How To Best Freeze Opened Vs. Unopened Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is a versatile ingredient that is commonly used in many different recipes, from cheesecakes to dips to spreads. However, it can be difficult to use up an entire package of cream cheese before it goes bad. Fortunately, cream cheese can be frozen to extend its shelf life. But the best ways to freeze open and unopened cream cheese do differ.

It is best to freeze cream cheese when you know you will not be able to use it before it goes bad — regardless of if it has been opened or not. Cream cheese can last for up to two weeks in the refrigerator after opening, but if you know you will not be able to use it within that time frame, it is best to go ahead and freeze it. Additionally, if you find a good sale on cream cheese or buy it in bulk, freezing it is a great way to take advantage of the deal without creating food waste.

How to freeze cream cheese

To freeze unopened cream cheese, simply place the whole package in the freezer. You might also choose to place it in a resealable plastic bag and remove as much air as possible for further protection against freezer burn. When you are ready to use the cream cheese, simply remove it from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. It is important to note that the texture of the cream cheese may change slightly after freezing, becoming grainy or watery. It is, however, still safe to consume.

To freeze opened cream cheese, first, remove it from its packaging. Next, place the cream cheese inside an airtight container. Again, to prevent freezer burn, you might choose to wrap the cream cheese in cling wrap before placing it in the airtight container. To thaw and use the frozen, opened cream cheese, simply follow the same steps as you would for unopened cream cheese. (You could even submerge it in a warm water bath to soften it.)

You can keep both opened and unopened cream cheese in the freezer for up to two months. Be sure to write the original date that you placed the cream cheese in the freezer to use it before it's spoiled. The best way to tell if cream cheese has gone bad is to look for changes in color and appearance.

With these tips, you can enjoy the convenience of having cream cheese on hand whenever you need it.