Yes, you can freeze Ricotta cheese. Ricotta is a highly perishable soft cheese and as such freezing is one way to extend the keeping time for this product. Like many other items that are frozen, the texture of Ricotta cheese changes a lot during the process and this might dissuade cheese lovers from freezing the cheese to preserve it. If the cheese will be used melted in a main dish then the change in texture shouldn’t matter very much, but if it’s intended to be the main ingredient in a staple dish, then freezing is not a very good idea.
Ricotta is a very versatile cheese and if you do intend to purchase large amounts then you will have a large array of dishes in which the cheese can be used. Pizza, lasagna, ravioli and cheesecakes are just a few of the options in which frozen ricotta is perfect for use.
Why Freeze Ricotta Cheese
I’ve often noticed that many grocery stores only sell foreign cheeses in large blocks that seem impossible to finish and ricotta is no exception. As a result, the regular homemaker finds that he/she is often unable to use all of the cheese for dishes before it starts to go bad. Many of the meals that call for ricotta do not use a lot and this means that a lot of the cheese is left over.
Nobody likes to have food go to waste, especially when it’s expensive and tasty cheeses like ricotta. For the thrifty homemaker freezing the cheese should be second nature to ensure that you get value for your money.
Steps For Freezing Ricotta
It is not recommended to freeze ricotta (or any other cheeses for that matter) in their original containers. Follow the guidelines outlined for the best way to protect your cheese.
Cut the large block of cheese into meal sized portions.
Wrap each slice of ricotta securely in plastic wrap, ensuring that you achieve perfect coverage to avoid freezer burn.
Place the wrapped cheese into a larger freezer bag and squeeze out the excess air for an airtight seal. Sealing the bag with a vacuum sealer is also an option.
Place the freezer bag into the freezer and store until needed.
Note: Cheese slices can be stored in individual freezer bags if you do have several of these available.
Thawing Frozen Ricotta
If you’re going to be using the ricotta in a cooked dish, then it can be added to the dish frozen. Otherwise, when you are ready to use the frozen ricotta, simply transfer it to the refrigerator section of your fridge and leave it to thaw overnight or for up to 24 hours. Frozen ricotta should never be thawed at room temperature, since this will encourage the growth of harmful bacteria on the cheese. Try to use the thawed cheese as soon as possible after the thawing has completed. Never refreeze thawed cheese.
Frozen ricotta cheese can last up to three months of frozen properly.