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Can you freeze cheese? If you’ve got extra blocks, slices or shredded cheese on hand, here’s what to do!

Can you freeze cheese

Got extra cheese you’re not sure what to do with? If you’re eying the freezer, it could be a good bet! Freezing cheese can preserve it for months. However, there are certain types of cheese that work better than others. Here’s what to know about the process: and how to save that shredded mozzarella for your next pizza!

Can you freeze cheese?

Yes! The best types of cheese to freeze are hard cheeses like mozzarella, cheddar, Colby, gouda, Monterrey Jack, provolone, Swiss, and Havarti. These types of cheese have a crumbly texture after freezing but the flavor is preserved.

It is not recommended to freeze soft cheeses like Brie, cottage cheese, and ricotta. These types of cheese have more moisture which causes crystals to develop in the freezer, causing a grainy texture once they are thawed. However, they work in cooked dishes like lasagna and pancakes. Aged cheeses like Parmesan and Pecorino Romano are better stored in the refrigerator, where they keep for up to 6 months.

Here’s how to freeze hard cheeses:

  1. Place the cheese in a freezer-safe resealable plastic bag, or leave it in the original packaging if it is unopened.
  2. Label the cheese with the type and a “use by” date that is 3 months in the future.
  3. Partially seal the bag, then use a straw to suck out all air from the bag.
  4. Place the bag in the freezer and freeze for up to 3 months. To defrost the cheese, place it in the refrigerator for 12 hours until soft. Use the thawed cheese within 3 to 4 days. Do not re-freeze frozen cheese.

How long to freeze

Keep in mind this general rule: the fresher the cheese is before it’s frozen, the better! While you can technically freeze cheese for up to 6 months or longer, the texture does start to suffer. We recommend freezing cheese for no longer than 3 months.

Important: Keep in mind that the longer the cheese is frozen, the harder it is to melt. So the fresher the frozen cheese, the better! Per Healthline, mozzarella cheese that was frozen 4 weeks doesn’t melt as well as mozzarella cheese frozen 1 week.

can you freeze cheese

Can you freeze shredded cheese?

Yes! Shredded cheese is easy to freeze and can be used directly from the freezer since it will be heated immediately. Freeze the cheese in its original package if it’s unopened. If you’ve shredded the cheese yourself, place it in a resealable plastic bag and use a straw to suck out as much air from the package as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Remember, there’s no need to thaw shredded cheese! Use it right from the freezer onto your quesadilla or pizza. This is a great way to extend the life of an economy-sized bag of shredded mozzarella cheese (we know from experience!).

Can you freeze shredded cheese | can you freeze cheese slices

Can you freeze cheese slices?

Yes! Cheese slices are easy to freeze. Freeze the cheese in its original package if it’s unopened. For cheese slices that you’ve sliced yourself, place a piece of parchment paper between each slice.

Can you freeze mozzarella cheese?

Yes! Mozzarella cheese freezes well, and it’s especially easy to use shredded mozzarella cheese straight from the freezer without defrosting it. However, do not freeze fresh mozzarella: since it has more moisture, it undergoes texture changes. Go to How to Freeze Mozzarella.

Can you freeze cream cheese?

Yes, you can freeze cream cheese! It can have a grainy texture after storage, but depending on the length of storage it stirs back into a creamy, smooth texture. Go to How to Freeze Cream Cheese.

Can you freeze ricotta cheese? Cottage cheese?

Ricotta cheese and cream cheese have more moisture, so they develop ice crystals while freezing. This causes a grainy texture after the cheese is thawed. While it doesn’t affect the flavor, it’s not as pleasant to eat by the spoonful! Use it in cooked or baked dishes like lasagna or pancakes. Go to How to Freeze Ricotta Cheese or How to Freeze Cottage Cheese.

Types of cheese to freeze

The best cheese to freeze are hard cheeses. In general, freeze cheeses that you plan to use cooked, not serve on a cheese board! Reserve only the best freshest cheeses for that.

  • Best cheeses to freeze are hard cheeses like Mozzarella, cheddar, Colby, gouda, Monterrey Jack, provolone, Swiss, and Havarti.
  • Soft ripened cheeses like Brie and Camembert are best eaten fresh.
  • Blue cheese is best eaten fresh: freezing damages the molds that are essential to the ripening process.
  • Soft goat cheese (chevre) can be frozen without changing the flavor, but when thawed the outside of the log is mushy and the interior becomes crumbly. Don’t plan to serve it on a cheese plate, but it could potentially work in a goat cheese appetizer.
  • Cream cheese can be frozen without changing the flavor. Depending on the length of storage, there may not be texture changes.
  • Cottage cheese and ricotta cheese can be frozen if you’re planning to use them in a cooked dish like lasagna, stuffed shells, or pancakes. Freezing makes the curds and whey separate, which makes a mushy, undesirable texture for use without cooking.
  • Aged cheese like Parmesan and Pecorino Romano are better stored in the refrigerator, where they can last for 6 months.

More freezing methods

Want more tips on freezing? Here are a few more methods for preserving fresh food and reducing food waste:

Print
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How to Freeze Cheese


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: Varies

Description

Can you freeze cheese? If you’ve got extra blocks, slices or shredded cheese on hand, here’s what to do!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 block hard cheese, shredded cheese, or cheese slices (mozzarella, cheddar, Colby, gouda, Monterrey Jack, provolone, Swiss, Havarti)

Instructions

  1. Place the cheese in a freezer-safe resealable plastic bag, or leave it in the original packaging if it is unopened. For cheese slices that you’ve sliced yourself, place a piece of parchment paper between each slice (or use the papers in the original packaging).
  2. Use a permanent marker to label the cheese with the type and a “use by” date that is 3 months in the future.
  3. Partially seal the bag, then use a straw to suck out all air from the bag.
  4. Place the bag in the freezer and freeze for up to 3 months. To defrost the cheese, place it in the refrigerator for 12 hours until soft; however, there’s no need to defrost shredded cheese that you’ll be heating immediately. Use the thawed cheese within 3 to 4 days. Do not re-freeze frozen cheese. Keep in mind that longer a cheese is frozen, the harder it is to melt.
  • Category: Frozen
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: N/A

Keywords: can you freeze cheese, can you freeze shredded cheese, can you freeze sliced cheese

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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