Blue cheese isn’t as loved universally as cheddar or mozzarella cheese, but that doesn’t mean it’s not loved by many.
If you’ve overestimated the amount of blue cheese you can eat in the next few weeks, or if you only bought it for one recipe, and now you have more blue cheese than you know what to do with, this article is for you.
Freezing cheese isn’t exactly an unusual process, and you’ve probably frozen plenty of mozzarella, parmesan, or other hard cheeses with no problems at all.
But what about blue cheese? Well, freezing blue cheese (see also Freezing Mozzarella Cheese) makes sense, depending on what you want to use it for once it has thawed.
The Shelf Life Of Blue Cheese
A wedge of blue cheese tends to last around 2 months before it goes bad, and sometimes this can be 6 months if it’s unopened. The shelf life largely depends on the cheese itself and the packaging it’s in.
If the blue cheese is in cheese paper or in a carton, it will have a shorter shelf life than the kind you get in sealed plastic.
Once you open the cheese or cut into it, it will last a maximum of 4 weeks. If the packet states that you need to eat it within a few days of opening, obviously aim for that if you can.
If you prefer crumbled blue cheese, it can last up to 6 months, but for best results, follow the advice on the packaging.
Always check that the blue cheese is still safe to consume. If the cheese turns green, pink, or starts to lose its firm texture, it might be time to bin it.
If it smells like ammonia, or emits a smell that’s a far cry from its normal self, it’s time to get rid.
Mold blooming on the cheese that doesn’t look right or wasn’t there a few days before is also a sign you should put the cheese in the trash.
It’s worth mentioning that if the blue cheese is older, and it’s starting to ‘bite’, that doesn’t mean it’s unsafe to consume, that’s just a natural process within the cheese.
Should You Freeze Blue Cheese?
Because blue cheese is usually a hard cheese, it has a lower moisture content, making it easier to freeze than softer cheeses (see also Freezing Philadelphia Cream Cheese).
If you’ve tried to freeze Brie before (see also How To Freeze Brie Cheese), you’ll have noticed that the freezing and thawing process makes it a little drier than its fresh counterpart, and its texture is less creamy.
Blue cheese behaves very similarly when you freeze it, (see also Freezing Cheese Fondue) which doesn’t make it a great option if the dish you’re making needs the texture to be at its best.
So if you do freeze and thaw blue cheese (see also Freezing Gouda Cheese), hold off on adding it to a salad or a cheese and meat platter, as it won’t work very well in either dish.
If you add thawed blue cheese to a cooked dish, however, it works well, as the texture change isn’t noticeable.
As long as you bear the texture changes in mind, freezing blue cheese (see also Freezing Goat Cheese) is not a problem. You can also freeze blue cheese crumbles, and the process is exactly the same as freezing wedges of blue cheese.
Blue cheese crumbles do have a significantly long shelf life, so you may not need to freeze it at all.
How Do You Freeze Blue Cheese?
How To Prepare Blue Cheese For Freezing
In order to get the most out of your blue cheese, it’s helpful to know exactly what you’ll be using the blue cheese for, before you freeze it.
That way, you can cut down on the prep time when it comes to defrosting and using the cheese, and you can portion it exactly how you need to, saving you a lot of time.
To start with, you need to cut the cheese into the desired portions.
If you’re not sure what you’ll use the blue cheese for just yet, you can cut it in any way you like, even grating it if you want it to defrost faster.
To keep your options open, cube the blue cheese or simply slice it, as either lets you thaw as much as you need.
How To Pack The Blue Cheese For The Freezer
How you divide the cheese will dictate the best way to wrap it for freezing. If you still have an unopened wedge of cheese, you can put the whole thing into a freezer bag and freeze it that way.
Large pieces of cheese will freeze better if you wrap them first, covering them in cling film or foil, before putting them into a freezer bag.
If you sliced or cubed the cheese, it’s worth flash freezing it, so they don’t clump together once frozen. Arrange the pieces in a single layer onto a lined baking sheet, putting the whole thing into the freezer.
Once frozen, you can transfer them into a freezer bag.
If you grated the cheese, transfer it directly into a resealable freezer bag.
Whichever method you choose, make sure the container you use is airtight, and that you’ve gotten rid of any excess air.
If you suspect the cheese might get flattened by something else in the freezer, put it into a rigid container to stop that from happening. Label the cheese, and freeze it.
If you plan on freezing the blue cheese and then grating it once it’s thawed, why not grate it before you freeze it?
This will save you some preparation time, and depending on what you want to use it for, you may even be able to throw it straight into your dish without thawing it first.
Once frozen, blue cheese can last between 6 months to a year, depending on the cheese itself. For best results, use within a few months of freezing.
How Do You Defrost Blue Cheese?
The best way to defrost blue cheese is to put it straight into the fridge. Give it plenty of time to thaw, and if you’re in doubt, let it defrost overnight.
If you froze a very large wedge of blue cheese, this could take longer to defrost, even up to 2 days!
If you are in a rush, you can defrost the blue cheese in a bowl of cold water, but the faster the defrosting process, the less ideal the texture of the cheese will be.
Because you’re cooking the cheese, this probably won’t matter too much.
Once you’ve defrosted the blue cheese, make sure to use it within 2 days for best results. This is why portioning the cheese helps a great deal.
If you find you can’t use that amount of cheese within a couple of days, you can probably refreeze it, though the quality will be significantly worse than the first time you froze it, so only refreeze it as a very last resort.
Ideas On How You Can Use Thawed Blue Cheese
If you froze the cheese in a hurry, and now you’ve thawed it, and you’re not sure what to use it in, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways you can use thawed blue cheese.
For a grilled cheese sandwich that’s on a completely different level, add thawed blue cheese.
Soup can be improved by adding the creamy and rich flavor of blue cheese.
Don’t forget, you can still use thawed blue cheese in pasta sauces, and as toppings. It could even work on pizza, if you’re a huge fan of blue cheese.
Blue cheese also works well in casseroles to give it an extra layer of interest.
If you’re finding that stews have become a little lackluster, you can add blue cheese to help liven it up.
Blue cheese is like marmite, you either love it or you hate it.
Some recipes will call for a lot of cheese, more than you’d reasonably add yourself, because it entirely depends on your palate as to how much cheese you want to use, and this can easily create a surplus of cheese.
If you’re struggling to use up all of the blue cheese in your fridge, why not freeze it and save it for later?
If you portion the blue cheese before you freeze it, this can save you a lot of time when it comes to using it, and often, you won’t even need to defrost it when a dish calls for more blue cheese.