Can You Freeze Parmesan?

The problem with a lot of cheese is that it really doesn’t freeze well. In fact, this can be broadened further to say that a lot of dairy products do not freeze particularly well due to their fat content.

But what about parmesan? Can you freeze parmesan with success?

The Quick Answer

Yes, you can freeze parmesan. Parmesan can be frozen for around 18 months. To freeze parmesan, you must ensure it is airtight. This will prevent it from changing texture too dramatically but will also stop your freezer from smelling.

How To Freeze Parmesan

Parmesan is a harder cheese than many others and as such tends to have a much lower water content so the taste isn’t affected in the same way. You should be able to safely freeze parmesan cheese and not notice too much difference in taste.

There is a ‘but’ to this though! Parmesan that has been frozen will end up being a different texture and will be more crumbly than you are used to.

If this isn’t a problem for you then let’s talk about how to freeze parmesan next:

  1. Prepare Portions
    Cut up the cheese into portion-sized blocks. So consider how much cheese you want to have in the fridge in one go and cut your block of parmesan into appropriate sizes.
  2. Consider Form
    Next, decide if you want to grate the parmesan or just freeze the block. If you are grating then use the finest grater you can find. This will help the cheese to withstand the freezing process much better.
  3. Place Into Airtight Containers
    Next, pop your parmesan into an airtight container. It doesn’t matter from this point whether you have chosen to grate the cheese or leave it whole. The process is the same.
  4. Bag Up
    Make sure the container is sealed and airtight. Just to be sure, add another freezer bag around it. This will help to protect the cheese a little more. It won’t just protect the cheese from the air but will also protect it from other odours and protect other food from the odour of cheese.
  5. Freeze
    Label the freezer bag with the contents and date and pop it into the freezer.

Please take the time to follow these instructions as parmesan, like most cheese varieties, can easily be impacted by the freezing process. You need to make sure it is airtight and protected from the many elements in the freezer.

How to Freeze Parmesan Rinds

Parmesan rinds have some surprising uses. You might be thinking why on Earth would you want to store that dodgy bit of rind you can’t eat? It might not be edible but it packs a punch of flavour.

Toss it into stews or soups, much like you would a bay leaf, and it will add a rich, salty, umami flavour to your dish and is effectively free. Luckily, you can freeze these and they can last a year or more if you are careful.

  1. Bag Up
    Pop your rinds into a heavy-duty freezer bag. If you are unsure then double bag the rinds.
  2. Freeze
    Pop them in the freezer and freeze. There is no more to it than that!

Freeze Parmesan Rinds

3 Tips for Freezing Parmesan

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing parmesan to have the best results:

  • Freeze Pieces – It’s important that you consider your portions when freezing parmesan. By freezing it in portions, you can easily grab one block at a time without thawing an entire wedge. 
  • Shake Grated Parmesan – Once your pot of grated parmesan has been in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes, take the box out and give it a shake. This will prevent it from all clumping into one lump and make it far easier to grab a handful at a time. 
  • Avoid Eating Raw – Don’t consider grating frozen parmesan over pasta or into salads. Instead, you’ll want to use it in a cooked dish such as melted over the top of a pasta bake where the textural changes can be hidden.

How Long Can You Freeze Parmesan?

Parmesan can last for several months in the fridge. It is an aged cheese already so it is designed to be kept around for a while.

You can extend the life even further by freezing it and you can keep it frozen and ready to grab out of the freezer for up to 18 months. Perfect if you buy a large block and need to cut it up into more manageable portions!

You Can Freeze Parmesan for Around 18 Months

How Do You Defrost Parmesan?

When it comes to defrosting any type of cheese the only way to do it is slowly and carefully. This is not a thawing process you can rush. So, make sure you plan ahead and pull your parmesan cheese from the freezer 24 hours before you need to use it.

Once you have taken the parmesan cheese out of the freezer then you need to pop it in the fridge to defrost slowly for several hours, potentially up to a day. It all depends on how big your block is.

The bigger the block, the longer it will take to defrost so make sure you leave yourself plenty of time.

Can You Refreeze Parmesan?

No, you shouldn’t refreeze parmesan. As we already mentioned, every time you freeze food, crystals form in it and cheese doesn’t always react well to the process.

Freezing for a second time would result in double the amount of freezing process and crystals and the texture would suffer as a result

Does Parmesan Freeze Well?

No cheese truly freezes well. Dairy products, in general, don’t tend to freeze well and should be avoided where possible.

If you do need to freeze a cheese then, parmesan cheese and other hard cheeses are the best type of cheese to freeze as they can cope a little better with the process unlike softer cheeses like camembert.

It isn’t recommended that you use parmesan raw once you have thawed it as it won’t have the same texture. So defrosted parmesan doesn’t work well as a salad sprinkle.

However, if you are cooking or melting the cheese then you shouldn’t notice much change in flavour or texture while eating it.

You may notice the difference while preparing it. The cheese is likely to be a little crumblier than fresh parmesan cheese

Having said that, if you can avoid freezing it then that is the best approach to take. Parmesan that is correctly stored in the fridge can last for a year. You will need to either vacuum pack it in the fridge or wrap it in a layer of foil.

This should extend the length of your parmesan.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing parmesan or parmesan in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Parmesan Crisps?

Parmesan crisps are a delicious snack and you should be able to freeze them in much the same way you freeze parmesan cheese. You might suffer a little loss in texture and they may not have the same snap they had when they were made fresh.

It is still worth freezing them if you have some leftover that is only going to be wasted.

To freeze just store them in a freezer-safe and airtight container and label and freeze. Make sure you use them within a few weeks though.

Can You Freeze Pecorino?

Pecorino is used in a similar way to parmesan and the good news is that it can be frozen in the same way. You just need to follow the advice on this page for freezing pecorino.

Can You Freeze Grated Parmesan?

The good news is that if you want to freeze ready-to-go parmesan shavings then you can. It’s straightforward too! Just grate your parmesan into a Tupperware, place the lid on the top and freeze.

What’s more impressive is that because the cheese is so thin, you don’t need to thaw it. You can throw it onto pasta dishes and it’ll thaw almost instantly before melting.

Can You Freeze Any Cheese?

Nope! Pretty much any cheese will freeze but that doesn’t mean you will want to. If a block of cheese is soft and creamy, that instantly screams avoid. Cheeses like brie and camembert do particularly poorly in the freezer.

If you want to freeze cheese then stick to the harder varieties like parmesan and pecorino.

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