Can you freeze Ricotta Cheese? If you are fond of Ricotta Cheese, this question is probably one of your concerns in the kitchen.
As we all know, this type of cheese is quite expensive – but it’s so worth the price because it’s a healthy type of food (or ingredient).
So, what are you supposed to do if you have some left-over Ricotta Cheese that you don’t want to go to waste? Unfortunately, if not used immediately, this delicious ingredient can easily go bad. However, there are ways of extending its life – such as freezing.
Because we all love Ricotta Cheese, it would be good to understand it better, right? This way, you will know if freezing is indeed the best way to preserve and prolong the life of this type of cheese.
Below is a list of everything you need to know about Ricotta Cheese.
Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese? Let's Find Out 🙂
How Ricotta Cheese is Made
Ricotta Cheese is made from cow’s milk. However, it is a by-product of other types of cheese. Yes, this is actually the result of processing Provolone and Mozzarella cheese.
You see, when Provolone and Mozzarella cheese are made, whey (which comes in the form of liquid foamy substance) is produced. Now, this whey substance is collected and cooked again.
After cooking the whey, this is drained so as to filter out all the impurities that are present in the substance. At this point, we are already dealing with Ricotta Cheese.
The process of cooking the whey results in the formation of moist, semi-solid curd that’s creamy – yes, it’s already recognizable as Ricotta Cheese
The process of cooking the whey results in the formation of moist, semi-solid curd that’s creamy – yes, it’s already recognizable as Ricotta Cheese.By its looks, you might mistake Ricotta Cheese with cottage cheese.
The difference mainly lies in their consistency, as cottage cheese has a more solid form while the Ricotta Cheese is softer and more delicate. It is also for this reason why Ricotta Cheese is used more in recipes that call for quick melting types of cheese.
- Note, too, that Ricotta Cheese is a healthier choice over Cottage cheese, if you are after their calcium content. You see, Ricotta Cheese has 5 times more calcium than Cottage Cheese
How to Make Ricotta Cheese (Homemade)
Yes, you can make your very own Ricotta Cheese so as to save money. And as you just learned from above, it’s quite simple to make. So simple, in fact, that you only need three ingredients for this – and you can make your very own homemade Ricotta Cheese recipe in just about 30 minutes. Click here to watch the video.
How to make Ricotta Cheese Via Michael's Home Cooking
Here are the 3 ingredients:
- Lemon Juice
The procedures for making Ricotta Cheese are as follows:
- In a saucepan, combine the milk, salt, and lemon juice.
- Set the stove to medium high.
- Allow the mixture to boil and then lower the heat and let it simmer.
- Stir while simmering until a creamy curd starts to form from the mixture.
- When the curd is already separated from the liquid, this means to say that your Ricotta Cheese is done.
- Place about 5 layers or more of cheesecloth on a strainer before straining the curd from the Ricotta Cheese. Keep in mind that the more layers of cheesecloth you use, the better will be the filtration process.
- Strain the rest of the cooked Ricotta Cheese and remember not to press down on the curd while straining the mixture (this will harden up the cheese).
- Once fully drained, you now have a ready to use Ricotta Cheese. You can use it in your recipes, serve it as is or store it in the freezer.
Recipes Using Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta Cheese is a well-used ingredient because of its versatility. Well, I’m sure every cheese lover will agree with me that all types of cheese are versatile in their own way. They simply bring in such flavor and life to a dish that even the blandest of recipes can magically transform into a delicious dish – all because of cheese.
Ricotta Cheese, of course, is such type of cheese. Here are just some of the recipes that make use of this delicious, healthy ingredient. Click here for more detailed recipes that use Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta Cheese can also be used to enhance the flavor of general recipes like those listed below
Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese?
I have good news for you – yes, you can freeze Ricotta Cheese to keep it fresh and, therefore, extend its life. Just don’t expect its quality to stay the same when you finally decide to thaw it, okay?
Let’s be realistic here – Ricotta Cheese is a type of soft cheese, so it’s not as versatile as hard types of cheese when it comes to storage. And so, although you can keep Ricotta Cheese fresh (and useable) up to 3 months when kept in the freezer, expect some changes in its texture and taste.
When thawed, frozen Ricotta Cheese can become soggy and watery (compared to its original appearance). Assuming it’s still good, you can simply blend the cheese with a spoon (or a blender) to make its components come together again. After doing this, you need to drain it to get rid of any excess liquid.
Below is a checklist on how to properly freeze Ricotta Cheese. No, you just can’t put it in the freezer and expect it to stay fresh for a long time. Freezing Ricotta Cheese properly is the only way that will assure you of its freshness.
- Freezing Ricotta Cheese that’s near its expiration date won’t last very long, even when frozen properly. In this case, make sure that you use it right away.
- Double seal a packed Ricotta Cheese before putting it in the freezer (use a freezer bag).
- When sealing in a freezer bag, seal out all excess air from the bag.
- If Ricotta Cheese is still in its original sealed pack, it will last longer when kept in the freezer.
- Drain left over Ricotta Cheese well before storing it in the freezer.
- Your freezer’s temperature should be maintained at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (or below) to ensure maximum freezing power.
How to Freeze Ricotta Cheese Properly
As mentioned above, proper freezing of Ricotta Cheese is needed in order to effectively prolong its life. And even when properly frozen, you still need to keep certain points in mind. Please refer to the list below.
- If the left-over cheese is still in its original package, seal it and then put it in a freezer bag before throwing it into the freezer. This will stay fresh for about a month.
- If you have too many leftover Ricotta Cheese, it would be best to pack them in small portions separately. This way, you will only need to thaw as much as you need when it’s time to use them.
- You can add frozen Ricotta Cheese to recipes while in the process of cooking (there’s no need to thaw).
- Even properly frozen Ricotta Cheese can turn bad when stored in the freezer for too long. Allow a maximum of 3 months in storing frozen Ricotta Cheese. As much as possible, use them within said time frame.
- Check the quality of frozen/ thawed Ricotta Cheese before using it. If there’s a change in its color and odor, that could mean that the cheese is no longer usable (so please throw it away). Here are some clues:
- Yellowish color
- Bad smell
- Weird taste
Freezing Dishes that Contain Ricotta Cheese
Since we are on a mission to save and prolong the life of Ricotta Cheese, let me tell you about another trick on how to do it.
You already know that you can freeze Ricotta Cheese, right? And by now, you already know how to do it properly as well.
One useful tip that all Ricotta Cheese lovers should know is that it’s also practical (and effective) to preserve this cheese by using it in a recipe and then freezing it – instead of directly freezing it.
What to make with Ricotta Cheese left-overs is not that complicated. Click here for an interesting Ricotta Cheese recipe (video)
Delicious Fried Ricotta Cheese Balls Via Cooking Italian with Joe
I know it sounds a bit confusing, so let me give you an example. Let’s say you decide to use your left-over Ricotta Cheese to make lasagna (I am using this example because it’s one of my favorite recipes).
In this particular example, let’s assume that you really don’t want to make a lasagna – you just need to do it because you want to make use of your leftover Ricotta Cheese.
You can then cut small portions of the lasagna and store them in the freezer. With this technique, you can simply pull out a portion of frozen lasagna and heat it in the microwave for instant homemade food.
Keep this tip in mind as it will give you more options on how to preserve Ricotta Cheese longer. This method is effective because of cooked ingredients (in this case – cooked Ricotta Cheese) last longer than frozen fresh ingredients (especially for something as delicate as Ricotta Cheese).
Ricotta Cheese at Its Best
Now that you know all there is to know about Ricotta Cheese, I hope you have learned to appreciate it more. It’s a delicate ingredient, but it’s worth all the trouble of preserving and extending its life.
Freezing is indeed the best way to keep Ricotta Cheese fresh – but remember that it’s texture and taste will be affected somehow. As long as the cheese is not the main component of a recipe, however, a slight change in its texture and flavor will go unnoticed.
Enjoy your Ricotta Cheese for a longer time from now on. Feel free to share this information to fellow cheese lovers as well.
To know more about Ricotta Cheese Substitute, click here.