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Wondering if you can freeze cottage cheese? Here’s what to know about long term storage of this ingredient.

Can you freeze cottage cheese

Got too much cottage cheese and not sure what to do with it? Maybe you overbought at the store, or got it for a recipe and not sure how to use it up. While it might be tempting to pop it into freezer, think again! Here’s what to know about whether to freeze this fresh, soft cheese.

Can you freeze cottage cheese?

You can freeze cottage cheese, but it’s not always advisable. Why? Frozen cottage cheese has a grainy texture once it’s defrosted, though its flavor is preserved. This is because the water separates from the cheese curds and forms ice crystals when frozen. Cottage cheese has more water than a hard cheese like mozzarella or cheddar, making it less desirable to freeze.

Avoid freezing cottage cheese if you’re planning to eat it fresh. Appropriate uses for frozen cottage cheese? Use it in baked or cooked recipes like lasagna or cottage cheese pancakes. Otherwise, it’s not recommended for freezing: try to use it up fresh within a few days. See the recipes below for ideas!

How long does it last refrigerated?

Unopened cottage cheese can last 1 week past the “best used by” date on the package, but we recommend using it by the date on the package. Once it’s opened, you should use it within 2 weeks.

Can you freeze cottage cheese
Frozen cottage cheese has a grainy texture (see above), but its flavor is preserved.

How to freeze cottage cheese

Still want to freeze cottage cheese? Here’s how to do it:

  • If unopened, leave in the original packaging. Place the package in a resealable freezer safe plastic bag.
  • If the package is opened, prepare the cheese for freezing. Keep in mind you cannot re-freeze the cheese, so it’s helpful to have smaller sizes if you don’t plan to use it all at once. Divide the cheese into small sizes (like ½ cup servings) or freeze it all together. Place the cheese into a sealed freezable container that has as little air as possible. Or, wrap it in plastic wrap, then place it in a freezer safe plastic bag. 
  • Mark the “Use by” date. Use a permanent marker to label the cottage cheese with a “use by” date that is 2 months in the future. If using a plastic bag, partially seal the bag then use a straw to suck out all air from the bag.
  • Freeze. Place the cheese in the freezer and freeze for up to 3 months.

How to defrost cottage cheese

When defrosted from frozen, cottage cheese separates into liquid and cheese elements. Keep in mind the consistency of thawed cottage cheese has a grainier texture than the fresh version. Here’s how to thaw cottage cheese:

  • Place the cheese in the refrigerator 24 to 36 hours to defrost. Do not defrost cheese at room temperature because bacteria can grow.
  • Stir it. Once thawed, stir to integrate the liquid and solids. Use within 2 days.

Better ways to use cottage cheese

Want to use up cottage cheese fresh or cook it in a recipe instead of freezing it? Head to our Top 12 Cottage Cheese Recipes for ideas. Try these favorites:

can you freeze cottage cheese

More freezing methods

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

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Can you freeze cottage cheese

Can You Freeze Cottage Cheese?


Description

Wondering if you can freeze cottage cheese? Here’s what to know about long term storage of this ingredient.


Ingredients

  • Cottage cheese

Instructions

  1. Determine whether to freeze the cottage cheese. Frozen cottage cheese has a grainy texture once it’s defrosted. It’s best to avoid eating it plain or using it in recipes that call for fresh cottage cheese. Appropriate uses for frozen cottage cheese are in baked or cooked recipes like lasagna or pancakes.
  2. If the cottage cheese is unopened, leave it in the original packaging and place the package in a resealable freezer safe plastic bag. Or, you can freeze it in smaller quantities if you don’t think you’ll use it all at once: go to Step 3.
  3. Stir the cheese. Divide it into small sizes (like ½ cup servings) or freeze it all together. Keep in mind you cannot re-freeze the cheese, so it’s helpful to have smaller sizes if you don’t plan to use it all at once. Place the cheese into a sealed freezable container that will have as little air as possible, or wrap it in plastic wrap, then place it in in a freezer safe plastic bag.
  4. Use a permanent marker to label the cottage cheese with a “use by” date that is 2 months in the future. If using a plastic bag, partially seal the plastic bag, then use a straw to suck out all air from the bag.
  5. Place the cottage cheese in the freezer and freeze for up to 3 months for unopened cottage cheese or 2 months for opened cottage cheese. To defrost the cottage cheese, place it in the refrigerator 24 to 36 hours. Once thawed, stir it. Use within 2 days; do not re-freeze. Keep in mind it will have a grainier consistency than the original texture of the cheese.

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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