Can you Freeze Shredded Mozzarella Cheese?

Q. I bought a huge bag of shredded mozzarella cheese on sale at the local bulk foods store. The price was just too good to pass up, and I didn’t realize just how big the bag was until I got home. I plan on making some pizzas with the cheese, but there will still be a considerable amount of shredded mozzarella left over. I know that cheese can be stored in the fridge for a bit, but I think that it will be a long time before I can actually get through the entire bag. I would like to freeze it, but I don’t know if frozen shredded cheese will clump together and become unusable. Can you freeze shredded mozzarella cheese?

A. Yes, you can definitely freeze shredded mozzarella cheese! Mozzarella cheese is a good type of cheese for freezing, as it isn’t so soft that the consistency will completely change upon freezing. However, you are right to be concerned about clumping. Thankfully there are a few simple tricks for avoiding clumping.

How to freeze shredded mozzarella cheese?

One way is to toss the mozzarella cheese with a tablespoon or two of plain flour or cornstarch. It doesn’t affect the flavour of the cheese, but the flour will absorb the extra liquid that sometimes escapes during freezing, preventing the cheese from clumping. Many commercially frozen cheese preparations use this trick to keep the shredded cheese separated when frozen. If you don’t want to add anything to your cheese, then spread out the cheese in a single layer on baking sheets. Place the sheets in the freezer for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is hard. Then it can be frozen without clumping because the extra moisture has already frozen.

Once you have completed one of the above two steps, you are ready to freeze your shredded mozzarella! Choose freezer bags or hard-sided freezer safe containers. Since the cheese will no longer stick together, there’s no need to portion it out when freezing. It can be frozen in large batches, and then the desired amount can simply be removed when needed. Place the cheese in the bags or containers, seal, and then label and date the containers. Frozen mozzarella cheese will last several months in the freezer without losing taste or quality.

There’s no need to thaw frozen shredded mozzarella cheese before using it. Simply remove the desired amount from the freezer and add to your favourite recipe. Unused thawed cheese can be stored in the freezer for several days, but should not be refrozen.

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