Mozzarella is an Italian cheese made using the milk of water buffalo. Often topped on salads or pasta, it can be a tasty addition to your meal, but what happens when you have too much of it?
You will be pleased to know that mozzarella cheese can in fact be frozen. When sealed correctly, this cheese can last for around 8-9 months in the freezer.
As mozzarella cheese is available in different forms, it is important to take the correct steps to ensure that your cheese is frozen correctly. Fresh mozzarella tends to contain water that can develop into ice once frozen, once defrosted this can cause your mozzarella to become watery.
Other types of mozzarella such as mozzarella balls and shredded mozzarella can be frozen, although the texture is likely to be a little different when thawed. Regardless, it is still likely to be a tasty topping on your favorite meals.
How to freeze mozzarella cheese
There are many ways of freezing mozzarella cheese and this can differ depending on the type that you are intending to freeze. Although it is possible to freeze a whole portion of mozzarella cheese, cutting it into blocks beforehand is preferable.
Once your mozzarella has been cut into blocks put it into a freezer bag and place it inside your freezer. The cheese can be wrapped in cling film before freezing, however, this can cause it to lose its flavor once defrosted.
Before slicing your fresh mozzarella, you will need to drain it to remove the majority of liquid, otherwise, this can affect the texture of the cheese when thawed.
Once the liquid has been drained the cheese can be sliced. Before moving onto the next step, it is beneficial to drain the cheese again to ensure that all of the liquid has been removed. Your sliced mozzarella can now be put inside a freezer bag and placed inside your freezer.
Shredded or grated mozzarella
Shredded mozzarella can be a little difficult to freeze as it is prone to sticking together. However, when done correctly, it can last for up to 9 months in the freezer.
To freeze shredded/ grated mozzarella break it down into small chunks to prevent it from sticking together then put it inside a freezer bag. Now that the cheese has been put inside an airtight bag or container, it can be placed inside your freezer.
How to defrost mozzarella cheese
Now that you know how mozzarella cheese can be frozen, you are likely to be wondering how it can be defrosted.
As mentioned previously, freezing mozzarella can cause it to lose its texture and develop a firmness when thawed. Below, we have highlighted the best way to defrost mozzarella cheese while helping to preserve the texture.
It is beneficial to know when you want your mozzarella cheese to be defrosted in advance. The best way of thawing this cheese is to place it inside a refrigerator however this can take several hours.
Take your cheese out of the freezer and place it inside your refrigerator ensuring that it remains inside the same packaging that it was frozen in.
Allow it several hours to thaw, in some instances, it may be beneficial to put the cheese inside the refrigerator to defrost overnight.
The time taken for the cheese to thaw can depend on the form. As expected shredded mozzarella is going to thaw much faster than bigger blocks of mozzarella.
In some cases, your mozzarella cheese may not need to be thawed. This does depend on how it is intended to be used.
If you are going to be using shredded mozzarella inside soups and sauces you can use it frozen straight from the freezer. This is because it will melt once it has been exposed to the heat.
Factors to consider before freezing mozzarella cheese
Before freezing your mozzarella cheese it is necessary to consider several factors.
Freezing mozzarella cheese can alter its taste and texture. Fresh mozzarella in particular can be difficult to freeze. This is because as the name suggests this mozzarella is ‘’fresh’’ and should ideally be eaten within a few days of purchase.
Cutting your cheese into blocks beforehand is preferable. This allows you to defrost as much as you need at a time; instead of defrosting a large block, you have smaller portions available.
Ensure that you have airtight freezer bags available. This helps to prevent it from losing moisture once it has frozen. If you do not have freezer bags available, an airtight container can work just as well.
The cheese can be wrapped in cling film however, this can affect the temperature and in some cases, if it is wrapped too tight, it can trap too much moisture which leads to the development of mold.
Once your mozzarella has been defrosted it generally isn’t recommended to refreeze it, hence why we would advise you to cut it into smaller blocks so you can use the amount you require rather than it going to waste.
However, if you do intend to refreeze it you should do so once it has partially thawed.
After it has been defrosted mozzarella cheese should be eaten within 2-3 days.
Mozzarella cheese is often bought in bulk quantities, however, when you have multiple blocks of cheese on your hands it can be difficult to know what to do with it.
After all, it would be a shame to allow this tasty cheese to go to waste. Impressively, when stored correctly, mozzarella cheese can maintain its quality for a considerable amount of time in the freezer, lasting for around 9 months.
If you do intend to thaw your cheese it is likely to taste differently once thawed depending on the type. Out of all of the different forms of mozzarella available, fresh mozzarella can be the most difficult to freeze due to the liquid that it is stored in.
Ideally, you should aim to eat this type of mozzarella within a few days of purchase. Although the texture may differ slightly once defrosted your mozzarella can still make a tasty topping to your lunch.