In summary: Yes, you can freeze cheese slices without major changes in texture or flavor, but ensure they are still fresh and well-packaged to avoid moisture and air exposure. Best for cooked dishes.
Tasty, salty, soft slices of cheesy goodness are the perfect addition to round off a burger, toasted sandwich, or even omelet.
Whether you want a snack, a lunchbox filler, or a comforting topping to your favorite cooked meal, cheese slices provide a convenient way to round off a dish and add a little extra decadence.
Cheese slices can be frozen which allows you to make use of bulk purchase savings, prevent food waste, and also ensures that you’ll never have to be without some gooey deliciousness.
There are a few things you should take into consideration when freezing cheese slices. Here is everything you need to know to successfully preserve cheese slices for future use.
Can Cheese Slices Be Frozen?
Yes, you can freeze cheese slices without it undergoing any major changes in texture or flavor. As with all other perishable food items, sliced cheese should be protected from contact with moisture and air on freezing and should only be frozen when they are still of good quality.
Once cheese slices are nearing their expiry, they will not freeze well and should rather be used immediately or thrown out. Frozen cheese slices are best used in cooked applications, whether melted into a sauce or simply toasted on a sandwich.
How To Freeze Cheese Slices
If you are freezing sliced cheese in unopened vacuum-sealed packaging, you can place them straight into the freezer. Wrap the packet in an extra layer of cling film or place it in a resealable freezer bag as a double layer of protection.
For opened packs of cheese slices, leftovers, or cheese you are going to slice yourself, follow the steps below to ensure it freezes without spoiling.
Step 1: Slice
If you are cutting a whole block of cheese into slices, use a cheese slicer or cheese knife to cut the desired size slices.
Cut pieces of wax paper or parchment paper slightly bigger than the slices of cheese. Stack the slices alternating one cheese slice and one piece of parchment paper. This will make it easier to separate the cheese slices from each other.
Pre-packaged cheese slices should already have separating film between the slices, if it does not, then follow the same process for pre-sliced store-bought cheese.
Step 2: Portion and Wrap
Decide how many slices you may want to use at a time and wrap the separated stack of slices in cling film. For example, if you usually need 4 slices of cheese to make sandwiches, take 4 slices separated with wax paper and wrap them in cling film or foil.
This way you can take out only as many as you need from the freezer at a time without having to defrost and use the entire batch.
Step 3: Bag It
Contact with moisture or air will cause freezer burn and eventually the deterioration of quality. To save space and packaging, you can stack a few portions of wrapped cheese slices to fit into one zip lock bag.
Don’t overfill the freezer bags. Lightly squeeze out an excess air and seal.
Step 4: Label and Freeze
If you have sliced your own cheese, label each freezer safe bag with the contents and date of freezing before placing it into the freezer.
How To Thaw Frozen Cheese Slices
Depending on what you are using it for, you do not necessarily have to thaw cheese. Sliced cheese can be used from frozen especially when used to top pizza, melted onto a grilled sandwich, or in sauces, casseroles, and macaroni and cheese.
If you do want to defrost cheese slices, place them in the refrigerator to thaw for a few hours.
Types of Cheese Slices
When referring to pre-packaged, store-bought cheese slices, one generally thinks of processed cheese. Processed cheese (such as American cheese slices) only contains 50 to 60% natural cheese with the addition of emulsifiers, flavorings, colorants, and unfermented dairy ingredients.
Due to the high content of artificial ingredients, processed cheese has a longer shelf life than fresh cheese. It has a consistent, smooth texture and appearance, it melts evenly, quickly, and does not separate when heated.
Pre-packaged slices of processed cheese come with parchment film between each slice, making it easy to separate and use.
Many alternative, more authentic cheese products are also available in pre-packaged slices. You can also buy cheese whole and slice it yourself or purchase fresh cheese slices from a specialist deli.
Any cheese which is firm enough to hold its shape and soft enough to be sliced can be cut into slices and frozen as recommended below.
Whether Swiss cheese, cheddar, colby, or processed cheese, you can cut the cheese to the desired size and keep it frozen for use in cooked dishes.
Soft cheeses like cottage cheese, fresh mozzarella. goat cheese, blue cheese, and ricotta cheese don’t freeze that well.
To avoid moisture and flavor loss, and prevent harmful bacterial growth, sliced cheeses need to be protected from contact with air and moisture by keeping them in airtight packaging.
The fresher and less-processed the cheese is, the more susceptible it will be to spoilage, and bacterial growth. Fresh cheese will also have a shorter shelf life than processed cheese.
Whether you freeze cheddar cheese slices or another type, it is a great way to prevent waste. Simply pull what you need from the freezer and add it to sauces, grilled cheese sandwiches, burgers, pasta, pizza, casseroles, quesadillas, or nachos.
Now you have no excuse to miss out on any more gooey, melty, comforting cheesy toppings.
*image by AndreySt/depositphotos