Can You Freeze Mozzarella Cheese? (Do This First!)

Do you want to achieve the perfect cheese pull? Are you looking for the perfect cheese for your Caprese salad? Do you need a creamy melting cheese for your pizza? Then, mozzarella is what you need!

There’s no denying that mozzarella offers lots of mouthwatering possibilities and is considered one of the most widely used and versatile cheeses out there. You can shred, melt, torch, and grill it—you name it, you can do it! (*)

With all its amazing uses, it just makes sense to buy it in bulk. As a result, you can save money, and you can enjoy your favorite cheese anytime you want.

But of course, it comes with a catch— how do you store a whole bunch of mozzarella? Can you freeze mozzarella cheese? Keep on reading to find out!


Can You Freeze Mozzarella Cheese?

Let us put this simply: yes, you can freeze mozzarella cheese. But please note that there are three types of mozzarella– mozzarella cheese block, fresh mozzarella cheese, and shredded mozzarella cheese, and the good news is that all of these types can be frozen!

But of course, these are not created equal, so understanding the differences between these three types is critical to ensure that you freeze them well.

Freezing shredded mozzarella cheese is the easiest thing you can do because it freezes pretty well. Plus, it has a long shelf life since it contains some preservatives.

On the other hand, mozzarella cheese blocks tend to crumble easily when thawed. To address this, you should slice it before you freeze it.

Lastly, we have the fresh mozzarella cheese balls, which is honestly the most difficult to freeze because their soft and smooth texture becomes dry and crumbly after thawing, so it will no longer be suitable for salads.

But here’s the good news: the altered texture of fresh mozzarella cheese won’t be noticeable if it’s melted. So, in short, you can freeze fresh mozzarella cheese, but only if you will use it for recipes that would require it to be melted.

The Ultimate Guide on How to Freeze Mozzarella Cheese

Freezing mozzarella cheese is not a one-size-fits-all process. The manner of freezing this cheese will depend on which type of mozzarella cheese you’ll use. With that in mind, here are the steps on how to freeze mozzarella cheeses:

Freeze Mozzarella Cheese Block

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There are two things you can do to prepare your mozzarella cheese block for freezing—shred it or slice it. When choosing the right preparation, you need to consider how you would use the cheese in the future.

If you use it for casseroles or as toppings, you need to shred it. But if you plan to use it in sandwiches or making mozzarellas sticks, chopping it is the way to go.

For steps on freezing shredded mozzarella cheese, please head to the next section. If you want to freeze sliced mozzarella, here are the steps you need to take.

Step 1. Divide into portions.

Keep in mind that it’s not recommended that you re-freeze thawed mozzarella cheese. To avoid this, you should divide the shredded mozzarella cheese into smaller portions before freezing it.

Step 2. Wrap the slices.

Tightly wrap each portion with plastic wrap. This step will prevent the cheese from drying.

Step 3. Place the cheese in an airtight container.

You have two storage options for the cheese to avoid freezer burn—an airtight container or a freezer bag. Choose whichever is most convenient for you, but most people opt for heavy-duty freezer bags as these take less space.

Step 5. Label the bag.

You must label and date the bag to easily identify how long the cheese will still be viable.

Freeze Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

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Even though it’s easy to freeze shredded mozzarella cheese, you still need to address one issue—it dries out when it isn’t properly wrapped. Here are some of the steps that you can do to prevent it:

Step 1. Portion the shredded mozzarella cheese.

Step 2. Pre-freeze the grated cheese.

Get a baking sheet or a cookie tray and line it with aluminum foil. Spread the grated cheese on the aluminum foil and cover it with another sheet. Place the tray in the freezer.

Step 3. Transfer the frozen cheese to airtight containers or freezer bags to prevent freezer burn.

If the shredded cheese comes in a resealable bag, you can freeze it in its original packaging. Remove excess air before tightly sealing the freezer bag.

Step 4. Indicate the date in the bag.

Freeze Fresh Mozzarella

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Freezing fresh mozzarella balls is challenging as you need to deal with the excess water that comes with it. However, here are the steps you can follow to freeze fresh mozzarella cheese properly.

Step 1. Discard the brine.

Remove the excess water in the cheese’s package to prevent the formation of ice crystals. To completely get rid of its extra moisture content, you can even let the balls stand for a minute and allow them to release more water.

Step 2. Slice the balls.

Same with the whole mozzarella block, it’s recommended that you slice the fresh mozzarella balls, so you don’t have to thaw the entire ball when you only need a slice or two.

Step 3. Get rid of the remaining moisture.

After slicing the balls, you’ll realize that the cheese still has lots of moisture. You can get rid of this by dabbing the excess water with a paper towel.

Step 4. Place the slices in freezer bags.

Arrange the slices in a single layer inside the freezer bags. In this way, you can easily get a slice or two. Seal the bag tightly.

Step 5. Label the bag.

Step 6. Place the freezer bags flat in the freezer.

At first, you have to make sure that the freezer bags are placed flat to avoid deformation. Once the cheese slices are already frozen, you can arrange the bag in any way you wish.

How to Thaw Frozen Mozzarella Cheese

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You already know how to freeze the different types of mozzarella, but what should you do when you already need to use the frozen mozzarella?

The process of thawing frozen mozzarella is the same, regardless if you’re thawing frozen shredded mozzarella, or mozzarella blocks. Here are three ways you can choose from:

In the Refrigerator

The most common way to defrost frozen mozzarella is by leaving it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Please take note that the amount of time needed to thaw frozen cheese will depend on the size of the cheese.

Frozen shredded mozzarella cheese is the fastest to thaw. So for frozen slices or blocks, you should leave them in your fridge overnight.

At the Kitchen Counter

Yes, you can defrost frozen mozzarella at room temperature, but there’s a time limit for it—1 hour. With that in mind, this option is recommended only for thawing shredded mozzarella cheese and slices, not for blocks.

In the Oven

If your dish calls for melted cheese, you can skip the thawing process. Instead, you can go straight to melting the cheese by placing it in an oven toaster or oven.

Pro Tip: If you’re thawing frozen fresh mozzarella balls/ slices, it’s recommended that you pat the slices dry with a paper towel once it’s completely thawed to avoid extra moisture in your dish.

FAQ’s About Freezing Mozzarella

Below are the answers to some of the commonly asked questions about freezing cheese properly:

1. How long does mozzarella last in the freezer?

The shelf life of cheese when stored in the freezer is up to 9 months. But of course, it’s better to use it sooner.

2. What are the cons of freezing mozzarella?

Same with other types of food, freezing can alter the cheese’s overall texture (can become dry and crumbly) and flavor.

3. Can you refreeze mozzarella cheese?

Suppose the frozen cheese is already completely thawed or has been at room temperature for hours. In that case, it’s no longer recommended to re-freeze it since the drastic changes in its temperature may increase the risk of bacterial contamination.

On the other hand, you can re-freeze mozzarella cheese if it isn’t completely defrosted.

4. Can you thaw frozen mozzarella in the microwave?

Using a microwave to defrost frozen cheese is not recommended as the high temperatures of the microwave may lead to uneven thawing, so you may end up with a cheese that’s melted on the outside but still frozen on the inside.

In Summary

Can you freeze mozzarella cheese? Yes, you can.

But you need to carry out extra precautions to maintain the cheese’s original texture and flavor as much as possible. You can do this by dividing it into portions and storing it in a tightly sealed heavy-duty freezer bag.

Bacterial contamination is also one issue you should watch out for, so follow the thawing process that we’ve shared with you.

Keep in mind all the tips that we’ve mentioned, and you can properly freeze your favorite cheese mozzarella and enjoy it anytime!

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