Q. I opened a large container of nacho cheese sauce when my kids had some friends over to watch the game, and now I have half a container leftover. We don’t eat nacho cheese sauce very often even though my kids like it, so I think it will spoil before I need to use it again. I don’t want to throw out half a container of the stuff, but I’m not sure how else to store it. It’s not really the type of ingredient that is easy to incorporate into other meals! Can you freeze nacho cheese sauce?
A. Sounds like a fun time! As for the nacho cheese sauce, yes, you can freeze it. Nacho cheese sauce will lose some of its consistency upon freezing, but it can be brought back to normal with a few tips. The following instructions apply equally to store bought commercial nacho cheese sauce and homemade nacho cheese sauce.
How to freeze nacho cheese sauce?
To freeze nacho cheese sauce, first make sure that it does not have any other food mixed in. It’s not a great idea to freeze leftover sauce that has had nacho chips dipped into it over and over again. Also, make sure that the cheese sauce is not hot and has come to room temperature. Nacho cheese sauce should be frozen as soon after opening as possible to maintain maximum freshness.
If you don’t use nacho cheese sauce often, consider freezing it in smaller, single serving quantities since it is not recommended to refreeze previously frozen sauce. Spoon the sauce into small freezer bags. Squeeze out the excess air, and then seal the bags. Label and date the bags. Place the freezer bags in the freezer until you need them.
When you are ready to use the frozen nacho cheese, remove the bag from the freezer the night before. Allow the cheese to thaw in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. When cheese freezes, the fat separates from the water, causing a change in colour and texture. This can be brought back to normal by stirring the thawed nacho cheese sauce thoroughly to mix everything back together.
Thawed nacho cheese sauce can be reheated in the microwave or on the stove by gently heating it over low heat in a small saucepan. Stir frequently to avoid burning. For best results, use previously frozen nacho cheese sauce within two to three days. Keep unused nacho cheese sauce in the refrigerator, and do not refreeze it.