Ricotta cheese is a versatile dairy product used in both savory and sweet dishes. Its versatility has made it very popular worldwide.
Milk is used to make ricotta cheese after it has been boiled and strained to eliminate the liquid (whey). This gives the cheese its signature smooth, soft, and white features.
As ricotta is a delicious choice, you can easily make lasagna or ravioli for a party with it. But, what if you have leftover cheese and don’t know what to do with it? If you are wondering ‘how long does ricotta last’, keep reading to learn about its shelf life, spoilage signs, and storage options.
How Long is Ricotta Good For?
Butter and cheese have a high dairy fat content that ricotta lacks, making it last not more than two weeks. At the highest, you can use ricotta cheese only 4 to 5 days past the expiry date.
The packaging will always have a label with mentioned expiry or best-by date, which is really useful when deciding the longevity of the ricotta.
However, you can keep your ricotta cheese in the fridge if you want a little more shelf life. But storing ricotta cheese properly is the main component of extending the product’s shelf life.
How Long Does Ricotta Last After Opening?
If you have ever wondered ‘how long is ricotta cheese good after opening?’, you should know that it needs to be finished between 5 to 7 days; otherwise, you just have to throw it away.
Moreover, if your ricotta cheese is already near its expiry date, you must freeze it if you don’t plan to use it soon.
To help you figure out the shelf life of ricotta cheese, we made a small chart based on a few assumptions and experiments.
|Type of Ricotta Cheese||Fridge||Freezer|
|Opened Ricotta Cheese||5 to 7 days||1 to 2 months|
|Unopened Ricotta Cheese||7 to 10 days||2 to 3 months|
How Long Does Homemade Ricotta Last?
Did you know you can make your own ricotta cheese at home? If you didn’t, here’s your chance to make and enjoy. Homemade ricotta usually has way more protein and nutrients than store-bought ones.
However, homemade ricotta cheese will only last for a week when kept in the fridge. So, if you plan on making some, make sure to finish this delicious creamy cheese as soon as possible.
How to Store Homemade and Store-Bought Ricotta Cheese?
You must refrigerate ricotta immediately after you make or buy it. Moreover, you don’t want such a delicious item to be left at room temperature to spoil. So, here are some tips for storing your ricotta cheese correctly so you can enjoy it longer.
- Always place your ricotta back in the fridge after you use it.
- You must use a clean and dry spoon when scooping out ricotta cheese. Otherwise, microbial growth can quickly occur even in the fridge.
- Make sure to close the ricotta cheese lid properly. If your ricotta cheese doesn’t come in a resealable container, get a glass jar and scoop it all out. Close the lid tight and cover the top with plastic wrap for maximum protection.
How to Tell if Ricotta is Bad?
Ricotta cheese has other ingredients, which may show some sort of separation on the top. Usually, it will look like water or jelly on top, and you just have to stir everything together to make it homogenous again. However, don’t mistake it for a sign of spoilage. If you want to know the real signs of ricotta cheese spoilage, we have some right here!
1. Color Change
Ricotta cheese is primarily white in color. So, if you see your ricotta has turned kind of yellow or even orange, it is time to throw it away.
2. Smell Change
If your ricotta cheese has been sitting in the fridge for a while, take a good whiff before using it. If it smells rancid, it has gone rancid.
3. Taste Change
Ricotta cheese can taste sour after a while. It may not be a sign of spoilage, but it is better not to use it.
4. Black Spec or Molding
Mold growth or black specs are very easy to spot in your ricotta cheese. If you find weird-looking fuzzy growth on your ricotta, it is time to discard it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you freeze Ricotta Cheese?
Yes, you can freeze ricotta cheese, and it is a good idea to extend its shelf life. However, it may change the texture of the ricotta, and you also might notice water in it over time.
Can you eat Ricotta Cheese out of the container?
You can eat ricotta out of the container if you feel like it. However, it is better not to double dip with the spoon you are eating with, as it will contaminate it and help grow bacteria.
What does Ricotta taste like?
There are many variants of ricotta cheese. Usually, Italian ricotta cheese is on the sweeter side, whereas American ricotta falls on the salty side.
Ricotta is a delicious creamy cheese that goes well on toast, pasta, ravioli, cannoli, and many more dishes. If you bought some, just remember to refrigerate it immediately after use.
Moreover, you should have no worries about your ricotta cheese, as this article covers almost everything. Just sit back and whip up some ricotta dishes to enjoy!