Food & Cooking Health

Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese? Everything You Need to Know

Freeze Ricotta Cheese

Can you freeze ricotta cheese? How do you keep it fresh? If you love eating lasagna, pizza or salad, you are most likely dealing with this common question, especially if you always have a leftover ricotta cheese recipe.

What makes ricotta cheese a must-have ingredient is its pearly white color, smooth texture, as well as creamy and slightly sweet taste. Perfect to use as a main dish, side dish, snack and appetizer, ricotta cheese can go bad if not stored properly. 

So, is freezing it a better option? Definitely, yes! 

The taste will not change, but the texture will do. Often, the whey and curds in ricotta separate when frozen, which eventually lose its moisture. Nevertheless, you can still expect for a delicate, appetizing taste when added to your favorite food. 

What is Ricotta Cheese Like?

Ricotta cheese bears a resemblance to cottage cheese, but it has five times more calcium. Cottage cheese possesses a more robust form, while ricotta cheese is softer and more subtle. This is why ricotta cheese is mostly preferred to use in recipes that need fast melting cheese (e.g., Italian pasta with meatballs, manicotti, cannelloni, and ravioli). It is also a healthier option since it contains more calcium.

Why is Ricotta Cheese Good for You?

Yes, ricotta cheese offers many health benefits that your body essentially needs for everyday living. 

It contains...

  • Minerals - Zinc (10%), Phosphorus (20%) and Selenium (26%)
  • Vitamins - Vitamin A (11% daily value), Vitamin B12 (7%) and Riboflavin (14%)
  • Calcium - helps in strengthening the bones; 26% of daily value or 257 mg of calcium can be obtained in just a half cup serving.
  • Protein - 14g of protein is contained in 1 half cup serving of whole ricotta cheese. This helps in building muscles. 
  • Omega Fatty Acids - helps prevent cancer and heart disease. In a half cup serving, you can have 339 mg of omega-6 fatty acids and 139 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. 

...so, have bits of it in your favorite cookies, crostinis, toast or other scrumptious recipes!

How to Make Ricotta Cheese Recipe

Making ricotta cheese is just easy! All you need is one teaspoon salt, eight cups of whole milk and three tbsps. of fresh lime juice (lemon or vinegar can be used, too). 

Fresh ricotta cheese

Fresh ricotta cheese

Here's how to do it:

  1. Row a large colander or strainer with four layers of cheesecloth. Put it in a big bowl. Put to one side.
  2. Heat milk and one teaspoon of salt in a heavy bottom four-quart saucepan. Cook on medium-high.
  3. Mix in lemon juice. Cover up and remove from heat.
  4. Let rest for five minutes.
  5. Transfer curds to the lined strainer using a slotted spoon. Drain for three minutes.
  6. Remove whey from the bowl.

Or, you can watch this video:

How to Freeze Ricotta Cheese

How do you freeze ricotta cheese without ruining it?

Mostly, the ricotta cheese sold in the market is wrapped up in a plastic container that can be appropriate for freezing. Directly freeze the cheese if the parcel has not been opened. But if you have leftovers, keep them in a freezer bag or sealed container. You can try with aluminum foil if you don't have anything else. 

Preparation

Before freezing, mix the cheese well with a spoon to freeze it evenly. Remove also the moisture by pressing it against a mound of paper towels. 

Storing in a sealed container

  • Portion the ricotta cheese.
  • Pack individually using a plastic wrap.
  • Put all the wrapped portions in a sealed container. 

Storing in a freezer bag

  • Wrap up the ricotta cheese in a plastic wrap.
  • Divide the cheese into small parts.
  • Extract the air before sealing it to avoid freezer burn. 

You need to label the container or bag with the contents and date. Ricotta cheese 

If you're planning to keep the cheese in the freezer for over a month's time, then storing it in the freezer bag is highly advisable. Though, keeping it in the freezer for over three months is not a good idea. 

Spreading ricotta cheese on a bread

Spreading ricotta cheese on a bread

How to Eat Ricotta Cheese

There are many things you can do with ricotta. Below are some of our favorites that you can also try.

In baking. The fluffiness and moistness of ricotta make it a good addition to pancakes, coffee cakes, pieces of bread and muffins.

For enriching egg dishes. A few spoons of ricotta cheese can make the eggs a bit fluffier.

For enriching sauces. Want to add lots of creaminess and flavor to your pasta sauce? Add one or two scoops of ricotta! 

To Wrap It Up

So, can you freeze ricotta cheese? Worry not because the answer is a definite YES! Just follow the right way of freezing it and of course the proper way of storing it. And you will indeed have your ricotta cheese a lot longer!

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