Enjoying a delicious dish with creamy feta cheese crumbles sprinkled on top is a great way to spend an afternoon. But after you are done, you likely have leftover feta cheese. Rather than waste it by throwing it away or letting it sit in your fridge until it goes bad, you can consider freezing feta cheese crumbles to keep them for future use.
In general, you can freeze feta cheese crumbles. Feta cheese can be frozen for up to three months (both crumbles and blocks). Freeze feta cheese crumbles in their original packaging if it is airtight or in a separate airtight container if you need new storage.
Feta cheese is very easy to freeze, especially in its crumbled form. Because feta cheese crumbles are meant to be, well, crumbly, you don’t need to worry about them maintaining a certain shape or consistency. Blocks of feta cheese often become crumbles as they are moved about while cooking. This doesn’t mean that you can’t freeze blocks of feta cheese, just that you should be a bit more gently when handling it.
Crumbled feta cheese also comes in freezer-ready containers. Most feta cheese crumbles are sold in resealable plastic containers. These are perfect for the freezer since they can keep any extra air out.
- Does Crumbled Feta Cheese Freeze Well?
- Cooking With Feta Cheese
- How Do You Freeze Feta Crumbles?
- Final Thoughts
Does Crumbled Feta Cheese Freeze Well?
Feta cheese crumbles freeze well and keep their crumbly shape and creamy consistency, even after months of freezing. It can lose some of its signature salty flavor if kept frozen for a long time but usually not enough to make a noticeable difference in your recipe. Because feta cheese packs such a flavorful punch to begin with, it still maintains a good deal of flavor even after being frozen.
Frozen feta cheese looks very similar to fresh feta cheese, although it will be harder while still frozen. Freezing any food can cause it to lose moisture and feta cheese is no exception. To minimize this, make sure to store your feta cheese crumbles in an airtight container or bag. If using a Ziploc bag, look for one that is heavy-duty or specifically designed for the freezer. The plastics used in these bags are heavier and help retain moisture.
Cooking With Feta Cheese
Feta cheese is popular in many Greek and Mediterranean dishes. It can also be served on its own as part of a cheeseboard. If you are cooking with feta cheese, here are a few common questions you may ask yourself.
Where Can I Buy Feta Cheese?
Feta cheese is now sold in most grocery stores in the United States, although you may need to look in the deli or gourmet food section. You can also go to a Greek or Mediterranean market, which might have a greater variety. Finally, a specialty cheese shop will be able to supply you with all the feta you could want and will probably have good cooking and serving tips, too.
How Long Does Feta Cheese Last In The Fridge?
When you bring feta cheese home from the supermarket, resist the temptation to open the container until you are ready to use it. Unopened feta cheese (crumbled or block) can last for around a month in the fridge. After you open the container, you should use the feta within five days or store it in the freezer.
One of the first signs that your feta cheese is near the end of its life is that it will dry out. This is especially true of feta cheese crumbles since more of their surface area is exposed to air. Eventually, the cheese will become moldy. You should not eat feta cheese that has mold on any part of it.
Can You Freeze Leftover Feta Cheese?
Yes, freezing leftover feta cheese is the best way to store it if you aren’t planning to use it in the next few days. If you already know that you won’t be needing that delicious feta anytime soon, go ahead and put it in the freezer. A small container of leftover feta cheese can easily be tucked into the back of the fridge and forgotten, leading to a waste of food and money.
How Do You Freeze Feta Crumbles?
The best way to freeze feta crumbles will depend on the packaging and what other storage system or containers you prefer.
Preparing Feta Cheese For The Freezer
You have a couple of options when it comes to freezing feta cheese crumbles.
I Need To Use Crumbles In Another Dish.
You will need to spread the crumbles out on a baking sheet or other flat surface. Then put that sheet in the freezer. The feta cheese crumbles will freeze in small pieces rather than freezing into one large chunk. After they are frozen, remove with a spatula and store them in an airtight container. They can touch each other at this point and won’t stick.
I Can Use A Block In Another Dish.
You can freeze the feta cheese crumbles as is. This means that you don’t need to take any special steps for preparation. Just put the feta cheese crumbles into an airtight container and freeze. They will stick together once they are frozen and be a large chunk. Depending on the way you plan to use the feta cheese, this may work just fine.
Tip: If you aren’t sure how you will use your feta cheese, cut it into cubes or slices. Freeze on a baking sheet before storing. You can grab as many cubes as you need without needing to thaw the entire batch.
Storing Frozen Feta Cheese
If your feta cheese crumbles came in a resealable container, chances are you can use this same container to store the feta in the freezer. You will want to look for two things before deciding to reuse the packaging.
- Is it airtight?
- Is there a lot of extra space in the container?
Freezing feta cheese crumbles in a container that is not airtight will allow extra air to get to the cheese, causing it to dry out and become hard. While we want feta cheese to be crumbly, it is still best when it is creamy and retains a good amount of moisture.
Having a lot of extra space in the container can also be a problem. This allows extra air to get to the cheese, causing the same problem. If you use a lot of the feta cheese crumbles, you may want to put the leftovers into a smaller container or bag.
Freezing feta cheese crumbles or blocks in a heavy-duty Ziploc bag is great because it allows you to press any extra air out before putting it into the freezer. It might also take up less space than the original packaging container, making it easier overall to freeze.
Defrosting Feta Cheese
Once you are ready to use your frozen feta cheese crumbles in another recipe, defrosting the cheese is easy. All you need to do is take it out of the freezer and let it sit in the fridge until it has softened.
The amount of time that the frozen feta cheese will need to defrost will depend on the size. Feta cheese crumbles tend to be small, so usually a few hours will do. If you want to be sure, put the feta cheese in the fridge to defrost the night before you plan to use it.
Need your feta cheese defrosted in a hurry? Put the frozen feta cheese in a bowl of cool water to speed up the process. This will bring the temperature up gradually, but faster than if the feta was just sitting in the fridge by itself. Do not try to defrost the frozen feta cheese crumbles in warm or hot water, since it may end up melting parts of your cheese while leaving other parts frozen.
If you will be using the frozen feta cheese in a hot dish and melting it, you might not even need to defrost it. Defrosting is really only needed if you want to eat the feta cheese crumbles in a dish such as a salad.
Using Frozen Feta Cheese
After it is defrosted, frozen feta cheese is almost indistinguishable from fresh feta cheese. The consistency is similar and the taste is usually unaffected.
If you have stored your feta cheese crumbles in the freezer for multiple months, you might find that it is a bit drier or less salty than you remember. Most of the time, this change is not obvious to anyone but a cheese connoisseur.
While delicious, feta cheese crumbles are all too often forgotten in the back of the fridge after using them for a special dish or recipe. If you want to keep your feta cheese for future use, just store them in an airtight container in the freezer to keep them fresh. Feta cheese can be frozen in crumbles, cubes, slices, or blocks. All you need to do is do a bit of prep work for crumbles or cubes and find the right storage container. Bon appetite!
Katie is an experienced writer, who wrote for big magazines like The Spruce. She is also a mom of three (Sebastian, Lincoln, and Hannah). In her spare time, she likes to read, day hike, and explore hidden gems around her home in North Carolina. You can connect with Katie on Instagram @katiebwriter or her website, www.katiemelynnbegley.com.