Learn about how to freeze cottage cheese and what happens when you defrost it for use. This is an excellent way to keep it longer!
Creamy, smooth, and mild, cottage cheese is as versatile as it is delicious.
From cheesecake to pasta, it works beautifully into a lot of sweet and savory dishes. This is why many people like to always stock up on it, mostly buying it in bulk.
Typically, you’d keep it in the fridge. But what if you buy too much and you want to be able to use it for a long time? Especially with the short shelf life once you open it.
This brings about the question: can you freeze cottage cheese?
We’re providing everything you need to know about freezing it, from whether it’s possible and what to expect after freezing, to the best conditions for freezing and how to defrost. Let’s get started!
❓ Can You Freeze Cottage Cheese?
Yes, you can freeze it to make it last for months longer, but you should expect a noticeable change in its texture and some alteration in flavor.
The good news is that cottage cheese doesn’t lose any of its nutritional value after freezing.
🧊 What Happens After Freezing?
As we mentioned above, you should expect some changes in the texture and flavor of cottage cheese after freezing. Here’s what these changes will look and taste like:
- Texture — the usual creamy and soft texture of the cheese will turn chunky and rough with some liquid oozing out. This is due to the separation of the fat from the rest of the cheese ingredients.
- Flavor — defrosted cottage cheese won’t taste as yummy as the fresh or refrigerated versions. This is why we recommend using defrosted cottage cheese in cooked recipes instead of eating it raw.
Take note of the photo below where we froze and defrosted the cheese before putting a dollop of jam on top. There is very little excess moisture and the texture was pretty good after freezing. Not enough of a difference that we felt it would stop us from freezing the extra to avoid waste.
🧊 How to Store in the Freezer
Here are the steps to freezing cottage cheese:
Step One: Divide the cheese into portions or leave it unopened in its original package. I prefer to freeze it in ice cube trays so it is easy to take out exactly what I need later.
Step Two: Transfer it into freezer bags (these take up less space) or containers. Make sure they’re airtight and sealed securely.
Step Three: Label the bags or containers with the date then put them in the freezer.
☀️ How to Defrost
After storing it in the freezer, there’ll come a time when you’ll want to take it out to use it. Here are a few different ways you can defrost cottage cheese:
In the fridge
Thawing in the fridge is the best way to defrost if you want it to last for a few days after defrosting, especially if you’re not in a rush to use the cheese. Here are the steps:
- Place the frozen cottage cheese container in the fridge. If you’re using freezer bags, put them in a deep dish or bowl.
- Leave it overnight or for a minimum of 18 hours. You may need to leave the cheese for a whole day or two the more you’re thawing.
- Take out the cheese and drain the extra liquid.
- Stir the cheese to make sure it’s evenly defrosted.
This is the method we chose for the photos shown in this post. We love how easy it is to defrost and pop into a bowl for a snack.
In the microwave
Only follow this defrosting method if you plan on using it right after microwaving it. Here are the steps:
- Place your frozen cottage cheese in a microwave-safe container or bowl. Don’t use a shallow plate because the cheese will release some liquid.
- Choose the defrosting mode on your microwave and run it for 10 seconds.
- Check the cheese with a spoon for frozen clumps. If you find any, run the microwave for another 10 seconds.
- Once you’re done, drain the extra liquid and stir the cottage cheese to make sure it’s evenly defrosted.
In a bowl of water
If you’re in a hurry to use the cottage cheese and you only have a few hours to spare, this defrosting method is the most suitable solution. Here are the steps:
- Fill a pot with lukewarm water.
- Place the frozen cottage cheese container or bag inside the pot so it’s submerged in the water.
- To speed up the process, change the water every half an hour or so.
- Once the thawing is complete, drain the extra liquid and stir the cottage cheese to make sure it’s evenly defrosted.
⏰ How Long Does it Last in the Freezer?
Storing cottage cheese in the freezer can significantly prolong its shelf life compared to refrigerating it.
In the freezer, cottage cheese can last anywhere between 5 to 6 months if left unopened. However, if you open the cottage cheese and then stick it in the freezer, you’ll have up to 3 months to use it without issues.
⏲️How Long Does it Last After Defrosting?
The answer here depends on the defrosting method. If you thaw the cheese in the fridge, it can last for up to four days.
On the other hand, if you use a microwave, you should use the cheese within a maximum of one hour. As for thawing in water, the defrosted cheese can last about a day.
💡Can You Freeze Cottage Cheese Again After Defrosting It?
Let’s say you’ve taken out some of your frozen cottage cheese to make soup. Once you’re done cooking, you find that you didn’t use all of the cheese.
What do you do with the leftover cottage cheese then? Can you freeze it again after defrosting it?
We don’t recommend this because it’ll lead to additional changes in texture to already chunky/lumpy de-frozen cottage cheese. Not to mention, you’ll end up compromising its flavor even more.
Cottage cheese can last up to 10 days in the fridge if unopened and up to 7 days if opened.
Sitting out, cottage cheese can only last about two hours before it becomes unsafe to eat.
So, can you freeze cottage cheese? The answer is yes, but the texture will turn clumpy and the flavor will lose some of its richness.
This is why defrosted cottage cheese is best used in cooked recipes instead of eaten raw.