Nacho cheese sauce is perfect for movie nights, or for having a lot of guests over, as you can make it or heat it in a pinch.
What happens, though, if you have too much nacho cheese sauce to use? Maybe the jar is simply too much for your household, and you don’t want to waste it. Can you freeze it?
The jars of cheese sauce can seem like odd servings. You may have either too much or too little cheese sauce, depending on the appetite of your household or your guests.
Buying two jars and then only using one and a half presents some problems of its own.
It’s also very easy to make from scratch, and even easier to get the portions wrong, especially if you have a lot of cheese that needs using up.
The good news is that you can freeze leftover nacho cheese sauce, and this is true of both the store-bought, ready-made nacho sauce, and the homemade variety.
Should You Freeze Nacho Cheese Sauce?
Like with any cheese sauce, nacho cheese sauce will be a little different from the fresh stuff once it’s been through the freezing and thawing process.
You may find that the cheese has separated, the color might be slightly duller, but you can fix this.
If you’re making homemade nacho cheese sauce from scratch, and you want to freeze it for later, avoid using soft cheese like cottage cheese or brie, or adding cream.
Neither of these ingredients freeze very well, so you’re better off using harder types of cheese, and you can always add cream once the nacho cheese sauce has defrosted.
How Do You Freeze Nacho Cheese Sauce?
If you’re freezing leftover nacho cheese, make sure there’s no food debris that shouldn’t be there.
Avoid freezing cheese sauce (see also How To Freeze Cheese Dip) that’s had food dipped into it repeatedly, as it could be contaminated with bacteria or other food products, which could lead to food poisoning.
If you are making the nacho cheese sauce from scratch, and you want to use some now and save the rest for later, consider separating the cheese you want to save. This will prevent any contamination from occurring.
You’ll also need to make sure that the cheese sauce is completely cool. Once it is, freeze it as soon as possible to make sure it stays as fresh as possible.
If you’re someone who struggles to use a whole jar of nacho cheese sauce at any one time, why not freeze it in single portions?
This will also cut down on the time it will take for the nacho cheese sauce to defrost, and you can always take out more, but you can’t put them back.
Divide the sauce between heavy-duty freezer bags, making sure to get rid of any excess air. Seal it, label it, and freeze it until you need it.
Consider Using A Vacuum Sealer
If you want to ensure the cheese is as fresh as possible, and you want to minimize any texture or flavor changes, consider investing in a food vacuum sealer.
You decant the nacho cheese into a vacuum bag, and let the machine seal it. This method gets rid of any excess air, and it will keep for much longer in the freezer without developing freezer burn.
You might want to consider getting a machine that works with different size bags, enabling you to freeze both single portions and whole meals.
It will also save a lot of space in your freezer, as everything will be flat. Vacuum food bags also make it much easier to defrost the food inside.
How Do You Defrost Nacho Cheese?
When you want to use the nacho cheese sauce, take it out of the freezer and immediately put it into the fridge.
Let it thaw, and depending on the portion size, this may take a few hours, or it may take overnight to fully defrost.
You’ll notice some separation, but you can stir that back into the cheese as you heat it.
If you’re using vacuum freezer bags, you can take the whole thing and put it into a pan of water, setting it to boil. The cheese won’t lose any moisture this way, as there’s nowhere for it to go.
The heat may curdle it, though, so be careful about heating it too quickly.
If you can, avoid this method altogether when it comes to dairy products. This method also works for reheating chili (see also How To Freeze Jalapenos) and any other frozen food you can think of.
Why You Shouldn’t Refreeze Nacho Cheese Sauce
Nacho cheese sauce does alter in its texture and flavor when you freeze and thaw it, so doing it a second time is not recommended.
Putting the nacho cheese sauce through the process again will further change the sauce, and this will be more noticeable and harder to fix the second time around.
It will affect the quality of the nacho cheese sauce as a whole, so you’re best using it as soon as it’s defrosted.
While you can keep defrosted nacho cheese sauce in the fridge for about 2 days, it’s best to use it immediately, because it will start to deteriorate once you defrost it.
Freezing nacho cheese sauce (see also Freezing Cheese Sauce) is a great way to preserve the sauce for later, saving you time and money.
It also helps that you can take it out of the freezer the night before you’re expecting guests, as nachos will be that much quicker to prepare.