Feta cheese is a delicious addition to many dishes. However, since it’s a softer cheese, it tends to go bad faster than aged cheeses. If you notice your feta cheese is starting to get old, you might wonder if you can freeze it to make it last longer?
You can freeze feta cheese for six weeks without problems. However, you might notice that the texture of your cheese has changed after you thaw it. Due to this, you should only freeze feta if it is close to its expiration and you don’t think you’ll be able to eat it all before that date.
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about freezing and storing feta cheese, including if you can freeze feta cheese dishes and if you can freeze both feta blocks and crumbles.
How Long Can Feta Cheese Stay Frozen?
Feta cheese can stay frozen for 4-6 weeks without sacrificing its flavor. However, you can leave your feta in the freezer for up to six months, and it will still be fine and safe to eat.
Feta cheese isn’t just available in one form. The most common forms you can find feta in at grocery stores are feta crumbles and feta blocks. You might wonder if the form your feta is in might affect how well it can sustain being frozen.
Can You Freeze Feta Cheese Crumbles? (How-To)
Feta cheese crumbles are often used to top salads. However, depending on where you live, you may only wish to eat salads during warmer times of the month. That means if you haven’t used all your feta crumbles by the end of the summer, you might find yourself nearing your package’s expiration date without having eaten all your cheese.
You can freeze feta cheese crumbles for up to six months. However, feta crumbles will lose their flavor slowly after being frozen for a month. So, your cheese might taste milder than it originally did if you wait too long to defrost it.
It’s worth noting, however, that you want to make sure your feta crumbles are sealed in an airtight container to keep them from developing freezer burn. It’s also not a good idea to defrost and refreeze feta crumbles, so defrost only as much as you think you’ll need at a time.
Can You Freeze a Feta Cheese Block? (How-To)
A feta cheese block can be hard to finish depending on its size.
Since feta is a soft cheese with a lot of moisture content, it also tends to have a shorter shelf-life than other cheeses. This is particularly true of feta blocks because less of the cheese is exposed to air, so less water evaporates during the preparation process.
You can freeze a block of feta cheese safely for months despite it potentially being close to going bad at the moment it was frozen. The only concerns you should consider are a potential change in texture and a weaker flavor due to the freezing process.
If you intend to freeze an entire block of feta cheese, it’s recommended that you cut it into serving-size portions.
A frozen block of cheese might be difficult to cut, and you want to avoid thawing your cheese and refreezing your leftovers. This is to cut down on potential bacteria forming on your cheese and avoid ice crystals developing inside it.
Other Ways To Store Feta Cheese
You don’t have to store feta in the freezer if you don’t want to. There are other ways you can conserve this type of cheese.
The best way to store feta is in the refrigerator. To extend its shelf-life, you can conserve refrigerated feta with olive oil, briny water, or alcohol. Or you can refrigerate your cheese the way you purchased it.
Conserve Your Feta With Olive Oil
You can use olive oil to keep your feta cheese fresh for longer. This method is likely the simplest conservation method that still involves some preparation.
To successfully use olive oil to conserve feta, you’ll need to completely submerge your cheese in olive oil and store it in the fridge in an airtight container. The olive oil will alter the flavor of your cheese a little bit, but the two flavors are often paired together, so it shouldn’t be a drastic change in taste.
Conserve Your Feta With Saltwater
You can also conserve feta cheese in the fridge using briny saltwater. Salt is commonly used when aging meats and cheeses, and many types of olives and canned goods are kept in saltwater because it keeps bacteria from forming.
To follow this method of conserving your cheese, you’ll want to submerge your feta in a brine mixture of 1 cup (237 ml) of water and 1 tbsp (14.3 grams) of salt in a sealed container.
You can keep feta conserved this way in the fridge for up to four weeks past your feta’s expiration date as long as you change the water mixture once a week. Since the briny water will give your cheese a very salty taste, you’ll likely want to rinse your feta before you use it in any dishes.
Conserve Your Feta Cheese With Alcohol
Alcohol is also a good way to keep your feta cheese tasting fresh past its expiration date.
Note: It’s very important to note that “alcohol” in this case refers exclusively to drinking alcohol (like wine) and not alcohol used for cleaning and disinfecting purposes.
To use this method, you’ll want to submerge your feta in whatever liqueur you prefer and store it in the fridge for up to four weeks past its expiration date. This is commonly referred to as “Drunken Cheese.”
However, this method is only recommended for people over the legal drinking age because the feta will absorb the alcohol. This method will also alter the taste of your cheese drastically in a way that can’t be reversed.
So make sure you use alcohol you think would pair well with feta and only use this method if you are okay with having alcohol infused in your cheese.
Conserve Your Feta Cheese In the Original Packaging
The easiest way to store your feta is to refrigerate it “as is.” This method is functional if you think you will be able to finish your feta before it goes bad.
All you have to do is keep an eye on your cheese’s expiration date so you can make sure you either finish it or choose one of the other storage methods in this article in time.
In most cases, this is likely the best storage method.
However, because cheese can develop bacteria quickly, it’s best to be strict about following the expiration date if you choose not to do anything to extend your feta’s shelf-life. That means you shouldn’t keep your feta in the fridge past its recommended date.
Can You Freeze Feta Cheese Dishes?
You might wonder if you can freeze dishes that have feta in them as easily as you can freeze fresh feta itself.
You can freeze most feta cheese dishes. However, it’s best to check with the recipe you are following to be sure. In any case, the feta cheese used in your dishes will not keep you from being able to freeze them.
Why Would You Freeze Cheese?
Cheese is a staple item in many people’s kitchens. Depending on the type of cheese, it can be easily used up quickly or last quite a while before it goes bad. However, there are cases when it is unlikely or impossible for a cheese to be consumed before it expires.
You would freeze most types of cheese to reduce waste without any noticeable changes to their taste. However, freezing often changes the consistency a cheese will have, affecting how you cook with it.
Defrosted cheese might not melt properly or may crumble differently than it would have had it been kept fresh.
However, if you purchase large amounts of cheese or don’t think you can finish what you have before it goes bad, freezing is a viable option that will reduce the amount of uneaten food you throw away.
You can safely freeze feta cheese for several months past its expiration date. However, this method shouldn’t be used unless you are positive you won’t finish it before it expires. No matter how you choose to store your feta, if you notice any unpleasant odors, discoloration, or changes in texture, throw your feta out to make sure you don’t consume anything dangerous.