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Freezing Pesto with Cheese

I have read pro and con about adding cheese to pesto being frozen. I am going to freeze it in small portions and it would be easier to add the cheese now I think, but would like your opinions please.

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  1. Whether or not you should freeze cheese depends largely on the type of cheese involved. Cheeses like Mozzarella, Cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan freeze fairly well while Ricotta and cottage or cream cheeses do not.

    1. I have nearly a quart's worth of pesto with parmesan frozen into cubes that defrost beautifully.

      1. I freeze my pesto with the parmesan in it all the time and it never seems to suffer when thawed.

        2 Replies
        1. The drier a cheese is, eg: parmigiano reggiano, the better it freezes.

          1. I always freeze basil, nuts, and olive oil alone, then "freshen" with cheese and garlic at the defrost and use end.

            1. I always put the cheese in before freezing. I use good aged parmesan and it turns out just fine. I can't imagine why I wouldn't do it that way. When I want to use some pesto, there is no freaking way I'm going to start grating parmesan to mix into the thawed stuff. Ridiculous the admonitions against.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Nyleve

                I like the fresher taste of adding the cheese when thawed. The grating takes exactly the same time whenever it is done.

                1. re: magiesmom

                  Whatever works for you. I prefer to have a finished product in the freezer so that it's ready to use when I need it. My version of fast food.

                  1. re: Nyleve

                    yes, I see. more than one way to do things, always.

                2. re: Nyleve

                  I do it that way too, Nyleve. In addition to using it for pasta, my son loves pesto as a spread on bread for a sandwich, so I like to freeze the finished product.

                3. Yup, another that has added cheese before freezing!

                  1. Make it.
                    Freeze it.

                    Don't worry, it'll be fine.


                    1 Reply
                    1. While there's nothing stopping you from adding cheese to pesto you plan on freezing, do keep in mind that the quality WILL suffer. And more than likely the cheese will come out grainy. If this doesn't bother you, then by all means freeze away.

                      I prefer to just freeze the basic pesto minus the cheese & add it before use. But again - this is personal preference. It makes the thawed frozen pesto taste fresher, and the texture isn't grainy.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Bacardi1

                        I've been freezing pesto for years, and mine has never been "grainy" upon defrosting. I make a super silky pesto in the VitaMix, and never have had any textural issues.

                      2. Freeze it! And enjoy it at your leisure.

                        1. The drier the cheese, the better the freeze.

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