You can freeze mozzarella in just about any way you can find it; shredded, blocks, fresh mozzarella balls, even battered and breaded mozzarella cheese sticks! Depending on the type of mozzarella you are freezing, it can stay frozen for 3 - 9 months.
If you want to learn more about the best methods to freeze mozzarella cheese, keep on reading!
Why Freeze Mozzarella Cheese?
Freezing mozzarella cheese allows you to extend it's shelf life from 2 months (unopened) in the refrigerator to 3 - 9 months in the freezer. Additionally, it barely loses any of it's flavor when frozen. And, it thaws like a dream when used as a melted topping for pizza, casseroles, soups, or anything else you want.
|Freezer Life||Fridge Life|
|freshest in first 2 to 3 months|
keeps from 3 to 9 months
|up to 2 months|
We freeze a ton of mozzarella. Whatever we can't grow or make ourselves, we wait for it to go on sale and then load up our emergency stock pile with our other frozen food. It is a great way to save money because you can stock up when the price is at it's lowest. And then you have it ready to go whenever you need without an extra trip to the store.
Frozen mozzarella is best used as a melting cheese. If you want to put it on top of a pizza, or pre-made freezer meal, you will be pleasantly surprised with how much flavor your cheese will retain.
It is important to note that if you are expecting to freeze expensive, fresh mozzarella and then have it retain it's same quality later, it will leave you disappointed. Some higher quality cheeses are prized specifically for how soft and creamy they are.
After freezing it, the texture will be much more dry and crumbly. So, do be aware of that if you choose to freeze fresh mozzarella balls or something similar.
Mozzarella Freezing Stats
|Prep Style||in container|
cubes or chunks in bags
crumbles in bags or container
|Time To Freeze||12 to 24 hours|
|Time to Thaw||24 to 48 hours in fridge|
You are going to need the following supplies:
- Mozzarella cheese: Block, shredded or balls
- cookie sheet (for flash freezing)
- cling wrap
- Freezer bags
- Sharpie or marker
- knife and cutting board
How To Freeze Mozzarella Cheese
Mozzarella is one of those cheeses that is available in several different forms for several different uses. Today we are going to focus on freezing shredded (fresh and store bought), full blocks, and fresh mozzarella balls.
Several of these methods will involve flash freezing. If you are not familiar with flash freezing, it is essentially a pre-freeze before the deep freeze. The steps are:
- cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper
- spread the food you are freezing on top of the cookie sheet in a single layer
- place the cookie sheet in the freezer and leave anywhere from 2 hours (shredded) to overnight (thick slices or cubes)
- Once the food has started to harden, remove the sheet from the freezer and then continue with the rest of the freezing preservation process
Knowing how to flash freeze is really useful. You can even use it when you are learning how to freeze cantaloupe and other fruits and veggies, too.
Need to get all your food preserved easily? Check out the Ultimate Guide To Freezing Food so that you can fill your freezer without in minimal time.
Freezing shredded mozzarella is quite easy. You can follow the steps below based on if you are shredding your own or if you have purchased it shredded at the store.
- Shred or grate your mozzarella onto a covered cookie sheet for flash freezing
- Spread the cheese out as thin as you can to prevent it from clumping together.
- Flash freeze by popping it into the freezer for a few hours.
- Once pre-frozen, scoop your shreds and add them into a freezer bag
- Squeeze as much air out as you can and seal
- Place this bag into a second labeled freezer bag
- Squeeze the air out of the second bag and seal
- Place the bag into the freezer and allow up to 24 hours to completely freeze
All you need to do with store bought is stick it in the freezer unopened in its sealed bag.
A solid block of mozzarella will, once frozen and thawed, become very brittle and crumbly. It will still taste good, but it's texture will not be great for some things you would use it for.
We recommend thinking about what you will need that block for in the future and then prepare it accordingly.
If you are going to want to grate or shred it, either do that first and freeze using the method above or freeze the block solid and then grate without thawing it.
However, slices for sandwiches and things are generally what you would use a block of cheese for. Use a knife and cutting board to slice your block up BEFORE you freeze it.
If you're freezing slices follow all of the steps or skip the slice specific steps at the beginning and go straight to the wrapping step if you're freezing a solid block.
- Use a knife to cut according to your needs
- Lay all of your slices in a single layer on a covered cookie sheet and flash freeze them. Once frozen, take them out and prepare to wrap.
- You can either freeze individual slices or, bundle them in groups according to what you will need per meal.
- For example, if you have a family of 4 that will each eat 1 sandwich for lunch, wrap 4 slices together so you can thaw them at the same time.
- Pro tip: place a small square of parchment or wax paper in between each slice prior to wrapping to keep them from freezing together.
- (Full Block steps start here) Wrap your cheese as tight as you can in cling wrap.
- Then put a second layer of cling wrap around the cheese.
- Put the wrapped cheese in a freezer safe baggie and push out all of the air.
- Place the bag in the freezer and let it freeze for about 24 hours.
Pro tip: You can use a straw to literally suck the extra air out of the bag if you leave a small opening at the top of the zipper bag.
Double pro tip: Use physics to your advantage and dip the mostly closed bag in a large bowl of water. The water pressure will push the air towards the top of the bag. Then, just zip it tight.
Fresh mozzarella balls
This is the good stuff that you find in the specialty cheese section, individually wrapped in it's own brine. Fresh mozzarella balls are similar to other soft creamy cheeses, like Boccincini and Burrate, which should not be frozen but enjoyed fresh.
Freezing, while a great way to preserve your cheese so it will last much longer, will destroy the creaminess of these types of cheeses.
But, if you still want to do it anyway, this method, similar to the block method above, will give you the best results.
- Drain all of the liquid off of the mozzarella balls and pat them dry with paper towels.
- You don't want to freeze it in the liquid. At worst you will end up with soggy, frost bitten cheese and at best it will just take longer to defrost with no discernible advantage from having been frozen in liquid.
- Decide if you are freezing whole balls or if you want slices, cubes, etc and cut accordingly
- If you are cutting it, place all of the pieces in a single layer on a covered cookie sheet and flash freeze them. Once frozen, take them out for wrapping.
- (Ball steps start here) Wrap your cheese in cling wrap very tightly.
- Wrap another tight layer around the first.
- Put the wrapped cheese in a pre-labeled freezer bag.
- Place the bag in the freezer and let it freeze for about 24 hours.
This method will also work with marinated mozzarella balls. You just want to make sure they are tight enough that the air and moisture cannot mix in the freezer.
How to Defrost Mozzarella Cheese
You can use grated and shredded frozen mozzarella straight from the freezer without thawing first if you are planning to cook or melt it. It is thin enough that, even if put on a salad, it will not stay frozen for long.
For the other types, take the bags from the freezer and put them in the fridge. Allow them to slowly thaw over 24 to 48 hours. This will make sure that they keep as much of their flavor and texture as possible.
How to Use Frozen or Thawed Mozzarella
Freezing Mozzarella FAQs
No, you can't refreeze mozzarella. Not only will it really mess with the overall quality and texture, but the safety will also be questionable after the multiple temperature changes.
Mozzarella sticks are really easy to freeze. Line them up on a cookie sheet, flash freeze, and put them in labeled bags. If freezing breaded mozzarella sticks, when you are ready to make them, skip thawing and put them straight into the oven at 350° for 10 minutes.
Yes, frozen mozzarella will still melt, it may just take it slightly longer to do so.
If you need more help getting your foods frozen, check out the Ultimate Freezing Food Guide for a complete quick start reference so that you can have a well-stocked freezer.
How to Freeze Mozzarella Cheese
- Freezer Bags
- Cookie Sheet
- Knife or Grater optional
- Cling Wrap For block or slices
- Marker or Pen to label bags
- Mozzarella Cheese Block, Shredded or fresh balls
For shredded mozzarella
- If you are freezing store-bought mozzarella, simply toss the sealed and unopened bag straight into the freezer.
- If you are shredding your own, take your block of mozzarella and shred it with a cheese grater.
- Spread the shredded cheese in a single layer on a cookie sheet and pop it into the freezer for about 2 - 3 hours to flash freeze it. It should be partially frozen.
- Remove from the freezer and pour it into freezer bags in the portions you will want when you defrost it.
For blocks of mozzarella
- You can freeze an entire, unopened block of mozzarella by placing it directly into the freezer. Pop it into a freezer bag for extra protection if desired.
- If you have already opened the block of mozzarella, wrap it in cling wrap. Then, pop it into a freezer bag and put it into the freezer.
For slices of mozzarella
- If not done already, slice the mozzarella into the size slices you prefer.
- Place them on a cookie sheet and flash freeze by putting them in the freezer for a few hours.
- Remove from the freezer and place into freezer bags.
For fresh mozzarella balls
- Use a paper towel to thoroughly dry the balls.
- Wrap each ball in cling wrap. Two layers provides maximum protection.
- Place the wrapped balls into a freezer bag and place it into the freezer.
- If you want to slice the balls, you you dry them and then follow the steps for slices of mozzarella above.
- Squeeze all the air out of the freezer bags before sealing to maintain the highest quality and prevent freezer burn.
- Label bags with date and amount so that you know exactly what is in them.
- Press the contents of the bags flat and even before freezing so that they are easy to stack and save room in the freezer.
- Place parchment paper between each slice if freezing slices so that they are easier to separate.
- Package each bag in the amount of cheese you will want or need when defrosting so that you only defrost what you need each time.
- If cooking or melting the cheese, you can use it frozen.
- To defrost, place it in the refrigerator overnight.