Have you ever bought blue cheese for a single recipe and had no use for the rest of it?
Most of the time I force myself to use ‘weirder’ cheeses in random recipes, but sometimes I forget all about it. A couple of weeks later I find a pack of moldy, nasty cheese at the back of the fridge.
Wasting cheese seems like a tragedy. But can you freeze blue cheese? Turns out, you actually can.
While the idea of freezing cheese seems odd, people do it all the time. This article will tell you whether it is okay to freeze cheese and how you can do it the right way.
Can Cheese Be Frozen?
Cheese is one of those things that taste best when fresh. You should always aim to eat cheese within its expiry date. But sometimes, you get cheese in bulk and need to keep it fresh for longer.
Because cheese has a high moisture content, freezing can affect the texture of the cheese. This is especially true for cheeses like ricotta and high-moisture mozzarella. When you freeze cheese, tiny ice crystals form on the inside, altering the internal structure of the cheese.
Once thawed, the ice crystals melt, and this water is released, making the cheese dry out. It then becomes crumbly and has a rather mealy texture. Frozen cheese is also harder to melt, so you might not want to use it in things like cheese sauces and pizza.
Can you freeze cheddar cheese? Hard cheeses like cheddar, Swiss, Blue, and Monterey Jack freeze particularly well. On the other hand, delicate soft cheeses like cream cheese and its substitutes, change in taste and texture after freezing, so they should be eaten fresh.
But how long can you freeze cheese? The answer to this will differ depending on who you ask. Some think that you can store cheese in the freezer for up to a year, while others believe you should use it within 6 months.
Some people aren’t sure how to freeze cheese products like sauces. For instance, can you freeze blue cheese dressing? Cheesy dressings can be frozen by placing them in their original packaging in the freezer, where they will last for up to 6 months.
Freezing Blue Cheese
These steps will show you how to freeze blue cheese with minimal change in flavor or consistency.
What You Need:
- Aluminum or plastic wrap
- Freezer bags
- Chopping knife or cheese slicer
- A big airtight container (Optional)
- Cut and portion your cheese. Do you need slices of cheese for a burger topping? Do you want to freeze shredded cheese to add to soups or sauces?
If you don’t, you can just slice, cube, cut into chunks, or freeze the whole block of cheese. Dicing the cheese is usually the best option.
- Package the blue cheese. You can leave an entire unopened wedge in its original packaging. For cheese cubes, chunks, and slices, you should wrap each piece in plastic or aluminum wrap and flash freeze them on a cookie sheet. This prevents the pieces of cheese from sticking to each other.
- Once they’re frozen, remove the cookie sheet from the freezer. You should freeze grated blue cheese in a freezer bag. Pack your slices into another freezer bag. Always remove as much air from the bag before sealing it.
- If you don’t want your cheese getting squished in the freezer, put the freezer bag in an airtight container. Label the box or bag with the date, so you know when it’s time to discard the cheese. Then place it back in the freezer.
Thawing and Using Frozen Blue Cheese
Knowing how to defrost cheese is the main way to preserve its taste and texture. Take out the cheese and place it in the fridge overnight to thaw. For faster defrosting, place your wrapped cheese cubes or slices in a bowl of room temperature water and put it on the counter.
You can also add the frozen cheese directly to the pot you are cooking in. Defrosting in a microwave is also an option. However, slowly thawing the cheese will preserve the texture much better.
After thawing, pat the cheese dry with a kitchen towel to remove condensation. This makes the cheese less soggy, especially if you want to use it as a topping.
Uses for Blue Cheese
Too scared to use blue cheese outside of salad dressings? There is no need to limit your palate to the same old flavors. Instead, add the cheese to these dishes to elevate all the flavors included:
Dipping Sauces for Wings:
Blue cheese makes for some amazing tangy dipping sauces that go well with buffalo wings. But they also taste great with honey-soy glazed wings, tandoori wings, and spicy hot wings.
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches:
Besides cheddar and mozzarella, a little grated blue cheese can turn your grilled cheese from comfort food to something much fancier.
You can serve lovely little finger sandwiches for tea with sandwiches made from blue cheese, walnuts, and watercress.
You can crumble a handful of blue cheese over baked potatoes, or garlicky diced roasted potatoes. The blue cheese adds an interesting dimension to the garlic, butter, and pepper in these dishes.
Blue cheese has a sweet side too. Add thinly grated bits of blue cheese to crepes that are topped with cooked down apples or bananas. The tanginess pairs well with the caramel notes.
Want to add some freshness to your cookout? Grill stone fruit like mangoes or peaches and top with crumbled blue cheese and honey. You can even try this with pineapples!
Blue cheese and beets are a classic pairing. Slow roast beets with watercress and walnuts and top with thin slices of blue cheese and let it melt in the oven. You can also add it to beetroot purees, served along with heavy and meaty dishes, like steak.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here you will find answers to questions people have about freezing blue cheese.
01. How to Store Blue Cheese?
The best way to store blue cheese is to wrap it in airtight clingfilm and keep it in the fridge. It will stay fresh in the fridge for 3 weeks.
02. How Long is Blue Cheese Good for after opening?
After opening, refrigerated blue cheese will be fresh for almost up to a month, or as mentioned on the packaging of the cheese.
03. Does Bleu Cheese Go Bad?
When wrapped and stored incorrectly, blue cheese can go bad and moldy in just a week or two. Otherwise, the cheese will expire in 3-4 weeks.
04. Can Cheddar Cheese Be Frozen?
Cheddar and other firm cheeses freeze well, as long as they are wrapped and stored in the freezer properly.
05. How Long Does Cheese Last in the Freezer?
The cheese will last for 6 months to 1 year when wrapped and kept in the freezer.
In a Few Words
Although blue cheese is seen as something for more adventurous palates, they make for a great addition to salads, grilled cheese sandwiches, and for melting on top of burgers.
Now that you know the answer to the question, can you freeze blue cheese, you can use it for a range of cooking experiments like cheese sauces, crumbled toppings, and soups.