Can you freeze goat cheese? The short answer: yes!
If you love goat cheese, but often end up with half a log left in the refrigerator until it is way past its prime, read on to learn all about properly freezing and thawing goat cheese, easy ways to use up leftovers, plus much more.
What Is Goat Cheese?
Goat cheese, or chèvre, is any cheese made from the milk of a goat. However, in the United States, the term goat cheese is usually referring to the young, soft variety that first appears in the springtime and is often sold in logs, as crumbles, or as a spread at the grocery store.
Known for its earthy, tangy, almost citrusy flavor, goat cheese has become quite popular as of late. You’ll often find this cheese topping beautiful salads, stirred into creamy pasta dishes, or melted on top of an artisanal flatbread pizza.
How Goat Cheese Is Sold
When you’re visiting the grocery store or your local cheese shop, you’ll most likely find goat cheese in three forms: logs, crumbles, and spreadable.
- Logs- Due to the aging process, goat cheese logs generally have a crumbly texture. Usually sold in 4 or 8-ounce packages, goat cheese logs work well crumbled on top of salads, flatbreads, or sliced and added to a sandwich.
- Crumbles- Similar to the logs, goat cheese crumbles are excellent for topping salads, pizzas, or mixing into a creamy pasta dish.
- Spreadable- Sold in tubs, spreadable goat cheese is softer and creamier than both logs and crumbles because it hasn’t been aged as long. This type of goat cheese works best as a sandwich or cracker spread.
Health Benefits of Goat Cheese
As a dietitian, goat cheese is one of my favorite cheeses to recommend, especially for those who are sensitive to cheese made from cow’s milk. Why?
- Goat cheese contains less lactose (the sugar in dairy that some people have a hard time digesting) and less A1 casein (a protein in dairy that can cause inflammation in the gut) than cheeses made from cow’s milk.
- High in protein (6 grams per one-ounce serving) and healthy fats, goat cheese can help you feel more satisfied after a meal.
- Goat cheese helps keeps bones strong with its high calcium, phosphorous, and copper content.
Why Freeze Goat Cheese?
Let’s face it, as much as we all love goat cheese, it can be pretty darn expensive. During my most recent trip to the grocery store, a 4-ounce log of plain goat cheese cost $5.99. Yikes!
So, how devastating would it be to let that go to waste?
Moreover, if you’re a really savvy shopper, you can even stock up on goat cheese when it goes on sale and freeze it for use later.
How To Freeze Goat Cheese:
When it comes to freezing goat cheese, the most important factor to consider is oxygen. That’s right, the same oxygen we use to breathe can degrade the flavor of goat cheese over time, even in the freezer.
Step 1: Portion
Before you freeze your goat cheese, think about how you typically use it and portion accordingly.
I like to freeze my goat cheese in 2-ounce and 4-ounce portions so that I only have to thaw what I need depending on the recipe I’m making.
Step 2: Wrap
Using plastic wrap, tightly wrap each individual portion of goat cheese. Remember, the goal is as little air as possible so, wrap tightly!
Step 3: Bag
Next, place your individually wrapped portions of goat cheese in a freezer-safe, sealable plastic bag. Again, be sure to remove as much air from the bag as possible here.
Step 4: Date & Freeze
Finally, write the date on the outside of the freezer bag so you’ll know how long the cheese has been in the freezer.
And you’re done! You now have perfectly portioned goat cheese you can use any time you’re feeling fancy.
How to Thaw Goat Cheese:
Okay, so now that you have all of this beautifully frozen goat cheese, you may be wondering how to go about thawing it.
I highly recommend doing your best to plan ahead and thaw your goat cheese in the refrigerator. Not only is it the safest way to do so, but it also helps the goat cheese maintain its texture the best. Simply place your goat cheese into the refrigerator and allow it to thaw.
In a pinch, you may be able to use the microwave on a lower power setting in short increments. However, I personally have never tried this so I can’t comment on how well this turns out.
How Long Does Goat Cheese Last in the Freezer?
According to the USDA, cheeses can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. This is great news if you happened to stumble across an amazing goat cheese sale and want to stock up.
However, keep in mind that the longer the goat cheese is stored, the more likely it is to lose its flavor. So, if you want the best tasting cheese possible, I would recommend only storing it for 3 months.
How Can You Tell if Goat Cheese Has Gone Bad?
Like most dairy products, goat cheese can turn bad quickly. Here are a few ways to know if your goat cheese is bad:
- Mold or discoloration
- Slimy feeling
- Musty, moldy, or “off” odor
Can You Cut Mold Off of Goat Cheese?
Since goat cheese is a soft cheese, I wouldn’t recommend eating goat cheese that has mold on it. Even if you remove the obviously offending mold, invisible mold spores could still be present throughout the cheese.
Can You Freeze Spreadable Goat Cheese?
Absolutely! The process is slightly different than freezing goat cheese logs, but the goal is the same: limit oxygen as much as possible.
I recommend leaving spreadable goat cheese in its original container and pressing the plastic wrap down directly onto the cheese, pushing as much air out as you can. Then, place the lid back onto the tub and write the date on it to ensure you know when it will expire.
Can You Freeze Goat Cheese Crumbles?
You certainly can. The process is the same as the process of freezing spreadable goat cheese mentioned above.
Recipes That Use Goat Cheese
- Vegetarian Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms by Me
- Fresh Fall Salad with Apples and Pecans by Wonky Wonderful
- Pecan Crusted Goat Cheese by A Grill for All Seasons
- Spring Vegetable Flatbread Pizza by Mom’s Kitchen Handbook
- Tomato Goat Cheese Pasta by Salt and Lavender
- Goat Cheese Pasta Primavera by Dietitian Jess
- Whipped Goat Cheese Crostini with Roasted Grapes by The Healthful Ideas
- Roasted Fig Goat Cheese Crumble Ice Cream by Beyond Sweet and Savory