Cheese is one my favorite foods, whether I’m grating it over pasta, adding it to salads, or enjoying it in sandwiches. And although I use this yummy ingredient often, I’ve wondered if you can freeze cheese to maintain its freshness, since I often don’t use up an entire block at once. It turns out you can — and this trick works wonders to preserve the cheese’s flavor and prevent it from getting moldy.
Can I put the cheese in the freezer?
Before you put any cheese in the freezer, it’s important to know which is best to store there. The experts at Castello Cheese note that soft cheeses including Brie, camembert, and cream cheese are not freezer-friendly. But feel free to freeze mozzarella and harder cheeses like parmesan, Swiss, or cheddar, which can last anywhere from three to six months in the freezer.
If the cheese is in a large block, simply cut it into hand-sized portions before individually wrapping them in parchment paper, then topping that with a layer of aluminum foil. Then place the cheese in a sealed plastic bag to store in your freezer. You can also freeze shredded mozzarella and cheddar by keeping it in a plastic bag.
When you’re ready to use your cheese, let it thaw in the fridge overnight (shredded or not) before cooking. Be sure to keep the thawed cheese in the fridge, and use it within the next three days. It tastes great grated in a variety of dishes like mac and cheese, fluffy omelettes, or a grilled cheese sandwich. Yum.
Does freezing cheese change the taste and texture?
As long as you wrap cheese tightly before freezing, it shouldn’t lose its flavor. Texture-wise, it might lose some moisture and become crumbly, especially when frozen in a large block, making it not so good to eat on its own as a snack. However, frozen cheese will maintain its flavor and gooey consistency once it’s melted.
Now I’m super excited to go cheese-shopping, because I know I can use up an entire wedge from now on, thanks to this neat trick!
This article was updated on Friday, September 30 at 1:30 p.m. EST. It was originally published on January 8, 2022.