The question that holds more importance than “Can you freeze cheese?” is “Should you freeze cheese?”
It’s safe to freeze cheese, but how do you think it’s going to taste once thawed? So the default stance on freezing something like cheese is, it’s not a good idea. However, this doesn’t apply to all kinds of cheese.
The thing about frozen cheese is that it contains ice crystals. Since water changes form when it freezes and thaws, the variation messes with the cheese’s molecular structure. This is why soft cheeses exude liquid that separates itself from the toughened, granular paste during the thawing process.
So in the article, what I’m going to do is discuss the different types of cheese and whether you can freeze them or not.
To give you a vague idea of what lies ahead here’s something helpful. Fresh cheeses tend to suffer the most during the freezing time. On the other hand, artisanal, hand-crafted cheeses have delicate, balanced flavors that should never be subjected to freezing.
Cheese that contains fissures or tiny pockets contributes to worsening the damage when frozen. So let’s find out the answer to “Can you freeze cheese?” by listing the types of cheese. Time to begin!
1. Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese?
Ricotta cheese is what you use for lasagna, and who doesn’t love lasagna! The majority of people purchase large quantities of ricotta. So the chances of some of it remaining unused are highly likely. In that case, you can refrigerate the cheese for up to two weeks. But if you want to store it for longer, then freezing is the safer option.
But it’s important to freeze ricotta cheese properly. Otherwise, the freshness of the delicious food item gets compromised. So let’s talk about how to freeze ricotta cheese correctly. Before I do that, here are a few things you should know about the cheese.
The term ricotta implies “cooked once again.” Did you know that? Ricotta is a by-product of cheese that looks like whey. It is a watery, foamy substance that forms as a result of the production of provolone and mozzarella cheese. This whey is gathered, cooked, and then drained until the paste turns creamy in texture.
Ricotta cheese and cottage cheese look almost similar in appearance. But the former has a more delicate consistency and calcium content. Ricotta melts pretty well, which is why it is a favorite ingredient in pasta served with meatballs.
In fact, ricotta cheese is also a part of recipes like cannelloni, manicotti, tortellini, and ravioli. Even desserts such as pies, tarts, muffins, cookies, and cheesecakes contain ricotta.
Now, here’s how to freeze ricotta cheese. Place the cheese wrapped in the package inside your freezer. If you’re planning on freezing it for over a month, then put the cheese inside any freezer bag and seal it properly. Don’t forget to remove the air from these bags before shutting them tight.
The optimal temperature for freezing ricotta cheese is zero degrees (F) or below.
2. Can You Freeze Feta Cheese?
Feta cheese is the famous Greek version of cheese. It has a salty, tangy taste with a grainy texture. The cheese is used to prepare Greek salads along with pizzas. Many people even add feta cheese to pies such as spanakopita or spinach pie.
In general, feta is a common type of cheese all across the world. And in Greece, it constitutes as more than half of the daily cheese consumption. In that context, the people of Greece don’t consume it all in one go.
They savor the flavor at a slow pace, which means an entire batch of feta cheese can take weeks or months to get over. So freezing the cheese at such times is necessary, right?
Feta cheese comes from either goat or sheep milk. The product has a protected reputation and trademark. It means that cheese produced in Greece and Macedonia can only enjoy the “Feta” label. So Norwegian Feta is not feta cheese but white cheese.
If you don’t freeze feta, it tends to become crumbly and dry as opposed to remaining soft and creamy. So even though the cheese tastes like heaven, many people consume it slowly. So in these situations, the best thing that you can do to relish it over time is to freeze the cheese.
There’s no health risk involved with freezing feta for a good span of time. It means that you don’t need to worry toxicity. The only disadvantage of freezing the cheese is that the storage chips away at the flavor and texture.
When you thaw feta cheese, it gives you a crumbly texture. And when that happens, you can’t use it for recipes other than those that require crumbled or heated cheese.
How to Store Feta? Greek Recipes
3. Can You Freeze Mozzarella Cheese?
This soft or semi-soft and delicious cheese has millions of fans. It’s the reason why pizzas are so darn delicious! Even crackers taste better with some melted cheese on them. No wonder many of us buy mozzarella cheese in bulk. So this gives rise to the question “Can you freeze cheese?”
Let me break this down into three parts. In the first section, I’m going to talk about mozzarella from buffalo or sheep milk. This is what we call fresh, classic mozzarella. It has the creamiest and purest texture all across the cheesy world.
So when deciding to freeze mozzarella cheese, you have to make peace with the fact that its character might change. During the thawing process, you will have to drain the extra liquid in the form of whey. And when you get rid of this, some of the flavors of the cheese also go along with it.
In the second section, let’s talk about shredded mozzarella. With this type of cheese, all you need to do is place it in a freezer bag. But please make sure that you squeeze out the air from the bag before sealing it shut. Otherwise, you won’t be able to prevent cheese damage or freezer burns.
The third topic of discussion is regarding mozzarella bricks. You can store there for as long as six months in your freezer. The loss of taste is not a problem, but the cheese might become crumbly quickly.
You can use frozen mozzarella bricks for pizzas, sauces, soups, and over veggies. Just make it a point to store the blocks in sizes you use for your recipes. The goal is to avoid refreezing the cheese. And the best way to thaw frozen mozzarella is to place it in the refrigerator overnight.
4. Can You Freeze Cream Cheese?
Cream cheese on sale is quite a temptation, isn’t it? So in that case, you should know how to freeze it. But can you freeze cream cheese? The answer is YES, fortunately.
But freezing the cheese changes its texture, making it less creamy and more crumbly. Frozen cream cheese is more suitable for baked or cooked dishes. And that’s because, in these recipes, you can’t make out the difference in the texture. So if you’re planning on sprucing up a cheesecake, then it’s safe to freeze cream cheese for that purpose.
You should know that an unopened batch of cream cheese can last for almost a whole month if stored correctly. And don’t hesitate to eliminate cheese that has mold, foul odor, or an unpleasant appearance. Let your senses do the job for you.
Now let’s find out the best method to freeze the cheese. If the batch of cream cheese is intact with the wrapping, you don’t need to add any more protection to prevent freezer burns. All you have to do is place the cheese in your freezer and use it as quickly as possible.
Make sure that you finish the batch within at least two months. Now, this sounds like a reasonable excuse to prepare cheesecake, doesn’t it?
I would also like to add that spoiled cream cheese in the freezer should not be kept that way. It’s best to throw it out and not consume it. Otherwise, it might cause health risks. Plus, new and fresh cream cheese is always better than old cheese.
For the process of thawing, just shift the frozen quantity to the fridge before using it.
5. Can You Freeze Goat Cheese?
Not everybody likes goat cheese. Many people find the taste to be too strong or salty. But those that savor the flavor should know how to freeze goat cheese.
You can use the cheese for all your meals, including snacks, lunch, dinner, and even breakfast. I’m a goat cheese lover myself, and I can’t tell you how much I enjoy indulging in it in every possible way.
There are times when I have plenty left over even after using a lot of the cheese for specific recipes. So freezing it is the best option. But the method of freezing is different for the soft and log version of goat cheese.
In the case of the former, it comes in glass or plastic containers. So you can use these for freezing. But feel free to wrap another layer of plastic around the package if you like.
Once the cheese is in the freezer, note down the following information.
- Date frozen
- Date purchased
- Best before
- Thaw date
This kind of goat cheese remains fresh for as long as three whole months. So consume it within the stipulated amount of time.
Now it’s time to talk about log goat cheese. Before freezing the entire log, divide it accordingly. After slicing the pieces, wrap them in plastic. But please make sure that you store them separately and that the plastic doesn’t have any holes in it.
Each plastic-wrapped batch of cheese goes into a sealable bag before entering the freezer. Don’t keep all the bags on top of one another. Make sure that there is enough space between them. Then note down the dates mentioned above for each storage bag.
The log version of goat cheese also remains fresh for three months when kept in the freezer properly.
6. Can You Freeze Brie Cheese?
Brie cheese comes from cow milk and it has a creamy, elegant texture. The name derives from the Brie region of France. The cheese has a pale yellow color with a white rind. And you’ll find it in the form of slices or wheels at the supermarket.
A single ounce of brie is about 100 calories. And the fat along with the protein content of the cheese is also pretty high. Brie has a versatile nature when it comes to cooking. You can use it for entrees, soups, sandwiches, and sauces. Even consuming it with crackers, bread, tomatoes, berries, and grapes is quite popular.
So if you’re wondering whether can you freeze cheese, especially brie cheese, the answer is YES. You need only two things for the process; aluminum foil and plastic wrap. These two layers are responsible for keeping the cheese fresh and intact when placed in the freezer.
It’s important that you wrap brie cheese with plastic first and then aluminum. This double protection goes a long way in preventing air from entering the package. In the end, don’t forget to add a label stating the date of purchase and storage.
To defrost the cheese, remove a portion of the whole batch. And this is when your refrigerator comes into the picture. Transfer the frozen brie cheese to the fridge and leave it there overnight. But more often than not, brie cheese takes at least 24 hours to defrost as it is more structured than the others.
Plus, slowly thawing Brie helps in retaining the creamy texture of the semi-soft cheese.
7. Can You Freeze Blue Cheese?
Ask any cheese connoisseur, and he or she will tell you what a delight blue cheese is despite its strong odor. But can you freeze cheese or in this case blue cheese? The answer isn’t a simple no or a yes. It depends on the kind of purpose you will be using it for after freezing the cheese.
To be honest, blue cheese can last for a whole year if you store it correctly. But this doesn’t mean that the texture won’t change during the freezing process. The cheese tends to become slightly crumbly and dry once you thaw it.
What does that tell you? It implies that frozen blue cheese is more suitable for recipes such as baked desserts, stuffed meats, cheese dips, casseroles, sauces, and soups. But this requires you to freeze the cheese properly.
And doing this involves more effort than just placing the cheese in your freezer. So the best way to go about it is to carefully stuff it into airtight bags or containers. If you don’t have these, then aluminum foil is a great alternative.
Such equipment maintains maximum freshness of the cheese. But the containers or bags in particular do an excellent job at preventing damage. And they also help in keeping the powerful odor of blue cheese from stinking up your freezer.
Blue cheese comes in hard varieties as well. In that case, you can grate the cheese before you store it. And if you’re planning on using the batch for toppings or sauce, then shredding and storing is the correct way to go.
Blue cheese can last for an entire year if placed like this in the freezer. But for best results, it’s advisable to consume it in about six months.
8. Can You Freeze Parmesan Cheese?
Consuming even a small-sized block of Parmesan cheese might take a few months. So keeping that in mind, freezing it is an excellent way of increasing the shelf life. But there is a reason why you shouldn’t go ahead with it.
When cheese is exposed to freezing temperatures, the formation of moisture is inevitable. And this moisture leads to the development of ice crystals. Since water has the tendency to expand during the freezing process, it creates holes in the cheese. Although these holes are too tiny for you to notice, they continue to exist even after you thaw the cheese.
What such a composition does is compromise the structural integrity of the cheese. And this makes the creamy, smooth texture crumbly in taste and appearance.
But parmesan is hard cheese, so it can withstand such a process. The chances of the cheese becoming brittle are high, but this doesn’t interfere with the taste.
So don’t think twice before placing parmesan cheese in the freezer. But do so by wrapping it with wax paper. In the refrigerator, it can last for several months, but in the freezer the shelf life extends to a whole year.
So how do you decide what is the best place to store parmesan cheese? Well, here’s how. If the cheese is in the form of a small-sized block, you know that it’s going to take a short span of time for you to consume the whole thing. So at such times, you can store the block in your refrigerator.
On the other hand, a large batch might take longer to finish. So you can keep that or at least a large part of the huge block in the freezer.
But here’s something you ought to know about freezing parmesan cheese. If your plan is to use it as a topping, like in the case of a recipe such as Caesar salad, you should avoid freezing.
9. Can You Freeze American Cheese?
There’s always some extra American cheese in our kitchen, isn’t it? Slices of American cheese have a shelf life that’s longer when compared to the many cheeses. It even has a stronger ability to resist the development of mold. And why do you think that is? It’s because American cheese is a processed product.
Due to the processing, the structure doesn’t break down soon. But how does one go about freezing American cheese? You should know that the majority of American cheese manufacturers advice against freezing. And that’s because the texture tends to change during the thawing process.
The cheese becomes mealy and crumbly. But something like this only happens when you don’t store the product correctly. And this stems from my personal experience. Cheese is my middle name, so I know what works best and what doesn’t.
In the case of American cheese slices, you need to eliminate the plastic wraps and place them in freezer bags. While doing this, please don’t forget to get rid of all the excessive air before sealing the bags shut. Then label each bag accordingly.
When you want to use this cheese, take out the required number of slices and thaw them in the fridge. You can even add them to the recipe directly. But don’t be under the impression that the cheese will have the same texture it did before the freezing process.
10. Can You Freeze Mascarpone Cheese?
Can you freeze cheese if it’s mascarpone? Well, you’ll be quite thrilled to know that you can. In fact, frozen mascarpone cheese is something that you can use to prepare all kinds of dishes. The cheese has a thick consistency. It’s Italian cheese with a mild, subtle flavor. And more often than not, mascarpone cheese is a part of desserts only.
Since the cheese has a rich creamy texture, it’s important to maintain that during the freezing process. You might not be able to enjoy the original consistency, but you can come close to it if you follow the instructions thoroughly.
First and foremost, stir the cheese to prevent any liquid from separating before the freezing begins. The second step is to scoop the cheese into a freezer bag or container. When using freezer bags, don’t place any heavy item on top of them during storage. Seal the bag or container in a tight manner after letting out the air.
Then you can date the batch as mascarpone cheese is good for only a few weeks or months. When you want to use this frozen batch, allow the cheese to thaw in the refrigerator. Keep it there for at least 12 hours for best results. Once you take it out from the fridge, transfer it to a bowl. Then use a hand beater or whisk to whip the texture back to its original state.
Before I move on to the next type of cheese, here’s something you need to know about mascarpone. The cheese has a high fat content. And freezing it causes all this fat to separate from the cheese. But the action of whipping the cheese during the thawing process helps in bringing back some of the original creaminess.
11. Can You Freeze String Cheese?
Can you freeze cheese that comes in the string form? Before I answer this question, let me tell you something important. The primary reason why certain kinds of cheese should not undergo the freezing process is because of their water content.
In that regard, string cheese has minimal liquid content. So you can freeze it for future purposes. The little water content that the cheese contains does an excellent job at maintaining the original consistency despite long-term storage. And such a benefit helps in keeping the cheese stringy even after thawing it. And that’s great news, isn’t it?
When freezing string cheese, don’t remove the original packaging. If you already have, then place it in freezer bags. And that’s about it. Then remove a single piece for every recipe.
But if you’re dealing with string cheese blocks, make sure that you wrap them carefully. You can slice the cheese into smaller pieces to make the process easier. This way removing a small, reasonably sized portion each time will be possible.
I would advise you to add double protection in the form of a plastic wrap. This eliminates the possibility of air coming in contact with the cheese. So you can expect no freezer burns during the freezing process.
Once you seal the bags and label them, it’s best to consume the cheese within two months.
Now let’s talk about the thawing procedure. All you need to do is transfer the required amount to the refrigerator and let it defrost overnight or for a few hours. Whatever you do, don’t thaw any type of cheese under room temperature. In fact, dairy products should be defrosted in the fridge to retain maximum moisture.
12. Can You Freeze Cottage Cheese?
Cottage cheese falls under the category of one of the most favorite dairy treats. The use of cottage cheese in recipes is also quite popular. Plus, if it’s on sale at your local supermarket, nothing’s going to stop you from buying the cheese in bulk. So what do you do when something like this happens?
Can you freeze cheese, especially cottage cheese? Surprisingly and fortunately, the answer is in the positive. Freezing dairy products is not a bad idea provided that you know how to go about the procedure.
But like the majority of cheeses, cottage cheese also loses its original texture and consistency after freezing. However, the nutritional value remains the same, and that’s the silver lining!
Cottage cheese is one of the very few kinds of cheese that also lose the original taste due to the freezing temperature. And that does sound like a deal-breaker, doesn’t it? Nevertheless, it’s always a better idea to store food when you can instead of throwing it out.
On a personal note, I have consumed frozen cottage cheese. And trust me, the taste feels alright. It depends on your personal preferences, to be honest. So the best thing to do is to freeze a small batch for a couple of days. At the end of which, you can try tasting the cheese to see if you like the flavor or not.
But please avoid eating thawed cheese all by itself. You need to add it to a cooked dish like a sauce or soup. And don’t forget that comparatively creamier and softer cottage cheese doesn’t offer the same advantages it did before the freezing process. So you can select another brand to achieve better results.
As is the case with the other types of cheese, this one too goes into an airtight bag or container. Seal the packaging in a tight manner. You can store cottage cheese for as long as two whole months.
But when using it, please don’t remove the entire batch for thawing. Use only what’s required for the recipe. In that case, you can store parts of the cheese in many small containers or bags.
As someone who has devoured cottage cheese even after freezing it, trust me when I say that you should consume the frozen batch within at least six months.
3 Quick Healthy COTTAGE CHEESE Recipes
13. Can You Freeze Cheesecake?
Cheesecake lovers leave no leftovers, am I right? But on rare occasions, when you have a small uneaten portion of cheesecake, what should you do? Here’s an idea, why not freeze it! You can put in the refrigerator as well if you think you or someone else might finish it soon. But for longer storage, the freezer is an ideal option.
There was a time when I prepared a delicious cheesecake a few days before my party. And where do you think I stored it until the day arrived? In the freezer!
So let me tell you what to do before you freeze such a cheesecake. Add the topping or frosting on the cake at the time of thawing. Freezing cheesecake that already has a layer of topping is not a brilliant idea. And that’s because freezing as well as defrosting tend to mess with the texture and flavor of that topping.
Now it’s time to find out how to freeze cheesecake prepared in the springform pan. The first step is to loosen the cake from the outer rim of the pan. You can then transfer the whole cheesecake onto a cardboard bottom (the ones that we use for cakes). This is the time to use plastic and aluminum foil to double wrap the dessert.
The wrapped delight is then placed inside the freezer bag, which goes into your freezer for long-term storage.
How to freeze sliced cheesecake is the next topic of discussion. All you need to do is wrap every single slice in aluminum foil before placing them into airtight containers. These prevent the cheesecake slices from getting crushed in the freezer.
14. Can You Freeze Cheese Dip?
Can you freeze cheese dip? Yes, the one that you enjoy so much with nachos!
Nachos and cheese dip are like two best buddies. One is always incomplete without the other, right? This means you end up making tons of it and have some left over. In that case, don’t worry because you can freeze cheese dip.
Dairy products do have a knack for changing in texture after going through the process of freezing and thawing. But that doesn’t interfere with the taste of the cheese dip as far as you know how to store it the right way.
Nevertheless, let me highlight a major problem that you might encounter with leftover cheese dip. The only issue is that the cheese dip contains bits and pieces of the nacho chips you submerged in it earlier. This increases the chances of the development and growth of bacteria.
But here’s a viable solution to the problem. With large batches, you can divide the whole thing into small serving portions. Such a practice minimizes the risks involved with contamination.
When you store cheese dip in the refrigerator, it remains fresh for at least four to six days. But in your freezer, the same cheesy treat can last for four to six MONTHS. So here’s how you should freeze cheese dip.
Once the prepared cheese dip has reached the natural temperature, divide it into serving portions. You can do so with the help of storage bags or containers. Fill them up till about an inch from the top before sealing. Then note down the date of storage and place the bags into the freezer.
As for defrosting it, move the cheese dip container from the freezer to the fridge. Let it defrost in there for about 12 hours before reheating it on low flame. And while heating, please make sure that you stir the dip frequently to prevent it from sticking to the pan.
And if you want to use the microwave, feel free to do that too. But don’t heat the cheese dip for more than 20 seconds on high setting.
So can you freeze cheese dip or parmesan cheese or string cheese or blue cheese? I hope I’ve provided enough information to answer all of these questions.
As a rule of thumb, just remember that freezing artisanal, fresh or soft cheese is not such a great idea. But that doesn’t make it a bad one. You can freeze cheese if you wish to melt, crumble, or grate it afterwards.
If you freeze cheese, you cannot use the same batch as in the case of sandwich cheese. Do keep that in mind.
I hope the article discussed all the common types of cheese that most of us consume all across the world. I tried to create informative and elaborate content. So I hope you found it useful.
Please drop in your comments and share your stories with us here. If you have any delicious cottage, brie, cream, mozzarella, or feta cheese recipes in mind, feel free to list them down in the comments section.
Thank you for reading, fellow cheese lovers!