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Can You Freeze Cheese?

By Whitney Reist

As cookbook authors with hungry kiddos, cheese is a staple ingredient in many of our most popular recipes. We always seem to have several varieties on hand! Yet, we often have a wedge of this or package of that hiding in the fridge and starting to spoil before we can use it. The solution? Freeze the cheese! 

how to freeze shredded cheese

Can You Freeze Cheese?

The short answer is yes, you can freeze cheese, according to our tests and experts from the Cook’s Illustrated test kitchen. But there is one little caveat: the texture may be affected.

Once frozen and defrosted, most hard and semi-hard cheese blocks will crumble when you try to slice or grate them. However, when baked into a recipe or melted, any change often goes unnoticed. 

Soft cheeses like goat cheese, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, and high-moisture cheeses like fresh mozzarella often weep liquid once frozen and defrosted. This leads to a grainy texture. This is also true of Velveeta “cheese”, which Kraft recommends to avoid freezing. 

Prepackaged shredded cheese from the store is a different story. Because of the anti-caking additives in the packages, this form of cheese tends to freeze and thaw well in our tests.

shredded cheese being sprinkled into tortillas with shredded chicken

We recommend sticking to hard or semi-hard cheeses when it comes to freezing, and using them in recipes that call for grated, crumbled, or shredded cheese that will be melted. 

Good cheese candidates for freezing include:

  • Cheddar
  • Monterey Jack
  • Swiss
  • Provolone
  • Part-skim/low-moisture mozzarella
  • Parmesan
  • Gouda

How to Freeze Different Types of Cheeses

  • Shredded cheese – store-bought pre-shredded cheese can be frozen directly in the original packaging. Or, you can shred a block of cheese (use our simple instructions!) and store it in an airtight freezer-safe bag.
  • Cheese slices – the layers of wax paper between sliced cheese makes it very easy to freeze directly in the packaging or in an airtight freezer-safe bag.
  • Cheese blocks – slice into portions that you would use in a recipe. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then place in a freezer-safe bag. 

How Long Can You Freeze Cheese?

According to the USDA, as long as frozen food is kept at 0°F in the freezer, it is safe to consume for an indefinite amount of time. 

While this is something we noted in writing our cookbooks, From Freezer to Table and From Freezer to Cooker, our testing has proven that most frozen foods, including cheese, should be consumed within 3-6 months for optimal flavor and freshness. 

How to Thaw Frozen Cheese

We have found that pre-shredding cheese before freezing helps it defrost better. The frozen shredded cheese can be used straight from the freezer! This post outlines our best tips for shredding cheese and why you should do it yourself. 

For blocks or wedges of frozen cheese, we recommend defrosting them overnight in the refrigerator. According to the U.S. Dairy Council, a slow defrost in the fridge allows moisture to go back into the cheese and keep it from drying out. You should plan on using thawed cheese as soon as possible.

Recipes to Use Up Your Frozen Cheese

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Make Ahead Lunch Wraps

freezer-friendly lunch wraps on a wooden cutting board

Easy Breakfast Casserole Muffins

Slow Cooker Cheddar and Bacon Potato Soup

Bottom Line: Can You Freeze Cheese?

You can freeze cheese, but the texture may be altered. The best types of cheese to freeze are shredded and sliced hard or semi-hard cheeses. Most frozen cheeses can still be used for melting and baking without a noticeable difference in texture.

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU FREEZE?

Wondering what else you can stock up on and freeze? Read on…

How to Freeze Tortillas

How to Freeze Butter

How to Freeze Green Onions

How to Freeze Muffins

How to Freeze Bananas

How to Freeze Zucchini

Can You Freeze Tortillas?

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Let me guess. You just stocked up on tortillas that were on sale at the grocery store or have a half-used package in the refrigerator and are asking, “Can you freeze tortillas?”. We’ve been there many times! As freezer cooking experts and cookbook authors, we tackled this question and lend our freezer cooking tips and advice.

tortillas in a freezer bag

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Here’s our full disclosure.

Can You Freeze Tortillas?

Yes, both soft corn and flour tortillas freeze well, according to our own tests and according to one of the largest manufacturers of tortillas, Mission Foods.

One important thing we learned when writing From Freezer to Table and From Freezer to Cooker is that if your food—tortillas included—is kept at 0°F in the freezer, it will remain safe to consume indefinitely. That’s the USDA that says that, not us. Shocking, I know!

If food safety isn’t the issue, then the question really becomes “how do I freeze and defrost tortillas in a way that retains their original taste and texture?“. Follow our freezing instructions to ensure that your tortillas remain fresh even after their freezer staycation.

How to Freeze Tortillas

You can freeze tortillas in their original store packaging for a few weeks with good results. However, if you plan to store tortillas in the freezer for longer than that (or if you’ve made fresh tortillas that have fully cooled!), follow these steps to maintain their quality and freshness.

  1. Remove the store packaging.
  2. Wrap the stack of tortillas tightly with plastic wrap, foil, or freezer paper. (Note: If you want to pull out individual tortillas from the freezer rather than having to defrost the entire stack, America’s Test Kitchen suggests adding a layer of parchment or wax paper between each tortilla to keep them from sticking together.)
  3. Place in a gallon-sized freezer bag. Make sure to squeeze out any excess air from the bag and seal tightly.
  4. Label and date the package and then place the tortillas in the back of the freezer. You might find our printable Freezer Labels helpful for this task.

How long can you freeze tortillas?

If you freeze tortillas in their original store packaging, they will remain fresh in the freezer for a few weeks. If you package tortillas using our freezing instructions, they should remain fresh in the freezer for up to 6 months or so.

How to Defrost Frozen Tortillas

According to Mission Foods, the best way to thaw frozen corn or flour tortillas is to set them in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days until they are completely defrosted. That way, they won’t stick together when you try to pull them apart.

In our tests, simply setting a small package of tortillas on the counter for an hour or so worked just fine for defrosting them.

Lastly, Chef David J. Alvarez recommends this cool trick! Defrost corn tortillas in the toaster. He instructs viewers to place two (not just one) completely frozen corn tortillas in each toaster slot or 1-2 minutes. They will come out soft, steamy, and ready to use.

Recipes to Use Up Your Frozen Tortillas

Try some of our favorite recipes that use up your tortilla stash. Most of these recipes are freezer-friendly. (Yes, you can freeze your tortillas for a second time in these recipes.)

Make Ahead Lunch Wraps

freezer-friendly lunch wraps on a wooden cutting board

Slow Cooker Chicken and Cheese Taquitos

Farm Fresh Breakfast Quesadilla

Bottom Line

Tortillas are very freezer-friendly. Package them tightly and store up to 6 months in the freezer. Remember to let them thaw slowly in the refrigerator or counter top for best results.

What Else Can You Freeze?

Wondering what else you can stock up on and freeze? Read on…

How to Freeze Butter

How to Freeze Green Onions

How to Freeze Muffins

How to Freeze Bananas

How to Freeze Zucchini