Are you fond of the oozy, yummy mozzarella cheese? I am! Therefore, I stock mozzarella at home so that whenever I feel like baking, I have plenty of cheese to use. However, can you freeze mozzarella cheese?
I bet that the question caught the attention of cheese lovers, especially those who buy them in bulk. Do you have an idea of how to do this? Since the freezer is usually our best friend when it comes to saving leftovers, will it do the same for our mozzarella?
Let’s find out!
Different Types of Mozzarella Cheese
Mozzarella is a stretched curd cheese that originates in Italy.
There are plenty of mozzarella versions, but I would mention only the most commonly used for recipes.
1. Fresh or Soft Mozzarella
Fresh or Soft mozzarella cheese is mild flavored and creamy. The sooner you eat it, the better. Stores sell fresh or soft mozzarella cheese in diverse shapes, but the most common of all is the ball kind which is the size of an orange, or smaller.
2. Mass Produced
Mass-produced cheese is usually vacuum-packed in a plastic wrap. It tastes a bit salty but mild. This comes sliced or shredded in your favorite supermarket. This type is what you use for pizza and lasagna.
Buffalo mozzarella is the very first mozzarella cheese ever made. If you found one, I am sure it is hard in texture and expensive. I believe that it’s sweeter and more delicious than the other types.
Is It Possible to Freeze It?
Well, let me say that YES, you can freeze mozzarella cheese. You should know that this type of cheese is the best regarding consistency and taste even after freezing.
The key is to know the different kinds of mozzarella. Keep in mind that freezing would not be possible for the soft type. Consume soft mozzarella (freshly made) while it is fresh.
If by chance you need to freeze it, expect that the texture will change from creamy to crumbly and it will not taste the same.
The soft cheese tastes best when eaten fresh. Other varieties of mozzarella cheese (solid) are at their best when frozen. Freezing is the clever and cheapest way to save your cheese.
How to Do It Properly?
Freezing mozzarella the right way is a significant factor in prolonging its shelf life. The method may vary depending on the kind of mozzarella cheese that you intend to freeze. Here are some tips that are useful for you.
This is the best choice for cheese sticks, pizza, lasagna, and sauces. Do you know that among all types, shredded mozzarella is most recommendable for freezing? I shred the mozzarella myself before storing it. I mix a bit of cornstarch or flour with the shredded mozzarella to help absorb the moisture while in the freezer thus avoiding clumping.
I suggest spreading the shredded mozzarella on a baking sheet and storing it in the fridge for a while before placing it in the freezer. After a few minutes, wrap it (double wrap) in a plastic wrap or aluminum foil and put it inside a freezer bag. It is better to fill in all the space in your sealed container or bag to prevent air from entering before placing it in the freezer.
Sliced mozzarella is suitable for sandwiches. If you plan to store and freeze them, don’t forget to place wax paper in between the slices to stop them from sticking together. Then proceed to double-wrap it using plastic wraps or foil before sealing inside a freezer bag.
Block of Mozzarella Cheese
The same method applies when freezing sliced type. However, a block of cheese is bigger. Hence, you need a large wax paper or foil and a freezer bag or container as well.
Leftover mozzarella lasts around a week when stored properly in the fridge. However, when it’s frozen, it remains safe and fresh for up to two months. This shelf life applies to newly opened mozzarella packages. Freezing leftover cheese that is more than a day old is already risky and imposes a health hazard.
For your solid mozzarellas that are not yet opened (when you buy in bulk), the frozen product will last longer for another month or so.
If you’d like to learn more about freezing food, you can check out our blog post on freezing scrambled eggs.
- Label each pack with the type of cheese and the storage date. This way, it’s easy for you to track the shelf life of the frozen cheese. Make sure to use permanent pens in doing so.
- Never freeze the cheese again after thawing.
- Check the condition of the cheese before freezing. Freeze the cheese right away after opening the package.
- Check CircleCheese exposed to room temperature for hours is no longer suitable for freezing.
- Check CircleFor convenience, store it in small portions for easy retrieval. I save the amount of mozzarella that I think is good for one serving. It would be great if you already have a plan of how and when to use it. It helps in determining the number of portions you need to place in each bag.
Storing in small portions will also allow thawing a lot faster. Slicing or shredding it before freezing is an advantage when it comes to saving time and effort.
- Ensure that you pack the cheese properly to prevent freezer burn.
- Don’t thaw the cheese at room temperature. It will allow bacteria to thrive. You need to thaw Mozzarella cheese inside the fridge at least overnight.
- Use thawed cheese right away.
- Check CirclePress the bag to let the air out before sealing your cheese. Air can cause damage to the cheese. If air remains inside, it will create ice crystals that will make your cheese wet and soggy after thawing.
This does not impose a problem for the shredded type, but for the sliced ones, it may affect the texture. If you have access to vacuum packing, it’s useful for this purpose.
How to Thaw Your Frozen Cheese?
When it’s time to use the frozen cheese, it’s best to thaw it the proper way. Keep in mind that thawing it at room temperature is a high risk of contaminating it to bacteria. I advise to get the needed amount of mozzarella and transfer it to the fridge beforehand.
I usually give it an overnight to provide ample thawing time. Some let it stay in the refrigerator for 24 hours. NEVER thaw your cheese using the microwave or submerging it in water. Otherwise, your mozzarella will end up gooey.
However, for frozen mozzarella cheese that you plan to use in soups and other recipes, there is no need for thawing. The heat of the cooked food will easily melt shredded mozzarella. You can use it directly from the freezer then.
Take note: After thawing, mozzarella cheese would last a maximum of three days.
How should I store mozzarella cheese in the freezer to prevent it from absorbing other odors?
To prevent mozzarella cheese from absorbing other odors in the freezer, ensure it’s stored in an airtight container or a vacuum-sealed bag. You can also double-wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing it in a freezer bag for added protection.
Is there a difference in freezing whole milk mozzarella compared to part-skim mozzarella?
Both whole milk and part-skim mozzarella can be frozen, but whole milk mozzarella might have a slightly creamier texture when thawed. Part-skim mozzarella, with less fat content, may become a bit more crumbly after freezing and thawing.
Can I use frozen mozzarella cheese for cold dishes like caprese salad?
While you can use frozen and then thawed mozzarella for cold dishes, it’s worth noting that the texture might be slightly different from fresh mozzarella. For dishes like caprese salad, where the texture of the cheese is crucial, it’s best to use fresh mozzarella.
How can I quickly thaw mozzarella cheese if I’m in a hurry?
If you’re in a rush, you can place the mozzarella cheese in a sealed plastic bag and immerse it in cold water. However, for the best texture and flavor, it’s recommended to thaw it in the refrigerator.
Will the nutritional value of mozzarella cheese change after freezing and thawing?
Freezing mozzarella cheese will not significantly alter its nutritional value. However, the texture and, to some extent, the flavor might be affected. Always ensure proper storage and thawing methods to retain the cheese’s quality.
The Bottom Line
After experimenting with freezing mozzarella cheese, I can confidently say that it’s a viable option for preserving those cheese leftovers. Initially, I was skeptical about how the texture and flavor would hold up post-freezing, but to my pleasant surprise, the cheese retained much of its original charm.
While there’s a slight change in texture when thawed, especially if it’s fresh mozzarella, it’s still perfectly suitable for cooking and melting in dishes like lasagna or pizza. However, for those who cherish the delicate nuances of fresh mozzarella in salads or as a standalone snack, I’d recommend consuming it fresh.
Freezing is a great way to reduce waste and ensure you always have some mozzarella on hand for those impromptu pizza nights. Just remember to store it properly in an airtight container or vacuum-sealed bag to maintain its quality.