Some items in my frequently-visited grocery store are currently on sale. Most of these are dairy products such as hard Italian cheeses and Ricotta. I wanted to buy a bulk and shred some blocks for preservation purposes. Can I freeze shredded cheese without affecting its quality? How long will it stay fresh if frozen?
You’re in luck to have chanced upon a sale of these fine types of cheese. Purchasing a lot of them is indeed the most practical thing.
High-moisture shredded cheese such as mozzarella keeps well in the fridge for up to 21 days and up to 6 months when frozen. On the other hand, low-moisture shredded cheese (i.e. cheddar) may be refrigerated for up to 30 days or frozen to a maximum of 6 to 8 months for best quality. The period is counted from the sell or consume-by-date printed on labels.
Can You Freeze Shredded Cheese
To freeze cheese in its grated or shredded form is preferable because the change in texture during the freezing process is of little consequence.
But shredding cheese into these tiny pieces for freezing has its own downside. Cheese is not entirely safe when refrigerated or frozen, and shredded cheese has little resistance to these risks.
It may happen that the cheese comes in contact with mold and mildews that live in your fridge. In fact, mold spores thrive in the freezer, too.
Ordinarily, if mold appears on the surface of a block of cheese, you may just cut off the parts that are infected to salvage the whole cheese.
But this isn’t the same with grated or shredded cheese. If you spot mold in your frozen shredded cheese, then by all means discard it. It is almost certain that every strip of it is permeated by mold spores.
You may thaw it in room temperature or in the fridge. Better yet, cast those frozen shreds directly into the cooking pot for cooked dishes.
How to Freeze Shredded Cheese
Frozen shredded cheese is at its best when sprinkled on top of foods to melt. You can freeze any leftover shredded cheese or shred a block of cheese in advance with the following tips:
- Select only from the range of ‘semi-hard’ to ‘very hard’ variety of cheese if you intend to shred your own cheese (i.e. Romano, parmesan, gouda, aged cheddar)
- Chill or freeze the cheese for 30 minutes before shredding
- Use moisture-proof container or heavy-duty freezer bags for storage
- Leave enough headspace for expansion before you seal the bag or container
- Press out as much air as possible
- Label the bags with the name of the product and consume-by-date then freeze
- Do an initial freezing by laying the bags of shredded cheese on a baking sheet or any flat surface for an even layer
- Once frozen, stack the bags over the other for convenient storage
Shredded Cheese Recipes
Relish the goodness of cheese and white bread with this Grilled Cheese Sandwich. You bite into a crispy, caramelized cheese outside and into a melted cheese inside.
With this Hot Tuna and Cheese Sandwich, the subtle creaminess of shredded mozzarella is broiled on top of the tuna until it bubbles. The result is nothing but a buttery, crunchy, delicious experience.
The creamy, buttery and cheesy blend of ham and chicken is mind-blowing with this Chicken Cordon Bleu-wich recipe. The mere sight of melted cheese on top is enough to make anyone feel starved.
Yes, you can freeze shredded cheese. Shredded cheese will last for 1-2 months in the freezer if stored properly. Freezing also preserves texture which means your frozen meal will taste just as good after being heated up again. Here are some things I would recommend you keep in mind when freezing shredded cheese: shred it right before putting it in the freezer bag, use a rubber spatula to get out all of the air while sealing tightly, store properly, and label the bag with today’s date.
Now that you know how to freeze your grated cheese, please share your experience with me in the comment below!