Food waste is not something we like.
However, it can be difficult to determine what can and cannot be frozen.
The freezing process can alter the texture and taste of cheeses, so you may find that your thawed product is not as good as expected.
When it comes to that big tub of ricotta and what to do about the leftovers, it is important to know how to store it and freeze it and how to use it afterward, which makes it worth the wait.
We will show you how to extend the shelf life and versatility of this delicious Fromage.
What is Ricotta Cheese?
Ricotta cheese is a staple ingredient in salads, pizza toppings, and pasta sauces.
It has a creamy, fresh taste and a smooth texture that’s quick and easy to prepare.
Ricotta, believed to have originated in Sicily in the 13th century, is made from cow’s milk or skimmed.
It gets its name from the Latin phrase “cooked twice”.
Ricotta is made from the whey leftovers of other cheeses and a little lemon.
It should be firm but not too soft, with a spreadable texture.
It can be used in both desserts and savory dishes due to its slightly sweet flavor.
You can use it hot or cold as an ingredient in recipes or on its own.
It is great to spread on bagel slices or as a dip.
Is it Safe to Freeze?
Ricotta cheese, like most cheeses, can be frozen for later use or to prolong its shelf life.
While it is safe to freeze ricotta cheese indefinitely, it can have an adverse effect on the quality of the cheese.
Although the taste of the cheese is not affected, it will change its texture due to its high water content.
The liquid in the ricotta will freeze, and it will turn to ice.
This will eventually change the texture of the cheese, making it dryer and more crumbly.
Frost burn can also occur when moisture freezes on the cheese’s surface.
This can affect its taste and cause it to turn brown.
Although ricotta cheese can be frozen, it is not edible and cannot be used in many dishes that don’t use the original texture.
The shelf life of frozen ricotta cheese is important.
It should be kept for at least two months.
How to Freeze Ricotta Cheese?
Properly freezing your ricotta cheese before you freeze will make a big difference in how long your cheese stays fresh.
This guide will show you how to freeze ricotta cheese.
Unopened packets: Ricotta is usually packaged in plastic containers with a lid that can be frozen.
If you’ve bought multiple packs, you can store your leftover tubs in unbroken packaging.
Ricotta leftovers: You will need to seal the container and place it in a freezer-safe container.
Use a spoon to stir the cheese, then use a kitchen towel to wipe off any liquid gently.
This will ensure that the cheese freezes evenly and reduces freezer burn.
Ricotta in large quantities: It is a good idea if you have leftover ricotta cheese.
You can break it into smaller pieces and wrap them individually in plastic wrap before putting them into an airtight container.
You can label each portion with the date it was frozen so you can use them as you like and keep track of the best-by date.
When to Use: Ricotta should be used within two months after being placed in the deep freezer.
For best results, make sure your freezer temperature is constant.
How to Thaw Frozen Ricotta?
Correctly thawing frozen ricotta is crucial to get the best use of your leftovers.
Frozen ricotta should be kept in the fridge.
Leaving it on the counter at room temp will encourage bacteria growth.
The frozen ricotta should be thawed in the refrigerator within 5-6 hours, depending on how large the portions are.
If you plan to cook with it, make sure you allow plenty of time.
The cheese will likely have a layer of liquid when it has thawed.
This will be the separated curds or whey from the ricotta.
Use a spoon to mix the liquid with the cheese until it is creamy again.
You can drain any liquid that remains.
If you notice unpleasant odors or yellowing to the ricotta, it is most likely that it has gone bad.
You will have to toss it.
How to Use Ricotta After it Has been Frozen?
It is best to use thawed cheese in recipes that don’t call for fresh ricotta.
These are some ideas for what to do after ricotta has been defrosted.
Use it as a warm sauce to make pasta dishes like mac and cheese.
For savory pasta fillings, such as spinach and ricotta ravioli, use a light bechamel sauce to make a meaty lasagna.
Sweet desserts like cheesecake or filled donuts can also be made.
You will get the most out of freshly thawed ricotta if you use it quickly and throw away any leftovers.
Is it Possible to Refreeze cheese?
No. The thawed cheese may be stored in the fridge for up to a day, but it is important that you use it immediately and not freeze any leftovers.
The texture and flavor of ricotta will be drastically altered if frozen after it has been thawed.
You can save your leftover ricotta by freezing it in smaller amounts than one batch.
This will ensure that you always have delicious and edible ricotta.