Ricotta is a delicious addition to cheesecakes, pancakes, pizzas, and pasta dishes.
It’s an Italian whey cheese, made from the leftovers from the production of other cheeses. That’s why it’s called “Ricotta”, which means “recooked” or “refined”.
Ricotta has also got less salt and less fat than most other cheeses. In fact, ricotta cheese only contains 10% fat, 6% of which is saturated.
So you’ve bought a couple of packs of ricotta cheese on offer, and you’ve suddenly realized you have no idea how long they’ll last.
How do you store ricotta cheese? How long will it last?
We’ll answer these questions, and then some below.
If you want the fast answers: Unopened ricotta will last about 2 weeks until its use by date, though it will likely be okay for a few days after that date, provided you’ve stored it appropriately. For longer storage, opt for the freezer, which will keep your ricotta good for up to 3 months!
Storage Periods For Ricotta Cheese
Your best bet for working out how long your ricotta cheese will last is to go by the date on the packaging. That’s likely to be about 2 weeks since the date of manufacture.
That said, if you’ve been sure to store your ricotta in the refrigerator as soon as you’re home from the grocery store, your ricotta cheese will likely be good for a few days after that date.
Once you’ve opened your packet of ricotta, aim to finish it within a week. More on how to store it in a bit.
For longer storage periods, consider the freezer, where your ricotta cheese will last for up to 3 months.
How To Store Ricotta Cheese
First up, put your ricotta cheese in the refrigerator as soon as you’re home from the grocery store. Room temperature is the enemy of ricotta, encouraging bacterial growth.
Now: don’t store your ricotta in the refrigerator door, as this is the part of the fridge that is most prone to changes in temperature.
Once you’ve opened your packet of ricotta, make sure you always use clean utensils. Either reseal the packet if it is resealable or transfer your ricotta to an airtight container, before returning it to the fridge.
You can also freeze ricotta cheese. Either pop it in the freezer in the original packaging or freeze it in an airtight container. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.
However, thawing frozen ricotta cheese will cause a change in texture, so this is only recommended if you’re using your ricotta in a recipe.
How To Tell If Your Ricotta Cheese Has Gone Bad
To know if your ricotta cheese has gone bad, check for these signs:
- Mold. If you find any signs of mold, either on the container or on the cheese, chuck your whole packet of ricotta. Don’t just cut off the bad part – ricotta is a soft cheese, so it’s likely the bacteria will have spread throughout.
- Discoloration. If your ricotta starts to go yellow or orange, it’s ready for the bin.
- Sour smell.
- Sour taste.
Now, a little separation is completely normal. Just give it a stir to get a regular consistency. However, if you notice a lot, proceed with caution.
The Summary On Ricotta Cheese
Unfortunately, ricotta cheese doesn’t last indefinitely. Unopened, ricotta cheese lasts for 2 weeks in the refrigerator, whereas an opened packet of ricotta cheese will only last for 1 week.
Obviously, use your common sense with this.
If you opened your ricotta the day before its expiration date, don’t expect it to be good for another week.
Lastly, remember you can always freeze your ricotta for storage for up to 3 months. However, the texture will change, so only use thawed ricotta in recipes, not on its own.