Can You Freeze Parmesan Cheese?


The first instance of parmesan cheese takes cheese lovers all the way back to the Middle Ages. The now popular cheese type was said to be invented by Benedictine monks in order to make their milk last last longer without spoiling. 

Soon after, the creation of this delectable cheese spread to parts of Italy, Europe, and eventually the rest of the world. 

Parmesan cheese is now a staple in almost every fridge and is usually found in grated form at every market for use on a variety of Italian style dishes. 

Most places even offer the European ingredient in whole wedges or wheels. Except for in its grated form, parmesan cheese is best kept refrigerated or in the freezer in an air-tight package. 

You can freeze parmesan cheese. This cheese has a low moisture content, which makes freezing it ideal. 

Can You Freeze Parmesan Cheese?

The most important thing to remember is to keep the cheese in an air-tight container or package. This is true for both grated and block forms when freezing them.

Many people choose to freeze parmesan cheese to extend the life of the whole block or wedge after using a piece. Because the cheese is less susceptible to freezer burn and clumping, it can last much longer than other cheeses. 

It can also be used right away when it is taken out of the freezer. Frozen parmesan cheese can go straight on soups, pasta, stews, and pizza without even worrying about thawing it. 

You can also choose to shred the cheese before freezing to make the process of using it again easier when you remove the parmesan from the freezer. When parmesan is shredded, it usually lasts about four to six months frozen. 

In wedge or block form, parmesan cheese can be stored for over a year. Even though the cheese lasts longer in block form, many people recommend shredding before the cheese is thrown in the freezer since the parmesan tends to lose its crumbliness when frozen in wedge or block form for longer periods of time. 

To see the most popular snacks made with parmesan cheese just click here. 

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How Long Does Parmesan Cheese Last When Refrigerated?

So you bought some parmesan cheese because it was on sale and it has been forgotten in that unopened fridge drawer of yours. Once you finally decide to break it out for that famous spaghetti you’ve been planning, you may wonder, is this still good? 

Luckily, most cheeses last longer periods of time when they are unopened and stored properly. 

In block or chunk form, opened parmesan cheese will last from four to six weeks in a refrigerated setting. If unopened, parmesan cheese can last seven to nine months before going bad. 

It is always best to refer to the “best by” date as well when deciding how long your cheese will last. 

It is always best practice to use your refrigerated parmesan cheese within three to five days of opening to ensure the highest quality your cheese has to offer. 

Grated parmesan usually has a slightly different useful life than its block counterparts. If you buy the cheese at the store unrefrigerated, it will usually last one month more than the best by date if it is unopened. 

Once the cheese is opened, it will last anywhere from four to six months. If the grated parmesan is bought from a refrigerated shelf, it has a much different usable period. 

Unopened, it needs to be used within the week for maximum quality. If opened, it will be unusable after 3-7 days.  

How Do I Know When My Parmesan Cheese Has Gone Bad?

The time has come to finally use your parmesan cheese and you just aren’t quite sure if it’s still safe to open up and use in your recipe. No worries! There are several trusted ways to tell if your cheese is still usable. 

If you are checking on grated parmesan cheese, inspect the color and smell first. Normal grated parmesan will be white to beige. When spoiled, grated parmesan will also have a funny smell and the color will tend to be more in the darker beige and yellow range. 

With shredded parmesan cheese, the cheese will usually feel spongy or wet. The parmesan cheese will also give off a smelly odor. 

Lastly, a strong indicator that your cheese has gone bad is the texture. Good parmesan cheese normally has a harder texture on the rind, but bad parmesan cheese will have developed this hard texture all the way through. 

Most of the time, you can tell your parmesan cheese has gone bad by its texture, smell, and color. 

By using the indicators listed above, a person can quickly notice if their parmesan cheese is still good to use. 

If just a few parts of the cheese have hardened, or if mold has appeared on some of the cheese, it may still be usable. As is true with most cheeses, mold or hardened areas can be cut from the cheese, leaving the rest of the wedge or block still usable. 

If your cheese is mostly covered in mold, or if it is hardened all the way through, it is probably best to discard the cheese. 

How Do You Defrost Frozen Parmesan Cheese? 

Even though you can use frozen parmesan cheese without thawing in a variety of ways, there may be some instances when you need to thaw your frozen cheese. 

When thawing parmesan cheese, also remember that it can be refrozen if the whole piece has not been used. 

To thaw your frozen parmesan cheese, take the cheese out of the freezer and move it to the fridge. Make sure to leave the cheese wrapped  and sealed while in the thawing process to keep the moisture in and prevent it from drying. 

For best results, leave the cheese in the fridge overnight or for several hours to thaw thoroughly. 

Final Thoughts 

Now that you know the various ways parmesan cheese can be stored and used, your fridge and freezer can be even more versatile as you plan and portion what is refrigerated and what can be stored for longer in the freezer. 

Also, since frozen parmesan serves a variety of uses, the cheese can work great for meal planning in various different styles and recipes you may have down the road. 

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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