Can You Freeze Grated Parmesan Cheese? Here’s How to Get It Right

Parmesan, Cheese, Dairy Product, Food, Ingredient, Meal

Parmesan, or Parmigiano in Italian. It’s the pride of Northern Italy and one of the most popular cheeses worldwide. However, recipes rarely call for large amounts of this cheese which often leaves us with leftover parmesan. If you’ve already grated it, can you freeze it? The short answer is yes (found out about the details below) 

Is Freezing Grated Parmesan Cheese A Good Idea? 

Ending up with too much grated parmesan cheese in your fridge seems to be a fairly common problem. You might have bought a large pack because it was on discount (quality parmesan can be pricey, we know), or you might have grated more cheese than you ended up needing for your lasagna (see also Can You Freeze Lasagna). Really, it happens quite easily. 

One of our readers wrote to us with a similar dilemma: 

While on holiday, we visited a beautiful little cheese shop where we got a great on a large block of parmesan. We couldn’t resist and we brought the block of cheese home. However, we are a small household, and no one can eat that much parmesan really no matter how much we all love the cheese. I’d rather not freeze the whole block as that would be awkward to handle later. We usually use the parmesan grated on our paste, so I was wondering, would freezing the parmesan grated be an option? That way, we could just pull out as much as we need from the freezer whenever we make pasta (see also Can You Freeze Cooked Pasta). Do you think that would work? How long would grated parmesan last in the freezer? 

Well, dear reader, we have some good news. Parmesan is pretty much the perfect food for freezing (see also Two Ways To Freeze Parmesan if you don’t want to grate it). Since it’s a very dry cheese, it tends to freeze really well. High water content is the biggest issue when freezing food, but luckily in parmesan cheese it’s really low. You can freeze it in blocks, pieces, or grated – totally your choice. 

Actually, we find that freezing grated parmesan is very convenient. The cheese will keep pretty much the same texture as fresh, so you can use it as needed directly from the freezer. Could it be any more simple than that? 

How To Freeze Grated Parmesan 

Freezing grated parmesan is as easy as it can be (see also Freezing Grated Cheese). You can freeze it in just about any container. However, if you want the cheese to keep the flavour for as long as possible, we suggest making sure your container is airtight. Moreover, the less air is in the container the better for your cheese, so try not to choose overly large containers. 

If you use rigid containers, all you need to do is pack the cheese (see also article titled ‘Can You Freeze Paneer?‘) in and close it. To protect the cheese from air and the possibility of absorbing the smell of other foods you keep in your freezer, you might consider additionally protecting your container. You can do this by wrapping it in plastic wrap, or better yet, using a resealable freezer bag. 

Can I Extend The Shelf Life Of Grated Parmesan Cheese? 

Grated parmesan already has a fairly long shelf life. It will probably remain perfect for at least 6 months if stored properly, but you might actually be able to use it long after that. If you’d like your parmesan to stay fresh for a really long time, you might consider vacuum sealing your cheese. 

As we already mentioned, air is the enemy if you want to preserve the flavour of your food. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can use a freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing the bag. However, this is not a true vacuum seal. 

To get the perfect result, you’ll need the help of a Food Saver or a similar machine. 

Using Grated Parmesan From The Freezer 

Using frozen grated parmesan is as easy as it can be. When you want parmesan, simply take out as much as you need from the container and put it back in the freezer. We recommend you do this fast, though, as you don’t want the whole package of parmesan to get unfrozen then frozen again every time. 

Another tip is to shake or tap the container a bit before you open it (you can also bump it lightly on the counter). This will help loosen up the crumbles as sometimes they can appear as a single block after freezing. 

The cheese can be used immediately, however, if you want it to melt more easily you can let it sit at room temperature for 15 – 30 minutes. 

If you are using the parmesan for cooking, you can use it straight from the freezer. There will be no issues. Put it directly on pizza (see also ‘Can You Freeze Domino’s Pizza?‘) or in lasagna and bake as usual. 

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