All You Need to Know About Freezing Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta cheese is a delicious, slightly sweet, type of cheese that’s used in a wide variety of dishes, both salty and sweet.
Though the term “cheese” is right there in the name, ricotta is actually a cheese by-product that comes from the whey leftover from other cheeses, such as mozzarella and provolone.
Because of this, ricotta has a soft and creamy texture that’s perfect for melting in pasta dishes or for solidifying in desserts, such as cheesecakes and pies.
Ricotta is also a fantastic spread and it’s used as such on several other dishes.
While there are plenty of recipes for homemade ricotta, most of them quite easy to follow, this cheese is readily available in most supermarkets at a relatively low price, so you won’t have any trouble finding this cheese.
Finishing it, though?
That’s a whole other story.
Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta cheese is often sold in by the tub.
While you might be able to find it in small, 6oz containers, presentations 15 oz and up are far more common. That or ricotta salata, which is a type of ricotta that’s been salted and pressed into a block.
The later, as you can imagine, is almost always sold by the block. If you want to learn how to make ricotta cheese at home, see below video:
Since ricotta is sold in such large quantities, most people will have a hard time going through the whole tub before the cheese goes bad.
Sure, ricotta cheese is quite versatile and can be used in many different foods but it still lasts only around a week, maybe 10 days, so if you buy it you have two options:
Either you eat it fast or you freeze it.
How To Freeze Ricotta Cheese
The first thing you need to know about freezing ricotta cheese is that, while it’s perfectly safe to do it, the texture of your cheese will never be the same once it’s thawed.
Once you come to terms with that fact, you can go ahead and freeze it.
Step 1. Plan in Advance
Decide whether you’re going to eat your ricotta cheese all at once or you’re going to use it in different recipes.
This is a very important decision, as once you freeze and thaw your cheese you won’t be able to freeze it again.
Step 2. Freezing Your Ricotta Cheese
Once you’ve decided what you’re going to do with your cheese, it’s time to freeze it.
- Freezing The Whole Thing:
- Make sure it’s still fresh, as ricotta cheese that’s nearing its expiration date or that has already expired won’t keep.
- If you’re freezing an unopened container, place it in a freezer safe bag and stick it in the freezer.
- If you’re freezing leftover cheese, take it out of the original container and place it either in a smaller container or in a freezer bag. Then stick that container or freezer bag in another freezer bag, making sure to carefully remove all air before closing the bags.
- Freezing Portions:
If you’re planning on cooking specific recipes, freezing your ricotta in portions is the best thing you can do.
– Pre-measure the cheese you’ll need for each recipe you’ll cook and separate your cheese in portions.
– Place each portion in freezer safe bags and seal tightly, squeezing out all the air.
– Place each bag in another freezer safe bag to minimize the risks of freezer burn.
Write on each bag the name of the recipe you’re planning to cook, to make things easier for yourself.
Things to Keep in Mind When Freezing Ricotta Cheese
The following are things you can do to maximize the amount of time your ricotta cheese can stay in the freezer:
- Remove all whey before freezing it. If you see any liquid in the container or plastic bags, remove it.
- Make sure your freezer stays at zero degrees or below at all times.
- Ricotta cheese can keep for around three months while in the freezer, so consume it before that.
How To Thaw Ricotta Cheese
- Remove the cheese from the freezer and place it in the fridge. Remember, you’ll only get to do this once so only pull out the amount of cheese you’ll need.
- Thawing will take at least 24 hours, so plan accordingly.
- Once the cheese has thawed, you’ll notice that the cheese and the liquid have separated. Stir them with a mixer or a spoon until they’ve integrated.
- If the cheese is still too watery, drain before serving.
- If after thawing you notice that your cheese has turned yellow or smells bad, discard immediately.
- Related: Top 5 Best Cheese Slicers
As you can see, freezing ricotta is not only possible but is also a fairly straightforward process that you can easily do at home.
As long as you follow some very basic rules when freezing and thawing, you should be able to freeze your cheese safely.
If you found this article useful or if you know a better way of freezing ricotta cheese, leave a comment.
Thank you for reading!
- Check here to know more about freezing cottage cheese