Feta cheese is great for salads and for garnishing Mediterranean dishes, but also for cooking. I just love this tangy and salty flavor, especially in a Greek salad.
However, can you freeze feta cheese? And if you do, will it be as delicious once it’s defrosted?
The good news is that you can freeze feta cheese. The bad news is that when you defrost it, the texture and taste of this cheese are altered.
Anyway, if you got some leftovers and want to extend the shelf life, freezing is still the best option.
Let me provide you with some tips on how to go about it.
What Happens If You Freeze Feta Cheese?
Before we go into details, let me tell you what happens when you freeze feta cheese.
Basically, the cheese loses much of its flavor and texture. Ice crystals form in the cheese, resulting in a crumbly and grainy texture. Also, the salt that is added to this type of cheese becomes more concentrated, which causes the feta to have an overly salty taste.
It’s not a problem to use it in dishes where you won’t notice the lost flavor or changed texture that much. However, if you plan on eating feta cheese as a snack or part of a salad, then you might feel the difference.
Even if you freeze your favorite tuna salad with feta, this might not be the best option for taste.
Ultimately, it depends on your personal preferences and the intended use of the cheese. Like said, if it is for cooking or baking, frozen and thawed feta cheese will be a great option.
How To Freeze Feta Cheese?
When it comes down to freezing your feta cheese, you have basically two options in which form you’d like to freeze it.
- As an entire block.
- Freezing it in crumbles or cubes.
Let’s take a deeper look at each.
Freeze Feta Cheese as an Entire Block
Freezing as an entire block is probably the easiest and quickest option of freezing feta cheese.
This is how you do it:
- If your feta is still in a brine, make sure that the brine is drained.
- Place the cheese in a large freezer bag or airtight container. You can also wrap it tightly with plastic wrap for additional protection.
- Make sure that there’s as little air as possible left in the bag before sealing it completely. This way you are less likely to get ice crystals in the cheese when it’s defrosted.
- Label the bag or container with the date, type of cheese and how many ounces.
Freeze Feta Cheese Crumbles or Cubes
This option requires a little more effort on your part because you will have to cut your block of cheese into cubes or crumble it first.
However, this method has a distinct advantage: you can portion them much better and take only the amount you need from the freezer.
- Cut the cheese into cubes or crumble it. If your feta cheese is still in brine, drain it first.
- Place the cheese on a baking sheet and transfer it to the freezer. Freeze for about 3 hours until completely hard.
- Transfer frozen cubes or crumbles to either an airtight container or freezer bags. If you decide to go with the second option, make sure to squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing.
- Label the bag or container with the date, type of cheese and how many ounces.
How Long Can You Freeze Feta Cheese?
How long feta cheese can last in the freezer depends on several factors, such as:
- How well you prepared it.
- How it’s been stored.
Generally speaking, you can freeze feta cheese for about three months. This is also what common sense dictates since after that time your cheese will most likely be past its prime.
However, these are estimates and not absolute, and it doesn’t mean that you can’t freeze it for longer. The longer it sits in the freezer, the more quality will be lost. This is also valid for other foods and cheeses. For example, if you freeze mozzarella or parmesan, you will have a similar effect.
Note: If at any time your feta cheese has an off-color, weird smell or strange texture, throw it away immediately.
Also, never re-freeze thawed feta cheese. Why?
Well, because this will severely decrease the quality of your cheese.
How To Thaw Feta Cheese
Now that you know how to freeze cheese, let’s look at defrosting it properly so that you don’t have any problems when using it in dishes.
Here are some tips for defrosting your feta cheese:
- Take the cheese out of the freezer and defrost it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight. A general rule is that slowly is better than fast.
- Only take out what you use, because refreezing is not recommended.
- Don’t place it on the counter at room temperature for too long, as this will only promote bacterial growth.
- If you plan on using it for gratinating or cooking, you can just use the frozen cheese as is or at least don’t need to thaw it completely.
How To Defrost Feta Cheese Quickly
Freezing your feta cheese is great for preserving it in the long run, but what if you forgot to take it out and need it quickly?
Well, there are several ways to speed up the defrosting process:
- The quickest option is to place the bagged cheese in cold or lukewarm water (not hot) and let it defrost slowly. Just make sure that the cheese is completely submerged in water.
- If you are in a real hurry, you can also put it in a microwave oven. But be sure to not overheat the cheese.
Just defrost it on the “defrost” setting and be sure to check on it every so often.
Note: By the way, frozen chunks of feta thaw faster than a larger block.
Feta Cheese Recipes – Some Inspiration
Now that we covered how to freeze and thaw your feta cheese properly, let’s look at how to use it.
Here are some simple recipes for appetizers, main courses and desserts using feta cheese:
Feta Cheese Appetizers
Greek Bruschetta with Feta Cheese
This delicious dish combines two of Greece’s most famous foods: feta cheese and Greek salad.
Feta Cheese Chicken Skewers
This simple recipe is made even simpler by using canned chicken! If you are into quick recipes that taste great, then this one is for you!
Baked Mediterranean Feta Cheese with tomatoes, olives and Oregano
This delicious, simple appetizer is perfect for serving with drinks.
By the way, you can also freeze olives.
Feta Cheese Main Courses
Greek Chicken with Feta Cheese Sauce
This delicious dish is not only healthy but also very easy to prepare. Just mix, bake and serve!
Spicy Pork Tacos with Feta Cheese
The spicy pork tacos are perfect for when you crave something quick and tasty!
Pork Chops with Garlic and Feta Cheese
This delicious recipe is perfect for those nights when you want something special, but don’t have a lot of time on your hands.
Feta Cheese Desserts
Greek Yogurt Berry Parfait With Nuts and Honey
How about a tasty little dessert to follow your feta cheese appetizers? This Greek yogurt parfait tastes heavenly!
Greek Cheesecake with Feta, Almonds and Lemon
This light, fluffy cheesecake with the addition of creamy feta cheese is sure to be a hit at your next party.
Orange and Yogurt Cake with Feta Cheese
This tasty cake is light and refreshing and makes the perfect, quick dessert!
Can you freeze feta cheese dip?
Freezing is okay for feta cheese dips, but it will affect the texture and taste. When you have a lot of leftovers, it is still a good option. To freeze it, we recommend using an airtight container or freezer bag with all the air removed from it first.
Can you freeze feta cheese in a recipe?
It depends on the recipe and the other ingredients. Freezing feta is fine, but its texture and flavor will change, which may ultimately affect your recipe.
Can you freeze pasta with feta cheese?
You can freeze pasta and you can freeze feta cheese. In conclusion, I say: Yes, you can also freeze pasta with feta.
Can you freeze feta cheese in brine?
Probably not a good idea, because salt changes the freezing temperature.
Can you vacuum seal feta cheese?
Yes, you can vacuum seal feta cheese. This is a good option for packing it.
Conclusion – Is freezing Feta Cheese a Good Option?
Freezing feta cheese is one of the best ways to preserve it, but there are some things that you should keep in mind.
The texture and taste might change after freezing. That means you can better use it for cooking, casseroles or stuffings as opposed to eating it raw in a salad.
Hope that article was helpful. Please leave your comments below!