No cheesemaker ever recommends freezing cheese because of business compulsions. We admit that the cheese texture can vary after freezing and defrosting, but that does not mean we cannot freeze cheese. So, if you search the internet about whether you can freeze ricotta cheese, you will get contrasting answers. Some say you can, whereas some are dead against freezing it.
So, what is the truth?
Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese?
We will not take sides in this argument but say that it is possible to freeze ricotta cheese if you follow the correct procedure. Of course, like many other kinds of cheese, you can find some liquid separation while freezing ricotta cheese, but that should not be a big deal. It does not alter its structure that much.
Let us see what the cheesemakers say about freezing ricotta cheese. Sargento, one of the largest ricotta cheesemakers states that you can freeze their ricotta cheese for two months, but freezing can affect the cheese texture.
What Can You Do If Some Liquid Separates From The Cheese When Frozen?
You have two options. One is to stir the cheese and mix the liquid back into the cheese. An alternative is to strain the liquid and retain the cheese. Either way, the ricotta cheese is good to use.
How Do You Freeze Ricotta Cheese?
Preparing the ricotta cheese for the freezing process is crucial, but the process does not consume much time.
- Strain the liquid and separate the cheese. You can use paper towels to remove excess moisture before freezing ricotta cheese.
- Though you can freeze the entire cheese block, we recommend cutting it into small pieces to facilitate convenient consumption.
- Freezer bags and airtight containers are the best suited for freezing ricotta cheese. However, it is better to use containers because washing them is easy. You might not be able to wash the freezer bags well. Fill the containers/freezer bags with ricotta cheese.
- Please keep some sticker labels handy to write down the ingredient’s name and freezing date. Then, stick it to the containers and freeze them.
A Quick Tip – If you feel like prolonging the shelf life of the frozen ricotta cheese, you can consider double wrapping. The best way is to pack the consumable portions in the resealable zip lock bags and store the bags in airtight containers for freezing.
How Long Can The Frozen Ricotta Cheese Last In The Freezer?
Though Sargento says ricotta cheese can remain fresh frozen for two months, our experience shows that it is possible to maintain frozen ricotta cheese fresh for nearly six months.
How Do You Defrost Frozen Ricotta Cheese?
You can defrost frozen ricotta cheese in multiple ways.
In The Refrigerator – The Recommended Way
The most straightforward method of defrosting frozen ricotta cheese is in the refrigerator. You can transfer the cheese packets to the fridge and place them in a bowl of lukewarm water. The temperature difference helps thaw the cheese naturally.
This process consumes around four to eight hours. Therefore, we suggest you start the defrosting process overnight if you wish to use the cheese the following morning.
While this procedure is the best recommended, it has drawbacks because you have to plan how to use the defrosted ricotta cheese.
On The Counter – If The Option Mentioned Above Is Not Possible
You can defrost the frozen ricotta cheese on the counter by placing it inside a bowl of lukewarm water. The water has to be changed frequently to expedite the process. Though this method is an alternative, we do not recommend it because it exposes the cheese to room temperature and can result in its degradation.
However, this process is quicker than the refrigerator method by nearly three to four hours. The entire process takes almost two to three hours. So, this method will not work if you need ricotta cheese immediately.
This defrosting method is the last resort if you cannot use the refrigerator mode. Under such circumstances, we recommend using the cheese immediately to minimize bacterial contamination.
How Do You Use Thawed Ricotta Cheese?
You can add thawed ricotta cheese to various foods like pasta, pizzas, cakes, baked goods, and pancakes.
Can You Refreeze Ricotta Cheese?
You should not refreeze ricotta cheese because it can damage its texture irrevocably.
How Do You Know That The Ricotta Cheese Has Gone Bad?
Generally, it is easy to determine whether the cheese has spoiled because the change in the texture and color would be noticeable.
- If you find the ricotta cheese turning yellow or orange, it is time to discard the cheese.
- Spoilt cheese can taste and smell sour.
- Mold formation is another sign of the ricotta cheese going rancid.
Is Expired Ricotta Cheese Equivalent To Spoiled Cheese?
Unopened cheese can remain edible for a couple of weeks past the expiry date mentioned on the packets. However, the taste might be slightly different. Nevertheless, you can consume them. Expired cheese does not necessarily translate to spoiled cheese.
Can You Fall Sick From Eating Expired Cheese?
You can consume expired cheese until it gets spoiled. Expired cheese does not taste as good as fresh cheese, but you do not fall sick on consuming them.
How Long Can Unopened Ricotta Cheese Last In The Fridge?
Unopened ricotta cheese can last for two weeks in the fridge. However, if you open the packet, you should consume it within a week. If you wish to store ricotta cheese for a more extended duration, you can freeze them.
Which Is The Best Option – Fresh Ricotta Cheese, Refrigerated Ricotta Cheese, Or Frozen Ricotta Cheese?
Fresh ricotta cheese is always the best option because refrigerating and freezing can cause slight textural changes. However, you can extend its shelf life.
Are Ice Cube Trays Suitable For Freezing Ricotta Cheese?
You can flash freeze ricotta cheese in ice cube trays. However, it is better to transfer the frozen cheese cubes to a ziplock bag and freeze them properly.
Ricotta cheese is always available in packets or tubs in quantities you cannot consume in a single dining session. Therefore, storing ricotta cheese is always an issue. Refrigerating ricotta cheese is a good option. Freezing ricotta cheese is best if you need to keep it for extended periods.
So, can you freeze ricotta cheese? We trust this question has been answered in detail.