If you have a surplus of ricotta cheese, you might be wondering what to do with it.
Thankfully, the answer is simple: simply freeze it until you are ready to use it at a later date.
Whether you’ve taken advantage of a great sale at the supermarket or you make your own homemade ricotta cheese, the next step is deciding just what to do with it.
Ricotta cheese is one of those foods that you can easily freeze. You can freeze a half-used package, an unopened package, or even a ricotta mixture for later use.
Follow the easy-to-understand instructions and you can quickly cut down on food waste and save yourself from another trip to the supermarket.
How does freezing affect ricotta cheese
The texture is the main aspect that will change when you freeze ricotta cheese.
Once thawed, the cheese will separate a bit from the liquid, or whey.
It’s best to drain the whey for a thicker consistency.
This is easily done with either cheesecloth or even paper towels.
Freezing shouldn’t change the color of ricotta cheese. You can still expect a white color.
If your ricotta cheese turns yellow after freezing and thawing, this may be a sign it has gone bad.
Thankfully, frozen ricotta cheese tastes just the same as un-frozen ricotta cheese.
You can use thawed ricotta cheese in all the same recipes as freshly bought cheese.
Packaging ricotta cheese for freezing
Glass and plastic containers
You can use both glass and plastic containers to freeze ricotta cheese.
However, make sure your plastic container is indeed freezer-safe.
Simply place the ricotta cheese in your container but leave 1-inch of air space in case the cheese expands.
Close the lid and label and date the container. Store in the back part of your freezer for up to 3 months.
If you want to use a zip lock bag to freeze ricotta cheese, make sure it is a freezer bag.
Place the ricotta cheese inside and squeeze the bag to eliminate as much air as possible.
Seal the bag and then label and date it. Store in the back of your freezer for up to 3 months.
Plastic wrap is not recommended as it will not protect against freezer burn.
Air-tight containers, such as vacuum-sealed bags, are best for freezing ricotta cheese.
Place your ricotta cheese inside. Then, using a special vacuum machine, remove the air and seal it well.
Label and date your container and place it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Related Article: Can you freeze cheese? Learn their expiration dates and storage requirements.
How to freeze ricotta cheese
- Step 1 – Decide what freezer-safe container you want to use.
- Step 2 – Place the ricotta cheese in the container. Either leave a 1-inch gap for expansion in a container or remove the air in an air-tight vacuum-sealed bag.
- Step 3 – Close the container completely.
- Step 4 – Label and date the ricotta cheese.
- Step 5 – Place the ricotta cheese in the freezer. Store at the back, away from the door, to ensure the best results.
- Step 6 – Ricotta cheese will last up to 3 months in the freezer.
How to thaw ricotta cheese
The best way to thaw ricotta cheese is to place it in the fridge overnight.
A gradual thaw will keep the ricotta cheese in its ultimate state.
Furthermore, keeping ricotta cheese cool means it has less chance to be exposed to bacteria which can quickly spoil the cheese.
Once thawed, you may notice that the texture of the ricotta cheese has changed.
The cheese and the liquid, or whey will have started to separate.
You can use a paper towel to mop up the extra liquid.
Alternatively, you can place the ricotta cheese over cheesecloth and let it drain this way.
How to use frozen ricotta cheese
Once you thaw your frozen ricotta cheese, you can use it any way you want. However, the texture will change slightly.
If you are concerned about the texture, it’s best to use frozen ricotta cheese in baking, such as lasagna.
Other ways to freeze ricotta cheese
While most people freeze the leftover contents of ricotta cheese, you can also freeze un-opened packages.
This is great if ricotta cheese is on sale and you want to take advantage of it.
Simply place the unopened package in any freezer-safe container or bag.
Label and date and store for up to 3 months in the freezer.
**How about cakes with cheese? Check if you can freeze cheesecake in this guide here!!!**
How long does ricotta cheese last in the freezer?
For best results, you can store ricotta cheese in the freezer for up to 3 months.
However, if it is stored properly, it can last for longer, especially if placed in a deep freeze, or in the back of your freezer.
If you keep ricotta cheese for longer than 3 months in the freezer when you do thaw it pay special attention to see if it is still good.
Look for signs of freezer burn as well as any mold issues.
How can you tell if ricotta cheese has gone bad?
Good ricotta cheese is white and a bit grainy. If it turns a yellow color, it has gone bad.
You should also smell it and if it has a sour odor, his is another sign it has gone bad.
Finally, be on the lookout for mold. If you notice any black or green specks, this is a sign of mold and the ricotta cheese should not be used.
Can you freeze ricotta mixture for lasagna?
Most lasagna will have a ricotta layer. This is made with ricotta cheese, an egg, and sometimes parmesan cheese.
Together it creates a thicker layer that won’t ooze out when the lasagna is cut into.
You can make a ricotta mixture ahead of time and freeze it for up to 3 months.
The texture might change a bit, but after it is cooked, it will taste the same way you would expect.
If you are trying to tackle your food waste, freezing food is the best way to go about it.
For ricotta cheese, simply store in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
Once thawed, you can use it in a wide variety of recipes.