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Wondering whether you can freeze ricotta cheese? Here’s what to know if you’re considering storing this ingredient.

Can you freeze ricotta cheese

Did you buy too much ricotta cheese, or not sure how to use leftovers in the container you bought for lasagna? While you might want to toss it into freezer, there are a few things to know about the consistency of this Italian cheese once it’s frozen. Here’s what to know about whether to pop this creamy cheese into the deep freeze!

Can you freeze ricotta cheese?

You can freeze ricotta cheese, but it’s not always advisable. Why? Frozen ricotta cheese has a grainier 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. Avoid using frozen ricotta cheese in recipes that call for fresh ricotta.

Appropriate uses for frozen ricotta cheese? Use it in baked or cooked recipes like lasagna with ricotta, stuffed shells, and ricotta pancakes. If you’re not interested in using frozen ricotta cheese in these types of recipes, don’t freeze it. Keep reading for a few ways to use up ricotta cheese!

How long does it last refrigerated?

Unopened ricotta 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 5 to 7 days.

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

How to freeze ricotta cheese

Want to freeze this tasty cheese for next time you want to make lasagna? Let’s do it. Keep in mind that if the ricotta cheese is unopened, you can leave it in the original packaging and place the package in a resealable freezer safe plastic bag. However, you may want to freeze it in smaller quantities if you don’t think you’ll use it all at once. Here’s how to freeze ricotta cheese:

  • Prepare the cheese for freezing. 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. 
  • Mark the “Use by” date. Use a permanent marker to label the ricotta 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 2 months.
can you freeze ricotta cheese

How to defrost ricotta cheese

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

  • Place the cheese in the refrigerator 24 to 36 hours to defrost. Do not defrost cheese at room temperature because bacteria can grow.
  • Mix. Once thawed, place the cheese in a bowl and stir. Use within 2 days. Keep in mind it will have a grainier consistency than the original texture of the cheese.

Better ways to use ricotta cheese

Want to use up ricotta in a recipe instead of freezing it? Head to our Top 12 Ricotta Recipes for using up this fresh Italian cheese. Try these favorite ideas:

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 ricotta cheese

Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese?


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: N/A

Description

Wondering whether you can freeze ricotta cheese? Here’s what to know if you’re considering storing this ingredient.


Ingredients

  • Ricotta cheese

Instructions

  1. Determine whether to freeze the ricotta cheese. Frozen ricotta has a grainier texture once it’s defrosted. Avoid using it in recipes that call for fresh ricotta. Appropriate uses are in baked or cooked recipes like lasagna, stuffed shells, and pancakes.
  2. If the ricotta 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 ricotta 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.
  5. Place the ricotta cheese in the freezer and freeze for up to 2 months. To defrost the ricotta cheese, place it in the refrigerator 24 to 36 hours. Once thawed, stir. Use within 2 days. Keep in mind it will have a grainier consistency than the original texture of the cheese. 
  • Category: Frozen
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: Cheese
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: How to freeze ricotta 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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3 Comments

  1. Without mentioning my age, and need to say I’ve used the WWW for recipe searches, and your website is the FIRST ONE to answer both simple & complicated questions without hours of mind-numbing scrolling through ads I’d never glance at once. Enthusiastic home cook here eager to explore your knowledge & share it all!

    ‘Top ‘O The morning to Ya!
    Johnny…(stuck as a little girl, but I’m Johanna:)