How Long Can Blue Cheese Dressing Sit Out? [Store Safely]

If you have ever stood at an unlabeled salad bar and wondered which dressing was ranch and which was blue cheese, you are not alone.

In fact, they are quite similar dressings. While both are creamy and tangy, blue cheese dressing has crumbles of cheese mixed in.

It is a creamy dressing that pairs well with spicy dishes like buffalo wings and adds a flavor all on its own to a house or club salad. 

Blue cheese dressing contains dairy and other perishable ingredients; therefore, it should not be left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature. An unopened bottle of blue cheese dressing will be good in your cupboard for 1-4 months past the best by date.

You can keep unopened store bought blue cheese dressing in your refrigerator for about 3 months. Homemade blue cheese dressing has a much shorter shelf life, lasting up to 7 days in the refrigerator.  If sealed properly, blue cheese that has already been opened can last for up to 4 weeks refrigerated.

Continue reading to understand how best to store blue cheese dressing, what exactly blue cheese is, and recipes and serving ideas for blue cheese dressing.

Storing Storebought Blue Cheese Dressing

Whenever you are serving dinner or having a party, you can be confident that your storebought blue cheese dressing will be safe to leave at room temperature for 2 hours.

This creamy dressing contains several perishable ingredients like cheese, buttermilk, sour cream, or mayonnaise. After two hours, you should cover it tightly and keep it in the refrigerator.

Some blue cheese dressing is sold at room temperature, and some is sold in the refrigerated section at the grocer.

Blue cheese dressing sold at room temperature will be good in your cabinet or pantry for 1-4 months past the best by date on the bottle as long as you don’t open it. 

When you buy refrigerated blue cheese dressing, you should keep it in the refrigerator and pay attention to the best by dates on the packaging.

You should check open bottles for spoilage around the three-month mark. Blue cheese dressing is more likely to spoil due to some of the ingredients, so you should be careful. 

Blue Cheese Dressing

Blue cheese dressing does not freeze well. Most creamy dressings have mayonnaise as a base, and when mayo defrosts, it separates.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t whip back together well, ruining the creaminess of your dressing.

Storing Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

The 2-hour rule applies to homemade blue cheese dressing just as it does to storebought products.

If your dressing has been out for longer than 2 hours, you should discard it rather than trying to save it due to the potential for bacterial growth. 

Homemade blue cheese dressing has a much shorter shelf life than commercially made varieties.

You can keep homemade cream-based dressings in the refrigerator for 3-5 days in an airtight container.

There are no preservatives in homemade dressing, and, therefore, it is more susceptible to growing harmful bacteria than the commercial types.

You should not freeze homemade blue cheese dressing because it will not thaw back out well. The mayonnaise will separate and will not recombine. 

Recipe For Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

You can whip up blue cheese dressing at home for a tangy topping on your favorite salad.

The following recipe calls for both mayonnaise and sour cream to keep it light and tasty.

You can substitute light versions or greek yogurt for sour cream for healthier options. 

In a medium bowl, combine ¼ cup sour cream, ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon minced parsley, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Wisk these ingredients until they are well combined. Use a spoon or spatula to make crumbles of blue cheese, then stir them into the mixture.

This mixture will be thick, like a dip for vegetables or chicken wings. You can thin it out by adding milk or buttermilk until it is the consistency you like for salad dressing.

Store your homemade dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

Serving Ideas For Blue Cheese And Blue Cheese Dressing

The most apparent use for blue cheese dressing is to serve it on salad. But it makes an equally good dip for vegetables and party crackers.

You might also consider topping your hamburger with a squeeze of blue cheese dressing instead of mayonnaise.

Of course, you can always dip your chicken wings or nuggets in blue cheese dressing.

Blue Cheese

It also makes a salty-tangy topping for baked potatoes or mix-in for mashed potatoes.

Finally, you could make a fancy egg salad by using blue cheese dressing instead of mayo for some extra zip.

What Makes Blue Cheese Blue

Blue cheese by itself is a good topping for salads, burgers, grilled chicken or steak, and even pizza.

It is a semi-soft, salty, sharp cheese with a distinct smell. Blue cheese is a creamy white color with spots or veins of blue or green throughout.

The blue spots that create the unique flavor and scent are growths of the mold Penicillium. In this cheese, it is perfectly safe to eat.

Some traditional varieties of blue cheese are Roquefort, Gorgonzola, and Stilton, while newer varieties include Danablu (Danish Blue) and Cambozola, a creamier German version. 

Since blue cheeses already have mold in them, you may wonder how to tell if it is good to eat or not.

The blue-green spots in blue cheese are smooth and blended into the cheese. If there is fuzzy mold or pink mold on the cheese, it has gone bad and should be discarded.

However, Blue cheese itself has a very long shelf life. Blue cheese can sit out for 2 hours per the FDA’s food safety rule.

If the area that is particularly hot, like a picnic, the time for keeping the cheese safe is much shorter. You would be better off keeping it in a cooler with ice.

A wedge of blue cheese will stay good in the fridge for 3-8 weeks. Wrap it in parchment paper or waxed paper to keep it covered but not airtight.

Blue cheese crumbles will be good for about a week after you open them. You can freeze blue cheese if you have quite a lot left over.

 Blue Cheese

Wrap it in parchment paper or waxed paper and place it in a zip-top bag. Then you can store it for 6 months.

The longer it is in the freezer, the more likely it will be crumbly when it thaws. You might want to use frozen blue cheese in dishes where it will melt.

Top Commercially Prepared Blue Cheese Dressings

Like any other much-loved food, there is great debate about which version of storebought blue cheese dressing is the best.

We’ve analyzed a few brands of dressing to help you narrow the field when you are shopping for your new favorite.

Kraft Roka Blue Cheese Dressing is a fan favorite. Kraft’s lasting commitment to quality continues in this thick dressing with chunks of real blue cheese and a strong, sharp flavor. Consider it for a dip or a salad dressing.

Ken’s Steak House Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing is another excellent choice from a company with an 80-year history of quality.

Not only does this dressing have a strong blue cheese flavor, but it also has a pleasant tartness that other dressings lack.

Walden Farms Blue Cheese Dressing is a unique contender in that it has no sugar and no net carbs.

It is gluten-free as well. If you are looking for a healthier alternative, this blue cheese dressing is a viable option.

Marie’s Blue Cheese Dressing and Dip provides a low sodium option for those with high blood pressure or other concerns about sodium.

This has a stronger blue cheese flavor than some of the shelf-stable brands. You can find Marie’s in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

Final Thoughts

Next to ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing is a national favorite. If you are looking for a salty-tangy alternative to the ranch, give blue cheese a try.

You can leave blue cheese dressing out at room temperature for no more than 2 hours.

Because this dressing contains mayonnaise and sour cream, it can grow harmful bacteria if it sits out for too long.

For the safest storage, keep your blue cheese dressing in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Once a bottle of dressing is opened, it will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. 

An unopened container of dressing, on the other hand, maybe good up to 4 months past the best by date when stored in a cool dark place like your pantry. 

Homemade blue cheese dressing is good in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

Blue cheese dressing does not freeze well, so when you make your own, make it in small batches to reduce the amount of waste.

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