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Can You Freeze Parmesan Cheese? I Test 5 Methods [Pics]

In this article, I outline the best methods for freezing parmesan cheese to keep it as fresh-tasting and clump-free as possible, for as long as possible.

In a rush? Jump to the section you need:

How long does frozen parmesan cheese last? 18 months+.

Does parmesan cheese freeze well? Yes.

Can you refreeze parmesan cheese? Yes.

Can you freeze parmesan cheese?

Parmesan cheese freezes really well. Usually, the texture of cheese changes when you freeze it, but parmesan is an exception to this rule because of its low moisture content. I tested freezing both shredded and block parmesan. Both came out with no tangible differences compared to fresh parmesan.

So you can freeze parmesan, but do you need to?

There generally isn’t much need to freeze parmesan cheese because it lasts so long in the fridge (several months in most cases), and there’ll always be a slight loss of quality once you freeze something.

But, if you’re like me and often find moldy or super dry parmesan cheese in your fridge, or you just have A LOT of it, then freezing is an option.

Shredded parmesan cheese has a shorter shelf life in the fridge than a block of parmesan, so freezing it makes more sense.

The experiment

To determine exactly how well parmesan cheese freezes, I froze some. (and waited a while!).

I froze some blocks and some shredded parmesan.

For each type, I tested a few different ways of freezing the parmesan to see which one was best.

For shredded parmesan cheese, I tested:

  • Shredded parmesan straight into a freezer bag
  • Shredded parmesan with added cornstarch
  • Flash freezing the shredded parmesan before transferring it to a freezer bag

For a block of parmesan cheese, I tested:

  • Wrapped in cling film and foil
  • Wrapped in parchment paper and foil

After a few weeks in the freezer, I took the parmesan cheese out and tasted it to see if there were any noticeable changes (there weren’t).

I also examined its texture, how crumbly it was, how it sliced, how it grated, and how it melted.

Taste and texture

Parmesan cheese freezes really well. There is no discernible difference in the taste or texture of fresh and frozen parmesan. The frozen parmesan sliced well, grated well, and melted well.

Some sources online say that the parmesan will only be suitable for cooking after you’ve frozen it, but honestly, I couldn’t taste any difference. 

I would have been delighted with the frozen cheese on a cheeseboard. 

Freezing the cheese shredded or in a block didn’t make a difference either.

That said, if you’re planning on keeping the parmesan for a very long time, I would recommend freezing it in a block.

Note: there might be a slight loss of taste after an extended period of freezing. In this case, you can stick to using it in dishes like pasta.

Shredded parmesan

The main issue with storing shredded cheese is the issue of clumping, so I wanted to avoid that with my parmesan cheese.

All of my samples survived the freezer well, and there was minimal clumping.

The shredded parmesan I had flash frozen on a baking tray first had zero clumping. 

The sample with the added cornstarch and the ‘normal’ sample had a bit of clumping, but nothing that you couldn’t easily break up with a squeeze of your fingers or a vigorous shake.

I’d recommend flash-freezing if you have time and if you don’t, just put your shredded parmesan straight into the freezer bag.

Parmesan blocks

I read online that plastic wrap can make parmesan sweat, so parchment paper was the better storage option. 

But I wanted to test this.

I wrapped one block in cling film and one block in parchment paper, then used a layer of foil after each.

I then took the samples out of the freezer and left them on the counter for half an hour before unwrapping them.

Neither sample had any significant ‘sweat’, and both the blocks tasted the same.

Overall, I wouldn’t worry too much about what you use to wrap the parmesan, as long as it’s airtight (this finding is backed up by cooks illustrated).

How to freeze shredded parmesan cheese

  1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Spread the parmesan cheese out on the parchment paper.
  3. Place the baking tray in the freezer for half an hour until the cheese freezes solid.
  4. Transfer the parmesan to a heavy-duty freezer bag.
  5. Remove as much air as possible from the freezer bag (a rolling pin is useful here).
  6. Label the bag with the contents and date.
  7. Put the bag in the freezer, where it will stay good for up to 12 months.

When you want to get some cheese out, remove the bag from the freezer and give it a shake to loosen the cheese.

Take out however much you want and then replace the freezer bag, again removing as much air as possible.

Flash freezing the parmesan spread out on the baking tray helps to ensure it doesn’t clump. 

If you don’t have time for flash freezing, don’t worry, you can skip steps 1-3 and put the cheese straight into the freezer bag.

Give the bag a shake after 30 minutes to break up any initial clumps.

If there are any clumps the next time you pull the cheese out of the freezer, you’ll be able to break them up with your fingers.

Related: How To Stop Shredded Cheese Clumping

How to freeze a block of parmesan cheese

  1. Portion the block of cheese into blocks no bigger than 1/2 a pound. Any bigger and they will freeze too slowly.
  2. Wrap your block of parmesan cheese tightly in plastic wrap or parchment paper, making sure there are no gaps.
  3. Wrap the cheese in a second layer of foil.*
  4. Label the cheese with the date you froze it. 
  5. Place the parmesan in the freezer and use it within 18 months.

*If you have a vacuum sealer, use this and skip steps 2-3.

The main concern here is making sure the parmesan is tightly wrapped and protected against air. 

Too much air exposure can lead to a premature loss of quality.

If you’re freezing several blocks of cheese at once, don’t stack them in the freezer.

Instead, spread them out in a single layer.

This allows good air flow and ensures the cheese freezes as fast as possible.

Slow freezing can lead to big ice crystals forming in the cheese, which can play havoc with the texture.

Tip: if your freezer has a quick freeze compartment, use it. If not, the coldest spot in your freezer is the rear center. Freeze the cheese there then move it to a more convenient spot.

How to thaw parmesan cheese

There is no need to thaw parmesan cheese before using it. Because there is very little moisture in the cheese, the parmesan doesn’t get hard (like ice), and you can slice or grate it straight from the freezer. The only difference you’ll notice is that it’s colder than cheese from the fridge. 

Due to this temperature difference, you might find that the surface of the cheese becomes wet after a few minutes out of the freezer.

This is condensation and nothing to worry about. Just wipe it off with a paper towel before re-wrapping the cheese.

Once you’ve used the parmesan for what you want, you can either put it back into the freezer (see can you refreeze parmesan?) or put it in the fridge.

Does parmesan cheese go bad?

Parmesan is a long-life cheese and will be edible beyond the best before date, but it can become moldy. You can slice any mold on a block of parmesan off, and the rest of the cheese will be safe to eat. But if you spot any mold in a pack of shredded parmesan, you need to discard the whole pack.

Parmesan can also dry out and become tough. When this happens, the parmesan gets darker in color.

Dry parmesan is still safe to eat, but it becomes hard to work with because of its texture. 

The best use for dried-out parmesan is to chuck it in a big pot of soup! It will add tons of flavor.

Can you refreeze parmesan cheese?

Yes, you can re-freeze parmesan cheese, but the cheese may lose some of its flavor each time you freeze and thaw it. Frozen parmesan cheese is still soft enough to slice, so it’s easy to slice off the amount you want to use and chuck the rest back in the freezer.

How to freeze parmesan rinds

Parmesan rinds are easy to freeze. Simply chuck the rinds into a heavy-duty freezer bag, squeeze the air out and then put them in the freezer. If you’ve got lots of rinds to freeze, you can flash freeze them separately on a baking tray first to stop them from sticking together in the freezer bag.

How long does parmesan cheese last?

Parmesan cheese is one of those things that has a variable shelf life, but it’s generally a long time. An opened chunk of parmesan cheese will last at least six weeks in the fridge. But even after this, if there’s no nasty smell or visible mold, the cheese will be safe to eat.

Parmesan cheese can last up to a year in the fridge when properly packaged in airtight wrapping (i.e. vacuum-sealed).

Can you freeze Kraft grated parmesan cheese?

You can freeze grated Kraft parmesan cheese for up to 12 months. For best results, empty the contents of the shaker into an airtight container. Kraft parmesan cheese already contains cellulose powder to prevent caking, so there’s no risk of it clumping in the freezer.

Can You Freeze Parmesan Cheese? I Test 5 Methods

In this short recipe, I show you the best way to freeze parmesan cheese to preserve its taste and texture.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Ingredient
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 person
Calories 431 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 block parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

Block

  • Wrap your block of parmesan cheese tightly in plastic wrap or parchment paper, making sure there are no gaps.
  • Wrap the cheese in a second layer of foil.
  • Label the cheese with the date you froze it. 
  • Place the parmesan in the freezer and use it within 18 months.

Shredded

  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Spread the parmesan cheese out on the parchment paper.
  • Place the baking tray in the freezer for half an hour until the cheese freezes solid.
  • Transfer the parmesan to a heavy-duty freezer bag.
  • Remove as much air as possible from the freezer bag.
  • Label the bag with the contents and date.
  • Put the bag in the freezer, where it will stay good for up to 12 months.

Notes

If you don’t have time for flash freezing the shredded cheese, don’t worry, you can skip steps 1-3 and put the cheese straight into the freezer bag.
Give the bag a shake after 30 minutes to break up any initial clumps.
If there are any clumps the next time you pull the cheese out of the freezer, you’ll easily be able to break them up with your fingers. 

Nutrition

Serving: 100gCalories: 431kcal
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