It’s hard to resist the light, creamy flavor of ricotta, and it’s so versatile that it tastes great in everything from lasagna and stuffed ravioli to dip and cheesecake. Of all the hard cheeses and soft cheeses, this fresh cheese is one of our favorites. But, how long does ricotta cheese last, and what’s the best way to store it short and long term?
Many factors play a role in the shelf life of fresh ricotta. Its freshness depends on the expiration date, whether it’s opened or unopened, and how you store the cheese once you get it home. Unlike hard cheese like Parmesan, ricotta is a soft cheese, and it requires the proper storage methods to prevent it from spoiling.
This decadent cheese translates to recooked in Italian, and it’s traditionally a whey cheese made from the curd left behind by the whey. However, these days many cheesemakers make it from whole milk, and this is the most common type you find in the grocery store.
Ways to Store Ricotta Cheese
Unfortunately, dairy products like cream cheese, cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella, Brie, and ricotta suffer from spoilage faster than other types of food. Luckily, keeping ricotta cheese fresh and determining how long fresh mozzarella lasts in the fridge are simple as long as you use the correct storage methods.
Find out how to keep ricotta cheese fresh using different techniques, how long it lasts with each method, and ways to tell when it’s spoiled. Discover a fun and tasty recipe for using leftover ricotta cheese before it goes bad.
Keeping Ricotta Cheese Fresh at Room Temperature
While the kitchen counter or dining room table is not the ideal place to keep cheese, there are times when keeping ricotta cheese fresh at room temperature is essential. Here are some tips for keeping this soft cheese from spoiling while it’s out of the refrigerator.
Room Temperature Ricotta
Keep in mind that ricotta cheese is only safe to leave out of the refrigerator for up to two hours, and bacteria rapidly begins to grow when it sits out in temperatures above 40°F. Brie is good for about the same amount of time after opening and sitting out, as well as many other cheeses.
However, there are ways to keep the cheese as fresh as possible if you have a cheese spread or dip set out for guests. First, store ricotta cheese in the fridge until the last minute to keep it as chilled as possible. Consider serving the bowl or plate of cheese over ice to prevent the ricotta from warming to room temperature too quickly.
How to Keep Ricotta Cheese Fresh in the Refrigerator
The best place to store cheese if you plan on eating it every day is in the refrigerator. The cool temps prevent spoilage, and it’s ready to eat whenever you get the craving. Here is how to keep ricotta cheese fresh in the fridge before and after opening it.
How long is ricotta good after opening? Do not open the container of ricotta until you’re ready to eat it since opening the package shortens the shelf life, and always store the cheese in an airtight container with a lid. The same rules apply for how long cottage cheese lasts after opening. Avoid keeping it in a plastic container with plastic wrap since the cheese absorbs the other odors in the refrigerator.
How long does ricotta cheese last in the fridge? Unopened ricotta cheese lasts three to five days past the use-by date, and opened ricotta stays fresh for three to seven days. Once opened goat cheese lasts about the same amount of time.
Store ricotta cheese in a container in the fridge, preferably the one it came in. If you’re unsure how long you’ve had the cheese, check it for color and smell. If the ricotta turns yellow or has mold or black spots, it’s no longer edible, and it’s time to discard the cheese if it smells or tastes sour.
How Long does Ricotta Cheese Last in the Freezer?
While ricotta cheese is not ideal for freezing, there are times when it’s necessary to prevent food waste. The consistency changes during the freezing process, and it’s only suitable for use in certain recipes. Learn how to freeze ricotta cheese for use in future cooked dishes.
Ricotta has a high moisture content, and the water turns to ice during the freezing process, which causes the texture to change. While it’s no longer good for eating raw, it’s still useful for making cooked recipes.
Stir the cheese to help it freeze more evenly. Take the ricotta out of the container and press it down between layers of paper towels to drain excess liquid. Wrap the cheese in a sheet of plastic wrap and slip it into a freezer bag.
Carefully press out the air before sealing the bag shut, and write the name and date on the top before setting it in the freezer. How long does ricotta cheese last in the freezer? If you freeze the cheese properly, it lasts up to two months.
To thaw the ricotta, leave it in the fridge for several hours and avoid thawing it at room temperature to prevent bacterial growth. Place it in a bowl and stir it well before incorporating it into a dish.
Using Ricotta Cheese to Make Fruit Dip
Ricotta is a cheese that is so versatile that it works well in both savory and sweet dishes. While it’s famous for use in lasagna and ravioli, we love using it to prepare a rich and creamy cheesecake dip for fruits.
Scoop the ricotta and cream cheese into a blender or food processor and add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Blend the ingredients until smooth and spoon the cheese dip into a bowl. Serve it with fresh fruit, vanilla wafers, or another dipper of choice. It’s also delicious spread on sourdough toast with jam.
Not only is ricotta cheese a great source of calcium, but its creamy texture and mildly sweet flavor are hard to pass up, whether you cook it with pasta or spread it on toast with honey. Fortunately, storing this cheese using the proper methods ensures that you get more time to enjoy it before it spoils.
How long does ricotta cheese last is a question many cheese-lovers ask, and knowing the answer is the difference between fresh cheese on your plate or cheese in the trash, so why not share our ricotta cheese storage guide with your family and friends on Facebook and Pinterest?