The Smart and Surprising Way to Never Waste Cheese Again

published Apr 19, 2018
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As someone who could eat her weight (and then some) in cheese, wasting even the tiniest bit sounds like a criminal offense. Yet, even I’ve been there. I sometimes grab too many wedges of this and that and am left with a fridge drawer so full that no matter how many grilled cheese sandwiches I make, I can’t get through all the cheese. Then, before I know it, things start to get moldy.

Luckily, there is a super-smart and simple solution to this problem: Freeze your cheese.

Freeze Your Cheese for Later

The easiest way to prevent cheese from spoiling before you can use it up is to freeze it. The best cheeses to freeze are your everyday blocks, such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, and part-skim mozzarella, which are favorites for things like mac and cheese and pizza. You can even freeze bags of the pre-shredded stuff (good to know if you’re looking at BOGO sale at the supermarket!).

Shred the cheese, place it in an airtight, resealable plastic freezer bag, and freeze it for up to three months. (Or just put the store-bought bag of shredded cheese directly into the freezer.)

How to Use Frozen Cheese

When you want to use it, the cheese can either be defrosted overnight in the refrigerator or left at room temperature for about 20 minutes. The act of shredding the cheese before you freeze it helps it defrost better (versus if you had just frozen a whole chunk).

Or you can actually use it straight from the freezer — just break off or shake out what you need. Cooking with frozen cheese (versus letting it thaw first) is actually the best approach, as the cheese’s texture might be altered slightly in the freezer. Once you melt it, though, any change will be unnoticeable.

A Caveat

The very finest wedges you bought from your favorite little cheese shop to snack on aren’t the best contenders for this method because, again, the freezer can slightly affect the texture of the cheese. If you’re worried the fancier stuff might be about to spoil, invite your friends over, pop open a bottle of wine, and assemble a cheese board.

4 Great Recipes to Use Your Frozen Shredded Cheese