Q. I stocked up on cottage cheese when it was on sale at the supermarket, but I don’t have enough room for it all in my refrigerator. I don’t want it to go to waste. Can you freeze cottage cheese?
A. Cottage cheese can be frozen. However, freezing will change the consistency of it, so depending on what you want to use it for, freezing may or may not be a good idea. Like all soft cheeses, the milk fat will separate from the rest of the cheese during the freezing process, so it will be more watery upon thawing than the original. Dairy products also sometimes take on a slightly yellow hue when frozen due to the saturated fat content, but the color should return to white upon being thawed and stirred.
How To Freeze Cottage Cheese?
To freeze cottage cheeses, either freeze it in the original container, a freezer safe plastic container, or a freezer bag. Before freezing, stir cheese well to blend all the ingredients and minimize separation upon thawing. Cottage cheese absorbs flavors from other foods, so it may be best to double wrap it for freezing. Place the cheese in the desired container, leaving some room for expansion. Label and date the package. Frozen cottage cheese should be used within two to three months of freezing.
To thaw cottage cheese, remove package from the freezer and thaw in the fridge for several hours or overnight. Dairy products should never be thawed on the counter as uneven temperatures can allow bacteria to grow. When thawed completely, drain off some of the excess water and then stir cottage cheese to help restore some of the original texture. Cottage cheese will not completely return to its original texture, but a teaspoon of corn starch added to the container and stirred in can help thicken it up.
Thawed cottage cheese should be used within 3-4 days of being thawed, and should never be refrozen. Previously frozen cottage cheese is safe to eat, but the change in texture may make it unappealing to eat on its own. Instead, thawed cottage cheese is best used when incorporated into recipes or with some fruit added to it to improve texture and taste. Dishes that use previously frozen cottage cheese should not be refrozen. If you do not consume large quantities of cottage cheese at one time, consider freezing it in single serving packages and only thawing one or two packages at a time to reduce potential waste.