I am not going to explain how it happened, but one time I ended up with seven large containers of cottage cheese.
No matter how many lasagnas I made, I would still have enough to use for the next six months! So I had to find out how to keep ‘em fresh for longer.
It is very well known that you are not supposed to freeze your cottage cheese. I did some research and found out some interesting things about them.
In this article, we will explore that very popular question and try to also give you some creative recipe ideas to make with cottage cheese. So can you freeze cottage cheese? Spoiler alert, you can!
Can You Freeze Cottage Cheese?
Cottage cheese is a soft cheese. So it definitely won’t react the same way to temperature drop as other types of cheeses. However, you can definitely freeze it.
Keep in mind, when you freeze cottage cheese, it changes its texture. It doesn’t look as appealing as the fresh one. The taste and flavor, however, stays the same.
So what happens when you freeze cheese? It basically loses some of its moisture and becomes drier. That’s all!
So it is ideal to use your frozen cottage cheese for cooked dishes. You don’t want to use this for spreads or breakfast cereal as it won’t be as creamy as before.
If your local grocery store has a sale, it is a smart move to batch save some cottage cheese to use in the next few months for different dishes and recipes. So let’s now talk about how you can actually freeze it!
How to Freeze Cottage Cheese
Freezing your cottage cheese is not as simple as putting them into the freezer and calling it a day. So does cottage cheese freeze well? If you do it properly, you can store them for up to 5 months very easily!
Here are some of the things you will need:
- Ziploc bag/ freezer bags
- Glass containers
- Waterproof marker pen
Now let’s get on with our simple steps to freeze cottage cheese:
01. Pick the Right Type:
I can not stress this enough. You need to pick the right type of cottage cheese for this. If you use something low calorie/ low fat or dairy-free options, then it won’t work. You need the full-fat version as the fat will help to preserve the taste better.
This is because cottage cheese with higher fat content has less moisture. This makes the cheese creamier, thicker, and non-liquidy.
The lesser the liquid, the longer it lasts. So look for whole fat and large curd cottage cheese options.
02. Portion Size:
Think about it, as you are freezing your cottage cheese for a variety of different things, would it be smarter to pre-portion them?
We hardly need 2 cups of cottage cheese for a recipe, but a lot of dishes require half a cup of it. So it is quite a good idea to keep different portion sizes in different Ziploc bags.
03. Bag vs. Container:
This is totally a preference thing. If your freezer has a lot of room, you can use containers. But most of us are not fortunate enough to have so much extra space.
For that reason, Ziploc bags are so popular for freezing liquid items. They take little to no space and don’t require clean up afterward. You can just toss the bag after scooping out your cottage cheese from it.
04. Mark the Date:
If you are planning to keep your cottage cheese for more than a month in the freezer, it is a good idea to write down the dates on the bags. Use a waterproof marker pen to write which date you stored it in the freezer.
This way even if you forget about them for months, you know if it’s good to consume or needs to be thrown out instantly.
That’s it! It’s that simple. Told you it would only take 5 minutes of your time.
Now that you know how to freeze your cottage cheese, your next question might be, how am I to defrost them?
How to Thaw Cottage Cheese
We have an answer to that question as well. So here’s how to thaw frozen cheese both cottage cheese and other kinds.
This is a trick I have learned from my mother. She defrosts everything from raw meat to frozen curry by transferring the containers from the freezer to the fridge.
Do this the night before you need it. In the morning, your cottage cheese will be perfectly defrosted and cold!
02. Soak in Water:
If you don’t have overnight and need your cottage cheese in less than a few hours, submerge them in water and let it rest. You will find them defrosted within 40-50 minutes.
03. Break It Down:
If you are using your cottage cheese for some type of gravy or soup, I see no point in defrosting. It’s going to melt anyway. To make the melting process faster, you can beat (I know, a bit harsh) the Ziploc bag with something heavy. The cheese will break into tiny pieces inside the Ziploc.
This way it doesn’t get messy. Then open the bag and take as much as you need from it. A couple of minutes of cooking time and it will just merge with the gravy. Keep stirring until the pieces dissolve completely.
How to Tell If Cottage Cheese Has Gone Bad
Cottage cheese has a very fresh, pleasant smell. Even when you store them in the freezer for months, they smell creamy and gentle. So if your cottage cheese starts to smell moldy or looks discolored, it’s time to throw it out. Spoiled cottage cheese is not edible.
Bad cottage cheese has greenish pockets of water as well as a yellowish hue. So it’s quite unlikely that you will accidentally consume rotten cottage cheese. When cottage cheese goes bad, it’s very obvious.
Best Dishes for Frozen Cottage Cheese
Forget frozen cottage cheese, most people have a polarizing view on cottage cheese to begin with. Due to its texture and look, people tend to not find it that appealing.
So they end up replacing cottage cheese with other dairy-based items like yogurt or curd. But that’s so unfortunate as you can make really delicious and nutritious recipes with it.
Frozen cottage cheese in particular is great for cooked recipes. They are very convenient as frozen cottage cheese can last up to 6 months in your freezer. So you can make these recipes at any given time.
Here are some of our most favorite dishes to make with frozen cottage cheese:
We had to begin with this one. Just look at the picture above. Who doesn’t want those fluffy pancakes in the morning? Give me ten of ‘em!
You don’t need to use baking soda if you use cottage cheese. You can also make waffles using cottage cheese as an alternative to milk. They turn out to be super crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Of course, lasagna becomes extra creamy and yummy if you add some cottage cheese to the mixture. I like to use three/four different types of cheese for a better flavor profile.
Making vegetarian lasagna with cottage cheese, mozzarella and spinach is a really delicious way to get the nutritions and daily dose of fiber.
You can make breakfast casserole with broccoli, eggs, peas, feta, and butter. Alternatively, you can make a dinnertime version with ground beef, zucchini, mushroom, potatoes, and basically anything you want.
The possibilities are endless. A casserole is the easiest way to throw everything in the freeze to make a delicious dish!
We all have a weakness for cheesecake whether you have a sweet tooth or not. As this dessert is not very healthy, you can make it a little better for you by adding cottage cheese to it. Add cinnamon, lemon juice, and lemon zest and it will turn out to be extra refreshing.
Soups and Curry:
Now, this is something not a lot of people think about. You can add cottage cheese to creamy soups.
Not just creamy soups, think of gravy, curry, and all sorts of broths. The creaminess of cottage cheese alleviates the other seasonings and spices and it just feels very wholesome to eat.
One tip, if your gravy becomes too spicy, adding a few spoons of cottage cheese will decrease the spiciness while keeping the integrity of the dish.
Whether you are making chicken alfredo or some classic mac and cheese, adding cottage cheese will make it taste rich and distinctively unique. I personally love using cottage cheese with spaghetti and ground beef in tomato sauce.
Cottage cheese is such an underrated ingredient in salads. They taste delicious and fresh with some Persian cucumbers, scallions, radishes, black pepper, and white vinegar.
If you like some sweetness to your salad, try adding apple slices to it. The cottage cheese binds all these ingredients together into a cohesive mouthful.
There are so many delicious dishes you can try with cottage cheese. The fact that they freeze really well is a bonus for all the home cooks out there.
Now that you know how to freeze cottage cheese, it is a great way to keep a versatile ingredient always in your pantry.
What are you planning to make with your frozen cottage cheese? Comment down below to let us know!
More Related Article: