Cream cheese is a staple ingredient in everything from mashed potatoes to cheesecakes, but you don’t always use up a whole container. You may use your freezer to make the most of every last piece of cream cheese. You can freeze cream cheese, but you’ll need to consider how you plan to use the thawed cream cheese as the texture may become grainy. The good news is that it may still be used (and eaten!) in baked products, casseroles, and dips.
How Long Will Cream Cheese Last in the Refrigerator?
Philadelphia Cream Cheese experts suggest utilizing cream cheese by the “best by” date on the container. After opening, cream cheese will keep in the fridge for up to 10 days or until the “best by” date. Opened cream cheese should be stored in an airtight container.
How to Freeze Cream Cheese
Don’t throw out that brick of cream cheese in your fridge! Unopened containers of cream cheese should be frozen for the best results. The original packaging’s layers of foil and cardboard will help avoid freezer burn. If you’re freezing opened cream cheese, transfer it to an airtight container or freezer bag with the air pressed out. A vacuum sealer may also be used to help retain freshness.
To freeze individual portions of cream cheese, fill one large freezer bag with cream cheese and gently use your finger to score the cream cheese into smaller portions. After the cream cheese has frozen firm, cut it into pieces along the scored lines. Fill a big freezer bag with the pieces and use just what you need.
How Long Can You Freeze Cream Cheese?
Cream cheese may be frozen for up to two months. Label all packages and containers to ensure you use them within the two-month term. After thawing, do not refreeze cream cheese.
How to Thaw Frozen Cream Cheese
When it’s time to thaw the cream cheese, the best technique is to leave it in the refrigerator overnight to defrost. After the cream cheese has thawed, it may have separated. A short whisk will put the mixture back together, but the texture will be altered. When cream cheese is frozen, it forms ice crystals because it contains half water. The water separates from the cheese curds, resulting in a gritty texture. “Cream cheese can be frozen, but the texture may alter and may become gritty, affecting the final product’s texture. It is safe from a food safety standpoint, but the product’s integrity will alter once frozen “.
Best Uses for Frozen Cream Cheese
“You may use frozen cream cheese in casseroles or baked items, but if the texture of the cream cheese would be noticeable, use refrigerated cream cheese instead,” Blanchard advises. Instead of putting frozen cream cheese on your bagel or using it in cheesecake, use it in dishes where texture is less important. Try incorporating it into a batch of baked cookies or a thick pound cake. It’s also delicious in creamy casseroles (such as this homemade mac and cheese) or mixed into a bubbly baked dip.
Can You Freeze Cream Cheese Frosting?
Because of its high fat content, cream cheese frosting may be frozen for up to 3 months. To keep the cream cheese frosting fresh, refrigerate it in an airtight container or freezer bag. Any air that enters produces moisture, which may lead to freezer burn. Thaw the cream cheese frosting in the refrigerator overnight when ready to use. Do not microwave it as the cream cheese frosting will no longer be the texture and consistency you expect for a frosting.
Can You Freeze Cream Cheese Dip?
You may freeze cream cheese dips for up to two months if you create them ahead of time or buy ready-made dips ahead of time. If you have any leftover cream cheese dip, store it in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to two months. While using a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible. Remove the container and leave it in the refrigerator overnight to defrost. Give it a thorough swirl when it has thawed. After thawing, you may notice changes in texture, consistency, or flavor, but it is still safe to consume.
Now that you know how to freeze cream cheese, you can stock up on it during grocery store bargains. Use this helpful guide to freezing cream cheese to ensure it stays fresh and freezer burn-free.