Like most of us, you probably love your cheese and would wish there was a way to make it last longer. So if you’ve ever asked yourself, can you freeze fresh mozzarella? Then you are in the right place because we’ll be telling you all about it.
Dairy products are widely known to be a little tricky when storing for longer periods of time. The same applies to delicious fresh mozzarella. If you are a mozzarella cheese fan, then most likely you’ll want to keep it around since there’s no shortage of ways of how you can enjoy it; and freezing it’s most likely the first thing that comes to mind.
Now that you know that freezing cheese is possible, it’s time to learn about the actual process. Contrary to what you may think, the process is simple. However, it does require a few key tips and tricks. Keep reading and learn how you can freeze fresh mozzarella the right way.
Can cheese be frozen?
The general answer is yes. However, you must know that freezing your cheese will most likely change its texture.
When is the best time to use frozen cheese?
After thawing is for cooking, its best use is for cooking; the texture change becomes a moot point after it’s all melted. Frozen cheese, once thawed, would be perfect in a cheesy casserole recipe.
Can you freeze mozzarella cheese?
Though the texture of your mozzarella may become a little crumbly, it is possible to freeze blocks or shredded mozzarella.
Can you freeze fresh mozzarella cheese?
You may want to avoid freezing fresh mozzarella. The reason is that fresh mozzarella means high water content because it’s submerged in brine that helps it last longer, which can form ice crystals.
As you can see, it is a little tricky because even if you remove some of the moisture before freezing, it will turn a watery and soft mess when it begins to defrost.
Can you still use fresh frozen mozzarella?
Luckily, it all comes down to a matter of preference; most people still enjoy frozen fresh mozzarella. When melted, your fresh frozen mozzarella still works quite alright used as a topping.
Can you freeze mozzarella blocks?
Contrary to fresh mozzarella, mozzarella blocks actually have a lot less water in them. Its texture can be compared to semi-hard cheese; the reason why storing it in the freezer works just great. In a few words, you have a green light on freezing your leftover mozzarella blocks and use them in whichever way you like.
How to freeze fresh mozzarella
Freezing fresh mozzarella is a simple process; follow the next steps:
- Remove excess water: Get rid of the brine and give the ball a few more minutes to ooze more liquid. The same applies if working with more than one mozzarella ball.
- Portion the mozzarella: If you already have a recipe in mind, section the mozzarella in a way that works best for your recipe.
- Remove excess moisture: After cutting the cheese, you will encounter some more moisture. You can use a paper towel to get rid of it, so all of that brine won’t freeze with the slices.
- Transfer the pieces into a freezer bag: Put the slices in a Ziploc bag right away. Would you please make sure they’re in a single layer, so they don’t freeze together? This way, you can grab one or two pieces when needed. You could pre-freeze the cut pieces on a tray as well and then put them in a bag.
- Freeze the bag flat: Once you place the freezer bag into the freezer, make sure it stays flat until the pieces freeze solid.
How to freeze mozzarella stick/blocks
- Portion your cheese: In the case that you already have a recipe in mind, go accordingly. For mozzarella sticks, you might cut the block into sticks already or into a couple of fat slices that you can divide into sticks after thawing.
- Wrap your portions: Using a freezer or aluminum wrap, cover each portion tightly. This step helps prevent your cheese pieces from drying. You could also leave them unwrapped.
- Transfer the portions into a freezer bag or container: If the pieces of cheese aren’t wrapped, make sure they don’t touch each other so they don’t freeze together. Alternatively, you can pre-freeze them on a baking sheet and then place them in a container of choice.
- Place the bag or container into the freezer.
How to freeze shredded/grated mozzarella
- Grate the cheese: Put your mozzarella into the freezer for 10 to 30 minutes; once firm, it will be easier to shred.
- Pre-freeze: Line a baking sheet or cookie tray with aluminum foil. This way, the cheese doesn’t stick to the surface.
- Transfer the shredded cheese onto the foil and put it into the freezer until it’s frozen solid.
- Break down the frozen cheese: Using a spatula, break down your single large cheese clump into a bunch of small chunks.
- Place into a bag: Transfer the cheese into a freezer bag or container; if using a bag, squeeze out the air before sealing it. Label the bag if you like.
How to thaw mozzarella
Knowing how to defrost your mozzarella cheese is the next thing you need to learn. You can use one of the following ways:
- Transfer to the fridge: All you need to do is put the mozzarella into the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Just leave your cheese overnight, and that’s that.
- Counter: This works best if defrosting thin slices and shredded mozzarella defrost in under an hour.
- Forget about defrosting: If you are using the cheese for melting purposes, you can allow the toaster or the oven to take care of that before it melts the dairy product.
Things to keep in mind when freezing mozzarella
- While you can freeze the entire mozzarella ball, it’s preferable to freeze the cheese sliced. This is for practical purposes; instead of defrosting the entire thing when needed, you can instead grab a slice or two.
- The time needed for the cheese to thaw depends on how you’ve frozen it; for example, shredded thaws fast, large portions not as much.
- If you have frozen fresh mozzarella on hand, pat it dry with a paper towel after thawing.
Frozen mozzarella recipe
You can easily utilize your frozen mozzarella topping for your favorite pizza recipe or melted creamy soups.
Homemade Extra Cheese Pizza
1/2 pizza crust
1/2–3/4 cup pizza sauce
8 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese
1 and 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2–3 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
ground basil or Italian seasoning, to taste
Prepare the pizza dough and preheat the oven to 475°F (246°C)
Top the dough with the pizza sauce, then the sliced mozzarella, then the shredded mozzarella, grated Parmesan, sprinkle with basil.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Slice hot pizza and serve immediately.