Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese? Read This And You’ll Know the Answer
Can you freeze ricotta cheese? Won’t it affect its taste and overall quality? If it can be frozen, what is the right way to do this? How long should it be frozen?
If you are asking the questions above, you have good reasons to keep on reading. In the rest of this post, we will provide the answer that you need to know, and in the end.
I hope that you will be knowledgeable about the best thing that can be done to make sure that your ricotta cheese is handled the best way possible.
About Ricotta Cheese
Before we answer the question, let us first have a quick look at what ricotta cheese is, which will make you understand its properties and how can it be affected by freezing. This is a cheese that results from the leftovers of whey. It can be extracted from skim milk or whole milk of a cow.
Ricotta is a type of soft cheese. It has fine and liquid curds, which are exactly the reason why it appears to be creamy. In terms of its taste, it is slightly sweet, although this can vary depending on where exactly the cheese is from.
If you are wondering how ricotta is made, here’s a video that can help:
Is It Right to Freeze Ricotta Cheese?
YES – this is the answer if you are asking can you freeze ricotta cheese. Freezing is one of the methods by which it will be possible to lengthen its shelf life.
This will result into preserving its properties, but it should be noted as well that it will inevitably have an impact on its consistency and other physical attributes.
Comparable to all other types of soft cheeses, you can have it frozen with little to no impact on its taste. However, there will be obvious changes in its texture and consistency. Because it is soft, it can harden when you freeze it and once it is thawed, there is a high possibility that it will appear crumbly and dry.
Freezer burn is perhaps the most logical explanation why there will be significant changes in your ricotta cheese after it has been frozen. The process of freezing will draw out the moisture from the cheese and will consequently lead to evaporation. This will burn the ice crystals.
Best Way to Freeze Ricotta Cheese
While we have already established the fact that you can indeed freeze ricotta cheese, the next thing that you should know is how this can be properly done. It is important to do it the right way in order to minimize the possibility that its properties will be negatively affected, specifically the taste and texture of your cheese.
If in case you have bought a ricotta cheese in a plastic container and if you did not open it yet, you can have it placed straight into the freezer. On the other hand, if the cheese has already been opened, which means that there is already air inside the container, you need to be more conscious about how it is going to be packed and frozen.
Once the cheese has been opened, you need to put it in Ziploc or any container with an air-tight seal before you have it frozen. You can also consider having it wrapped in an aluminum foil. The important thing is to make sure that air will not penetrate inside in order to retain its freshness, after being frozen.
Freezing Dishes With Ricotta Cheese
While you can freeze ricotta cheese on its own, you can also have it frozen once it is already mixed with certain dishes, such as lasagna, pie, ravioli, calzone, and gnocchi, among others.
The key here is to cut it into small portions, wrap it in a bag, and have it placed in the freezer individually. In this way, you only have to open the one that you can consume when you want to eat the dish that contains ricotta cheese.
Freezing Time and Temperature
When it comes to temperature, it would be best to have it frozen at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that you maintain a consistent temperature of the freezer while the ricotta is inside.
When it comes to the freezing time, on the other hand, it would be best to consume it within one month. The longer it stays inside the freezer, the worse it will taste and its texture will also be negatively affected.
Other Tips in Freezing Ricotta Cheese
Aside from the things that have been mentioned above, the following should be also kept in mind:
- It should be thawed inside the refrigerator. Otherwise, it can be prone to the growth of bacteria.
- Drain any excess from the cheese before having it frozen.
- Mark the bag with the date when it has been frozen, making it easier for you to monitor its freshness.
So, can you freeze ricotta cheese? From the discussions above, it is pretty much obvious that the answer to this is yes. You can have it placed inside the freezer, but be mindful of the fact that this can affect its texture and taste.
To be sure that ricotta cheese will remain fresh, follow the tips that have been mentioned above and consume it as soon as possible. To sum it up, here’s what you should do:
- Place it in an airtight bag or container.
- Maintain consistent freezer temperature
- Do not store in the freezer for more than two months.
- Have it thawed inside the freezer to prevent bacterial growth.