Can you freeze feta cheese? That is the question. Whether you choose to freeze to freeze feta cheese, you’ll want to know the effect freezing has on it, as well as the best methods for freezing feta cheese crumbles or feta cheese chunks. We’ll give you all the details for the best success.
What is feta cheese?
Feta cheese is known as a Greek cheese made from goat and sheep’s milk. Feta cheese can be purchased in blocks or as crumbles which serve a variety of purposes and can be used in many dishes.
What does feta cheese taste like?
Feta cheese has a somewhat tangy, bitter flavor that can be sharp and creamy in the mouth.
Can you freeze feta cheese?
Yes, you can freeze feta cheese. Basically, there are two ways to freeze it and we’ll go through step-by-step instructions to provide simplicity in the process below.
How long can you freeze feta cheese?
How long does feta last in the freezer? Feta cheese can be frozen for up to 3 months, if stored and packaged properly when sealed in an airtight container.
How freezing affects feta?
Like any dairy product, freezing feta cheese same some effects that are more noticeable than others.
Gets crumblier. Sometimes feta cheese becomes crumblier after it’s frozen. This can depend on the fat content as well as the age of the cheese. The higher the fat content, the better the results when freezing feta cheese.
Loses richness and saltiness. After freezing feta cheese, it can lose some of its flavor, particularly its richness and saltiness to some extent.
Use it in a cooked dish. If you don’t want to know it’s frozen, using feta cheese in a cooked dish might be the way to go. It is delicious in pasta dishes, casseroles, pancakes, and muffins.
How To Freeze Feta Cheese
There are two ways to freeze feta cheese. It can be frozen as crumbled cheese or as a whole block. Here are the step-by-step instructions for how to freeze each kind.
Freezing Crumbled Feta Cheese
To freeze crumbled feta cheese, you’ll want to place it on cookie sheet in a single layer with space in between the crumbles and put it in the freezer to freeze.
Using this method will allow you to have individual crumbles even after they are frozen. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer safe bag, date, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Freeze Feta Blocks
Before freezing blocks of feta cheese, you’ll want to determine how will it be used after it’s been thawed. This will allow you decide the portion sizes that it should be frozen in.
To freeze blocks of feta cheese, cut them into the desired portions, strain any brine, and freeze on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, transfer the chunks of feta to a freezer safe zipped bag. Label the bag, seal, and freeze.
How To Defrost Feta
There are two main ways we recommend thawing your feta cheese, and one we suggest steering clear of. Here are the details.
Refrigerator. The best way to defrost feta cheese is in the refrigerator overnight. To do this, simply directly transfer the freezer packaged feta cheese to the refrigerator and allow it to sit there until thawed.
Cold Water. If you’re in somewhat of a hurry and you don’t have the time to wait overnight, you can thaw your feta alternately in a bowl of cold water. You’ll want to change the cold water to keep it cold every 30 minutes until the cheese is thawed.
Room Temperature. We don’t recommend thawing feta cheese at room temperature for food safety reasons. Bacteria grows quickly at room temperature and can cause food borne illness.
Using Thawed Feta
After your feta cheese has been thawed, you might not opt to eat it directly from a fork like you would when it’s fresh from the grocery store. Here are some possibilities as to how you might like to use thawed feta:
Melted on pasta
In creamy sauces
In cream-based soups or stews
In casseroles that complement the flavor
Or you can use it frozen directly in soups, stews, or pasta.
Signs That Feta Cheese Has Gone Bad
There are key indicators to look for in knowing whether your feta cheese has gone bad. Following are signs to watch for. If you suspect that it has spoiled, throw it away instead of eating it.
Smell. When you open the container of cheese, take notice of the smell. If it smells sour or off in any way, assume that your cheese has gone bad.
Mold. If there are any signs of mold, this is also an indicator that your feta cheese should be thrown away.
Discolored. If you notice any discoloration on your feta cheese, it’s likely gone bad. When feta spoils it often has a green or yellow coloration that indicates it has soured.
Taste. If the flavor of feta cheese seems off, this is an indicator that it’s probably spoiled. Though feta has somewhat of a tangy or bitter flavor, you’ll know when it’s gone bad because it tastes strange.
How to Store Feta Cheese
Storing feta cheese is important for food safety reasons as well as the length of its shelf life.
Freezer. Storing feta cheese in the freezer should be kept at 0F degrees or lower in freezer and be sealed in an airtight container or freezer safe bag. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
You’ll want to use your feta cheese within 3 days of thawing it. And you should not refreeze it after it’s been thawed.
Refrigerator. In the refrigerator, feta cheese should be stored at a temperature of 40F degrees or lower and the length of time it will last will depend on whether it is opened or unopened.
Use the expiration date as a guideline for how long refrigerated feta cheese will last.
How Long Does Feta Cheese Last?
Following is the estimated shelf life for feta cheese according to its storage method.
Refrigerator. Feta cheese should be stored in a 40F degree or less refrigerator. Its shelf life is longer when it’s kept sealed and unopened. Check the expiration date, and if stored and packaged properly, in some cases your feta can last a week past that date.
Freezer. How long can you freeze feta cheese? Feta cheese can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can freeze it as crumbles or as chunks.
Room Temperature. Feta cheese can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 hours if the room temperature is between 40F degrees and 90F degrees. If the room temperature is hotter than 90F degrees, it will only last for up to 1 hour.
Frequently Asked Questions
Following are frequently asked questions for can you freeze feta cheese. If you have a question that’s not answered here, please drop it in the comments box below and we’ll be happy to answer it.
Can I use thawed feta cheese in a salad?
Yes, thawed feta cheese will work just fine in a salad. You can use chunks or crumbles according to your preference.
Why should you freeze feta cheese?
You can freeze feta cheese to prolong its shelf life, and to store large quantities that can’t be used right away.
Can you freeze feta cheese dip?
Yes, to freeze feta cheese dip, wrap it with plastic wrap, then cover it with an airtight lid.
Can you freeze cooked feta cheese?
Yes, you can freeze cooked feta cheese, particularly feta cheese that’s been used in casseroles, pastas, soups, and other cooked dishes.
Can you freeze your feta cheese in brine?
Can you freeze feta cheese in liquid? We don’t recommend freezing your feta cheese in brine. First drain the brine, then portion the feta according to your preference.
Can feta cheese be stored at room temperature?
Feta cheese shouldn’t be stored at room temperature for any more than 2 hours, if the room temperature is between 40F degrees and 90F degrees.
If the room temperature is higher than 90F degrees, then the feta shouldn’t be stored at room temperature any longer than 1 hour for food safety reasons.
What happens if you eat bad feta cheese?
The risk of eating feta cheese that has gone bad is food poisoning. If you suspect that your feta cheese has gone bad, throw it away instead and do not eat it.
Can you vacuum seal your feta cheese?
Absolutely. You can vacuum seal your feta cheese before freezing it. Vacuum sealing any food helps it to last longer and keeps it from becoming freezer burnt because the air has been removed.