If you’re a fan of feta, you most probably buy big blocks of the stuff. Especially if it’s on offer! But what if you find yourself with more than you can use? Have you ever wondered… “can feta cheese be frozen?”
Some cheeses can be frozen, others not so much. But can you freeze feta cheese? And if so, how do you freeze it? Well, let’s take a look…
Items you’ll need to freeze feta cheese
- Paper towel – you’ll need to dry the feta before you freeze it
- Knife and cutting board – this is to cut up your block of feta into meal sized portions
- Plastic wrap (cling film) – wrapping it prevents freezer burn
- Resealable freezer bag – placing it in a freezer bag protects it further from freezer burn
- Vacuum sealer and vacuum sealer rolls – for extra freshness, seal your feta in a vacuum sealed bag
- Permanent marker – make sure you label the bag with the date it was frozen
What is feta cheese?
An absolutely essential element of Greek cuisine, feta is a delicious white cheese that goes well in so many dishes. Like other cheese, it has a different flavour and texture, depending on how long it is aged for.
Made with cow’s milk (although sometimes a mix of goat’s and cow’s milk is used) it’s brined and cured, before being aged. The younger types are soft, creamy and fresh. The more mature type is dry and crumbly with a more intense flavour.
Both are delicious in their own way and taste amazing when eaten with a drizzle of olive oil and a few tomatoes. This heavenly Greek cheese also makes a perfect addition to salads, pizzas, pastas or even in a big club sandwich.
How to store feta cheese in the fridge
Storing feta cheese in the fridge keeps it fresh for a few days. How long it lasts in the fridge depends on whether or not it’s brined. Feta cheese normally comes in a liquid (brine) to keep it fresh for longer. If you take it out of the brine you can keep it in the fridge for 4-7 days.
Keeping it in the brine keeps it fresher for longer. It should last between 3 to 4 weeks in brine after opening.
Can you freeze feta cheese?
When it comes to freezing cheese, some feel the effects of life in the freezer more than others. Hard cheeses are typically better than soft cheeses. Although feta isn’t the best cheese to freeze, it’s definitely not the worst.
So, can you freeze feta cheese? Yes, you definitely can. But there are a few things you’ll need to bear in mind before freezing feta cheese.
Freezing changes the taste and texture of feta cheese. Feta can lose a little saltiness and become more crumbly after it’s been frozen.
While having extra crumbly cheese out of the freezer can be a good thing (scattered over a salad it’ll be divine) having it less salty could be a problem. But, if you prefer it less salty, freezing feta cheese might make it even more appealing!
If you prefer your cheese on the salty side and don’t want it to lose its saltiness, you could always place it in brine after you thaw it.
So, as frozen feta cheese can lose a little flavour, it’ll work better when cooked into a dish. It’ll still be great with salads, but you might need to make some tweaks to the recipe, adding a little extra olive oil or salt to balance the flavour.
How long does feta cheese last in the freezer?
Freezing feta cheese is a great way to extend its shelf life. But keep in mind that when you freeze feta cheese, it will eventually spoil.
It’s best to use this cheese within a month, although it will keep frozen for two months. After that, the flavour and texture will really start to suffer.
Once you’ve thawed it, use it within 72 hours. If not, the cheese may become too sour. Also, never refreeze this cheese – this will promote bacteria growth and could cause food poisoning.
How to thaw feta cheese
The best way to thaw this Greek cheese is by placing it in the fridge. This can take 3-12 hours, depending on the size of your block (quicker if you freeze individual portions). Your best bet is to defrost it overnight. It’ll be perfectly thawed in the morning.
If you’ve got a tasty salad recipe planned for lunch and you just can’t wait, place it in a bowl of cold water. It’ll defrost within a couple of hours. Make sure to place any unused cheese back in the fridge.
Ideas for using thawed feta
Once you’ve thawed your feta, you may need some inspiration. Here are a few ways to use feta after freezing:
- Cooked into a delicious pasta bake
- Melted into a casserole
- Melted on top of a pizza or into a hearty risotto
- Melted into a sauce to make it thick and creamy
- Scattered in with salads (see below!)
- Cutting board
- Cling film (plastic wrap)
- Resealable freezer bag
- Vacuum sealer and vacuum sealer rolls
- Permanent marker
- Marker pen
- If purchased in a block, cut the feta into smaller portions
- If it’s brined, drain the liquid away and pat dry with a paper towel
- Double wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Then place each piece in a freezer bag and seal it (or vacuum seal roll, and vacuum seal it). It is particularly important to remove excess air with mature, crumbled feta before you freeze it, as it has a greater surface area.Label
- the bag or container with the date of freezing and place it in the freezer.
- You can freeze it for up to 2 months (1 month is best, to avoid losing flavour).
- Make sure that your containers and freezer bags are airtight, to avoid freezer burn.
- Once thawed, if it’s lost some saltiness , place in brine for a couple of hours. Do not refreeze.
Feta cheese recipes
Here are a few great feta based recipes, to give you some ideas of how to use your feta, once thawed:
- Pumpkin and feta salad – simple to make and inexpensive, this salad is perfect for those on vegetarian diets, low-carb diets or keto diets
- Grilled sweetcorn with feta & chilli – a healthy and delicious salad, with a fresh chilli kick
- Grilled courgette salad with feta and pomegranate – the feta and pomegranate combo works so well
- Beetroot, feta & lentil salad – tasty and filling, this salad will tastes even better than it looks
- Potato, courgette & feta cakes with mint – delicious and healthy potato cakes that are seriously addictive!
- Beef kefta with tomato & feta couscous – such a wonderful combination of flavours
- Cherry tomato, feta & basil kebabs – a light healthy bite, these little flavourful kebabs make a great appetiser
- New potato, feta and pecan salad – a quick and easy salad with extra virgin olive oil that tastes great
- Mediterranean salad – fresh and full of flavour, made extra special with the addition of crumbly feta and black olives