Can You Freeze Mozzarella? How to Rescue Extra Cheese
Last week, I took my sweet time grocery shopping. I don’t know about you, but it feels therapeutic stocking my kitchen with things I need for cooking.
As I went to the gourmet cheese section, I saw Mozzarella cheese sold at huge discounts ! It quickly conjured images of pasta, casseroles, tacos and pizza in my mind.
Obviously, I had to get them while they’re cheap. And I went home happy.
I made tacos for the family that night and used the cheese right away. But then I still had a lot left and didn’t want it to waste. If you faced the same predicament in the past, you also probably wondered, can you freeze Mozzarella ?
The answer is yes, and that’s what I did.
Fresh vs. Blocks vs. Shredded Mozzarella
The beautiful thing about Mozzarella is that it can retain its original flavor and texture quite well even after freezing. However, that still depends on the kind of Mozzarella you have.
Fresh Mozzarella is probably the trickiest type to freeze. Ideally, you should use fresh Mozzarella a day after it’s been made. You’re supposed to use fresh Mozzarella as fresh.
But if you did have a lot of surplus fresh Mozzarella, you can still freeze it but be realistic with your expectations.
Fresh Mozzarella can lose its original flavor and texture after freezing. Expect it to become dry and easier to crumble. It might even taste a little different.
On the other hand, blocks of Mozzarella freeze quickly and they retain most of their flavors and texture. Depending on the dish, you might have to thaw the cheese out before using or dump it right away to your cooking meals.
Finally, shredded Mozzarella can cluster together when frozen. Like blocks, shredded Mozzarella also freezes well. You just have to keep the pieces apart so you can instantly use the cheese straight from the freezer.
You need to use a great-quality resealable plastic wrap for all types of Mozzarella. If the block is too huge to use for one dish or meal, chop it up to reasonable portions.
This will help to thaw the cheese faster. It’s also an excellent idea to wrap each piece in wax paper or plastic wrap rather than placing them all together in a single wrap.
If you have a lot of extra shredded cheese to freeze, consider sprinkling flour over them and toss. Flour will keep them from sticking together.
Place the shredded cheese on a baking sheet and pop in the freezer for 20 minutes. The cheese should be frozen a little which makes it easier to put in the plastic wrap.
Get a freezer bag and place all wrapped cheese inside it. Squeeze out any air before sealing. Double-wrapping will keep freezer burn at bay as well reduce the formation of ice crystals on the surface.
Lastly, label the cheese and use the first ones you froze.
Thawing Out Mozzarella Cheese
How you thaw and use the cheese depends on its type. Block and fresh Mozzarella are best transferred in the refrigerator to thaw. You can thaw blocks of cheese 8-12 hours before using, while fresh Mozzarella needs lesser time to thaw.
You can then shred or slice the cheese and use as desired.
Shredded Mozzarella cheese may not need to thawing since they’ll melt on the dish. Just remove the cheese from its packaging and top over pizza, pasta, soups and other dishes. It will melt just like any shredded cheese.
More Important Tips
- You might get tempted to thaw cheese on the counter but don’t do it. Placing cheese at room temperature to soften encourage the growth of harmful bacteria.
- Your cheese could get contaminated before you use it. Always plan ahead and thaw cheese safely in the refrigerator.
- Lastly, use thawed cheese right away and never refreeze previously frozen and thawed Mozzarella.
Mozzarella is my favorite cheese because it’s so tasty and flexible. I use it in a lot of our meals. Freezing Mozzarella is a splendid idea if you’re looking to preserve some of your extra cheese for future use and save money from impromptu purchases.
As such, I recommend that you double-wrap your cheese before sticking it in the freezer. If the frozen cheese is approaching its one month mark, use them in your meals right away to prevent wastage. A little meal planning will go a long way in saving your extra frozen cheese.