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Essential Tips for Freezing Ricotta Cheese: What You Need to Know

Read this before freezing ricotta cheese

The versatility of fresh ricotta

Fresh ricotta cheese is known for its smooth and creamy texture, making it a popular choice for a variety of recipes that call for fresh cheese. Whether you’re using it as a topping for dishes or enjoying it on its own with honey and berries, the delicious taste of fresh ricotta can enhance the flavors of many culinary creations. However, if you find yourself with a surplus of ricotta that you can’t use right away, freezing it can be a convenient solution. Before you proceed, however, there are a few things you should know to ensure the best results.

The effects of freezing on ricotta cheese

When ricotta cheese is frozen, the water content in the cheese tends to freeze as well, causing some separation of the cheese. As a result, the texture of the ricotta changes once it thaws, becoming drier and more crumbly compared to its original state. While this may not be ideal for recipes that specifically call for fresh ricotta, there are still many delicious dishes that can be made with frozen ricotta.

Recipes that work with frozen ricotta

Despite the change in texture, frozen ricotta can still be used in a variety of cooked dishes. Here are a few examples:

  1. Lemon Ricotta Pancakes: The tangy flavor of lemon complements the slightly drier texture of thawed ricotta, making it an excellent ingredient for fluffy and flavorful pancakes. The ricotta adds richness to the batter and a subtle hint of creaminess to each bite.
  2. Lasagna: A classic dish like lasagna can be made with frozen ricotta. When combined with other ingredients such as pasta, meat and sauce, the ricotta blends beautifully, providing a creamy, cheesy layer that enhances the overall flavor and texture of the dish.

Proper freezing and thawing techniques

For best results when freezing ricotta, follow these steps:

  1. Unopened containers: If the ricotta is still in its original, unopened container, you can simply place it directly in the freezer.
  2. Opened containers: For opened containers, first stir the ricotta to redistribute the moisture. Then gently press the cheese with paper towels to remove any excess water. This step will help prevent ice crystals from forming during the freezing process. Wrap the ricotta tightly in plastic wrap before placing it in a freezer-safe container. Remember to label the container with the date of freezing.
  3. Freezing time: Frozen ricotta can be stored in the freezer for up to two months. After that, the quality may begin to deteriorate.

When it is time to defrost ricotta, follow these guidelines:

  1. Thawing in the refrigerator: Place the container of frozen ricotta in the refrigerator and allow it to thaw for approximately five to six hours, but no more than eight hours. This gradual thawing process helps maintain the integrity and flavor of the cheese.
  2. Quick Thawing: If you need to thaw ricotta more quickly, you can place the container in a bowl of cold water in the refrigerator. This method can speed up the thawing process, but be careful not to leave it for too long to prevent bacterial growth.
  3. Storage and consumption: Once thawed, ricotta should be used within two days. Avoid storing thawed ricotta at room temperature as this can encourage bacterial growth.


Freezing ricotta can be a handy solution if you have an extra amount that you can’t use right away. While the texture may change after freezing, thawed ricotta can still be used in a variety of cooked dishes. By following proper freezing and thawing techniques, you can preserve the flavor and quality of the cheese, ensuring that it will enhance your culinary creations. So the next time you find yourself with some extra ricotta, don’t hesitate to freeze it and enjoy its versatility even after thawing.


Can I freeze ricotta?

Yes, you can freeze ricotta. Freezing can be a convenient way to preserve excess ricotta that you can’t use right away.

What happens to ricotta cheese when it is frozen?

When ricotta cheese is frozen, the water content in the cheese tends to freeze as well. This can cause some separation in the cheese, resulting in a drier and more crumbly texture when it thaws.

Can I use frozen ricotta in recipes that call for fresh ricotta?

It is not recommended to use frozen ricotta in recipes that specifically call for fresh ricotta. The change in texture after freezing can affect the outcome of the recipe. However, there are many cooked dishes where frozen ricotta can be used.

What dishes can I make with frozen ricotta?

Frozen ricotta can be used in a variety of cooked dishes, such as lemon ricotta pancakes and lasagna. In these dishes, the texture change is less noticeable and the ricotta adds a creamy and cheesy element to the final result.

How do I freeze ricotta?

If the ricotta is unopened, simply place the original container in the freezer. For opened containers, stir the ricotta, remove excess water by gently pressing with paper towels, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and place in a freezer-safe container.

How long can I keep frozen ricotta?

Frozen ricotta cheese will keep in the freezer for up to two months. It is best to use it within this time frame to maintain its quality and flavor.

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