Cottage cheese goes perfectly with various foods from fruit platter, combined with yogurt, spread on toast, or dipping sauce.
This creamy cheese is incredibly versatile to use and also low in calories. That’s why it is often used as a healthier substitute for traditional mayonnaise.
Whether having too much leftover or buying a few extra packs on sale, you might be asking: can you freeze cottage cheese?
Perhaps, you’re doubting since you’ve heard that soft cheeses—like cottage cheese—should not be frozen. Is freezing cottage cheese worth trying?
Well, we got you covered! In this article, you’ll find the answers to this heavily debated topic. So, keep reading!
Does Cottage Cheese Freeze Well?
Being able to freeze foods and being satisfied with the result are two different things. While a lot of foods freeze beautifully, it’s not the case for cottage cheese.
Cottage cheese and other soft cheeses (such as ricotta, brie, and camembert) don’t freeze well.
Freezing adversely affects their texture after thawing. Soft cheeses tend to lose their creaminess and become crumbly. Therefore, cottage cheese producers, such as Daisy Brand, do not recommend freezing their products.
On the other hand, this precaution shouldn’t stop you from freezing cottage cheese.
Although the frozen version won’t be as perfect as the fresh one, you can still use frozen cottage cheese for cooking. And that’s much better than letting this protein-packed cheese go to waste.
How To Freeze Cottage Cheese
Now that you know what to expect from freezing cottage cheese, follow these steps if you still want to give it a try! The steps only take a few minutes and are pretty similar to freezing ricotta.
- 1. Divide cottage cheese into portion size. If you know how you’re going to use the frozen cheese and how much you need, that’s great. Otherwise, consider packing it in smaller packs. They are easier to handle and save a lot of time during thawing.
- 2. Pack cottage cheese into a freezer-safe container or bag.
- 3. Seal the container tightly.
- 4. Add a label and a freezing date to help you navigate what’s in your freezer.
- 5. Transfer the package into the freezer.
A quick note, frozen foods should be continuously kept at 0 °F (−18 °C) or lower. Don’t forget to check your freezer’s temperature regularly.
How Do You Defrost Frozen Cottage Cheese?
You can safely defrost frozen cottage cheese in the refrigerator. Depending on the quantity, it may take a while. Use the thawed cheese immediately, or keep it in the fridge for a couple of days.
Sometimes, a recipe allows you to use the cheese while still frozen. But, you will need to adjust the cooking or baking time.
How Long Can You Refrigerate and Freeze Cottage Cheese?
Cottage cheese has a limited shelf life compared to hard cheeses. After opening, it stays fresh for only 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge.
Fortunately, freezing cottage cheese can prolong its shelf life up to one month. It may still be edible with possible changes in texture and taste when stored longer than one month.
Generally, freezing soft cheese is not recommended. Soft cheese tends to become crumbly when frozen. However, it should not be a problem if the cheese is used in cooking or baking.
Yes, you can freeze ricotta cheese similarly to freezing cottage cheese. Ricotta cheese tends to get crumbly after thawing. Therefore, it is best used for cooking or baking.
As a rule of thumb, soft cheeses such as cottage cheese, ricotta, and goat cheese should be kept refrigerated for safety reasons. Cottage cheese—opened or unopened—is perishable and will spoil quickly when left out at room temperature longer than 2 hours. (*)
Some general symptoms of cottage cheese going bad are easy to spot with your senses. These signs include an unpleasant smell, yellowish color, sour taste, and a pool of water on the surface.
Yes, cottage cheese quiche freezes pretty well. Prepare and bake quiche according to the instructions, cool rapidly, slice into individual portions, and wrap in an aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Pack the slices into a freezer-safe container, seal tightly, and freeze up to 2 to 3 months.
Freezing cottage cheese has its benefits and drawbacks. While the shelf life significantly improves, the texture will be adversely affected.
Frozen cottage cheese tends to become crumbly and loses its creaminess. But, it still works perfectly for cooking or baking.
To freeze this soft cheese, simply divide it into appropriate sizes, pack it into a freezer bag or container, seal tightly, label the pack, and transfer into the freezer. Easy peasy and takes no longer than five minutes.
*image by depositphotos/tycoon