Nacho cheese sauce is perhaps the most supreme food that exists. The perfect pairing with chips, and a pretty great topping for loaded fries.
Excellent for dipping, or smothering pretty much any food with. An all-around 10/10 whether you make it yourself or buy it at your local store.
But what happens when you have too much? We’ve all been there, bellies full and half a pot of cheese sauce still sitting on the countertop.
This scrumptious sauce is too good to throw in the trash, but you physically cannot eat another bite. That’s where freezing comes in.
As the main ingredient of nacho cheese sauce is dairy-based, freezing can be tricky.
Dairy products tend to also have high water content which can cause issues in the freezing process, but this doesn’t mean you can’t freeze it. It just means that freezing takes a little bit more effort, and if any product food deserves that extra effort it’s nacho cheese sauce.
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about freezing and defrosting your nacho cheese sauce, as well as factors you should consider along the way.
So with no further ado, here’s how you can freeze your cheese fondue.
How to freeze nacho cheese sauce
If you decide that you want to freeze your excess nacho cheese sauce, the first thing you should consider is whether the sauce you want to freeze was store-bought or if you made it yourself.
This will impact the freezing process so you should follow the corresponding instructions.
For homemade cheese sauce, the most important part of the process is ensuring that the sauce has cooled completely before you begin the freezing process.
Once you are sure that the sauce has cooled thoroughly, you can then transfer it into an airtight container or a freezer bag. Airtight containers are more commonly used, however, a freezer bag will be easier to fit in your freezer if it is particularly full.
When transferring the sauce, you should ensure you have left an inch or two at the top of the container/bag as this will give room for the sauce to expand when freezing.
Once you have sealed the container/bag, you should then place it in another freezer bag, and add a label with the date of freezing on it. You can then place it in the freezer ready for future use.
The process of freezing store-bought nacho cheese sauce differs slightly from homemade sauce. Store-bought nacho sauce will often be in either a plastic or glass bottle which will not be freezer-safe.
You should first transfer the sauce from this bottle into an airtight container leaving some space at the top before sealing, double bagging, labeling, and adding to the freezer ready for future use.
How to defrost nacho cheese sauce
Once frozen homemade nacho cheese sauce will last for roughly 6 months, whereas store-bought will likely be edible for longer than this.
However, the quality of the sauce will deteriorate as the amount of time it is frozen increases so you should try and consume it as soon as possible.
When you decide that you want to eat the sauce, the defrosting process is easy. You simply have to move the container from the freezer into the fridge and leave to defrost overnight.
For best results, you should take the sauce out to defrost at least 24 hours before you plan on eating it.
After the sauce has defrosted it does appear quite unappetizing, the different ingredients will likely have separated throughout the freezing and defrosting process and you will find a clumpy, watery mess in the container.
Don’t be put off by this, you can easily combine the ingredients again by stirring them together.
Once the sauce is thoroughly mixed together you can then reheat it. You have two options here, you can either reheat on low heat or place the sauce in the microwave for a minute.
Either way, you will end up with a yummy sauce to enjoy at the end of it.
Factors to consider
Similarly to everything, there are some factors which you should consider when freezing nacho cheese sauce.
The first thing is ‘is it worth it?’ The process of freezing nacho cheese sauce is a tricky one. The sauce must be kept in a freezer which constantly has a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit as anything above this will expose the sauce to contamination and bacteria.
It is a lot of effort for something which will only be good to eat for 6 months, so you should consider this before freezing.
Another thing you should consider is serving portions. The sauce cannot be refrozen so it might be a good idea to freeze it in smaller portions to reduce waste. This can be easily done by pouring the sauce into an ice cube tray and freezing for 2 hours.
Once the sauce has frozen you can then pop the frozen cubes out of the tray, place in a resealable bag and place back in the freezer until you want to use them.
If you are making homemade nacho cheese sauce intending to freeze it, you should also consider changing the milk that you use.
Powdered and natural milk is more at risk of bacteria and contamination, so you should consider using pasteurized milk instead. This will reduce the risk of contamination and also extend the shelf life of your nacho cheese sauce.
The final thing to consider is double bagging. When you freeze nacho cheese sauce, it is very important that you double bag. When frozen a single bag can cause freezer burns so using two reduces the risk of this, and also reduces the likelihood of the sauce spilling in your freezer.
Freezing nacho cheese sauce isn’t the easiest of tasks, but it is doable.
You should consider whether or not you will consume the sauce at a later date before you freeze it. It is a process that requires effort so it’s pointless doing it if it’s just going to end up in the trash.
But if you feel confident that you will eat the sauce, freezing it can be an easy way to ensure you have a yummy meal in your freezer whenever you need it.