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Can You Freeze Ricotta?

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By Ross Young

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Have you ever found that you buy a tub of ricotta cheese only to end up with it going bad before you can use it all? This happens all too often because ricotta has a fairly short shelf life. So, is there a better way to store it?

Can You Freeze Ricotta?

Yes, you can freeze ricotta for up to 2 months. However, it does come with caution because even though it does freeze, you shouldn’t expect it to remain precisely the same. There will be changes in texture.

Does Ricotta Freeze Well? Sometimes

Can You Refreeze Ricotta? No

How To Freeze Ricotta

If you haven’t opened the ricotta and it is still sealed in a container that is suitable for freezing, then freezing it is simple. Just write the date on it, so you know when it was frozen and pop the whole unsealed pot into the freezer!

However, it is more likely that you have opened the ricotta and have used a little and want to freeze the leftovers so let’s take a look at how you can do this.

How to Freeze Leftover Ricotta in large Portions

  1. Stir: Start by stirring the ricotta. This makes the ricotta’s texture more even, which helps it freeze a little more successfully.
  2. Drain: Pop the cheese out of the container onto some paper towels. You want to drain as much liquid from the cheese as possible because it is the ricotta’s moisture content that can cause you the most problems when freezing.
  3. Portion into Bags: Pop the drained cheese back into a freezer-safe container or sealable freezer bag. If you don’t have access to these, then you can wrap the cheese in clingfilm. If you are doing this, make sure that you are wrapping it to protect the ricotta from the air.
  4. Freeze: Label the ricotta with the contents and the date and pop it into the freezer.

How to Freeze Small Portions of Ricotta

If you only tend to use minimal amounts of ricotta, then a great option is to use an ice cube tray to freeze the ricotta in small portions perfect for adding to a sauce for some extra creaminess.

  1. Stir: Stir your ricotta to make sure it is well mixed and smooth in texture.
  2. Drain: Pop the ricotta onto some paper towels to drain any excess liquid.
  3. Portion into an Ice Cube Tray: Spoon a portion of ricotta into each section of an ice cube tray. Leave a little gap at the top of each section because the ricotta does have nigh water content and will expand as it freezes.
  4. Wrap and Flash Freeze: Wrap the whole tray in cling film and pop it into the freezer to freeze.
  5. Final Freeze: Once the ricotta has frozen, you can remove them from the freezer and transfer the cubes into a freezer bag. Label the freezer bag with the date and contents and seal tightly before putting it back into the freezer.

3 Tips for Freezing Ricotta

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing ricotta to have the best results:

Use Cooked
Once you have defrosted ricotta, don’t attempt to eat it without cooking it. The texture will be pretty awful. Instead, use defrosted ricotta in a cooked dish.

Freeze in a Dish
You can hide the textural change of ricotta best when you freeze it as part of another dish such as cannelloni. 

Avoid Doing So
The final tip is to avoid freezing ricotta altogether. If you enjoy ricotta best when it is cold and uncooked, then freezing it will not be an enjoyable experience. Ricotta will split when frozen. 

How Long Can You Freeze Ricotta?

Ricotta can be kept frozen for about two months before it will start to deteriorate too much.

The sooner you can use the ricotta, the better as it will suffer from a few changes while being frozen, and you can minimise these by using the ricotta sooner rather than later.

How Long Does Ricotta Last in the Fridge?

Once opened, ricotta will last for around 5 days. It should not be kept in the fridge with an open lid though, it should be sealed with cling film, for example.

How Do You Defrost Ricotta?

The best method to use to thaw out the ricotta when it comes time to use it is to allow it to defrost slowly. This minimises the texture change you will get and helps the cheese to defrost as safely as possible.

To do this, all you need to do is take the ricotta out of the freezer, put it into a bowl and pop the bowl into the fridge to defrost for several hours.

If you think ahead, then it’s best to get the ricotta out of the freezer the night before you need it and give it plenty of time to defrost overnight.

Can You Refreeze Ricotta?

It wouldn’t be recommended to refreeze ricotta. This is a food that changes texture considerably when freezing and is likely to degrade if you tried to freeze it again.

There is also always the potential danger of bacteria growth when freezing and thawing a food type, and it isn’t worth the risk.

Does Ricotta Freeze Well?

Unfortunately, ricotta isn’t a food that freezes well. Cheese, in general, can be a little tricky to freeze and the higher the water in the cheese, the worse it can freeze.

Ricotta is one of those cheeses with high moisture content, and when freezing, this moisture turns to ice.

The results in the curds and whey of the cheese separating.  When you thaw out the ricotta, this ice doesn’t blend back in, and the result is crumbly cheese rather than smooth, creamy cheese.

If you plan to use the ricotta in baking or recipes, then you shouldn’t notice too much of a difference, but you do need to take care of which recipes you add it into.

Any recipe that relies on the texture of the ricotta won’t be quite as good as if you used fresh ricotta.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing ricotta or ricotta in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Ricotta Gnocchi?

You can freeze ricotta gnocchi easily. Make your gnocchi, then place it on a lined baking tray. Place this in the freezer for an hour. Once frozen solid, tip them into a freezer bag. You can cook these straight from frozen. Add to a pan of boiling water until they float to the top.

Can You Freeze Ricotta Pie?

We advise against freezing ricotta pie as you’ll find that the filling becomes grainy and that’s hard to fix when it’s already combined into the filling for a pie.

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