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Cream cheese doesn’t last forever in the fridge once you open it. Have you ever wondered, “can you freeze cream cheese“? Knowing what can and cannot freeze is a basic cooking skill that will help you build your kitchen repertoire. You can freeze cream cheese and here’s how:
Are you looking for a great way to save money on feeding your family? One great way to save money is to buy food when it goes on sale and store it for later use. Around the holidays some things like cream cheese go on sale for a big discount. This is the perfect time to stock up on cream cheese.
Learning to cook is a great way to save money and improve your family’s health with nutritious homemade meals. I was in my 30’s before I started learning to cook much of anything but our lives changed dramatically when I finally did. And for the better.
Knowing what you can freeze and what you can’t helps with that. For more ideas on freezing food, check these ideas out:
- Make-Ahead Freezer Meals
- Can You Freeze Avocados
- Can You Freeze Strawberries?
- Can You Freeze Bananas?
How long does cream cheese last?
Cream cheese is only good for about 4-6 months from the day you buy it. And once you open it, it goes bad quickly. The good news is that you can store cream cheese even longer with the right method.
Can you freeze cream cheese to use later?
Yes, you can freeze cream cheese. This is a great way to save money by purchasing when the cost of cream cheese is low and stashing it away for later.
While cream cheese has a long shelf life in the refrigerator you can extend that by about 6 months when freezing. There is one downside though, the texture of cream cheese changes so you will need to make some adjustments to how you use it or warm it to return the creamy texture.
How to freeze cream cheese
Freezing cream cheese is as easy as freezing food can get. Simply take your cream cheese in its original wrapping and place it into your freezer. Leave it in both the foil and the box for the most freezer burn protection. If you plan on storing it for a very long time you may want to consider placing a few blocks at a time into a vacuum-sealed bag for extra protection.
If you need to save space and wish to open your cream cheese to flatten it you can vacuum seal it flat. This can make it easier to thaw and even warm to improve the consistency of your cream cheese. Choose a thick vacuum-sealing bag to prevent freezer burn because you will be removing the protective aluminum foil packet.
For the best results keep your cream cheese in the back of your freezer where it is unlikely to see a lot of temperature variation. Cream cheese tends to thaw very quickly, so if you store it in an area like the door of your freezer it will be more likely to go bad over time in the freezer from opening the door often, rather than last for months.
How do you defrost cream cheese?
To use cream cheese you need to thaw it. To do this you can place it in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter for a few hours.
A great quick way to thaw cream cheese is to place it into a bowl of hot water still sealed inside the packaging you used while preparing for the freeze. This will thaw your cream cheese to the point you can use it. But beware that the faster you thaw it, the more crumbly it will be.
The crumbly texture of cream cheese after thawing is less than ideal for things like fresh bagels. This frozen cream cheese is still perfect for making things like homemade mac and cheese, casseroles, and other dishes that involve heating the cream cheese.
How to soften cream cheese
If your cream cheese is a bit too difficult to work with still for your recipe, simply warm it up. An easy way to do this is to place your sealed cream cheese into a bowl of hot water. Leave until the water starts to cool then massage the cream cheese while it is still in the package to help smooth it out.
If your cream cheese is already open you can microwave it in a microwave-safe bowl for a few minutes then stir it until you reach the softened consistency you are looking for. Stick to no more than 10 seconds at a time or you may begin to cook the outsides of your cream cheese.
How to make frozen cream cheese creamy again
If you would like to restore the original creamy texture of your cream cheese you will need to warm it up slowly and carefully. To do this place your cream cheese into a double boiler or in a small saucepan or glass bowl nested over a saucepan of boiling water. Stir your thawed cream cheese consistently until smooth.
Can you freeze compound cream cheese?
Yes, despite the added flavorings, you can freeze your favorite flavored cream cheese including strawberry cream cheese. Leave these in sealed plastic containers to freeze and prevent freezer burn. When you thaw your cream cheese you will need to warm and stir it to return them to the original temperature and consistency.
Can you freeze mascarpone cheese?
Mascarpone cheese can be frozen, but it’s a little more finicky than cream cheese. It may change the texture and consistency of the cheese. When freezing mascarpone, it is best to put it in an airtight container and use it within 2-3 months.
The freezing process may cause the cheese to become grainy or separated upon thawing. It’s best to use it for cooking or baking recipes instead of spreading it on bread or other foods where texture is important.
Can you freeze a cheese ball?
Yes, you can freeze cheese balls. It is best to wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and then place them in an airtight container or plastic bag. Cheese balls can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. When you are ready to serve it, thaw the cheese ball in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight before serving.
The texture may be a little different when it’s thawed, but with the other ingredients, it’s not as noticeable as plain cream cheese can be.
Can you freeze cream cheese frosting?
Cream cheese frosting can be frozen. Prepare the frosting as normal, then place it in an airtight container or plastic bag and freeze it. When you are ready to use it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for several hours.
You may need to re-whip it to restore the texture and consistency before using it. Cream cheese frosting can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
Cream cheese schmear
Cream cheese schmear is a spread made from cream cheese, often mixed with other ingredients such as herbs, spices, or minced vegetables. It is commonly used as a spread for bagels, but can also be used as a dip or as a topping for other foods.
Herb and Garlic Cream Cheese Recipe
The world’s best schmear is this herb and garlic cream cheese recipe. It’s great for bagels, toast, and more! It’s even more amazing if you use homemade cream cheese. It’s easier to make than you might think!
Ways to use frozen cream cheese
Here are lots of recipes you can use frozen cream cheese in, check them out: