Ricotta is a delectable soft cheese made from the whey byproduct of other cheeses. The liquid and fine curds that make up ricotta are creamy in consistency, pearly white in color, and slightly sweet in taste. These key features of the cheese tend to succumb to physical changes when frozen.
Best Practices for Freezing Ricotta
Freeze ricotta cheese in airtight storage containers, aluminum foil, plastic wrap or plastic freezer bags. To maintain high quality, separate large portions into serving sizes no larger than eight ounces before freezing. Spooning the ricotta into ice cube trays and transferring the small blocks to freezer bags or containers once frozen works well for recipes that require only small amounts of cheese.
Label the bag or container with the date and contents. Freezing temperatures of 0 degrees Fahrenheit and below keep foods safe to eat indefinitely, but the quality of ricotta cheese begins to deteriorate after one month in the freezer. The taste, color and texture may change and make the cheese less palatable.
While freezing doesn't affect the taste of ricotta, the process of freezing and thawing does affect texture, especially with creamier cheeses. The curds and the whey in a creamy ricotta tend to separate during freezing, leaving behind a drier, crumblier texture once it thaws. Frozen ricotta is better for cooked recipes than those that call for fresh cheese.
Never thaw frozen ricotta cheese on the counter; the safest way is in the refrigerator. Use the ricotta cheese as soon as possible after thawing. If necessary, blend the ricotta with a spoon to combine any separated curds and whey. Store any unused portion in the refrigerator for up to seven days.