If you’re anything like me, you should have asked yourself the question- “Can you freeze ricotta cheese?” I am bothered by this question whenever I have a large portion of ricotta cheese left from a recipe. To keep it longer, I was wondering if you can freeze it like any other natural foods.
Ricotta cheese can go bad easily if not stored well. You should know how to extend the life of your leftover ricotta so you don’t end up throwing them wastefully. To learn the answer to this important question, keep on reading.
What Is Ricotta Cheese?
Ricotta is a fresh cheese created from the cow’s whole or skim milk. It has a faintly sweet flavor and a smooth texture. As compared to cottage cheese, ricotta is smoother.
If you like to know how to make your own ricotta cheese at home, refer to this video.
The name ricotta literally means “cooked twice” in Latin. A good ricotta should be firm and composed of moist, fine granules. This creamy white cheese suits best in lasagna, ravioli, and cheesecakes.
So, Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese?
Like all natural cheeses, ricotta can be frozen to extend its shelf life. Although the taste won’t be affected, the texture becomes altered. Since ricotta is a soft cheese, its high moisture content becomes ice when you freeze it.
The developed ice frost tends to damage the structure of the ricotta. You can see the change of texture when you thaw it. With the division between the whey and curds, the cheese becomes drier and crumblier in texture.
You can try to salvage the ruined texture by stirring it with a large spoon. However, it will still leave an unpleasant texture. To mask its crumbly texture, use it as part of a dish and not as a main component of a recipe.
Freezing Ricotta Cheese
Most ricotta cheese sold in the market are packaged in a plastic container that can be suitable for freezing. If the package has not been opened, freeze it directly. However, if you’re dealing with leftovers, you can store the cheese in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Before you freeze the leftover ricotta, stir it with a spoon. This technique will freeze the cheese more evenly. You need to drain the cheese by pressing it down with a stack of paper towels.
To store in a freezer bag, wrap the cheese first in plastic wrap. It is best that you divide the cheese into small portions so you don’t have to defrost the whole cheese when needed. Before you seal it, press all the air out as much as possible.
If using an airtight plastic container, portion the ricotta cheese and pack separately with a plastic wrap. Place all the wrapped portions inside an airtight container of your choice.
According to Still Tasty, you should freeze your ricotta no longer than two months. To be aware of the expiration date, mark the container with the date of storage.
Thawing Frozen Ricotta Cheese
The best way to thaw your frozen ricotta cheese is in the refrigerator. Never thaw it on the counter because it can help bacteria to grow quickly.
You can stir the ricotta with a spoon to reconstruct the separated whey and curds before you use it in your desired recipes. After you have thawed the cheese, use it not more than two days. It’s not advisable to freeze it the second time.
Preparation Ideas For Your Thawed Ricotta Cheese
- Make a ricotta cheese mixture for lasagna by mixing ricotta with Parmesan, eggs, and seasonings. Layer the cheese mixture in the uncooked lasagna noodles and bake.
- Create the cheese mixture by combining ricotta with mozzarella, Parmesan, parsley, eggs, and seasonings in the recipe of [manicotti].
- Make your cannoli shells more exciting by creating a ricotta cream filling. Just whip the ricotta and add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, cinnamon oil, and chocolate pieces.
Freeze Your Ricotta Cheese Today!
Can you freeze ricotta cheese? Yes, if you don’t mind the grainy texture. To freeze your ricotta cheese properly, follow these easy steps.
- If the package is not yet opened, freeze the ricotta cheese directly into the freezer. If already opened, drain the excess liquid and portion the cheese for easy thawing.
- Wrap each portion in plastic and place in the freezer bag or airtight container.
- Label the container with the date of storage.
- Thaw in the refrigerator.
Have you tried freezing some ricotta cheese? Share with us your experiences in the comments section below. If you find this article helpful, share it with your friends and family.