Cottage cheese possesses many great qualities, but the ability to last a long time is not one of them. In that case, what are you supposed to do when you want that cheesy goodness to last?
The first question that may enter your mind is, is it even possible to freeze cottage cheese?
Thankfully, the resounding answer to that question is a heart stopping yes. But how do you do it, should you do it, and what else should you keep in mind?
We are something of freezer experts here, so we’re here to answer all of your burning questions relating to freezing cottage cheese.
How To Freeze Cottage Cheese
So you’ve come back from the store with a whole refrigerator’s worth of cottage cheese. What exactly does one do with that? You don’t want to eat it all in one go (or maybe you do - we won’t judge!)
If you’re thinking of freezing your cottage cheese, here’s how you do it.
If you’re planning on freezing cottage cheese, then the best thing to do is to buy whole fat cottage cheese if you can. This is because it freezes a lot better than lower fat cottage cheeses. It’s also important to keep in mind that the plastic seal on the lid can be a little bit flimsy so it’s a good idea to put the container into a freezer bag if you can.
To freeze your cottage cheese, make sure that you freeze the cottage cheese inside of the container that you bought it in. Then just put it into a freezer bag, ensuring that any excess air is squeezed out, then seal the bag tight.
Once you have done this, make sure that you label the freezer bag that the cottage cheese is stored inside of with the date that you froze it on. It’s possible to keep the cottage cheese in the freezer for up to 6 months after you’ve frozen it.
Of course, it’s worth keeping in mind that it is always better to eat the cottage cheese sooner as it will stay fresher.
How to Defrost Cottage Cheese
There are a number of different ways that you can defrost cottage cheese, and it will depend on your needs for it.
First of all, you can defrost the cottage cheese overnight in the fridge. All you need to do is remove the bag with the container in from the freezer. Then, just place the bag into the refrigerator the night before. It should be totally fine to use by the time you need it the next morning. Of course, it’s worth remembering that it will take longer to defrost larger amounts.
You can also defrost the cottage cheese in a cold water bath. This is a good option if you have a couple of hours to kill.
Finally, you can also throw the frozen cottage cheese right into whatever dish you’re cooking. For instance, if you forgot to defrost your cottage cheese before, then you can simply put the container into some cold water for a few seconds.
This is simply so that the surface can defrost a little so it’s easier to get the cottage cheese out of the container.
Then, just throw the cottage cheese into whatever dish you are cooking. It should be noted that you will need to add a little bit of extra cooking time on as the food will need time to defrost. Try and stir it every now and again to ensure that the cooking is even and the cottage cheese is fully thawed.
If you are planning on using the cottage cheese on its own, it’s important that you drain out any of the extra moisture. This is because the cottage cheese will be a little watery which isn’t going to turn out well. You can add a little bit of extra cream if you find that it’s a little too dry.
Factors to Consider When Freezing Cottage Cheese
If you’re planning on freezing your cottage cheese, there is one key thing to keep in mind. While it is certainly possible to freeze cottage cheese, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good idea.
Unfortunately, freezing and defrosting cottage cheese can fundamentally change the food. It can change the creaminess of the food, and it’s not the most appealing thing in the world. Of course, while we wouldn’t recommend licking defrosted cottage cheese off your fingers, it’s certainly suitable for a range of different dishes - so you don’t have to let it go to waste!
You should also check that the cottage cheese hasn’t gone bad before you use it. If cottage cheese is going bad, then you can usually tell as the cheese will start to look a little bit yellow. You may also find that it smells somewhat damp, and there are a number of wet patches where the cheese starts to split.
As already mentioned, it’s also a good idea to buy full fat cottage cheese as the alternative options don’t tend to freeze as well. It’s possible to freeze fat free and low fat cottage cheese, but this is just something to note.
In short, yes - it is entirely possible to freeze cottage cheese! Thankfully, it’s a fairly simple and painless process. Of course, it’s essential that it is frozen and defrosted in the correct way to ensure that it’s both safe to eat and that it’s going to at least keep a little bit of its texture and moisture.
In fact, cottage cheese often retains many of its nutrients and health benefits even after it’s frozen, so freezing it is a good choice if you plan on using it for meal prep.
Just remember - it may not taste as good on its own after it’s been frozen, but it’s perfect for adding to other things like casseroles and stews. Now the next time your nearest grocery store has a mass sale on cottage cheese, you don’t have to miss out!