Mozzarella is a classic ingredient to use in almost any recipe. It’s an ideal cheese for many Italian pasta dishes, but it’s great for pizzas, sandwiches, and even salads too.
Seriously, combine thinly sliced mozzarella with some fresh tomatoes, basil, and balsamic vinegar, and you’ll have a dish that’ll please even the most ardent of meat eaters!
However, like with many other foods, mozzarella cheese is still a cheese that isn’t going to last forever. Eventually, it will get moldy, sour, or otherwise spoil, maybe even before you get to use all of it.
And for a cheese like this, letting mozzarella go to waste is such a shame!
This is why many people, in a bid to try and make their food last longer, will often attempt to freeze mozzarella before it goes bad, defrosting it for when they need this soft and delicate cheese for a recipe.
But is this okay for the mozzarella? Does freezing it have any unintended consequences? Is it even safe in the first place?
Well, we’re here to help answer a few of these questions, including how it is possible to free mozzarella for eating later, provided that you follow the correct steps.
What are those correct steps? Well, you’ll have to read on and find out for yourself!
Can You Freeze Mozzarella?
So, we should probably first clarify the main question that was posed here before we get any further: Can you freeze mozzarella cheese?
And the answer, as we mentioned before, is yes, you can!
Whether you are looking to preserve whole palls of mozzarella or trying to save grated mozzarella, both types of this popular cheese can be stored and frozen for later use!
It does, however, take a little preparation to do. Mozzarella, thanks partly to the brine it is preserved in, is a very yet cheese that, if simply thrown in the freezer, can be spoiled in terms of flavor and texture when you eventually defrost it, effectively ruining it.
So, if you’re looking to save some mozzarella for yourself, whether it is a freshly bought ball, some leftover slides, or good old-fashioned grated cheese, you should be following the instructions that we have laid out here.
How To Freeze Mozzarella Cheese
The process of preserving mozzarella cheese will be slightly different depending on whether you are trying to save mozzarella in a solid ball/slice, in a block, or if you are preserving grated mozzarella.
Freezing Ball/Slice of Mozzarella
- First, make sure that you remove any excess water. Cut the ball or slice out of its pack, and pour the brine either down the sink, or use immediately if you want to use the mozzarella whey for cooking such as in pasta.
- Portion out your mozzarella ball into how much you’ll need for a recipe, and slice your mozzarella accordingly. This will stop you from needing to defrost only a portion of the mozzarella
- If your leftover mozzarella is already in slices, this is a step that you can ignore.
- You now need to remove the excess moisture from your slices of mozzarella. To avoid the whey freezing with the mozzarella, wipe up any extra water that has come out of the mozzarella after cutting it.
- Place each dried portion into a separate bag, and place them in the freezer. You should make sure that the slices are flat in the freezer to get the best results.
- If you want to be more thorough, place your portions on a tray far apart from each other, and allow them to freeze on the tray, before placing them in separate bags and keeping them in the freezer.
And that’s it! It’s a pretty simple set of instructions, but one that you’ll need to be aware of to keep the mozzarella usable when you take it out of the freezer.
Freezing A Block Of Mozzarella
So, how exactly is freeing and preparing a larger block of mozzarella different from a smaller slice or ball of cheese?
Generally speaking, blocks of mozzarella have a noticeably lower water content than their ball or whey-soaked counterparts. This means that freezing it will have less of a noticeable effect once it has defrosted, but it can cause the cheese to feel a little dry once it has.
Overall, this means that you won’t need to worry about removing all that excess moisture when freezing, and instead only need to divvy out your portions of mozzarella instead.
- Separate your blocks into portions, wrap them, bag them, and place them flat in the freezer as they freeze.
It is a lot simpler, isn’t it?
Freezing Grated/Shredded Mozzarella
Shredded or grated Mozzarella tends to come from blocks of mozzarella, meaning that you’ll find that many of the same rules apply to how it turns out once it defrosts.
However, there are a few differences that you should be aware of:
- Firstly, make sure that your cheese is appropriately grated.
- Lay your shredded/grated cheese out on a pan sheet, and pre-freeze it in your freezer.
- This shouldn’t take too long, given how small the grated cheese should be.
- Break the frozen mozzarella up with a spatula, and place the necessary portions into bags, then back into the freezer for when you need them.
Notes And Tips For Freezing Mozzarella Cheese
- As we’ve mentioned already a few times, the excess moisture from the whey that fresh mozzarella is stored in can have pretty noticeable once defrosted. It may come out feeling a little more crumbly and wet than it would otherwise be.
- Clocked or grated mozzarella, as we have also said, will often be quite dry once left to defrost. However, if you are using it as a topping, such as for a pizza, this won’t be an issue for your recipe.
So, there you have it! A complete guide to getting mozzarella frozen, and keeping it safe for eating when you need it.
We hope that this helps save a few extra mouthfuls of this delicious cheese from going in the garbage, and staying in your pantry!