Spoiler alert: yes you can.
Freezing cheese sauce will keep it fresh for much longer than if you just put it in the fridge, where it would need to be eaten after a few days.
It’s like pressing pause on bacterial growth, meaning your food is safe to consume for an extended period of time.
When it’s stored in the freezer, your cheese sauce can last for 4-6 months, although once thawed it’s best used within 2-3 days.
You’ll be surprised at how much frozen cheese sauce retains its flavor, and because it doesn’t have too high a water content, it’s pretty forgiving when you reheat it.
The beauty of food that is suitable for freezing is that you can make it ahead of time, freeze it, then when you’re ready, eat it! Just think about it. Cheese sauce. Whenever. You. Want.
Now you know that cheese sauce is one of these foods, your next question should be: what is the best way to freeze it?
Freezing Cheese Sauce
There’s pretty much only one way to freeze cheese sauce - you make it, you freeze it. But beyond this, there are a few variables that will make your life easier when it comes to reheating your frozen sauce.
Before you attempt to freeze your cheese sauce, it needs to have cooled completely. Once it’s reached room temperature, give it one last good stir to make sure the ingredients are fully incorporated.
Next, choose your container. This should be airtight so none of the sauce is able to leak before it freezes solid, and always place it in the freezer the right side up to avoid making a mess.
The easiest way to store your cheese sauce in one big batch. Pour it into your container, and chuck it in the freezer. If you’re planning on using your cheese sauce all at once, this is probably the best way to freeze and store it. Plus, it means less washing up at the end.
However, some people find it helpful when it comes to defrosting if you’ve portioned your sauce out into single-serve portions before it goes into the freezer. This is a much better way of freezing cheese sauce if you think you’ll be using it as an accompanying sauce or dip.
A popular way of doing this is by using an ice cube tray or small containers to freeze your sauce initially. Once it’s frozen, you can then transfer the portions to a single freezer bag or container.
This will make it easier for you to reheat only as much sauce as you need, because you shouldn't re-freeze cheese sauce after it’s been defrosted.
Defrosting Cheese Sauce
There are two main ways to defrost your cheese sauce. One is by gently reheating it in the microwave, or by warming it though in a saucepan over the hob.
You can reheat your cheese sauce using either of these methods straight from the freezer, or if you have more patience, you can take it out of the freezer and let it defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating it.
Place the desired portion of cheese sauce in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 10 seconds.
Stir the sauce then heat it for another 10 seconds, and repeat this process until it’s completely warmed through to achieve a smooth consistency. Easy peasy!
The best way to reheat cheese sauce over the hob is by defrosting it first.
Pour the thawed sauce into a suitably-size saucepan and warm over medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring often.
If you’ve decided to skip the middle step and want to heat your cheese sauce on the hob straight from the freezer, place the frozen portion in your saucepan and gently heat over low heat to thaw before turning it up to medium heat, again stirring often.
This might take slightly longer than if you were to reheat it after thawing, but it should still achieve the same results.
Factors to Consider Before Freezing
Freezing your cheese sauce is perfectly fine and it shouldn’t affect the overall taste, but there are a few things you may want to consider.
If you’re freezing leftover cheese sauce, how long ago did you make it? Whilst reducing food waste is admirable, for best results your cheese sauce should be fresh before you freeze. Try to only freeze sauce that has been made the same day.
You may find that the sauce has separated slightly after defrosting, but giving it a good stir through as you reheat it should re-incorporate the ingredients for a smooth, delicious cheese sauce.
Always. Label. Your. Containers. Although it seems like an annoying additional step at the time, labeling your food before you freeze it is a lifesaver when it comes to freezing food.
Maybe not literally, but then again, who knows what the questionable-looking meat stew hiding at the back of the freeze contains…
Cheese sauce is one of those comforting foods that make the perfect remedy for a hard day, a bad week, or when you’re just too tired to think of what else to make for dinner.
Perfect with pasta - mac and cheese. Need we say more? - cheese sauce is also a great accompaniment to side dishes such as cauliflower cheese.
It can be used as a simple yet delicious dipping sauce for nachos and crudites, or you can add a little dollop to the top of your hamburger for a more gourmet experience.
However you’re eating yours, you might find you have some cheese sauce leftover, and if you’ve truly indulged, you might not be able to face finishing it off in the next few days and need a way to store it more long-term.
Or maybe you just know that you’ll likely want to satisfy your cheese sauce cravings in the near future, but your hectic schedule prevents you from being able to whip one up whenever those cravings hit.
Now you know that you can freeze cheese sauce, the possibilities are endless. The only question left is: what will you make with it next?