Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese?

Can you freeze fresh ricotta cheese? Yes! This simple, step-by-step guide will show you how to freeze ricotta for your favorite pasta dishes & desserts.


Freeze-ability Index
Freezability Index of Three

Best Stored In…
Airtight container OR freezer bags OR original package

How to Thaw
Refrigerator

What to Expect
Crumbly, dry, water separation

Can I Re-Freeze?
Not recommended


Can Ricotta Cheese Be Frozen?

Yes, you can freeze ricotta cheese, whether its store-bought or homemade ricotta. Be warned, defrosted ricotta cheese is crumbly and drier than fresh, You may not like its texture.

Like cottage cheese, freezing soft cheeses like ricotta is great for use in cooked dishes or baking, like in pasta recipes (lasagna, mac & cheese), pancakes, cookies, cakes, and so on.

How To Freeze Ricotta Cheese

Here's how to freeze ricotta cheese into 1 cup balls. 1 cup is just a suggestion—I researched a few dozen recipes and most called for 1 cup of ricotta cheese.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 21 mins
Total Time 21 mins

Equipment

  • A mixing bowl
  • A spoon
  • A clean towel or mesh bag (like a nut milk bag)
  • A measuring cup
  • Plastic freezer wrap
  • Airtight, freezer-safe container OR a medium-sized freezer bag
  • Freezer labels
  • A permanent marker

Instructions
 

  • Put the ricotta cheese into a mixing bowl and stir it well.
  • With clean hands, form the ricotta cheese into balls, about 1 cup each (the size of a tennis ball.)
  • Wrap the ball(s) of ricotta cheese in a towel or mesh bag and squeeze gently. This helps remove extra whey and improves freezing.
  • Separately wrap each ball of cheese in cling wrap.
  • Place the ball(s) of cheese in an airtight container or a freezer bag. If you need to press down a little on the cheese to make it fit in the container, go for it.
  • Write today's date on a label and stick it to the container or the freezer bag. Put it in the freezer.
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The Best Nut Milk Bag (GoNuts)

• Over 1,100 Reviews
• 5 out of 5 Stars

This durable, high-quality mesh bag is BPA-free is restaurant-tested for durability. Use it for homemade nut milk, brewing coffee, making juice or cheese, and more.


Can You Freeze Unopened Ricotta Cheese?

Yes, you can freeze an unopened container of ricotta cheese. Here’s what you need to freeze the cheese in its original container:

Plastic Container

How To Freeze Unopened Container of Ricotta Cheese

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 mins
Total Time 2 mins

Equipment

  • A large resealable, plastic freezer bag
  • Freezer labels
  • A permanent marker
  • A straw (optional)
  • Space in the back of the freezer

Instructions
 

  • Put the unopened container of ricotta cheese into a freezer bag just in case the container seal breaks while in the freezer.
  • Remove as much air as you can from the bag and then seal it.
  • Straw "vacuum seal" trick (optional): Slide a straw into the bag and suck out the air so the bag "shrinks" around the ricotta container. Slide the bag down the straw as you inhale, and quickly seal the bag while you remove the straw.
  • Write today’s date on a freezer label, stick the label to the bag, and put it in the freezer.
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How Long Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese?

You can keep ricotta cheese in the freezer for 2 months. Ricotta cheese has a maximum shelf life of 2 months, so don’t eat it if it’s any older than this. Check the sell-by or expiry date to find this information.

Equipment Shopping List

I made this quick list for you in case you noticed that you were low on freezer bags or realized it was time for a new slotted spoon (I mean, you do deserve a present after all!)

I’ve either used these tools or added them to my own shopping list because they’re affordable and they get great reviews. Add them to your next Amazon order!


The Best Airtight Containers (Glasslock)

• Over 3,700 Reviews
• 4.5 out of 5 Stars
• Microwave, freezer & oven-safe
• Airtight and leak-proof

The Ultimate Freezer Bags (Hefty)

• Over 2,000 Reviews
• 4.5 out of 5 Stars
• Tough and easy to fill

The Handiest Freezer Labels (Chinco)

• Hundreds of Reviews
• 4.5 out of 5 Stars
• Water-resistant, easy to remove, no residue

The Best Mixing Bowls (OXO)

• Over 1,500 Reviews
• 5 out of 5 Stars
• 3-piece dishwasher safe & BPA-free set
• No skidding or wobbling


How to Defrost Ricotta Cheese

There are 3 ways to defrost ricotta cheese:

In the Fridge (Best Method)
Thawing frozen ricotta cheese in the fridge is highly recommended because it’s the safest and best way to defrost it.

In Cold Water (Faster)
Use this method if you need to defrost the ricotta cheese fast.

While Cooking (Fastest)
No defrosting needed here. Add frozen ricotta cheese directly to your recipe and let the heat from the pot/pan melt it.

Do not do thisHow NOT to Defrost Ricotta Cheese

Don’t defrost ricotta cheese at room temperature or in warm water—this may cause spoilage and food poisoning.

Can You Defrost Ricotta Cheese in the Microwave?

Don’t defrost ricotta cheese in the microwave. It could heat up too quickly and separate the cheese from the liquid even more, or spoil.

Fridge

How To Defrost Ricotta In The Fridge

5 from 1 vote
Defrost Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs

Equipment

  • A bowl OR a towel

Instructions
 

  • Take as much cheese as you need out of the airtight container or freezer bag. Leave any extra balls in the container/bag, seal it up, and put it back in the freezer.
  • Place the wrapped cheese balls into a bowl or on a towel, and put them in the fridge.
  • Leave the ricotta cheese to thaw for 1 hour.
  • Take the ricotta cheese out of the fridge and open or unwrap it.
  • Stir the ricotta cheese. Put it back in the fridge and leave it 1 hour.
  • Repeat Step 5 again 4 more times.
  • Don't thaw ricotta cheese without stirring it for more than 8 hours.
  • Eat or use the cheese in a recipe within 2 to 3 days.
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Defrosting in cold water

How to Defrost Ricotta Quickly in Cold Water

Eat or use thawed ricotta cheese in a recipe within 2 to 3 days.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Defrost Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins

Equipment

  • A resealable plastic bag
  • A large bowl OR a clean sink
  • Cold water
  • A mixing bowl

Instructions
 

  • Take as much cheese as you need out of the airtight container or freezer bag. Leave any extra balls in the container/bag, seal it up, and put it back in the freezer.
  • Put the balls into another normal plastic bag.
  • Fill your sink with cold water (not warm.)
  • Put the bag in the water and leave alone it for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, replace the water with fresh, cold water. Leave the ricotta alone for 30 minutes.
  • Gently squeeze the ricotta cheese to check if it's thawed. If not, repeat Step 5 until the cheese feels soft.
  • Open the freezer bag and unwrap the ricotta ball(s). Put the balls into a mixing bowl and stir the ricotta cheese well.
  • Eat or use the cheese in a recipe within 2 to 3 days.
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Blanching MethodHow to Defrost Ricotta Cheese – Cook It

If you’re adding ricotta cheese directly to a recipe that involves heating the ingredients in a pot, add the frozen ricotta cheese directly. Stir well.

What to Expect After Defrosting Ricotta Cheese

Here’s what to expect in terms thawed ricotta cheese:

  • The flavor of thawed ricotta cheese won’t change. If it smells or tastes sour, toss it.
  • Color won’t change after freezing. If it’s turning yellow, toss it.
  • The texture of ricotta cheese is most affected after freezing. It’ll become crumbly and drier (not a problem if you’re cooking with it.)

Can You Re-Freeze Ricotta Cheese?

We don’t recommend that you re-freeze ricotta cheese because the texture will worsen every time you freeze and defrost it.

If you need to re-freeze it, then defrost the ricotta cheese in the fridge and refreeze within 24 hours of defrosting. Better yet, divide the cheese mixture into smaller portions before you first freeze it.

Don’t eat ricotta cheese if it’s older than 2 months.


Right, but what about…

Do you know a better way to freeze ricotta cheese? Or are you looking for info on something else? Leave a comment below or email us—we’d love to hear from you!


Sources

One comment

  1. 5 stars
    Super helpful article!! Glad to know I can freeze my leftover ricotta for a future baking recipe.

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