Swiss cheese is versatile and can be used in many dishes. However, it can be a little more expensive than some cheeses, and, especially if you live alone and don’t cook much, it can be easy to worry about it going off before you can use it all. Apart from the expense, who wants to waste something so tasty if they don’t have to?
So freezing is an ideal solution if it works. Does it?
The answer is yes, you can freeze Swiss cheese but you need to know what you’re doing (keep on reading for my top tips for freezing it) and you also need to know its limitations.
What is Swiss Cheese?
Swiss cheese is a variety of cheese that resembles Emmental cheese, and therefore makes a good substitute. A more accurate name for it is ‘Swiss-type’ cheese, seeing as it’s most often made in America rather than Switzerland. However, it’s not as processed as typical American cheese is.
The cheese is full of holes called ‘eyes’ caused by the bacteria used in the cheese-making process making bubbles leaving behind tell-tale holes. However, it’s possible to get ‘blind’ Swiss cheese – that is, cheese without holes.
However, most foodies will testify, the larger the hole, (generally) the tastier the cheese.
What Happens If You Freeze Swiss Cheese?
Swiss cheese is not as difficult to freeze as soft cheese. Freezing Camembert, for example, is much more difficult.
Swiss cheese is a hard cheese but it’s super-creamy, so it’s not a real hard cheese like Parmesan. It won’t be quite as ‘bulletproof’ after freezing as they are. You need to be aware that, like many cheeses, its texture will suffer by being frozen and then thawed.
However, you can cook some incredibly tasty recipes with it where the changed texture won’t matter. Even non-cooks can enjoy a grilled cheese sandwich made with it. The taste remains superb and it’s a cheese that melts really well.
The good news is, of all the cheeses out there, Swiss cheese freezes pretty well.
How To Freeze Swiss Cheese
If you’re wondering what is the best way to freeze Swiss cheese, then I’m going to give you a few top tips.
Freezing Blocks of Swiss Cheese
Similar to freezing Gruyere cheese, cutting it into small blocks or cubes is the best way to freeze it. This is because it is cut into ready-to-use cooking-size chunks, and will defrost much more quickly in the refrigerator than a big block will.
- Buy the cheese as fresh as possible and store it correctly in the fridge.
- You typically have 4-6 weeks in the fridge if stored properly, but if you don’t think you will use your cheese within that time, then freeze it as soon as possible: don’t wait until the last “use by” day.
- Cut up and split the Swiss cheese into smaller blocks that will be eaten or cooked with within one or two days of thawing.
- Double wrap each individual Swiss cheese block in wax paper or cheese-approved plastic wrap. (Not all plastic wrap works well when freezing cheese). A double layer is needed to stop air and moisture from getting to it.
- Place your double-wrapped Swiss cheese in a heavy-duty freezer bag/s or another airtight container. Squeeze out as much excess air as possible from the bag, then seal tight.
- Label and then date the cheese packaging.
- Store in your freezer for no more than 6 months.
Freezing Slices of Swiss Cheese
You can also freeze Swiss cheese slices using the above process.
Freezing Grated Swiss Cheese and Shredded Swiss Cheese
Swiss cheese rarely comes grated, and I don’t recommend grating it before freezing, even if you plan to use it for cooking afterward as it has a habit of clumping together when frozen. You can help avoid this by sprinkling a little cornstarch or flour over the grated Swiss cheese before double-wrapping and freezing it in freezer bags.
Another option would be to pre-freeze it. By that I mean you spread it out on a baking sheet and then put it in the freezer. When it’s frozen, you can take it out and transfer it to a freezer bag or container.
However, if you are only going to whack it in a recipe like Mac n Cheese where it’s all going to melt, you may wonder who really cares.
If you’re going to freeze grated or shredded cheese, then do still ensure it is still double-wrapped and freeze it in smaller freezer bags or otherwise you will have to defrost the whole lot all at once.
How Long Does Swiss Cheese Last In The Freezer?
The National Center for Home Food Preservation says that Swiss cheese can be frozen for up to 6 months. If, after six months, you haven’t used it, then it’s probably not that tasty anymore. This is where labeling any food you freeze with dates is so important as you can’t mess around with dairy products and food poisoning.
Vacuum sealing Swiss cheese will keep it for longer, both in the fridge and also the freezer.
Best Ways To Thaw Swiss Cheese
Slowly thaw out your Swiss cheese in the fridge. If you froze it in little packets, it will defrost much quicker and you’ll be glad of that earlier prep as it will save you time now.
Once you thaw out the cheese, cook with it quickly and never refreeze it. However, if you thaw it out and then cook with it, then you can safely freeze those dishes for a few months.
What Can You Make With Swiss Cheese?
There are numerous ways you can cook with Swiss Cheese. Here are 7 of my favorite ways:
- Mac and Swiss cheese
- Swiss cheese Quiche
- Grilled Swiss cheese sandwiches with turkey, pastrami, or bacon
- Swiss cheese pasta with chicken and bacon
- Swiss cheese and veggie wraps
- Loaded Swiss cheese baked potatoes
- Chicken sliders with Swiss cheese
This may also be interesting to you: Can you freeze Gouda Cheese?
Does Swiss cheese go bad?
Yes, like any cheese, Swiss cheese can go bad. It is important to store it properly to stop bacteria and mold growth.
How long does Swiss cheese last in the fridge?
Swiss cheese should last for 4-6 weeks in the refrigerator if well-wrapped and airtight.
Conclusion: Is Freezing Swiss Cheese A Good Option?
The best option for flavor and texture is always to use and cook with fresh cheese. But that’s not always possible in the real world so freezing Swiss cheese is a viable option that works well as long as you are careful and use the defrosted product for cooking where its changed texture won’t matter.
I hope this was helpful. If you have anything else to add, feel free to post it in the comments.