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Wondering whether you can freeze cream cheese? Here’s what to know if you’re considering throwing a block into the freezer.

Can you freeze cream cheese

Got extra cream cheese blocks taking up space in your refrigerator? You might find it’s natural to toss it right into the freezer. But before you do, there are a few things to be aware of about the consistency of cream cheese when it’s frozen. Here’s what to know about whether you should freeze the creamy good stuff! (Spoiler alert: you’re better off avoiding the freezer, we think.)

Can you freeze cream cheese?

You can freeze cream cheese, but it’s not always advisable. Why? Frozen cream cheese has a crumbly texture once it’s defrosted. This is because the water separates from the cheese curds and forms ice crystals when frozen. However, stirring the cheese back together can re-integrate the texture, making it creamy again (depending on how long it has been frozen).

To be on the safe side, avoid using frozen cream cheese in cheesecake and anywhere where the silky texture of this cheese is key to the recipe. Appropriate uses for frozen cream cheese? Stir it back together and it works as a spread for a bagel! It’s best in recipes that don’t rely on its creamy texture, like a baked pound cake, a baked dip or casserole, or tortilla pinwheels.

How long does it last refrigerated?

Unopened cream cheese can last a few weeks 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 10 days.

How to freeze cream cheese

Even after these cautions, you’re up for the freezer option? (More power to you.) Here’s how to freeze cream cheese:

  • Prep the cheese for freezing. If the cream cheese is unopened, leave it in the original packaging. If it is opened, wrap it in the packaging wrapper, then place it in a freezer-safe resealable plastic bag.
  • Mark the “Use by” date. Use a permanent marker to label the cream cheese with a “use by” date that is 2 months in the future for unopened cheese and 2 weeks in the future for opened cheese.
  • Remove air from the packaging. 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 2 months (unopened) or 2 weeks (opened).
Can you freeze cream cheese
Frozen cream cheese has a crumbly texture when thawed; use a spoon to stir it back together.

How to defrost cream cheese

Here’s the important part about freezing cream cheese: how to defrost it! You’ll find that when defrosted, cream cheese separates into liquid and cheese elements. Here’s how to re-integrate the texture:

  • Place the cheese in the refrigerator for 24 hours to defrost.
  • Mix. Use a spoon to mix the cream cheese back into an integrated, creamy consistency. (This should work, unless the cream cheese has been frozen a very long time.)

More ways to use cream cheese

Here’s a better idea than the freezer, in our opinion: use up cream cheese in recipes! Head to our top 20 Cream Cheese Recipes for using up this creamy ingredient. Some favorite ideas? Try Taco Dip, Easy Pinwheels, Easy Cream Cheese Glaze, Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes, and more!

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 cream cheese

How to Freeze Cream Cheese


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: N/A

Description

Wondering whether you can freeze cream cheese? Here’s what to know if you’re considering throwing a block into the freezer.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 package cream cheese

Instructions

  1. Determine whether to freeze the cream cheese. Frozen cream cheese has a grainy texture once it’s defrosted, but you should be able to stir it back into an integrated texture. Avoid using frozen cream cheese in cheesecake or anywhere where the creamy texture is key to the recipe.
  2. If the cream cheese is unopened, leave it in the original packaging. If it is opened, wrap it in it’s packaging wrapper, then place it in a freezer-safe resealable plastic bag. 
  3. Use a permanent marker to label the cream cheese with a “use by” date that is 2 months in the future for unopened cheese and 2 weeks in the future for opened cheese.
  4. If using a plastic bag, partially seal the bag, then use a straw to suck out all air from the bag.
  5. Place the cheese in the freezer and freeze for up to 2 months (unopened) or 2 weeks (opened). 
  6. To defrost, place the cheese in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Then place it in a bowl and use a spoon to mix the cream cheese back into an integrated consistency. 
  • Category: Frozen
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: Cheese
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Can you freeze cream 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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