Cottage cheese is a delicious curd product, characterized by its distinct mild flavor. You may also know it as curds and whey.
Here’s an interesting fact: according to the Greek writer Homer, the Cyclops Polyphemus made cheese by storing milk in animal stomachs. This passage in the Odyssey holds true to how cottage cheese used to be made: the enzymes in the animal’s stomach would have separated the curds from the milk.
But you’re here wondering: “Can I freeze cottage cheese?”
The short answer is yes!
And we’ll give you instructions on freezing cottage cheese, and let you know about any changes you can expect, below.
Here’s the lowdown: Cottage cheese lasts for 4-6 months in the freezer, but you may notice a change in texture. Therefore, try to only use frozen and thawed cottage cheese in cooked or baked dishes – not on its own.
Is It A Good Idea To Freeze Cottage Cheese?
Let’s cover whether you should freeze your cottage cheese first.
Cottage cheese has a high water content. When this water freezes, it causes your cottage cheese to separate. A quick mix after will restore some of your cheese’s texture, but you’ll still notice a grainy, separated feel.
Therefore, you shouldn’t eat frozen and thawed cottage cheese on its own. However, you won’t notice the texture change if your cottage cheese is cooked or baked in something.
You can always give your cottage cheese a quick blend as well!
How To Freeze Cottage Cheese
Now let’s get onto how to freeze cottage cheese. You’ve got two options.
The first is to portion out your cottage cheese into airtight containers and pop them in the freezer. And that’s it!
The other option takes a little more time but can be really handy in the long run. Pour your cottage cheese into cupcake trays and cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Then, flash freeze for 2 hours.
Once your cottage cheese chunks are completely frozen solid, transfer them to an airtight container to save on freezer space.
The great thing about this method is that the cottage cheese chunks defrost a lot faster, and they’re easier for flexible portioning.
Simply grab a couple of frozen cottage cheese chunks and thaw them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Oryou can just add the cheese chunks straight into your soup or stew whilst cooking – they’ll melt in the pot!
How Long Does Frozen Cottage Cheese Last?
Here’s the good part. Cottage cheese lasts for 4-6 months in the freezer, which means it extends the storage life significantly.
However, once you’ve thawed your cottage cheese, you should aim to consume it within 3-5 days. Better yet – only defrost as much as you need that day!
How To Use Thawed Cottage Cheese
So we’ve already covered that frozen and thawed cottage cheese isn’t too nice on its own. Instead, it’s better in a cooked or baked dish. Need ideas?
We’ve got you sorted with this list:
- Creamy soups
- Pasta sauce
- Melted on top of pasta
Other Storage Options For Cottage Cheese
Is freezing your cottage choice the right choice?
In order to decide, you need to know about the other storage option: refrigerating your cottage cheese.
With unopened cottage cheese, you should store the tub in your refrigerator as soon as you’re home from the grocery store. Now: don’t store it in the refrigerator door, as that’s the warmest part of the fridge and the part most prone to temperature fluctuations.
Provided you store your unopened tub of cottage cheese deep in the fridge, it should last 2-3 days past its sell by date.
Once you’ve opened your cottage cheese, make sure you reseal the package well. If it’s not resealable, transfer your cottage cheese to an airtight container.
This will help protect your cottage cheese against bacteria, moisture, and other odors in your refrigerator.
Remember to practice good food hygiene – use clean utensils and never double dip! You don’t want to risk cross-contamination, which will make your cottage cheese go bad faster.
Expect your cottage cheese to last up to 1 week once opened in the refrigerator. Depending on the age of your cottage cheese before opening, how well you’ve stored it, and the specific brand you’ve purchased, your cottage cheese may last up to 2 weeks.
If you’re ever unsure if your cottage cheese is still good, look for changes in appearance, smell, and taste – in that order. Spot any mold and the whole tub is ready for the bin. Since cottage cheese is soft and has a high water content, bacteria will spread fast.
The Summary On Freezing Cottage Cheese
Now, you’ve got all the information you need to know if freezing cottage cheese is your best bet, and how to do it if so. Here’s a quick rundown if you need it:
- Cottage cheese lasts 4-6 months in the freezer.
- The easiest way to freeze cottage cheese is to portion it out into airtight containers and pop them into the freezer.
- Make sure you don’t freeze more than 12 oz of cottage cheese in one go – it will thaw unevenly, and you might not be able to use it up in one go.
- Once you’ve thawed your cottage cheese, try to consume it within 3-5 days.