I grew up eating a fair amount of cheese that had been frozen (my mom freezes everything) and I think I turned out pretty okay.
With some notable exceptions, cheese generally freezes well. Here’s what to know.
How Freezing Changes Cheese
As a rule of thumb, the less special the cheese, the less freezing changes it.
A lovely raw milk triple crème brie should never be frozen. A block of orange cheddar cheese from the grocery store, what you could call everyday cheese? Go ahead and freeze it.
Cheese that’s been frozen is best for cooking with, not eating straight-up. That’s because freezing and thawing changes the texture of cheese—and as we know, texture is a big part of what makes cheese appealing.
But freezing doesn’t affect cheese’s ability to melt nicely, so use your frozen cheese for queso dip and buy new cheese for your fancy cheese board!
Cheeses That Do and Do Not Freeze Well
Firm cheeses freeze well. Some of these cheeses may get a crumbly texture after freezing, but if you’re going to cook with them, it shouldn’t be much of a problem.
YES, you can freeze:
NO, you cannot freeze:
- Cream cheese
- Cottage cheese
Soft, high-moisture cheeses do not freeze well. Freezing changes the texture, making them less creamy. Very soft cheeses can even separate after thawing.
How to Wrap Cheese for Freezing
If the cheese has been opened, wrap it very well in plastic wrap, then slip it into a zip-top bag.
If the cheese is in its original snug-fitting packaging, you can just pop it right in the freezer!
How Long Does Cheese Keep in the Freezer?
A block of hard cheese (one that’s lower in moisture) will keep a long time in the freezer. Parmesan and cheddar will keep up to 6 months. Mozzarella will keep around 4 months.
You can freeze grated cheese, but because it has more surface area, it’s more susceptible to freezer burn. Freeze it 3 to 4 months. If it’s pre-grated, you can pop the unopened package right in the freezer.
How to Thaw Frozen Cheese
It’s best to thaw cheese in the refrigerator overnight, though a few hours on the countertop is fine. Use thawed cheese in a few days.
You can add pe-shredded frozen cheese directly to anything you are cooking—no need to thaw!