Maybe you bought a whole bunch of feta cheese on offer, or you’ve got a half-open pack you know you’re not going to use up in time.
So now you’re asking: can you freeze feta cheese?
The short answer is yes, you can freeze feta!
Feta is a relatively healthy cheese, as it’s lower in fat than most cheese. It’s also nutritious, with more Vitamin B and calcium than most other soft cheese.
Given its delicious flavor and highly nutritious content, it’s no wonder you don’t want your feta cheese to go to waste.
Don’t worry. Today, we’ll explain how to freeze feta, any changes you can expect after thawing and give you all the info you need to determine if it’s the right choice.
Want the lowdown now? Expect your feta to last up to 9 months in your freezer – although the sooner you eat it, the better quality it will be. The texture may get a bit crumblier, and the flavor won’t be as intense, so only use frozen and thawed feta in cooked dishes, not on its own.
Should I Freeze My Feta?
First off, let’s go through any changes you can expect after you’ve frozen and thawed feta.
The main thing you’ll notice is a difference in texture. Feta has relatively high water content, and this water freezes, making your feta crumblier and drier.
Because of this, your thawed feta won’t be particularly enjoyable crumbled on top of a salad.
It’s not all bad, though. You can use frozen/thawed feta in cooked dishes, and you won’t notice the texture change at all!
You’ll also notice the flavor of your feta changing: it will be a little less rich and salty. Therefore, feel free to use a dash extra than the recipe calls for!
How To Freeze Feta Cheese: Whole Feta & Crumbled Feta
You’ll have one of two types of feta: whole feta or crumbled feta. They’re both widely available at grocery stores.
Whole feta is a cheese block submerged in brine that comes in a packet.
You can crumble this block if that’s how you’ll want to consume it, or you can purchase ready-crumbed feta.
Either way, we’ll give you instructions on how to freeze each type of feta cheese below.
How To Freeze Feta Cheese Blocks
Freezing your feta cheese in portion-sized blocks is an easy option if you don’t need your feta crumbled.
- Strain the brine out of your feta cheese. Don’t be tempted to freeze your feta in the packet of brine – the liquid will freeze and ruin your feta’s texture.
- Use a paper towel to pat your block of feta down, but don’t worry about drying it completely. Squeezing all the water out of your feta will actually make it too dry!
- Cut your feta into equal, portion-sized blocks. It’s a good idea to measure a certain quantity and write it on your freezer bag, so you never forget it when cooking!
- Pat those blocks down again with a paper towel.
- Place the feta cheese chunks on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Wrap the whole tray in aluminum foil to protect it from freezer burn, then pop it in the freezer for 2 hours.
- Now that you’ve flash-frozen your feta cheese pieces, you can transfer them all to an airtight container without them sticking together. Put that container in the freezer.
That’s it! Super simple.
How To Freeze Crumbled Feta Cheese
Freezing crumbled feta cheese is pretty similar.
Just follow the instructions above, but crumble your feta cheese first. Then, sprinkle it over a baking tray and flash freeze before transferring it to an airtight freezer-proof container.
With crumbled feta, this flash-freezing step is imperative – otherwise, all your crumbled feta will stick together, and portioning will be very difficult!
How To Defrost Feta
Great, you’re ready to use your feta. But how long’s it going to take?
Thankfully, feta defrosts pretty easily. If you’ve cut your feta into portion-sized chunks or it’s crumbled, it should defrost in an airtight container in the refrigerator within 2-3 hours.
However, since it’s recommended to use frozen feta in cooked dishes only (to negate the texture change), you don’t need to worry about thawing it.
Just throw it into the pot frozen, and it will thaw and melt.
How Long Does Frozen Feta Cheese Last?
Here’s where it gets really good.
Provided you follow our steps above – the method helps prevent freezer burn and texture changes – your feta cheese will be good in the freezer for 6-9 months.
However, to enjoy your feta at its best quality, you should aim to consume it within three months.
How To Use Frozen Or Thawed Feta
We’ve already covered that feta you’ve frozen or thawed isn’t going to be the best on top of a salad.
With that in mind, here’s a handy list of uses for your frozen or thawed feta:
- Melt rumbled thawed feta over your pasta.
- Add frozen feta to your pasta sauce.
- Mix frozen feta into creamy soups.
- Make your stews and casseroles extra rich with some frozen feta, left to melt in the pot.
Other Storage Methods For Feta Cheese
You know exactly how to freeze feta cheese now, but have you considered the other storage methods? Depending on your particular case, freezing might not be necessary, especially as it causes a change in texture and taste.
If you have an unopened block of feta in brine, then, provided you stored it in your refrigerator as soon as you got home from the grocery store, it should last an extra 2-4 weeks past its sell-by date.
Therefore, if you haven’t opened your block of feta yet, it may not be worth freezing it.
Unopened crumbled feta stored in the refrigerator will last about one week past its sell-by date.
If you’ve opened your feta up, expect it to last 5-7 days in an airtight container.
However, if you replicate the brine (salt and water) that your feta came submerged in, your opened feta will last in the refrigerator for up to 1 month!
Here’s the key takeaway: even if your feta is opened, by storing it submerged in brine in an airtight container in the refrigerator, it will last for a whole month. Therefore, if you’re planning to consume your feta within this time, don’t bother freezing it.
The Round-Up On Feta Cheese
You’ve got the info you need to determine if freezing feta is the right option and how to freeze feta if so. Here’s a quick rundown if you need it:
- Feta cheese will last up to nine months in the freezer if you follow our step-by-step instructions, but it’s best to consume it within three months.
- You can store opened feta in brine. As long as it’s fully submerged and stored in the refrigerator, it should last up to a month.
- Flash freeze crumbled or portion-sized feta blocks before transferring them into one big airtight container. Portioning will be a lot easier that way!
- You can add frozen feta straight into your cooking. It will defrost and melt in the pot.