My kids adore string cheese. The perfect thing to put in school lunch boxes, the food is tasty and nutritious, as it’s packed full of calcium for growing bones. We normally never have to worry about throwing this fun finger food out as we buy it in sealed snack-size portions with long ‘Use By’ dates. So usually these will get eaten with plenty of time to spare and then some.
However, I’m a sucker for a bargain, and one of my local stores had string cheese on offer at a price I couldn’t say no to. I bought a load and only afterward realized because of their short ‘Use By’ dates (hence the amazing deal) even if my husband and dog became mozzarella cheese stick converts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then we’d never finish them all in time.
So, hating waste, I began researching, and I found that I could freeze string cheese sticks. I was actually pleasantly surprised how well they froze, because, unlike most other cheeses, their texture and flavor remains much the same after being thawed.
If you’re wondering whether it can be frozen, yes, you can freeze string cheese. You will need to freeze and thaw string cheese properly though in order to keep you and your family safe as you really shouldn’t take any risks when it comes to dairy products. I’m going to share with you the easy steps to follow to freeze string cheese to keep its texture and flavor and keep you safe.
I’ll also share a few ways I’ve found of using frozen and then defrosted string cheese in recipes other than dog bowl cordon bleu. There are great dishes I’d never even thought of using it in, as I had always thought of it as something exclusively for lunch boxes which is crazy when we all love mozzarella in our house which is exactly what string cheese is. By the way, we already covered if you can freeze mozzarella over here.
What Happens When You Freeze String Cheese?
String cheese freezes really well because of its low water content. This enables it to maintain its stringy, stretchy and chewy consistency even after being frozen and thawed. String cheese is only beaten for freezability by cheeses like parmesan and American cheese. That’s the good news.
The only negative is sometimes string cheese sticks are a little harder to peel after being frozen and thawed.
My kids never had issues but then they are a little older now. If this is an issue, all is not lost as there are some really tasty dishes you can cook with it the whole family will love.
How To Freeze String Cheese
I normally buy string cheese in individually sealed snack-size portions. However, I have seen blocks of string cheese you can buy. You can freeze sticks or blocks perfectly fine.
Freezing String Cheese Sticks
- I don’t recommend putting the pre-packaged string cheese sticks just as they come into your freezer. The packaging may not be freezer-proof which means you’ll lose flavor and texture from freezer burn and moisture loss, and possibly also gain food poisoning. Furthermore, if you’re anything like me, the little blighters can easily get lost. So first, split the string cheese into portions and put the packaged sticks into a heavy-duty freezer bag/s or airtight container/s. You can freeze them as singles or in groups, however you think you will use them up.
- Date and label the freezer bag/s or container/s.
- Store in the freezer for a maximum of 6 months.
Freezing String Cheese Blocks
- Cut up and separate the cheese into smaller portions that will be eaten or cooked with within 2 days of being thawed.
- Double-wrap each portion in a cheese-approved plastic wrap. Vacuum sealing your cheese will make it last even longer in the freezer.
- If you want to be extra cautious, you can also wrap the cheese in aluminum foil to protect against freezer burn.
- Place the double or triple-wrapped portions into heavy-duty freezer bag/s or container/s.
- Remove as much air as possible from the freezer bag before sealing it.
- Label and date each bag/container.
How Long Does String Cheese Last In The Freezer?
String cheese that has been properly frozen should last for up to six months. However, if you can use it sooner, it is better to do so.
How Do You Thaw Frozen String Cheese?
You need to take care when freezing string cheese but you also need to take care thawing it.
- Always thaw your cheese in the fridge. Like all dairy products, never thaw at room temperature and don’t use the microwave either on defrost settings as it is unsafe to do so.
- Don’t unwrap your string cheese until it is thawed completely or you risk drying out your cheese.
- Use or cook with your string cheese as soon as possible. If you don’t use it within 2 days of defrosting it, bin it.
- Do not refreeze it. It is unsafe. However, if you cook with it, such as using your string cheese in lasagne, you can safely freeze it again.
What Can You Make With String Cheese?
There are one or two brands of string cheese that don’t freeze as well as others. Most work perfectly fine, they really do. Also, maybe you’ll just be unlucky and get some going a bit dry on you. It happens.
If it does, or even if it doesn’t, this cheese is still delicious melted in something. Even if it has gone a little dry.
You should know before cooking with it that string cheese takes longer to melt and also doesn’t melt as evenly as block cheese so it’s best to choose something where that won’t matter. Here are a few of my favorite dishes using string cheese that’s been frozen and then thawed:
- Stringy Macaroni & Cheese
- String cheese pizza topping
- Three cheese lasagne
- Risotto with string cheese
- String cheese stuffed meatballs
- String cheese Manicotti
- String cheesy shepherd’s pie
- Baked bean pie with string cheese and mash potato topping
The last recipe #8 is cheap and so quick and simple but it is super tasty. My other half particularly loves it.
Some related questions
How long does string cheese last in the fridge?
Opened string cheese lasts for around seven days in the fridge.
Does string cheese go bad?
Yes, string cheese does go bad.
How do I know when string cheese has gone bad?
Sight and smell are the usual giveaways string cheese has gone off. Smell can be a little difficult though because if the cheese has been stored near, say, onions, in the refrigerator, the cheese will absorb that strong odor. Just because it then pongs won’t mean the cheese is off.
Mold specks in the cheese are the biggest giveaway the cheese is going bad. I know some people say you can cut off the mold and safely eat the rest of the cheese but I think that’s too risky particularly as it’s my kids’ stomachs.
String cheese is a delicious product that you shouldn’t freeze unless you have to. However, freezing string cheese is an option, and if you do freeze it, most people wouldn’t know it as for the most part the texture and flavor is unaffected. You can also cook some delicious meals with it.
So don’t throw it, freeze it!