Goat cheese might not be a staple in every chef’s kitchen, but if you’ve ever tasted it before, it’s likely a staple in yours! This Mediterranean treat is often referred to as a chevre and is a great way to switch up your regular recipe rotation.
While goat cheese isn’t as common as regular types of cheese, new goat dairies are popping up all over the world – including in states like Wisconsin and Vermont – that have made goat cheese a fixture in many people’s kitchens.
If you have leftover goat cheese in the refrigerator, you might be wondering how long it lasts. Or perhaps, you’re wondering, “can you freeze goat cheese?”
The good news is that yes! You can absolutely freeze goat cheese. Doing so successfully comes down to knowing exactly what goat cheese is and how to freeze it properly for future use.
What Exactly is Goat Cheese?
As the name implies, goat cheese is simply cheese made out of goat milk instead of cow milk. Also known as chevre – which is the French word for goat – goat cheese is very similar to cow’s in that it has similar fat content.
However, goat cheese tends to be more tart in flavor than cow’s milk. This is because it has more medium-chain fatty acids, like caprylic and capric acid.
It’s been around for thousands of years and was probably on the scene even before cow’s milk! It’s made by letting raw milk curdle naturally before draining and pressing the curds. It softens when it’s exposed to heat but doesn’t melt as most cow cheeses do.
Some people like the taste of goat cheese to that of brie, another popular soft cheese, but really, it has a flavor and texture that is truly all it’s own!
Can You Freeze Goat Cheese?
You can freeze goat cheese regardless of whether you purchased it in the log or spreadable variety. Even goat cheese crumbles can be frozen. Freezing goat cheese is, in fact, a great way to stash it if you don’t have enough refrigerator space to keep it safe there.
In addition, storing goat cheese in the refrigerator for a lengthy period of time can lead to it becoming hard and chalky as it gets older. You won’t find that with frozen goat cheese.
Just make sure, as with all frozen foods, that you wrap the goat cheese properly and add both date and label, so that you are aware of what the contents are. Ideally, it should be used within the first few months of freezing for the best flavor.
There are several ways you can freeze cheese. Although any type of goat cheese can be frozen, some types may be a bit watery when they are thawed.
Log goat cheese tends to be drier than other forms of goat cheese, so when you thaw it, it may be a bit more crumbly than if you were serving it fresh. However, it will still taste delicious.
How To Wrap Goat Cheese Before Freezing
One way you can freeze goat cheese is by wrapping the log with plastic wrap. Then, put it in a freezer bag. Spreadable goat cheese can be frozen in the original container with no other repackaging required.
If you need to cut into your goat cheese log before freezing it, simply cut it into one- or two-ounce cubes. Wrap the cubes up tightly and put them in a freezer bag.
Just take out a few pieces at a time, which will be easier to handle than trying to thaw an entire goat cheese log. Plus, you shouldn’t refreeze goat cheese that has already been frozen and defrosted.
How To Thaw Goat Cheese
When you are ready to use your frozen goat cheese, simply remove it from the freezer and thaw it in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours.
Do not thaw your goat cheese on the counter. Not only is this unsafe, but it will cause your cheese to become soggy and poor-tasting, too.
Bring your goat cheese to temperature in the refrigerator, then let it sit at room temperature when you are ready to spread it, cook with it, or serve it.
What is the Shelf Life of Goat Cheese?
When stored in the freezer, goat cheese will last roughly three months. Of course, it will stay safe to eat long past this date, but you may find that goat cheese that has been frozen for longer than this period will begin to lose its palatable taste and texture. Try to use it within two to three months for the best results.
In the refrigerator, goat cheese will stay fresh for about two to three weeks. The more tightly you can keep the cheese wrapped and sealed, the better. At room temperature, goat cheese only lasts for about two hours – so make sure you don’t leave it exposed on the counter for too long.
How to Store Goat Cheese
For best results, goat cheese should be stored in the refrigerator. Start by wrapping the original packaging of your goat cheese in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. You can also wrap the goat cheese in wax paper and then cover it in plastic wrap before you put it in the refrigerator.
When stored properly, goat cheese will last up to two weeks in the refrigerator. If mold appears on the goat cheese, you need to throw it out. Similarly, goat cheese that is going bad will develop an off-smell and funny flavor.
Goat cheese stays fresh for up to three months in the freezer. It will likely be safe to eat after this date but will begin to lose its signature taste and texture at this point. Throw it out after six months, as the flavor will likely be dramatically impacted.
Goat cheese can be kept in the refrigerator for two to three weeks, or for up to six months in the freezer.
Goat cheese crumbles are no different from other types of goat cheese that can be frozen. Goat cheese crumbles tend to be harder than other types of goat cheese, so they’re perfect for freezing.
Again, you will want to use a freezer-safe container or a vacuum-sealed bag. Make sure the cheese is as dry as you can get it before you pack it up. Seal the container and make sure you label it with the contents and date.
Goat cheese isn’t the only cheese that can be frozen! Just about any hard and semi-hard cheese, including cow cheese like Swiss, cheddar, and blue cheese, can be frozen. However, hard cheeses may become more crumbly when you freeze them.
You can also freeze soft cheese, like mozzarella. You won’t notice much of a change in taste or texture.
Goat cheese balls – a holiday party-time favorite – can also be frozen. To freeze goat cheese balls, you will want to wrap them tightly in plastic and make sure you label them with the date they were frozen on.
If you’ve ever had goat cheese tarts, you know that these pastries are an absolutely wonderful addition to any brunch. You probably won’t have any leftovers, to begin with! However, if you do, know that you can freeze the tarts if you absolutely have to.
Freezing goat cheese tarts that were made in advance will yield the best results. You can skip the baking process until you are ready to serve your goat cheese tarts. You can also freeze store-bought goat cheese tarts or those that have already been cooked, but they might become a bit soggier during long term storage.
To freeze goat cheese tarts, pack unbaked tarts into an airtight, freezer-safe container. The container needs to be sealed properly before freezing, as the first can alter the texture. When you’re ready to serve your goat cheese tarts, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. Put them in the oven when they’ve thawed and bake them until they are golden brown.
Up Next: Can You Freeze Mozzarella Cheese?
*Photo by Zakharova/depositphotos