Recently I was surprised to learn that many people are unaware that cheese can be frozen. Yes, you really CAN freeze cheese!
In my experience, most types of cheese actually freeze and thaw quite well. The only significant difference I have noted is that cheese frozen in a block tends to become crumbly, potentially making it unsuitable for use in uncooked dishes.
(Update: Lydia shared a method for freezing blocks of cheese without causing them to become crumbly. Check out her tips in the comment section below.)
Three ways to freeze cheese:
Shredded–Shredded cheese is definitely my top pick for freezing. By shredding the cheese before freezing, you can avoid the crumbly issue after thawing. I use my food processor to shred large quantities of colby or mozarella cheese (our family’s favorites). Then I loosely fill any size freezer bags, and remove as much air as possible without packing the cheese together. Occasionally I even take a few extra minutes to pre-measure the appropriate quantities of cheese for specific recipes.
Block–The only type of cheese that I typically freeze in a block is mozarella cheese. To shred after freezing, I thaw the cheese only partially, so that it is still firm enough to shred easily.
Sliced–Pre-sliced American cheese can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and then placed in a zipper bag for freezing. American cheese never lasts long enough to freeze at our house! However, I know others who have frozen it with good results.
What kinds of cheese have you frozen successfully?