Freezing blue cheese can extend its shelf life, helping you prevent food waste and save money. Here’s how to do it properly.
You love blue cheese and can eat a mountain of it. Even so, you went a bit overboard on your last grocery trip and bought more of it than you can realistically chew.
Now, you’ve found yourself with a surplus of this tangy, pungent cheese, and it’s about to spoil, so you’re wondering what to do about it. Like any modern problem solver, you reached for your phone and started searching.
For the answers—and more—see our guide below.
Is It Okay to Freeze Blue Cheese?
The short answer is yes, you can freeze blue cheese to make it last longer. But there’s a catch: freezing blue cheese can affect its mouthfeel and flavor.
When thawed, frozen blue cheese may not have the same texture and taste as it did before freezing. This is because freezing cheese alters its structure—causing it to lose moisture and change consistency.
Don’t let the fact that frozen blue cheese may not taste or feel the same discourage you from freezing your cheese surplus, though! There are tricks that you can use to minimize the impact of freezing and use up that thawed blue cheese in ways as if you never froze it.
What’s the Best Way to Freeze Blue Cheese?
When it comes to freezing blue cheese, you have options. You can freeze a whole wedge, portion-sized servings, or broken-up crumbles.
Keep in mind that while a whole wedge may freeze well, smaller servings or crumbles will thaw quicker, so choose the option that works best for your needs.
How to Freeze Blue Cheese: 4 Steps
Slice it. Before freezing blue cheese, it’s important to prepare it properly. If you’re freezing a whole wedge, consider slicing it into portion-sized servings or breaking it up into blue cheese crumbles. The best option will depend on how you plan to use the cheese later on.
If you’re planning to serve the cheese on a platter or slice it for sandwiches, portion-sized servings are likely the best option. On the other hand, if you’ll be adding the cheese to salads, sauces, or pizza, blue cheese crumbles may be more practical.
Package it. To ensure that your blue cheese stays fresh in the freezer, it’s important to wrap it tightly to protect it from the circulating air. Otherwise, the cheese may suffer from freezer burn, which can affect its quality.1USDA (2023, February 1). What is freezer burn? AskUSDA. Retrieved April 30, 2023, from https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/What-is-freezer-burn
While freezer-burnt cheese is generally safe to eat, it may lose much of its original appeal in terms of texture and flavor. So, to avoid disappointment when you finally thaw your cheese, wrap it tightly and take the necessary steps to minimize exposure to the freezer air.
If you’re using a freezer bag, squeeze out the excess air before sealing the bag tightly. This will help minimize the risk of freezer burn.
Alternatively, if you’re using a food storage container, use a shallow container and double-wrap the cheese tightly in aluminum foil before freezing it. This will provide an additional layer of protection against the cold and help keep the blue cheese fresh.
Label it. To keep track of when you froze your blue cheese, it’s a good idea to label the freezer bag or food storage container with the date of freezing.
This way, you’ll know exactly how long the cheese has been frozen and can use it up before it starts to lose its quality.
Freeze it. Once you’ve packaged and labeled your blue cheese for freezing, it’s time to store it in your freezer. Make sure your freezer is set to maintain a temperature of 0°F (-18°C) or below to ensure that the cheese stays frozen and doesn’t thaw.
It’s also important to avoid overcrowding your freezer, as this can interfere with proper airflow and cause temperature fluctuations. If your freezer is full, make space by removing any items that can be thawed and used up or reorganizing your frozen goods to create room.
Does Blue Cheese Go Bad in the Freezer?
While freezing your blue cheese puts bacterial growth on pause and makes it safe to eat forever, it’s important to keep in mind that the freezer isn’t a magical solution that can preserve the quality of your foods indefinitely.
Over time, even when the blue cheese is stored properly at 0°F (-18°C) in the freezer, the texture and taste of blue cheese can degrade. So while it won’t technically go bad, it may not be as delicious as it was when you first froze it.2(2023, January 18). Are You Storing Food Safely? US Food & Drug Administration. Retrieved April 30, 2023, from https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/are-you-storing-food-safely
To ensure the best quality possible, it’s a good idea to use up your frozen blue cheese within 6 to 12 months of freezing it. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy it at its freshest and most flavorful, without any of the potential drawbacks of long-term freezer storage.
How Do You Thaw Blue Cheese?
Thawing frozen blue cheese properly is key to ensuring that it retains its safety and quality.
The best way to thaw blue cheese is to plan ahead and allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. To do this, simply transfer the frozen cheese from the freezer to the fridge the night before you plan to eat it. By the next evening, it should be fully thawed and ready to eat or cook with.
You can also thaw the blue cheese in cold water if you’re in a hurry. To thaw blue cheese in cold water, place it in a leak-proof plastic bag and submerge it in a bowl of cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the cheese is fully thawed.
Avoid the temptation to rush the thawing process by using a microwave, as this can cause the cheese to become mushy or lose its flavor. Instead, be patient and let the cheese thaw slowly in the fridge for the best results.
From a food safety point of view, it’s crucial to thaw blue cheese safely to avoid the risk of bacterial contamination. Never thaw blue cheese on the countertop or in hot water, as this can bring the cheese to temperatures at which harmful bacteria can proliferate to dangerous levels that may cause food poisoning.3USDA (2015, June 15). The Big Thaw: Safe Defrosting Methods. Food Safety & Inspection Service. Retrieved April 30, 2023, from https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/food-safety-basics/big-thaw-safe-defrosting-methods
The Best Ways to Use Up Defrosted Blue Cheese
Now that you have thawed blue cheese on hand, there are a variety of ways to use it up in your cooking.
While serving the blue cheese on a cheese platter may not be the best way to use it up, here are some creative recipes to make the most of your thawed blue cheese:
- Make a salad dressing: Crumble the thawed blue cheese and mix it with olive oil, vinegar, and a little bit of honey to make a delicious and tangy salad dressing.
- Add to pasta dishes: Sprinkle thawed blue cheese over pasta dishes, such as mac and cheese, to add a creamy and pungent flavor.
- Make a cheese sauce: Melt thawed blue cheese with butter, cream, and garlic to create a rich and flavorful cheese sauce that can be used for dipping or drizzling over vegetables.
- Make blue cheese dip: Mix thawed blue cheese with sour cream and herbs to make a tasty dip for nachos, fries, or crackers.
- Stuff it in burgers: Mix thawed blue cheese crumbles with ground beef and grill to make a delicious and juicy blue cheese stuffed burger.
- Top a pizza: Sprinkle thawed blue cheese over your favorite pizza toppings and bake for a delicious and unique twist on pizza.
With these ideas, you can use up your surplus blue cheese before it goes bad and add a delicious tangy flavor to your meals.
Too much blue cheese?
We have good news for you: most blue cheeses freeze well. The variety, however, can make a world of a difference. For instance, hard cheeses tend to hold up better in the freezer than soft cheeses.
To freeze blue cheese, slice it up into smaller portions or break it up into crumbles before placing it in freezer bags or an airtight container. Remove air from the bags by squeezing it out, or use a shallow container and wrap the cheese in two layers of aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
Don’t forget to label the date of freezing! For best quality, use up the cheese within 6 to 12 months. Defrost blue cheese overnight in the refrigerator or in cold water, but never in warm water or in the microwave oven.You've voted for this post