The short answer to “can you freeze ricotta cheese?” is yes, yes you can.
Ricotta cheese is an Italian whey cheese, made by coagulating the proteins that remain after casein has been used to make cheese.
Although freezing ricotta will extend its storage life, it will change its texture, so you should only use ricotta cheese that’s been frozen and thawed in recipes.
Read on to find out if freezing your ricotta is the best option, how to freeze ricotta cheese, how long frozen ricotta lasts, and what to use thawed ricotta in.
Ricotta Cheese Freezing Instructions
The reason that your ricotta’s texture will change after you thaw it is because of its high water content – the water freezes solid and thus causes separation.
To limit this texture change, open your packet of ricotta before freezing and strain the cheese. Then, place the cheese in an airtight container and put that in the freezer.
If you’re planning on storing your ricotta for over a month, consider double wrapping: either wrap your ricotta in plastic wrap before putting it in the airtight container, or store the airtight container in a freezer bag.
To thaw your ricotta cheese, either defrost it overnight in the refrigerator, or leave the container on the counter in a pool of cold water for fast thawing.
How Long Ricotta Cheese Lasts In The Freezer
You probably want to store your ricotta cheese in the freezer for the benefit of an extended shelf life. In fact, ricotta lasts up to 6 months in the freezer!
Just make sure you follow our instructions above.
Once you’ve defrosted your ricotta, eat it up within 4 days. Or better yet, only defrost the amount of ricotta that you’re planning on using!
What To Use Ricotta In
Once you’ve thawed your ricotta, unfortunately it won’t be nice to eat on its own. However, you can use it in any of the following recipes:
- cakes & other bakery foods
How To Store Ricotta Cheese In Your Refrigerator
Before you make the commitment to freeze ricotta, consider refrigerating, as this won’t change the texture.
Once you’re home from the grocery store, place your ricotta in the refrigerator straight away. Once you’ve opened the tub, reseal it, or if that’s not possible, transfer the contents to an airtight container and replace in the fridge.
Now: always ensure you practice good food hygiene.
That means no double dipping and only using clean utensils to scoop out your ricotta.
Check the use by date for the most accurate storage period – it will probably be about 2 weeks since purchase.
Once you’ve opened your ricotta, you have 5-7 days to finish it. If you’re getting near the use by date, then try to finish your ricotta within 2 days.
The Lowdown On Ricotta
You’re all set. You know if you should freeze your ricotta and how to do it. But here’s a recap if you need it:
- Freezing ricotta cheese will cause its texture to change, so you’ll need to use it in a recipe (like pasta sauce), rather than on its own.
- Unopened ricotta will last about 2 weeks in your refrigerator, whereas freezing it will extend its storage life to 6 months.
- Double wrap your ricotta in the freezer to protect it from cold air and bacteria, if you’re planning on keeping it in there for over a month.