Cream cheese is a very versatile ingredient. Not to mention, it never ceases to please everybody’s palates. You can use it in an array of dishes. Use it for your spinach filo pie, delectable cheesecake to tasty dips, there is a smorgasbord of tasty dishes that await your tastebuds.
As tasty as it is, opened cream cheese spoils easily even before you get a chance to consume the whole package. So the question arises, can you freeze cream cheese?
Well, of course, you can! It freezes okay. But the question lies in how to freeze it properly. And the texture of cream cheese changes once you thaw it. So there are also factors to consider if you’re going to freeze cream cheese.
What Happens if you Freeze Cream Cheese
Once frozen, cream cheese changes its texture. And once you thaw it, it loses some of its water content. So this makes cream cheese less creamy. While you can still use it for making desserts and other savory dishes, it won’t be as palatable on your morning bagel.
Thus, frozen leftover cream cheese can have a rather grainy texture. It will not be as sublime on your palates as a freshly opened tub or package of cream cheese. So it is best used on dishes where the grainy texture will not be noticed.
Freezing Cream Cheese- The Proper Way
Unopened packages of cream cheese can be placed in the fridge in their own container right away.
Though some people put it in wrappers, there really isn’t any need to. Cream cheese is already packed in aluminum foil, and this helps keep the cheese fresh up until the time you open it.
However, for opened packages of cream cheese, you have to transfer them to a different container.
And here’s how to do it.
- You will need aluminum foil and an airtight container with a lid.
- Remove the leftover cream cheese from its original packaging and transfer it to the aluminum foil. Make sure it is tightly packed. The aluminum foil will help hold the shape and the liquid content of the cream cheese.
- It’s also advisable to separate cream cheese into serving portions especially if you have big blocks of leftover cream cheese. Cream cheese cannot be refrozen and rethawed.
- Place the packed cream cheese in an airtight container and cover the lid.
- Don’t forget to label before chucking it into the fridge. And also ensure that the cream cheese is not yet past its expiration date. Freezing cream cheese past its best before date will not render it safe for consumption.
How Long do Frozen Cream Cheese Last
You can still consume unopened cream cheese three to four weeks past its best before date.
Opened cream cheese, on the other hand, has a shorter shelf life. You will be able to keep it in the fridge for two weeks. And when stored properly in the freezer, it can keep up to two months.
Though cream cheese or other frozen food can last indefinitely in the freezer, it can be at risk of getting freezer burn. And eating food with freezer burn is not healthy. It can have several adverse health effects. That’s why it’s best to consume frozen cream cheese in two months.
Can You Freeze Philadelphia Cream Cheese?
Yes, you can! It can be frozen like any other cream cheese brand. Though frozen Philadelphia cream cheese can also have a bit of grainy texture. That’s why you should repurpose frozen cream cheese rather than using it as a spread for your morning bagel.
Can You Freeze Cream Cheese Dips?
If you have made lots of dips for last night’s party, do not worry, you can still freeze it. Like cream cheese, dips made with cream cheese freeze okay.
But of course, once thawed the quality will not be the same as a freshly made dip.
- Dips with higher fat content will keep better in the fridge. It is more able to hold its texture and creaminess. So you might want to put a bit of heavy cream in your dip if it doesn’t contain any yet. This will also make the leftover dip still creamy after it has been thawed.
- Get an airtight plastic container with a lid. Transfer the dip. But make sure to leave ½ an inch of headspace. This will allow for expansion. And make sure that the lid is properly secured.
- Don’t forget to write the date before chucking it in the freezer.
Frozen dips made with cream cheese can be kept in the freezer for up to two weeks.
Can I Use Frozen Cream Cheese for my Blueberry Cheesecake?
Though you can use frozen cream cheese in an array of sublime dessert recipes, forget about using one for your heirloom cheesecake recipes.
Frozen cream cheese will develop a different texture, a rather grainy one. That’s why it’s best to use fresh cream cheese for your blueberry or cherry cheesecakes.
You want to have cheesecakes with a sublime velvety texture for that melt-in-your-mouth experience. Frozen cream cheese will have a few frozen granny crystals even if it has been whipped. And this can make your cheesecake less than stellar.
How to Thaw Frozen Cream Cheese
Thawing frozen cream cheese is rather simple. Follow these steps.
One, Remove the cream cheese from the freezer and transfer it to the fridge. Leave it overnight.
But if you need to use it right away and forget to thaw it in the fridge, you can also use the microwave. Run it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds. This should be enough to mesh the liquid and solid part of the cheese that has separated during the freezing process.
Only thaw frozen cream cheese that you will be using. You will not be able to refrozen cream cheese again. Doing so will render it unsafe for consumption.
How to Make Frozen Cream Cheese Creamy Again
The liquid and solid parts of the cream cheese separated during the freezing process. And this will make the cream cheese grainy and less palatable.
But here’s a hack that can help you make frozen cream cheese creamy again. All you need is to mix the thawed cream cheese. Incorporating air into the mixture will make it creamy again.
Microwaving frozen cream cheese also helps make it creamy. This process meshes the liquid and solid parts well. And giving it a good stir also helps incorporate air and make it creamy.
So can you already use this for bagels and toasts?
Whipping cream cheese can make it creamier compared to just leaving it to thaw in the fridge. However, it will not be as creamy as a fresh package of cream cheese, you will still be able to tell the difference.
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As such, repurposing frozen cream cheese is always the best thing to do. And you will not run out of sumptuous recipes to make! It’s a very versatile ingredient and can be used for both sweet and savory dishes.
Signs that Cream Cheese Has Gone Bad
Luckily, it’s very easy to tell if frozen cream cheese has gone bad.
You’ll be able to tell by the following signs.
1. It has developed a slimy texture
Cream cheese is supposed to be, well, creamy. So if it has developed a different texture you have to throw it into the bin. Bad cream cheese can either be slimy or has a chalky or grainy texture.
2. It has developed a different color
Discolored cream cheese is a sign of mold. It can turn either yellow, black, or brown. Cream cheese with patches of pink or bright red has developed a certain type of mold and can attract a host of bacteria salmonella and listeria.
3. It has developed an odd smell
Cream cheese is tangy. But if it has developed an odd very sour smell, then it is not safe to consume anymore.
Don’t Let Leftover Cream Cheese Go to Waste
You may not be able to use frozen cream cheese on your bagel anymore. But you can repurpose it and use it in an array of tasty and sumptuous dishes.
You can easily make frozen cream cheese into cupcakes. You can also whip up mouth-water fudges. A cream cheese pound cake is a refreshing and satiating accompaniment for tea and coffee.
The change in texture will go unnoticed on potato casseroles, dips, and kinds of pasta. You can also mix it with baked salmon and spinach and have a hearty dinner.
You can also use it in place of butter to thicken sauces and creams. You can even use it to make curries.
The possibilities are endless! So you don’t have to be wasting your cream cheese. All you need is a bit of creativity and some kitchen savvy skills. As long as the recipe will not be affected by the change in the texture of the frozen cream cheese, there isn’t any reason not to use frozen cream cheese that has been properly stirred and thawed.
Eva M. Smith is the owner of this website. She is a 4 year old mother of two kids and a professional chef. Eva loves to cook for her family, but being a working mom has a lot of challenges. From squeezing in time to do the groceries to make three meals for the day. Eva knows how challenging cooking can be without a kitchen game plan.
That’s why she perfected techniques of preserving staple ingredients and several foods so that you have something pre-cooked or pre-baked to use for an array of meals. And they do not come short in flavor! And she does not want to sacrifice flavor with convenience. That’s why she is the best person to ask.