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Yes, you can freeze cottage cheese for 3 to 6 months, but it has some drastic texture changes that make it mostly good for baked dishes and not simply snacking.
How to Freeze Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is a soft cheese made from basically a curdled milk product where you drain some of the curds out of the skimmed milk. It's a little tangy and salty with a very lumpy slightly wet texture.
While it can be eaten on its own, people commonly mix fruits or other toppings in it or use it for baked goods.
If you see a banging sale and want to stock up on cottage cheese but you know it only stays good for a month or so on opened in the fridge and a week or so once opened, you may wonder if you can extend it shelf life.
Why you definitely can freeze your cottage cheese, the texture will be completely different once thawed. This makes it mostly useful and baked dishes or other uses where you're not dependent on the normal texture of the cottage cheese.
The thawed texture is rather chunky and almost a little crumbly. If you think about cottage cheese is a dairy product like other cheeses such as feta cheese this shouldn't be surprising that this is the freezing result.
Of note, full fat versions of cottage cheese with larger curds do tend to freeze a little better than lower fat versions.
Decide how you'll be using it when you thaw it and what size portions you'll need. Then, portion it up in those sizes so that you can freeze it accordingly.
Package it up either in an airtight container or a freezer bag.
Seal your package by placing the lid on the container or squeezing the air out of your freezer bag and is zipping it shut.
Label your freezer bag or container with the date.
Pop your bag or container into the freezer.
Top freezing tips
Here are a few key tips to help maintain the best quality in your cottage cheese.
- Fresh is the best. Cottage cheese doesn't last terribly long opened in the fridge before it starts to separate. So, make sure that you freeze it as soon as possible to maintain maximum quality.
- Don't let air in. If you're using freezer bags, squeeze out any additional air before zipping them shut. If you're using an air tight container, fill it almost the top leaving just an inch or so between a cottage cheese and the lid.
- Save space. Freezer bags typically take up less room in the freezer than an airtight container. If you are using freezer bags, once you have sealed it with no air, press the bag flat before freezing.
How to Defrost Cottage Cheese
Defrosting cottage cheese is as simple as removing it from the freezer and placing it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. If you have frozen a large amount such as an entire container in one bag, it may take more than eight or so hours to fully thaw.
It may be tempting to try to defrost it on the countertop or by running water over it. These are not good options due to the rapid temperature changes it compromises both the safety of the food as well as making the texture even less optimal.
Once the cottage cheese is thawed, if you used a freezer bag, it can be messy to get it out of it. Try pressing all the cottage cheese down towards one bottom corner. Then hold it over a bowl and use kitchen scissors to snip that bottom corner off. That way you can squeeze it out of the bag.
Some dairy products separate upon freezing can be revived by thoroughly whipping after defrosting. While this may help the cottage cheese slightly, it still does not fully revert to its pre-freezing texture by doing this.
How to Use Thawed Cottage Cheese
Though you certainly can go ahead and just eat thawed cottage cheese by the spoonful or by adding in some fruit or other toppings, the texture leaves a little to be desired. Therefore, some of these below recipes with cottage cheese uses are better for your thawed cottage cheese:
- adding to smoothies. If you do this, you can easily add it while still frozen.
- making pancakes or other baked goods. There are several recipes for pancakes and other baked goods where you can substitute milk or other dairy products for cottage cheese.
- cream-based sauces or soups
- making cheesecake
Freezing Cottage Cheese FAQ
Can you freeze store bought cottage cheese?
Yes, you can freeze store-bought cottage cheese.
How long does cottage cheese stay good in the fridge?
Opened cottage cheese should generally stay good for around a week in the refrigerator.
How long can cottage cheese be frozen?
Cottage cheese can be frozen for 3 to 6 months. It can be frozen even longer, but the texture changes and overall quality degradation will get even more pronounced over time.
How to Freeze Cottage Cheese
- airtight container
- marker or pen
- freezer bags
- Cottage Cheese
- First, decide what size portions you will be using when defrosted and divide the cottage cheese up into these portions.
- Scoop the cottage cheese into an airtight container or freezer bag.note: if using a container, size it so there is only around 1 - 2 inches of space between the cottage cheese and the lid.
- Press the lid onto the top of the container. Or, zip the bag shut after pressing any air out of it.
- Grab a marker and write the date on the bag or container.
- Stick your package into the freezer.