“Can you freeze ricotta cheese?” – this is a question I’m often asked. If you’ve found yourself with excess ricotta cheese, then read on – this is for you!
You’ll find all the facts you need about freezing ricotta plus tips on thawing and how to use it.
Why you’ll love this
If you’ve found yourself with leftover ricotta or maybe you bought extra because it was on sale, you’ll be wondering if you could freeze it. The simple answer is yes but there’s a bit you need to know.
Ricotta is a fresh cheese of Italian origin usually make from whole or skim cow’s milk. The word ‘ricotta’ means ‘cooked twice’ because it is made from the leftover whey produced during cheese making. The flavor is delicate and almost sweet with a smooth texture and high moisture content.
When freezing this cheese, it is important to take into consideration its characteristics and what happens in the freezer. When frozen, the moisture in ricotta cheese turns into ice crystals. Because of this the frozen ricotta cheese will taste the same but be a little bit dry and crumbly.
But definitely don’t let this stop you freezing ricotta cheese. This versatile cheese is too good to be wasted. Thawed ricotta is perfectly good in recipes like Italian Pie, Ricotta Cavatelli and Eggplant Involtini. However it is not the best choice for recipes where it is is the star like my Sweet Ricotta recipe or Cannoli Cake.
What you’ll need
- ricotta cheese – I usually by the fresh one that comes in plastic baskets
- paper towels – nothing fancy here
- plastic wrap – use a good quality that doesn’t tear easily
- zip lock bags or airtight containers – the size will depend on how much ricotta cheese you freeze
- permanent marker – it is important to record that date of freezing
- If the ricotta is unopened, just mark with the date and freeze as is. However keep in mind that once thawed you will need to use the whole lot within two days.
- When freezing leftovers or smaller portions, remove excess moisture by pressing the cheese with a wad of paper towels.
- Then wrap well in plastic, taking care to remove any air.
- Pop into a zip lock bag removing any air before sealing or fit snuggly into airtight container and mark with the date.
Tips for success and FAQ’s
Firstly pay particular attention to the expiry date on the ricotta cheese. It is best to freeze fresh cheese rather than waiting until it’s on the brink of expiry.
Freeze unopened, well sealed ricotta cheese in its packaging. However if you don’t plan to use the whole lot when thawed, divide into pieces before freezing. Be sure to drain excess liquid and wrap very well in plastic then into a heavy duty zip lock bag or airtight container.
Don’t freeze for longer that two months for best results and follow my tips for thawing. Keep in mind that thawed ricotta will have an altered texture and is only suitable for cooked recipes.
Yes! Say you’ve made a ravioli filling with ricotta cheese and other ingredients like Parmesan cheese, eggs and herbs, it is perfectly fine to freeze it. On thawing, excess liquid may need to be drained away but otherwise it will be good. I will drain the liquid if it’s for a ravioli filling otherwise it may be too soggy for the pasta.
Frozen ricotta will keep, if properly stored, for two months.
Alway thaw frozen ricotta in the refrigerator and never at room temperature. It will take about 24 hours to defrost. Once softened, stir well. I don’t generally drain the liquid as I don’t find that necessary. Use within two days and never refreeze!
Yes! However the tub is not freeze proof so pop it into a heavy duty zip lock bag before freezing.
More recipes using ricotta cheese
How To Freeze Ricotta Cheese
- Paper Towels
- Plastic Wrap
- Zip Lock Bags OR Airtight Containers
- 16 oz (450 grams) ricotta cheese
- 1 roll Paper Towel
- Cut into two portions.
- Drain liquid from the cheese. Then use paper towels to press and remove excess moisture from the cheese.
- Wrap each portion tightly in plastic wrap so that no air is trapped between the cheese and the plastic.
- Place wrapped cheese into zip lock bag squeezing any air out of the bag.
- Label the zip lock bag with the type of cheese and date.
- Place the ricotta cheese in the freezer for up to two months.
- Thaw in the refrigerator then use within two days.