can you freeze ricotta cheese
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Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese? The Ultimate Guide for You

Speaking of Pizza, Spaghetti, Lilies, Pinocchio boy, or floating city, you will immediately think of Italy’s beautiful and ancient country. It is the country that makes food critics worldwide hail as having the most delicious food in the world. Few people know that this is the birthplace of a highly delicious cheese called Ricotta. In today’s article, we want to give you the most authentic look at this cheese, and answer the question Can you freeze ricotta cheese? And the telltale signs this cheese is spoiled? Let’s read together!

What Do You Know About Ricotta Cheese?

Referring to Brie cheese, people immediately think of France. When mentioning Ricotta, we immediately think of Italy, and it is made from the milk of sheep, cows, or goats. The characteristics of Ricotta cheese are white, creamy, mildly sweet, and less fatty than other typical cheeses. All The fat content will vary depending on the composition and type of milk you are using. Maybe you don’t know it, but some people do not recognize Ricotta as real cheese because it is made from by-products left over after making cheese. Unlike most other cheeses.

What do you know about ricotta cheese
Ricotta cheeese of Italian

According to some paintings and photographs from ancient times, Ricotta cheese has been around since Ancient Roman times. By using a curd separator, this cheese is not widely used because the shelf life is concise. When brought to the store fermented, it also appeared in the meals of the aristocracy.

Nowadays, it has become famous throughout most of Italy and is a popular product to cook a wide variety of dishes.

Ricotta cheese is a favorite ingredient to use with desserts, can be substituted for mayonnaise in salads, or can be used to make cheesecake, lasagna, or added to pasta, pizza, …

Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese?

Freezing food is mainly for the long-term use of food. But freezing it causes food to lose its original fresh taste. And ricotta cheese is no exception. It is known as one of the worst cheeses when frozen. But you can still freeze it if you want. Remember that it can only be used with certain baked goods or soups, not suitable for cooking as a direct sprinkle.

Because of its characteristic as a soft, moist, silky cheese, freezing breaks its structure, causing it to become dry and separate when defrosted.

It is no longer suitable as a side dish with bread, but only with some grilled dishes such as Grilled Lobster with Cheese or Grilled Egg Tart. The taste can be challenging to distinguish. So, depending on your needs, consider it before freezing it.

How to Freeze Ricotta Cheese Extremely Effectively?

How to freeze Ricotta cheese
Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese?

Imagine you want to freeze Ricotta cheese for later use, but after buying it from the supermarket, you throw it in the refrigerator’s freezer compartment. I can’t imagine what will happen next! Here are the experiences to freeze it effectively and still be able to use it:

  1. The entire container can be frozen if unopened but will not last too long. Instead, peel the cheese, use a spoon to stir the cheese until it’s smooth.
  2. Use a waterproof paper towel to blot the surface of the cheese to absorb all the water.
  3. Wrap the cheese in plastic wrap with plastic wrap, then put it in a plastic freezer bag. Remember to clearly state the date to put it in the refrigerator, and to prevent it from being taken by mistake, remember its expiration date, only for two months of use.

*Tips: Except for the above methods, you can freeze Ricotta cheese with eggs. What do you think? This idea looks crazy, but it’s completely doable. Because the compounds in eggs will increase the adhesion of both, leading to longer preservation. Remember to store it in an airtight bag in the refrigerator. Make sure to use it within two months.

The Difference Between Fresh and Frozen Ricotta

Anything tastes better when it’s fresh or new. The freezing of the product is only reluctant because it cannot be used up. Perhaps you can have a more intuitive look through the analysis of the characteristics of fresh and frozen cheese below:

Change the texture:

After two months of storage in the freezer, what will surprise you is that the surface of Ricotta cheese begins to appear as flat nodules, which are the result of lipid oxidation. What effect does it have on cheese?

First, because its small protein curds separate from liquid whey, not only is the flavor altered, but a more spongy texture replaces its velvety texture.

Thawed pieces of ricotta cheese are often drier than fresh pieces and don’t have the same moisture and smoothness as fresh ones.

If you intend to use frozen Ricotta cheese to make Cheesecake or pasta, you should immediately discard this idea.

Color and flavor

Most other cheeses can be stored in the refrigerator for months or weeks. But especially with Ricotta cheese spoils exceptionally quickly.

Due to its curd nature, it is formed by adding external acids, not bacteria like other cheeses. Therefore, the fact that you freeze Ricotta while fresh does not affect its color, but the taste is hugely different when it is new. If it is fresh, you can eat it directly, but you can only use it for cooking after freezing. Because the taste is not as good as before, please consider depending on the purpose of freezing.

When Does Ricotta Cheese Spoil? 

Unlike regular cheeses, because Ricotta has a higher moisture content than hard cheeses, it only tastes suitable for 1 to 2 weeks if refrigerated. What if you accidentally eat spoiled cheese? That will not happen if you pay attention to the following characteristics:

The change from the outer appearance

  • The first sign that ricotta cheese has gone wrong is a change in appearance. Brie or blue danish can be misinterpreted as having a coating of edible mold on the outside, but any mold that appears on the Ricotta indicates it has gone wrong. Sincere advice to let it go.
  • The second is that it can be watery or turn light brown or yellow, rather than pure white like a cloud at first.

It has a sour smell

Some cheeses are made from fermented milk, their pure taste is slightly sour, but Ricotta is different. It has almost no smell. Its fragrance is mild, soft, moderately greasy, mostly milky. You accidentally smell sour or fermented. Needless to say that it is spoiled.

Expiry

Because its perishable property must be stored in its packaging and the refrigerator at 40 degrees F or more relaxed. When you want to eat, use a clean serving spoon to scoop a portion. Then, cover the box immediately. Please put it in the refrigerator. Note, once opened, Ricotta can only be used for a maximum of two weeks. If you forget the due date, you should throw it away, don’t regret it.

*Tips: The characteristics that detect the fastest spoilage of Ricotta cheese are color and scent. Be sure to look closely at its expiry date, and if opened, it can only be used for two weeks. Unfortunately, it has shown up in your fridge for quite some time. Throw it away immediately!

How to Make Ricotta Cheese At Home

Now you can buy anything outside of supermarkets, large department stores, traditional or specialty markets, or on e-commerce sites like Amazon. But have you ever imagined on a beautiful weekend, suddenly you want to make pasta but run out of cheese? What you have to do is not just run to the supermarket but start making super Ricotta cheese together. Simple at-home below:

How to make Ricotta cheese
Ricotta cheese block molded before storage

What is Material:

  • Fresh milk without sugar 750ml
  • Whipping cream (35% fat) 250ml
  • Fine salt 1/2 teaspoon
  • Lemon juice 45ml
  • The finished product will produce about 250-300g of cheese

Implementation tools:

  • Mesh cloth, pot, sieve,…

How to do: 

  • Step 1: Put fresh milk, whipping cream, and acceptable salt in a pot and heat until just boiling (with tiny bubbles on the side of the bank), then turn off the heat. If you have a thermometer, measure the exact temperature to 90 degrees Celsius. Take care to stir well so as not to burn the milk.
  • Step 2: Put the lemon juice in the milk and stir well. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes.

*Tips for squeezing lemons with lots of water:

After taking out the lemon from the refrigerator, you can let it cool down by spinning it in the microwave for just about 30 seconds or soaking it in a bowl of warm water, and then you squeeze the lemon to get more juice.

Cut the lemon, use a fork to poke the surface of the lemons, which will help you squeeze a lot of lemon juice.

  • Step 3: Place the filter cloth in the basket and place the basket on a basin. Slowly pour in the milk on top, grabbing the corners of the fabric, twisting slightly, and letting it rest.
  • Step 4: To make your ricotta cheese as standard as the store, you should leave the whey overnight in the refrigerator. Then, please put it in a sterilized food container with a tight-fitting lid and store it in the fridge for later use.

Tips

After about 1 hour, you will have the cheese, but it will be a bit wet. Leave the whole cloth and basket in the refrigerator overnight if you want the cheese to be smoother and drier. Making ricotta cheese is not as difficult as you think. Try making this cheese yourself and compare how much it resembles the cheese bought at the supermarket. Because this is a fresh cheese, you should only put it in a sealed jar and use it for 3-4 days.

Easy Recipes Using Ricotta Cheese

Wondering if, in addition to eating directly, Ricotta cheese can also be processed into something different? A lot. The mild sweetness and slightly salty taste of cheese are the perfect seasonings for your dishes to add more appeal. Check out some of the recipes below:

Spicy Baked Ricotta and Pepper Dip

Friends come to visit but don’t know how to treat them to something unique but still full of nutrients, which makes them constantly whisper. Start doing the following right away:

INGREDIENTS

  • One large egg
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups grated low moisture mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp. brine from pepperoncini peppers, plus 1/4 cup thinly sliced pepperoncini
  • Red pepper flakes
  • One small garlic clove
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Two medium roasted red bell peppers, diced (3/4 cup)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
  • Crostini, for dipping

HOW TO DO

  1. Turn on the oven to 400 °C. Crack eggs into a medium bowl. Add ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, thyme, pepperoncini brine, and a large pinch of red pepper. Using a micro-flat surface, place the garlic in the bowl along with the cheese, stirring well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Put the oil in the pan, put the ricotta mixture into the prepared pan. You need to bake until golden and puffy, about 30 minutes.
  3. Prepare a small bowl, mix the tomato sauce with roasted pepper. Next, let’s remove the pan from the oven and scoop the remaining ketchup mixture on top. Let’s cool, then top with sliced ​​pepperoncini, sprinkle with grated red pepper, and serve hot with crostini for dipping.

Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry-Lemon Compote

Indeed no one is familiar with Pancake, but have you ever tried it with Ricotta cheese and blueberries? Let’s try it together!

WHAT NEED

  • 4 cups fresh blueberries (about 1½ pounds), divided
  • ¼ cup plus one tablespoon sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
  • One tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Four large eggs, separated
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅓ cups whole-milk fresh ricotta
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • Two teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil (for skillet)
  • Pure maple syrup and room-temperature butter

HOW TO MAKE

  1. Cook 2 cups blueberries, cup sugar, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat stirring occasionally, so they don’t burn until the berries begin to expand and the mixture becomes thick and mushy. 6-8 minutes. Add some lemon zest, lime juice, and 1 cup of blueberries. Let’s bring to a boil first, then remove from the pan.
  2. Using an electric mixer at the highest speed, beat the egg whites in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form, gradually add the sugar and beat for 3-5 minutes. Combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and the remaining one tablespoon. Put a little sugar and one teaspoon of MSG and salt in a large bowl to combine. Beat egg yolks, ricotta, buttermilk, and vanilla in another medium bowl.
  3. Add the egg yolks to the dry ingredients and use a rubber spatula to stir to combine. Fold one-third of the egg white lightly, add the remaining egg white and fold until no streaks remain.
  4. Preheat the grill in batches. Scoop ½ cup of batter onto the griddle. Place two tablespoons on top of each fresh blueberry. Cook the pancakes until the bottom are golden brown and bubbly on top, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook, reducing heat if the cake cooks too quickly until the second sides are golden brown and the pancakes are done in about 2 minutes.
  5. Finally, eat pancakes with warm sauce, maple syrup, and butter. It is a super delicious dessert that you cannot miss at your afternoon tea parties.

 FAQs

1. What should I do with a lot of ricotta cheese?

Currently, in your refrigerator, there is too much Ricotta cheese. After a long time, it will expire. In addition to direct use, you can prepare many dishes such as pasta, pizza, pies, etc., and never get tired of eating. Such as:

  •  Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.
  •  Pasta with Spinach, Artichoke, and Ricotta.
  •  Ricotta Pound Cake with blueberry lemon flavor.
  •  Passion fruit spaghetti with peas and Ricotta.
  •  Zucchini Ricotta Frittata…

2. How long can you freeze ricotta cheese?

Theoretically and based on the decomposition process of cheese, we usually freeze Ricotta cheese by not using it all or storing it for long-term use. The ideal time to store cheese by freezing is within two months. If it is more than two months, they may change in smell and produce mold even if kept in the freezer.

3. Can you freeze an unopened container of ricotta cheese? 

Do you think yes or no? The answer is, of course, yes. If you have not used or have not opened the box of Ricotta cheese, you have just bought it from the grocery store or supermarket.

You can still freeze the whole package. But to make sure the cheese will keep for a long time, use a spoon to stir the Ricotta so that the cheese is more uniform. Then, take the cheese out of the box and press it down with a paper towel to drain. Let’s cover it up and put it in the freezer.

4. Can frozen Ricotta cheese be defrosted in the microwave?

The primary function of a microwave oven is to defrost food always to ensure the freshness and authenticity of the food remains intact. But with cheese, it’s different, especially Ricotta. If you take a piece of this cheese out of the fridge, soften it in the microwave, you can throw it away.

Instead, please put it in a bowl, fill it with warm water, put your cheese in it, microwave it but don’t turn it on. Make sure your Ricotta cheese is still usable.

5. Can you freeze ricotta cheese twice?

Actually possible. With the condition, after not using it anymore, you must immediately put it in the refrigerator. Keep in mind that a pack of Ricotta cheese frozen twice can only be used for a maximum of 2 weeks.

Conclusion

After reading this article, hope that we have increased your love for cheese, especially Ricotta. Don’t worry, wondering if “Can you freeze ricotta cheese?” Follow our instructions with confidence and keep a few things in mind, so you don’t eat spoiled cheese. The taste will be terrible! It will be even more remarkable if you try to cook some dishes with this cheese to treat the whole family. Let’s enjoy life with us.

Matt Cowan

Matt Cowan is a bartender at Saved By The Max. He graduated from Arizona State University and has been bartending for about 20 years now, starting when he was just thirteen!

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