use a freezer-safe, airtight container or a vacuum-sealed plastic bag. You want to make sure the cheese is as dry as possible before packing it for freezing. Seal the container and then write the storage date before storing in the freezer.

Packaging Methods

Soft spreadable chèvre cheese comes in four and six-ounce plastic or glass containers. It is often flavored with oil olive and cheese for a delightful spread. It can be frozen but may be watery when thawed.

Log chèvre is riper and has a drier crumbly texture that works well for salads, appetizers and cooked dishes. After freezing, it can be a little more crumbly than fresh, but will still have the fine flavor if you don’t leave it in your freezer too long.

Freezing

  • Wrap It -by double wrapping with plastic wrap and then putting in a freezer bag when preserving log goat cheese. When freezing spreadable cheese, you can leave it in its original container, but as with the logs, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then put it into a freezer bag.
  • Alternate Packaging Method – You can cut log cheese into one or two-ounce cubes, wrap them tightly and place them in a freezer bag. When you are ready to use in a recipe, simply take out the number that you need. Because the pieces are small, they will thaw quickly in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
  • Date It – Goat cheese, spreadable or traditional log should be kept in the freezer no longer than three months. If you have a large amount of leftover cheese, break it up into smaller portions to use for various recipes.
  • Freeze It –However, no longer than two or three months.
  • Thaw It – When you are ready to use the cheese, remove it from the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator 24 to 48 hours. Cheese logs tend to have a soft exterior and crumbly center after thawing. They can best be used after freezing to crumble over salads or use other recipes when chèvre cheese is called for.
  • Serve It – Chèvre cheese spreads and logs should be brought to room temperature before serving, whether fresh or frozen for the best flavor. When cooking with goat cheese, heat just until melted as it can become grainy and will separate if overheated.

For Your Next Meal

Can you freeze goat cheese? Yes, and then you can decide what recipes you are going to add it to; the next time you thaw a few ounces. Freezing foods can save you a lot of money, especially when purchasing costly items like chèvre cheese. Storing it properly will give you several meals from your purchase of this delightful cheese and add variety to your menu.

Dairy

Can You Freeze Mozzarella Cheese?

Can you freeze mozzarella cheese? Since mozzarella makes an outstanding topping people ask if they can purchase it in bulk amounts and freeze for later.

The answer to this question is yes and no. This is because a fresh handmade ball of mozzarella cheese does not freeze well. But a bag of store brand shredded mozzarella cheese does.

The reason behind that is that most store brand shredded mozzarella contain preservatives. Preservatives keep the cheese fresh. Fresh or shredded, this cheese is the perfect topping for baked tomato dishes, leafy green salads, fresh pasta and pizzas of all kinds.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t freeze fresh mozzarella balls because it will drastically change the texture and flavor of it. A mozzarella ball is always best fresh. That’s when it has the best flavor and texture.

Freezing shredded mozzarella cheese when you have too much on hand is perfectly okay. Shredded cheeses can, in fact, remain fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3-months safely. That’s how you should keep it to keep the texture and true flavor of mozzarella cheese. Below is a simple guide on how can you freeze mozzarella cheese:

How to Freeze Mozzarella Cheese?

Freezing Unopened Mozzarella Cheese

If you buy bulk bags of shredded mozzarella cheese and do not plan to use it all up at once, freezing is the way to go. Take some of those unopened bags, place them into freezer bags and store them in the freezer this way. This will prevent frostbite and the cheese from drastically changing in texture and flavor.

Freezing Leftover Mozzarella Cheese

However, if you have an open, you can place the leftover shredded cheese into freezer bags and store the cheese in the freezer safely for up to 2-months. With that being said, the shredded cheese you freeze must be from a freshly open bag.

Trying to freeze shredded cheese that is even a couple days old is risky. You do not want the overgrowth of bacteria to occur on the cheese before freezing it. If that’s the case, you might end up with food poisoning from eating it because it spoiled.

can you freeze mozzarella cheese

Image used under Creative Commons from Aka Hige

How to Defrost Frozen Mozzarella Cheese?

Here’s the best way to defrost mozzarella safely. Take a bag of the frozen shredded mozzarella from the freezer and place it into the refrigerator. It will need at least 8 to 12-hours to defrost.

Don’t try to defrost shredded cheese on the countertop, in a bowl of water or in the microwave. That will cause the cheese to mush, change in texture and in flavor.

Once the cheese has defrosted in the refrigerator it will be ready to sprinkle on or into any dish you plan to make. Best of all, the mozzarella cheese will still have its same gooey smoky flavor and texture that makes it so desirable good.

Summary

Who doesn’t love a mozzarella cheese? If you love cheese then it’s important to know the right way to preserve the product. Now that you know how can you freeze mozzarella cheese, there is no need to worry about the cheese spoilage as it nears its expiry date. Just stick the mozzarella cheese in the freezer and it will keep fresh for weeks.

 

Dairy

Can You Freeze Feta Cheese?

Can you freeze feta cheese for later? You can freeze feta cheese to help preserve it a bit longer than in the fridge if you know how to do it properly. This article will teach you how to do it.

Freezing should only be considered when you have a large quality of feta cheese that you cannot use up before the expiration date. Otherwise, it should remain the refrigerator where it will hold its true feta flavor along with its pleasant crumbly texture that makes it so delicious tasting.

Feta cheese stored in its brine can last in the refrigerator for up to 3-months, which should give you plenty of time to use it up before the expiration date.

However, feta cheese drained from its brine will only last a few weeks before it spoils and becomes mushy and sour tasting. If feta cheese becomes mushy and sour tasting, it should be tossed out to prevent food poisoning.

How to Freeze Feta Cheese?

The proper way to freeze feta cheese is to strain the brined water from it so you end up with just a block of feta cheese.

Next, you pat the cheese dry with a paper towel, place the block into a freezer bag, and store it away in the freezer. You should always use frozen feta cheese up within 3-months because the texture and flavor will change to a sourer flavor.

can you freeze feta cheese

Image used under Creative Commons from Rebecca Siegel

Can you Freeze Crumbled Feta Cheese?

Since crumbled feta cheese contains less water than soft feta cheese, it is ideal for freezing. That being said, how you pack the crumbled feta cheese will affect its quality and flavor once it’s been defrosted. Our advice is to use an airtight container or a double bag to pack the cheese.

Just make sure the crumbled feta cheese is as dry as possible before putting it into your desired container. Seal the container well then place it in a resealable plastic bag. The added layer will protect the cheese from frost. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer. The cheese should keep for at least 3 months in the freezer. Never re-freeze the leftovers.

How to Defrost Frozen Feta Cheese?

When it comes to thawing frozen feta cheese, do it slowly so the cheese won’t turn soggy or mushy. When you are ready to use your feta cheese, remove it from the freezer and allow it to defrost in the refrigerator for at least 12-hours.

Feta cheese previously frozen tastes best when you use it in burgers, sauces, casserole dishes and mixed in with warm pasta. This is because the feta will be slightly damper in texture than usual, which makes it difficult to crumble in large chunks over fresh Greek leafy green salads or other cool vegetable dishes.

In addition, it will not have the same rich cheesy flavor as fresh or refrigerator stored feta cheese.

Summary

Now that you know how can you freeze feta cheese properly, you can go ahead and do it if you have a large amount that will not be used up by the expiration date.

Of course, it is best too just keep your extra bit of feta cheese in the refrigerator so it remains in its true tasty form that tastes delightful crumbled over fresh leafy green salads, black olives dishes, Greek pizzas and all kinds of pasta dishes.

Heck, you can even enjoy this cheese, as is when it is fresh and not previously frozen. You might even find it delightful when it is at room temperature for spreading on crackers, toast, or biscuits. Still, if you left with no choice, it is better to freeze feta cheese than leaving it to spoil.

Dairy

Can You Freeze Blue Cheese?

Even though blue cheese isn’t one of dairy products that go bad after a few days, the question can you freeze blue cheese? shows up every so often. If you’re one of the people asking this question, freezing is a good way preserve it fresh for longer.

You could also take advantage of promotions and buy more cheese at cheaper prices. Furthermore, you can store a little more of it if you do not have time to go shopping in the next few days. But what about freezing, can you freeze blue cheese?

Blue cheese can freeze successfully if you plan to use it in cooking. Blue cheese has added flavors and bacteria that give it a characteristic flavor. Its versatility and flavor get better as it ages and gets laden with molds. Besides, it freezes quite well and you can use it anytime you need it.

Expect that there will be a little change in texture, and the cheese might crumble after it thaws. However, it remains safe to consume without requiring any additions. You shouldn’t use frozen blue cheese in dishes that depend on its flavor and texture. You can use in salad dressings, soups, sauces, and casseroles, though.

Different varieties of blue cheese

Image used under Creative Commons from Smabs Sputzer

How to Freeze Blue Cheese?

There are several ways that you can freeze blue cheese. Blue cheese can spend up to six months in the freezer and remain safe to use. Unfortunately, it slowly loses its flavor after about two months. Thus, use the cheese within two months of use for the best results.

Freezing Blue Cheese Slices

Start by removing the cheese from its original packaging. Make small slices of the block, each about a half a pound in size. Then wrap each slice tightly in a plastic freezer wrap. That helps avoid freezer burn and prevents it from taking other flavors in the freezer.

You can use frozen slices straight into sandwiches for work or school. They will be thawed by lunchtime. You also add these straight to bread to grill or broil the bread. You can also add it right from the freezer to other dishes as toppings, pie, and lasagna.

Freezing Blue Cheese Blocks

The second method involves freezing cheese small block rather than slices. You can freeze blue cheese in blocks of about half a kilogram. Take the blocks and wrap them in a moisture-proof, airtight plastic bag.

For better results, you may wrap it in an aluminum foil before putting it in an airtight wrap. You may place several wrapped blocks in a plastic container then cover it with a lid. This saves space and makes it more accessible by members of the family.

Freezing Grated or Shredded Blue Cheese

The third method involves grating or shredding the cheese blocks into pieces. You can do it using a hand grater or by placing the cheese in a food processor that has a shredding blade.

Pick a resealable bag and fill it with pieces of grated cheese. Leave some space near the seal of about half a centimeter. When the cheese freezes, it will cling together and to the bag, thus, if filled to the top, the seal may open. Also, you should press the bags flat gently to get rid of any air that might be trapped inside the bag.

How to Defrost Frozen Blue Cheese?

To thaw a piece of the blue cheese, remove it from the deep freezer and place overnight in the refrigerator. If you need to use the cheese on the same day, remove it from the freeze and thaw on the counter.

 

Barkham Blue Cheese

Image used under Creative Commons from Jessica Spengler

Please note that the slower the cheese thaws, the better the quality in the end. Once thawed, place it on a table at room temperature for about half an hour. In this period, it develops the flavor and texture. There will be some discoloration on the cheese and it might crumble on thawing. The texture and taste will also be slightly distorted.

Store any leftovers in the fridge and consume within two days. You should never refreeze thawed blue cheese. If the frozen cheese tastes rancid or emits an odd odor, please discard the cheese. Furthermore, if it has any not-natural mold, toss it out.

Summary

Blue cheese has a long shelf life but it’s great to know that you can extend its shelf life even more by freezing. After all, blue cheese isn’t cheap. Now that you know how can you freeze blue cheese, go ahead and freeze your leftovers for later use!

Dairy

Can You Freeze Parmesan Cheese?

Can you freeze parmesan cheese? Unless you often use Parmesan cheese, it can take few months to use up a small block. Because of that, you may consider freezing it to extend its shelf life. Here is a look at how you can freeze Parmesan cheese and what to expect when you do.

Although it is safe to freeze parmesan cheese, it is not typically a recommended method to store cheese. When cheese is in the freezer, the moisture within it freezes, forming tiny ice crystals. Because water expands when it freezes, these crystals create tiny holes throughout the cheese.

While too small to notice by the naked eye, these holes remain once the cheese is thawed. Its structural integrity is permanently altered. The smooth, creamy texture of the cheese becomes noticeably crumblier.

Parmesan cheese

Image used under Creative Commons from Alexandria Perone

Harder cheeses like Parmesan typically withstand the freezing process better than softer cheeses. The taste and color of the cheese should not be affected by freezing. While it will still make the cheese more crumbly, this textural change may not be a problem, depending on the intended use for the Parmesan.

Parmesan has a shelf life ranging from several months up to a year when kept wrapped loosely in wax paper in the refrigerator. It depends on the specific variation and age of the cheese. As Parmesan is an aged cheese, it is safe to consume as long as there is not mold on it. Placing Parmesan cheese in the freezer will extend the shelf life by several months.

Below is the guide on how can you freeze parmesan cheese:

How to Freeze Parmesan Cheese?

When deciding whether to freeze Parmesan cheese, first consider how often you use it in your cooking. Take a look at the size of your block.

If you use parmesan cheese semi-regularly and have a small block that you will use within the next few months, keep it in the fridge. Enjoy it fresh.

If you only use Parmesan sporadically or have purchased a large block that will last more than a few months, it may be best to freeze at least a part of it.

You will also want to consider how you intend to use the Parmesan cheese when deciding if it makes sense to freeze your block. The textural change that accompanies freezing should not be an issue if you melt a small portion of it. Dishes such as creamy sauces or pasta fillings.

It is not ideal to freeze the cheese if you plan on using it as an unmelted topping, such as in a Caesar salad.

You can freeze Parmesan cheese as a block or shredded. You do not want to thaw and refreeze the same block of cheese, cut the block into smaller portions before freezing.

If you are shredding the cheese, select the finest grate possible. It will withstand the freezing process best.

No matter which way you choose, you will want to put the Parmesan in an airtight container. It can be a plastic or glass dish with a lid or a plastic zip bag. Make sure to leave much head space.

How to Defrost Frozen Parmesan Cheese?

To thaw Parmesan cheese, move it over to the fridge and wait. You will want to do this at least 24 hours ahead of when you plan to use it. That makes sure it has plenty of time to thaw. Obviously, larger blocks will thaw longer than smaller chunks or shredded cheese.

If you have shredded the cheese and you plan to melt it, you can add it to your dish or sauce while it is still frozen. The process of cooking your meal will thaw the cheese and melt it.

Summary

Although freezing is not the most ideal method to store cheese, it works great in terms of preserving the integrity of the product. Now that you know how can you freeze parmesan cheese, you can avoid waste and keep the cheese in the freezer until you’re ready to use it.

 

Dairy

Can You Freeze Brie Cheese?

Can you freeze brie cheese? Soft, spreadable brie cheese can be an expensive treat, so finding it on sale might seem like a wonderful opportunity to stock up. However, like most soft cheese, brie doesn’t last for very long once you get it home. Most of the time, when you’re faced with losing food to time and expiration dates, freezing is the best route to take.

While freezing brie is possible, it no always a good idea. That’s because the thawing process can change the texture drastically. Want to learn more about when freezing brie cheese makes sense and how to do it?

Brie will freeze if you place it in the freezer. It will last, too, because anything that gets frozen properly will remain safe to eat. The quality of the frozen food, though, is quite another matter.

Brie is a soft cheese, a particular subtype of cheese that is more watery than hard and semi-soft cheeses. That’s why it’s so easy to spread brie on a cracker. That high water content affects freezing and thawing processes. They are going to change the smooth texture of the brie into something lumpier and more grainy.

When you freeze food, the water content of the food turns to ice, which expands. A tiny piece of ice isn’t going to expand that much, but if you have many tiny pieces of ice things change. The non-ice portions of the food are going to get pushed, pulled, and mashed by the expanding pieces of ice. Then, when you thaw the food, the ice melts, leaving tiny holes and taking away the moisture that made the food so appealing when it was still fresh.

Brie cheese

Image used under Creative Commons from Larry Hoffman

How to Freeze Brie?

You’re better off trying to moderate how much brie you buy and eat so that you can keep it fresh in the refrigerator. But if you do want to freeze it (maybe the sale was that good), try to cut it into smaller pieces or wedges and wrap each piece well. Try not to let extra air remain in the packages.

Cut and wrap brie right out of the refrigerator. Don’t do that after it’s been sitting out for a bit because the warmth of the room will make it softer. If it has been out, place it in the fridge for a couple of hours to let it firm up a little more.

After you’ve wrapped each piece that you intend to freeze, place them in sections of the freezer where nothing will fall on them. Try to use the packages within six months to prevent major freezer burn from setting in. Freezer burn doesn’t affect safety, but it does affect quality.

How to Defrost Frozen Brie?

Thaw frozen brie in the refrigerator — do not thaw it in the sink or on the counter. Give the brie a good day or so before you use it. If you can, use the thawed brie in a cooked dish such as baked brie or pizza — yes, there are brie pizzas!

Since cooking changes the texture of a food anyway, that will help cover up any side effects of freezing. Whether you add the brie to a cooked dish or try to use it as a “fresh” accompaniment to breads and fruit, use thawed brie as quickly as you can. Do not use it if you’ve thawed it more than two days ago. If that’s the case, discard it.

Summary 

Even if freezing isn’t an optimal storage method for brie, it is an option. Start off by freezing small amounts and experimenting. Build up your thawed-brie repertoire.

Now that you know how to freeze brie, you’ll save money and be able to eat brie more often. There are steps to take to freeze brie right but the extra effort is worth it because you won’t deal with wasted cheese.

DairyVegetables

Can You Freeze Potatoes?

Have you ever wondered “can you freeze potatoes?”. If so, and you don’t know the answer to this question yet, I’m here to help. There are quite a lot of things you might need to know about freezing potatoes and here I will provide you at the very least the most important ones. If you’re looking for a quick answer to the main question, it both yes and no. When it comes to freezing raw potatoes, that’s a bad idea, because they don’t freeze well, so that’s a “no”. When it comes to cooked potatoes, however, they freeze quite well, especially in certain forms and that’s why I said “yes”. If you would like to know more, read on.

Backyard potatoes
(credit: avlxyz)

Freezing cooked potatoes – mashed potatoes

If you’d like to freeze a lot of potatoes, mashing them and then freezing is probably the best idea. Many people freeze mashed potatoes with success, and I suggest you do the same. In fact, we have on Can You Freeze This an article on freezing mashed potatoes, check it out!.

Freezing cubed potatoes

First off, peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes (a typical 1” cube will suffice). Then cook those cubes in salted water just until they are tender (not as long as you typically cook potatoes). Once done, dry those cubes thoroughly. Now it’s time to take a cookie sheet and line it with aluminum foil (you can spray it with a non-stick cookie spray instead of using the foil) and put potato cubes on it, making sure they don’t touch one another. Then put the cookie sheet into the freezer until the cubes freeze solid. After that, you take out the pan, transfer the cubes into freezer bag (or bags if needed), label them properly and put into the freezer. You can reheat them in simmering water.

Freezing for french fried potatoes

If you’d like to make french fries from your potatoes in the future, this way is definitely most suitable for your needs. Like usual, you need to peel the potatoes and cut them into strips of your favorite size. Wash them in cold water and then dry. Now it’s time to ‘pre-fry’ those strips. Fry them in hot oil (but not as hot as it usually is when you’re frying potatoes) for a couple of minutes, so they’ll become tender but not brownish (ready to eat). Then you need to drain them (paper towels will be helpful) and let them cool. Once they’re cool, transfer them into freezer bags, squeeze all air out and seal those bags tightly. Label the bags and put them into the freezer, where they can be stored for a couple of months. When you’ll be ready to prepare french fries, you just need to transfer the frozen strips into deep oil and proceed as you always do.

Summary
As you can see, there are a few methods of freezing potatoes. I suggest you try out at least two of them and pick one that works best for your needs. Also, it’s quite possible that different methods will be suitable for different situations, so trying out all of them is a reasonable thing to do as well.

Dairy

Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese?

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 know 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. The 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.

Homemade ricotta cheese
(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. The 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 portion 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.

FAQs: Freeze Ricotta Cheese

Can you freeze ricotta cheese mixture?

Say you made more ricotta filling than you can handle, is it safe to freeze the ricotta mixture for later? Ricotta cheese is tricky to freeze on its own and certain add-ons could affect the texture and appearance of the cheese even more. For instance, freezing ricotta cheese filling for ravioli, pasta, cannoli or pastry may be trickier because some of the ingredients, like minced greens, eggs etc., may go bad faster than the cheese mixture. But as long as you are okay with the fact that the taste, appearance, and texture of the ricotta cheese mixture will be altered once it’s been frozen, you can certainly store the cheese mixture in the freezer to reduce waste.

We recommend using an airtight container when packing the cheese for freezing. An airtight container provides ample protection from frost and freezer burns. We also recommend dividing the ricotta cheese mixture into manageable portions so you can thaw the ricotta cheese mixture quickly. The quicker the ricotta cheese mixture thaws, the lower the risk of the mixture going bad.

Can you freeze unopened ricotta cheese?

Got unopened ricotta cheese that’s nearing its expiry date? You can save the cheese from going bad by freezing it. However, you have to transfer the product in a freezer-safe container first. The cheese’s original packaging may not provide the best protection from freezing temps, frost, and freezer burns.

To pack the unopened ricotta cheese, just spoon the cheese into an airtight container carefully. Do not overfill the container, leave about an inch or two of space. For extra protection, you can cover the container with cling wrap before sealing it with the airtight lid. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Can you freeze ricotta cheese with egg in it?

Eggs are tricky to freeze, more so when paired with ricotta cheese. That’s why we don’t recommend freezing ricotta cheese with egg because the risk of the cheese mixture going bad at some point is too great. If you must freeze the cheese mixture, do so at your own risk.

Summary
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.

Dairy

Can You Freeze Cheese?

Can you freeze cheese? There are many types of cheese, you can find it in a variety of flavors and textures. Some of them are pretty expensive. Because of that, you probably wonder whether stocking up on it on sale and freezing most of it actually makes sense. The answer to the main  question depends on how you plan to use the cheese and what kind of cheese is it. Of course you shouldn’t freeze cheese that is close to going bad. Let’s discuss this in detail.

Freezing cheese – what you need to know

As you probably expect, freezing affects cheese, no matter its flavor, texture or form. In general, freezing and thawing changes cheese’s texture – it becomes crumbly. Does the altered texture affect the taste and feel of the dish you’re preparing using the cheese? It depends on the dish itself. Usually crumbly cheese is fine as long as you use it in cooked dishes, like soups, casseroles or stews. Serving thawed cheese without treating it with heat isn’t a good idea, in most cases you won’t be satisfied with the results you’ll get.

There is another important fact about freezing cheese. The firmer the cheese, the less loss of texture and flavor after thawing. If you’re unsure whether freezing certain kind of cheese makes sense, I encourage you to freeze a small portion of it as a trial. If cheese’s taste and texture after freezing and thawing is fine, you can freely freeze it whenever you wish to.

 

Cheese
Image used under Creative Commons from Jeremy Noble

 

Freezing cheese – how to do it

Firstly, you should cut the cheese into portions. In most cases portions shouldn’t be larger than half pound (about 225 grams). While cutting the cheese bear in mind that each portion should be consumed within three days after thawing. You can grate the cheese if you wish to. If you plan to use the cheese grated after thawing, it’s good to grate it before freezing. Now it’s time to package the product and put it into the freezer for the long term.

You can wrap cheese in aluminum wrapping or put it inside a freezer bag (consider using a zipper-type one). You might even consider wrapping it twice. Remember to push out all air from the package, it’ll prevent freezer burn. Date and label the bag. Now it’s ready to be put in the freezer. To preserve best quality, keep it in the freezer for no longer than half a year. Cheese should be thawed in the refrigerator, you can do this overnight.

Summary

As you should know by now, cheese can be frozen, but it works best for firmer kinds of cheese, like Gouda, Cheddar, Camembert or Edam. Use thawed cheeses in recipes where they’ll be melted. Most frozen and thawed cheeses will taste fine if you’ll add them to cooked dishes like soups, sauces or casseroles. There are many different opinions when it comes to freezing cheeses. Because of that, try freezing a tiny portion of cheese (of kind that you want to freeze in large amount) and check out if you’re satisfied with the results you’ll get.