Can You Freeze Cottage Cheese? How To Keep It Fresh In The Freezer! (Jan. 2017)
When you find yourself with too much cottage cheese, a few worries usually come to mind. How fast will this expire? Can you freeze cottage cheese? Will it still be edible if I keep it in the freezer?
Despite what many people believe, it is possible to freeze a dairy product like cottage cheese; you just have to know what you’re doing! I know that dairy products can be scary because of how easily they spoil, but it’s possible to keep them fresh...even in the freezer.
I do it all the time. In fact, I’ve been in this situation more than once. I’ll see a great deal and buy way too much without realizing that I’ll never finish it all before it expires.
Frozen cottage cheese doesn’t retain its original texture, but like frozen bananas, you can use it for cooking or baking. My favorite way to use cottage cheese that has been frozen is in lasagna! Most people don’t find the texture of frozen cottage cheese very appealing, so you’ll want to have a plan for it in mind before you freeze a ton of it.
Learn a no-fuss method to freeze cottage cheese by following the steps outlined below!
What You’ll Need
Technically speaking, you can freeze all types of cottage cheese. Due to the differences in fat and water content, however, some types freeze better than others.
If you are buying cottage cheese specifically to save money and stock your freezer, you will want to go with a cottage cheese with large curds or that is whole fat. These freeze the best. Fat-free and low-fat cottage cheeses will go through a more dramatic transformation in the freezer.
The creamier that your cottage cheese is, the worst it will look and taste after freezing!
An Air-Tight Container
You will need an airtight container for the freezing process. A plastic container is fine. In fact, this can be the original container that it came in, or you can use Tupperware that you have specifically for stocking your freezer.
When I buy a new container of cottage cheese, I like to immediately put half of it into an airtight container and freeze it. This helps make sure that I do not waste any of the cottage cheese, and my freezer is always stocked for recipes like soups, lasagna, or cake.
A Sealable Freezer Bag
You only need this if you plan to freeze your cottage cheese for more than three weeks because it will be used to protect your cottage cheese from freezer burn caused during long-term storage.
This bag needs to be big enough to fit the airtight container inside of it. It should have a strong seal on it to keep air out of the bag and to help regulate the moisture and temperature inside of the bag.
A Permanent Marker
(optional, but recommended)
Permanent markers are a must have item for anyone who wants to freeze ingredients and keep them fresh. After all, you can’t freeze something forever!
Any permanent marker will do, but I prefer to get a black marker with a medium sized tip. This will allow me to write on any sized freezer bag, Tupperware, tape, etc., that I will be putting in the freezer.
1. Mix cottage cheese well to help prevent separation during the freezing process
Milk fat will naturally separate out of soft dairy products like cottage cheese during the freezing process, and stirring slows this process. The consistency of cottage cheese will never be exactly the same after freezing, but it will still be usable for cooking and baking.
2. Store the cottage cheese in an airtight container or its original packaging
If you are going to freeze your cottage cheese for more than three weeks, you will need to prevent freezer burn by placing the container inside of a freezer bag. Seal the container inside of this bag with as little air inside as possible.
3. Write the date that you freeze the cottage cheese on the bag with a permanent marker.
Otherwise, you won’t know how long the cottage cheese has been in the freezer! Cottage cheese can keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Do not freeze cottage cheese for longer than this, and do not refreeze cottage cheese after it has been thawed.
4. To thaw cottage cheese, place it in the refrigerator until fully thawed.
Once thaw, you will notice that there is more liquid in the container than there was before freezing. Drain this liquid before mixing your cottage cheese, and then, enjoy!
Tips From The Experts
1. Does Your Cottage Cheese Seem Dry?
If you plan to use the cottage cheese in a recipe or cake batter, your cottage cheese will probably be good to use as soon as it is thawed.
If you want to eat the cottage cheese as-is, however, you might find it to be a little bit dry after thawing.
Thankfully, there’s a super easy solution! Just mix in about half a tablespoon of sour cream for every cup of cottage cheese. This will add some moisture back into the cream cheese without altering it too much.
2. Freeze In Portions!
Do you have a recipe that calls for 8oz or 4oz of cottage cheese, and find yourself wasting the excess? After getting totally frustrated with the food waste, I was creating even after freezing and thawing my cottage cheese, I came up with a great solution.
Freeze your cottage cheese in portions!
All you have to do is separate the cottage cheese into separate, airtight containers and freezer bags in different amounts. Label the bag with how much cottage cheese is inside, and viola!
Next time that you need it, you can simply thaw the pre-portioned cottage cheese when you need a small amount!
Do you feel ready to freeze your cottage cheese now? I hope so! I promise; once you go through the process once, you’ll feel a lot better about extending the shelf life of all that extra cottage cheese.
Cottage cheese is a great ingredient for baking, stuffed pasta, and for cooking with when on a diet! Being able to freeze it just makes it even more convenient and affordable to use since you’ll be able to stock up. Save on money and on time spent running to the grocery store.
If you’ve got killer tips on how you like to freeze cottage cheese, leave a comment below. Don’t forget to share to help others stop missing out on longer-lasting cottage cheese, too!