Cheese is that kitchen staple that takes a good recipe to a BOMB recipe! How much cheese is too much cheese? The limit does not exist! So if you've stocked up on your cheese supply, here is everything you need to know about freezing cheese of all shapes and sizes to make sure nothing goes to waste!
One of the crucial elements to shelf cooking is making sure you have basic staples on hand in your pantry, fridge and freezer. That's why we stock up when an item is on sale, buying one for now and two for later! Assuming your family isn't dairy free, one of the BEST staples to have on hand in cheese. What meal can't be instantly kicked up a notch with some cheese?!
First, you must know that cheese freezes amazingly! All the more reason to keep a good amount on hand for all of your future shelf cooking recipes. Of course we know that cheese is perishable, which is why you shouldn't be afraid to keep any excess in the FREEZER!
When freezing anything, it's important to combat freezer burn!
Freezer burn is caused by air, dehydration and water evaporation. Water that evaporates forms ice crystals in and on the food, which can change the flavor, color and texture of your food.
The MOST important thing to do: Provide an airtight, moisture-proof barrier between your food and whatever container it's in to prevent freezer burn.
FREEZING CHEESE IN BULK
Yes, you can freeze a block of cheese!
- You can store a block of cheese in its original packaging.
- However if it's already been opened, you can also store bulk blocks of cheese in tightly-wrapped plastic wrap or heavy-duty aluminum foil.
- Hard cheeses like Gouda, cheddar, and Swiss will last about six months in the freezer.
- Soft cheeses like Brie will last closer to one month.
- Cheese can become crumbly when it is thawed. To minimize that, thaw SLOWLY. Allow to thaw overnight or for a full 24 hours in the refrigerator.
FREEZING SLICED CHEESE
If you have lots of leftover pre-sliced cheese, you can freeze them too!
- Wrap the slices of cheese in moisture-proof wrapping like plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or freezer paper.
- Then, put your wrapped cheese slices in a freezer bag or container and seal well.
- The frozen cheese slices will last for up to six months.
- Cheese can become crumbly when thawed, especially if thawed very quickly. Allow 24 hours to thaw in the fridge before using.
FREEZING GRATED CHEESE
If you bought bags of shredded cheese or if you grated more for a recipe than you could use, I think you're going to know what I'm about to tell you – Freeze it!
- Place the grated or shredded cheese into a freezer bag.
- Sprinkle with a little bit of flour or cornstarch to keep the cheese from sticking together.
- It will last up to six months in the freezer.
- You can thaw at room temperature or in the fridge.
FREEZING CREAM CHEESE
- Leave cream cheese in the original foil packaging to last the longest.
- Opened cream cheese should be transferred to an airtight container before freezing.
- Frozen cream cheese will last up to two months.
- Cream cheese should be thawed in the refrigerator.
MORE “GRATE” CHEESE TIPS
If you plan a meal only to discover that your cheese is moldy or spoiled, you don't need to run to the store!
- We have a list of seven cheese substitutes, including a cashew sauce and hummus!
- Here's a separate post on four ways to replace cream cheese in any recipe.
- We're not done yet! We've got five ways to substitute ricotta cheese as well.
If you've got an ABUNDANCE of cheese (what a glorious problem to have!), we've got tons of recipes and ideas for you too! For all the cheese lovers like me out there…
- A Crowd-Pleasing Favorite: Crockpot Mac n' Cheese
- The BEST Grilled Cheese Hack
- Cheesecake Brownie Bites That You Need In Your Life
- Our Favorite Party Food: Crockpot Cheese Dip
- The Yummiest, Easiest Pimento Cheese Recipe You'll Ever Make
- Quick & Easy Italian Cream Cheese Chicken Recipe
- 7 Yummy Clever Mac N' Cheese Add-Ins
If you can't tell by now, we truly love cheese around here! And if you do too, make sure to try one of the recipes above and let us know what you think!