How Long Does Cheese Last?

Consider this your cheat sheet

Whether it's piled on a cutting board surrounded by charcuterie or stirred into creamy risotto, cheese is the ultimate comfort food. To make sure we're prepared for unexpected guests or prepped to make our favorite recipes, we like to keep our fridge stocked with a few kinds at all times. The only downside is some cheeses don't last that long. So we're here to help you plan accordingly.

Each cheese will vary based on where it's from and how it's stored; however, the following tips are general guidelines on how long certain types of cheeses will last.

Hard Cheeses

Some of our favorite cheeses in this category include Parmesan, Asiago, Romano and cheddar. When stored properly in the fridge, an unopened package can last between two and four months. An opened package of Parmesan or block of cheddar, however, is good for about six weeks in the fridge. If you're getting close to the limit, use your blocks in recipes such as this chicken-apple sausage mac and cheese or this three-cheese sausage and kale calzone.

If you want to save the cheese for another time, you can also pop it in the freezer where it will be OK for up to eight months. But keep in mind, cheese that's been frozen will have a slightly different taste than fresh. Pro tip: Pop those Parmesan rinds in the freezer to use later for flavoring soups and stews. 

Semihard to Semisoft Cheeses

It's safe to keep that opened chunk of Gouda and block of Gruyère in the fridge for about two to three weeks, and in the freezer for up to two months. For the best storage, keep unopened cheese in its original package and put any leftovers wrapped loosely in a piece of parchment inside a Ziploc bag so air can circulate without the cheese drying out. Looking for ways to cook with Gruyère? Try our recipe for cheddar and Gruyère grilled cheese sandwiches.

Soft Cheeses

Soft cheeses, such as cream cheese, Brie, mozzarella, feta, Gorgonzola and Camembert, contain more moisture than hard cheeses, meaning they won't last as long and should be consumed within one to two weeks of living in the fridge. Although you technically can store cheeses like mozzarella in the freezer, they will lose their fluffy, cheesy texture once defrosted. For the best results, keep soft cheeses in their unopened packaging until you are ready to use them. And if you don't use that mozz all at once for prosciutto-mozzarella panini with fig jam or all that Brie for topping burnt carrots, then put your leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.