Many people only use a small amount of mascarpone cheese when a certain recipe calls for it and will then often throw the remainder away. The soft and silky Italian cheese with a sweet and nutty flavor is not cheap and this, if you’re anything like me, feels like a real waste.
There is no need to bin the cheese when there are probably many more recipes than you may realize that you can use your leftover mascarpone up in. This cheese is not just to use to whip up an impressive dessert trolley. Mascarpone isn’t all about tiramisu and cheesecakes, thank goodness, much as I love tiramisu and cheesecakes.
However, if you don’t have all the ingredients in the house, or don’t have the time or energy to cook with it right now, you’ll likely be wondering, can you freeze mascarpone cheese?
The answer is yes, you can most definitely freeze mascarpone.
It’s important to know though that you need to do the freezing and the defrosting part correctly. Otherwise, you could end up with a dry, curdled mess that has lost its sumptuous soft and buttery texture, and even worse, a bad stomach.
Read on for my top tips to safely freeze mascarpone cheese while maintaining as much of the Italian beauty’s flavor and texture as possible.
What Happens When You Freeze Mascarpone Cheese?
Mascarpone cheese freezes really well because of its high fat and water content. That applies when it’s frozen on its own or when it’s within a dish containing it such as tiramisu, mascarpone cheesecake, and mascarpone pasta sauce. So that’s the good news. You can have that cheesecake and eat it.
However, you can’t just whack mascarpone in the freezer and hope for the best. You need to take care you don’t end up with an unappetizing-looking and dried-out lumpy, crystallized, or watered-down mess that nobody will ever want to cook with, let alone eat.
Don’t let my warning overly worry you because freezing mascarpone safely is simple when you have the know-how. I’m going to tell you how to freeze mascarpone cheese the right way in several easy steps.
How To Freeze Mascarpone Cheese
Once opened, mascarpone cheese only lasts 5-7 days in the refrigerator so do freeze it quickly if you’re going to freeze it. Don’t leave it lying around for even a day longer than you need to.
Similar to freezing crème fraîche, the cheese separates easily when left in the refrigerator due to its high-fat content. Make sure there isn’t any separated liquid before you freeze it by giving your mascarpone a brisk stir.
- Separate into smaller ‘cook size’ portions so you only need to defrost as much as you need and then place these into heavy-duty freezer bag/s. For even more protection against freezer burn, you can also wrap them with a little aluminum foil.
- Squeeze as much excess air out as possible from any freezer bags, then seal. You can optionally vacuum seal the cheese to extend its life and freshness still further.
- Place the freezer bags in a hard-sided freezer-safe airtight container as if your mascarpone cheese gets squished while sitting in the freezer it will mess with its texture and this is something you really don’t want.
- Label and date the packaging. The date is an important step that many ignore to their peril. Will you honestly remember the exact date you froze something in months to come? As there’s not much wiggle room when it comes to food poisoning from cheeses, use dates and stick to them religiously.
- Place your container as near to the freezer walls as possible so the mascarpone will freeze quickly and ice crystals won’t form in it to ruin its texture.
How Long Can You Freeze Mascarpone Cheese?
Mascarpone cheese can be frozen for up to 4 months.
However, the sooner you consume it, the more flavorful it will be and the better texture it will maintain.
How Do You Defrost Mascarpone Cheese?
Slowly thaw out your mascarpone cheese in the fridge. Do not defrost it at room temperature or speed up the process with heat or you will ruin the cheese and it is also unsafe to thaw dairy products like this.
Your fully defrosted mascarpone is likely to have separated and may well look a little grainy. Don’t panic: this is normal. Whisk it vigorously until the mascarpone regains its former texture. Then cook with it quickly and never refreeze it as this is unsafe.
How Do You Use Frozen Mascarpone Cheese?
Sweeter and creamier than other soft cheeses, mascarpone is a perfect choice to use in tiramisu and cheesecakes. However, it’s not just for desserts, there are some great savory recipes mascarpone cheese can be used in.
Here are just a few of my favorite savory recipes:
- Mascarpone pasta sauce
- Mascarpone shepherd’s pie
- Mascarpone pizza topping
- Mascarpone mashed potatoes
- Mascarpone scrambled eggs
- Mascarpone grilled cheese sandwich
- Three cheese lasagne
- Prawn risotto with basil and mascarpone
This might also be interesting for you: Can you freeze scrambled eggs?
Other questions about freezing mascarpone
Is mascarpone cheese and cream cheese the same thing?
The silky delight may look similar to cream cheese, but mascarpone is richer and more velvety and is also 20 percent creamier than cream cheese.
Can you freeze mascarpone whipped cream?
Yes, you can freeze mascarpone whipped cream. Just follow the same steps listed for freezing the mascarpone cheese.
Can you freeze mascarpone frosting?
Yes, you can freeze mascarpone frosting but it’s not a good idea as the texture will change when it thaws.
Mascarpone is a more versatile cheese than many people think and there is really no need to throw it out when you can easily and safely freeze it. There are numerous delicious recipes you can use the defrosted cheese in, many of them really simple to do. Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, you’ll find something you love this cheese can be used in.