Cooking TipsFreezingCan you freeze Ricotta Cheese?

Can you freeze Ricotta Cheese?

Ricotta cheese is one of the more popular and accessible cheeses in the world. It is a favorite to many baked goods, casserole dishes, salads, and many more. But there have been a lot of questions about storing and properly using ricotta. One of the FAQs about ricotta is can you freeze it? 

In this post, you will know some major things about when or when not to freeze ricotta cheese so read on. 

Can you freeze Ricotta Cheese?

So let us dive straight to the question in focus here. Can you freeze ricotta cheese? Yes, but it is not always an ideal option. Frozen ricotta can only be used in some specific dishes.

This cheese is known for its high moisture content. When it is frozen, the water in it will become ice and after it is thawed, the consistency and texture will change (it becomes crumbly and dry).

How to Freeze Ricotta Cheese

If we are dealing with an unopened ricotta cheese, you can just toss it into the fridge until you will need it. So for the question how to freeze a ricotta cheese, it is more important that you learn the hows of freezing an opened ricotta cheese. 

  • Prep time: 10mins
  • Active time: 10hrs and 10mins
  • Materials:
  • Spoon
  • Paper towels
  • Ice cube tray, glass jars/freezer-friendly plastic bags

Tools

  • Fridge

Instructions 

  1. First, you have to stir the ricotta cheese using a spoon. This way, faster freezing can be achieved. 
  2. Next, prepare paper towels. Gently press down the ricotta cheese in the paper towels and drain. 
  3. Third, choose if you will use an airtight container or ice cube trays. If you want to freeze the cheese as one whole portion, use freeze-friendly plastic bags. If you want easier thawing for later, use ice cube trays. 
  4. Put the cheese in the freezer for 8-10hrs (but you can freeze it up to 2months). If you end up using a bag, be sure that all excess air is out first. Mark it with the date. 

How to Thaw Ricotta Cheese

The best way to thaw ricotta cheese is by transferring it to the fridge, leaving it there to soften at six hours max. Going beyond six hours will affect the texture and taste of the ricotta.

Thawing it in the fridge is also the safest way to do it because room temperature exposes the cheese to potential bacteria contamination. 

But there are other ways to thaw ricotta cheese: 

  • Using lukewarm water: By principle, water thaws faster than air so if you want a faster way to thaw ricotta cheese, dip the cheese container or the freezer plastic bag in lukewarm water. This will take you at least an hour or two. Make sure that the container is super sealed why you do this. 
  • Dropping it frozen: If you want the fastest way to thaw ricotta cheese, just drop it in the dish to be cooked and let it crumble there. However, this only works for ricotta cheese that is used in cooked or baked dishes. 

How to use frozen Ricotta Cheese

After you thaw the frozen ricotta cheese, you have to stir it up with a spoon before using it. This way, you are giving the frozen cheese a good consistency and texture.

Frozen ricotta cheese is best used with lasagna or any other hot dishes where it could melt. Some of the best dishes to use frozen ricotta cheese with would be: pancakes, pound cakes, cookies, calzones, pizzas, stuffed pasta and casseroles.  

Just a word of caution, refrozen ricotta cheese can only last up to three days. This is the reason why as much as possible, just buy the amount that you need or freeze it up in batches using ice cube trays or sealed containers. 

Freezing Ricotta cheese – FAQs

The previous sections outlined for us the dos and don’ts of freezing ricotta cheese but there is more to it. As such, here is a roundup of some of the FAQs about frozen ricotta cheese that will surely come handy when you use it. 

What is ricotta cheese?

Ricotta cheese is Italian and the name ricotta roughly translates to recooked. It is considered as a whey cheese, traditionally made with cow, sheep, goat or water buffalo’s milk (of course commercialized ricotta are made of cow’s milk). One thing that we have to know about ricotta is that it is made with the tiniest bit curd in the whey. 

The leftover whey curd is then heated with whole milk, vinegar and other citrus fruits (mostly lemon). Once the curd becomes solid and large, it will be transferred in a cheesecloth to be strained. From there, you will have your ricotta cheese. 

Nowadays, commercialized ricotta cheese is made with whole milk instead of whey. Hard cheeses take more time to perish. But since ricotta cheese has more moisture content, it is more perishable than others and as such, has become a favorite for salads, casseroles, and baked goods. 

Related: 26 Substitutes for Ricotta Cheese

Can you freeze ricotta cheese for lasagna?

Yes, but there is just one drawback especially if you are cooking a large batch of lasagna. As we have mentioned, ricotta cheese has high moisture content.

So to avoid a nasty looking, crumbly ricotta in between layers of lasagna, you need to stir the frozen ricotta cheese well. And by stirring well, we mean in between layers. 

Can you freeze ricotta cheese with egg in it? 

As weird as it may sound, the answer is yes. As a matter of fact, the egg can act as a binding agent for the ricotta cheese. As such, you would find that it is easier to stir it even after it is left in the freezer. You should not freeze ricotta with cheese for 2months, however. 

What can you do with leftover ricotta?

Flushed with what to do with leftover ricotta? Here are some of the best dishes that you can whip up with that leftover ricotta: 

How long does ricotta cheese last in the refrigerator?

At maximum, you can freeze ricotta cheese for as long as two months. Having it in the freezer beyond this time is not advisable. Although it will not expire by that time, there will be significant changes to the texture as well as taste.

Fat oxidation can be faster once it is taken out in the fridge for that long and it could have a negative effect on the taste of the ricotta cheese. 

Related: Can You Freeze Cream Cheese?

Conclusion

To roundup, ricotta cheese is a whey cheese with high moisture content. Because it is versatile to use for many dishes, from baked to cooked to fresh salads, buying it by the bulk might be done. However, because it is also more perishable than other cheeses, it might be hard to store. 

As an intervention, you can freeze ricotta cheese. But for you to ensure that it will not come out dry, crumbly, and with bad taste, follow the best freezing and thawing tips for your ricotta cheese.

How to freeze Ricotta Cheese

How to freeze Ricotta Cheese

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 10 hours 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 hours 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

If we are dealing with an unopened ricotta cheese, you can just toss it into the fridge until you will need it. So for the question how to freeze a ricotta cheese, it is more important that you learn the hows of freezing an opened ricotta cheese.

Materials

  • Spoon
  • Paper towels
  • Ice cube tray, glass jars/freezer-friendly plastic bags

Tools

  • Fridge

Instructions

  1. First, you have to stir the ricotta cheese using a spoon. This way, faster freezing can be achieved. 
  2. Next, prepare paper towels. Gently press down the ricotta cheese in the paper towels and drain. 
  3. Third, choose if you will use an airtight container or ice cube trays. If you want to freeze the cheese as one whole portion, use freeze-friendly plastic bags. If you want easier thawing for later, use ice cube trays. 
  4. Put the cheese in the freezer for 8-10hrs (but you can freeze it up to 2months). If you end up using a bag, be sure that all excess air is out first. Mark it with the date. 

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