Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese?
Answer: You can freeze ricotta cheese, but it becomes dry and crumbly after thawing.
It is best to consume frozen ricotta before it’s thawed because all of its moisture will have dissipated by the time you take it out of the freezer. Freezing won’t make the cheese taste any better, but you should still freeze your cheeses if their expiration date is approaching or they are in danger of spoiling anytime soon for reasons like lack of refrigeration.
Tips For Using Frozen and Thawed Ricotta Cheese
Many of our recipes call for using Ricotta Cheese (or part-skim ricotta cheese). It’s an easy ingredient to use, but it can be a little confusing if you’ve never used frozen thawed Ricotta before. Here are some helpful hints about how to make sure your next batch of lasagna or manicotti is as good as it gets.
1) Defrost the Ricotta Cheese in a microwave with a few paper towels placed on top of it. Microwave on high for about a minute and a half to two minutes depending on your wattage.
You want the cheese to be soft but not soupy or dry, so make sure you check it often while defrosting.
Remove from microwave and place in refrigerator until soft all the way through, approximately one hour.
2) When ready to use, spoon out ricotta into sieve over sink and drain any excess water by gently squeezing at the edges with your hand or a large spoon. You can also wring it out with a clean tea towel if you prefer not using your hands (I know some people would rather do this, but I’m personally not one of them).
3) Always remove any excess water from the Ricotta Cheese before continuing with your recipe. You can either drain it or dry it out by placing on a clean paper towel and patting gently all over the surface (don’t press too hard as ricotta is soft cheese).
If you are using small curd Ricotta Cheese, place patted down cheese back in bowl and fold in few spoonfuls of heavy cream to give it more body after squeezing out water. Continue with recipe as normal.
4) When draining ricotta for recipes like lasagna where you don’t want it to be runny, just remove enough water so that when you spoon it into your dish it stays in place. It’s now thick enough to spread evenly throughout the pan but soft enough so that when you cut a slice of the finished product, the cheese doesn’t stick to the knife.
That’s all there is to using fresh ricotta. Enjoy!