Can ricotta cheese be frozen?
Technically, you can freeze anything, right? So the real question is – Can you freeze ricotta cheese and have the frozen ricotta still be delicious when you thaw it out.
The answer is yes. But how delicious it tastes depends on the type of ricotta cheese, how it’s stored, and how it’s thawed.
If you’re using store-bought, then yes, it’s a no-brainer and super easy!
Ricotta is usually created with an acid coagulant that helps give it its soft texture and creamy appearance, but it’s also commonly made with rennet which does not freeze well. When freezing ricotta cheese made with rennet, it separates into curds and excess whey when you thaw it.
However, store-bought ricotta cheese freezes well because it uses additional additives and preservatives.
If you’re using homemade, yes, you can still freeze it but you have to be more careful!
Homemade ricotta cheese is more delicate than store-bought because it doesn’t use any additives or fillers to make the cheese hold together better. Homemade ricotta is best used within 1-2 days.
If you’re making your own ricotta cheese, it’s best to eat that batch immediately or freeze it in small servings for later use.
If you’ve made a big batch of homemade ricotta cheese and don’t intend to eat it all right away, the best way to store large quantities of leftover ricotta cheese is to freeze it in cubes or small portions, making sure to mark down how many tablespoons are in each cube.
If you have some leftover ricotta cheese that’s already been frozen, don’t worry! Freeze ricotta cheese to your heart’s content.
You can still use it for most recipes without any negative effects. Just thaw the ricotta out before using it in your recipe.
Why do you need to freeze Ricotta cheese?
Don’t let your leftover ricotta cheese go to waste!
Just remember to freeze in small portions so you can thaw and use later without altering the texture too much.
If it’s store-bought – then you can freeze ricotta cheese as a whole. Store-bought ricotta will contain additives and preservatives that will allow it to freeze and then under defrosting better.
Basically, thawed ricotta cheese is totally delicious if its store-bought.
If you’re thawing frozen ricotta cheese and it’s homemade, it might not have the same texture.
What happens when freezing ricotta cheese?
When freezing ricotta cheese, its texture changes and the cheese dries out a little more and becomes a bit crunchy.
The whey turns to ice and separates from the curd, causing excess liquid.
When you freeze ricotta cheese, make sure to store it in a plastic wrap, an airtight container, or a special freezer bag, that will help preserve freshness.
However, defrosted ricotta cheese will still not have the smooth texture that the fresh cheese once had, no matter how many airtight containers you use.
Thawed ricotta can still be used for a variety of cooked dishes such as lasagna, pasta fillings, cannoli filling, and anything else. And you probably won’t taste a difference if it’s used in small amounts.
What is Ricotta cheese?
Ricotta cheese is a fresh cheese made from the whey of cow’s milk. It can also be found in sheep and goat’s milk varieties, although they are not as common.
To make ricotta, fresh whey is heated to remove any excess liquid and then left to curdle. The resulting cheese lacks complex flavor but is very mild and easy to use in recipes.
After the whey has been removed, milk or cream can be added back into the cheese mixture to make a more flavorful ricotta. This is commonly done when using cow’s milk ricotta so it isn’t as bland.
Both the wet and dry forms of ricotta cheese are ideal for different dishes and cooking methods.
If you’re making homemade ricotta, you can use a variety of containers lined with cheesecloth to strain the whey from the curdled milk. You can also purchase cheese presses or ricotta makers that will do most of the hard work for you.
How do I freeze Ricotta cheese?
You can freeze ricotta cheese in a variety of ways but it depends on the type of cheese that you’re looking to freeze. Not because freezing will be different, but because thawing ricotta cheese can be different.
No matter what kind of ricotta cheese you’re freezing, it should last for up to two months in the freezer, maybe more if it’s in freezer bags or an airtight plastic container.
Freezing Fresh Ricotta Cheese
If you’re making your own ricotta, the best way to store large quantities is by freezing it in cubes or small portions.
Freezing Store-Bought Ricotta Cheese
If you find yourself with an abundance of ricotta cheese that you bought at a store, you can freeze it as a whole using an airtight container or plastic wrap.
Freezing Ricotta Cheese
Whether store-bought or homemade, to make sure your ricotta doesn’t go bad once it’s been thawed, be sure to use an airtight container and label the number of servings versus the amount of ricotta.
How do I defrost Ricotta Cheese?
Thaw ricotta cheese on the counter
If you want to thaw frozen ricotta cheese at room temperature, my recommendation is to NOT do it!
Although it might defrost in just a few hours, the consistency will break down resulting in a lot of excess liquid.
In addition to that, when you mix cheese and liquid at room temperature, you get unwanted bacteria.
Even if it looks fine and smells fine, enough bacteria might have built up to ruin your day if you eat it.
Thaw ricotta cheese in the fridge
The best and safest way to defrost your ricotta cheese is in the refrigerator.
If you want to thaw it overnight, follow these steps.
1. Place the ricotta cheese mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours or until it’s fully defrosted.
2. Once your ricotta has defrosted, be sure to mix in any excess liquid that was produced during the thawing process.
Thaw ricotta cheese in the microwave
This is a quick and easy way to thaw frozen ricotta cheese but should be done with caution.
Overdoing this even a little bit will cause your frozen cheese to cook!
Make sure to do this with only a small portion at a time.
1. Place the frozen cheese in the microwave and heat it for 15-30 seconds until you can break it apart easily with a fork.
2. Stir the cheese and repeat steps 1 and 2 until the ricotta is fully defrosted.
Only thaw a small portion of your ricotta at a time. When you’re done thawing it, be sure to cook or use the ricotta immediately.
How to keep ricotta cheese fresh
Ricotta is a versatile cheese with a faintly sweet flavor and a smooth consistency.
The best way to keep this cheese fresh is to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
It should be perfectly fine for 2-3 weeks.
Wrapping Up – Can you freeze ricotta cheese?
Yes! You can freeze ricotta cheese in different forms (whole, in cubes, etc) and use plastic wrap, freezer bags, or an airtight container when possible.
Just remember that when you’re thawing it, you might want to do it in the refrigerator.
Also ensure that when you’re done thawing ricotta cheese, it’s immediately used or stored in an airtight container.
Have fun and let us know how your ricotta cheese turned out!