Pimento cheese, with its creamy texture and savory kick, is a Southern staple that has made its way into hearts and palates all over the world, including mine.
It’s a delectable blend of cream cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, cayenne pepper or jalapeno pepper, pimento peppers, and spices like garlic powder; a versatile spread and crowd-pleaser.
Having some fresh pimento cheese spread over my favorite brand of crackers, some soft fresh white bread, in a salad dressing or a burger, is my ultimate afternoon indulgence, something I can never get enough of.
That’s why I love to savor the cheese spread whenever I get a chance, preserving it for other days whenever there’s a rare occasion I have leftover pimento cheese.
In this article, I’ll guide you through the process of freezing it the exact way I do, ensuring you can enjoy its flavors for pimento cheese sandwiches and pimento cheese dips in the months to come!
Can you freeze pimento cheese?
Yes! Pimento cheese can be frozen and stored in your freezer for up to 3 months.
The texture will change when you bring it out of the freezer and allow it to thaw, whether it is store-bought pimento cheese or homemade pimento cheese, but the taste should pretty much remain the same.
This usually happens to many types of frozen cheese so it might not be suitable for pimento cheese recipes that require having the cheese as it is.
If you plan on using it for a recipe where the texture will be masked by the cooking or other ingredients, read on to learn how to freeze your cheese.
What you need
Before you get right to freezing this cream cheese filled delight, you’re going to want to have these essentials handy:
- Pimento cheese: If you want your cheese to stay fresh, you have to get it fresh! Ensure it’s freshly made or store-bought, as long as it’s in good condition.
- Airtight containers: It’s important you opt for freezer-safe containers that are specifically designed for freezing, such as plastic containers with tight-sealing lids or heavy-duty freezer bags.
- Plastic wrap: A plastic wrap is essential to help prevent freezer burn and maintain the cheese’s wonderful flavor.
- Labels and marker: To clearly mark the containers with the date of freezing.
How to prep pimento cheese for freezing
Proper preparation is super important if you want to maintain the texture and flavor of your pimento cheese when freezing. Follow these steps to do just that:
- Portion control: Divide your pimento cheese into smaller, manageable portions. This will make it easier to thaw only what you need whenever you’re in need of some creamy and tasty goodness, preventing unnecessary waste.
- Remove air: If you opt to use plastic containers, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pimento cheese. This prevents air from coming into contact with the cheese, reducing the risk of freezer burn and maintaining freshness.
- Label containers: Using a marker, label each container with the date you’re freezing the pimento cheese. This will help you keep track of how long it’s been in the freezer.
- Seal tightly: Ensure your containers are sealed airtight, or if using freezer bags, squeeze out as much air as possible before finally sealing tightly.
How to freeze pimento cheese
Now that you’ve prepped your pimento cheese for freezing, follow these simple steps to ensure it stays delicious:
- Place in freezer: Put your prepared pimento cheese containers or bags in the coldest part of the freezer. Maintaining a consistent temperature is crucial for preserving the quality of the cheese.
- Stacking carefully: If you’re freezing multiple containers, stack them carefully to maximize freezer space. Make sure they are secure, you wouldn’t want any accidental spills!
- Maintain temperature: Keep the freezer at a temperature of 0°F (-18°C) or lower for optimal results.
Thawing and serving
When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen pimento cheese, follow these steps for a smooth thawing process:
- Refrigerator thawing: Transfer the container of pimento cheese from the freezer to the refrigerator. Allow it to thaw gradually for several hours or overnight. This method preserves the texture and flavor best.
- Stir gently: After thawing, give your pimento cheese a gentle stir to redistribute any moisture that may have separated during freezing. Stir it till it has the right consistency again.
- Serve and enjoy: Once fully thawed and well-mixed, use your pimento cheese as you normally would. It should taste just as delightful as the day you made it.
How long will pimento cheese last in the refrigerator?
Pimento cheese can last for up to 1-3 weeks in the refrigerator if stored in the cooler drawer of the fridge properly.
The southern favorite can then be used as a sandwich spread or a dip for crackers whenever you need it.
Although it might be hard to let go, you should definitely discard the cheese if it develops a funky smell or color.
How do you store pimento cheese?
Pimento cheese can be refrigerated for 1-3 weeks until it’s ready to use whether it’s store-bought or homemade pimento cheese spread.
If you plan on keeping it to use beyond two weeks, it’s probably best you freeze it following the steps I listed for you above.
How long does pimento cheese last in the freezer?
Pimento cheese can last up to three months in the freezer if stored properly.
It’s super important to note that frozen pimento, once thawed will have a different texture. That’s why it’s probably best you use it in a recipe and not just have it as it is.
How do you freeze cheese in the freezer?
You can freeze cheese in the freezer in all states, from blocks to shredded and even soft ones, as long as they’re fresh they’ll keep well.
If you bought the cheese from the store and it hasn’t been opened, just throw the cheese into a ziploc and freeze it as it is.
If the cheese has already been opened, put it in a freezer-safe bag or container, removing as much air as possible before putting it into the freezer.
Here’s a guide on how to freeze parmesan cheese for more information.
Can you freeze Palmetto cheese?
Palmetto cheese is a popular brand of pimento cheese and just like any other kind of pimento cheese, it can be frozen.
After thawing, the cheese does develop a weird grainy and watery texture which would make it unfit for most recipes.
Long story short, it’s best to have your Palmetto cheese fresh.
And there you have it guys! A certified way you can extend the shelf life of your beloved Southern delicacy, some wonderful pimento cheese.
With proper preparation and storage, you can savor its creamy goodness whenever the craving strikes.
So, don’t hesitate to make that extra batch, knowing that your pimento cheese can be a flavorful addition to your meals for months to come.
But it isn’t just pimento cheese you can easily preserve for a later time, all kinds of foods can be kept fresh in the freezer too!
Here are guides on just how you can preserve brussels sprouts in the freezer, if pineapple can be frozen, how to freeze beetroot and how to store broccoli by freezing.
How to freeze pimento cheese
- Pimento cheese
- Portion control: Divide pimento cheese into smaller portions for easy thawing and less waste.
- Remove air: Use plastic wrap pressed onto the cheese's surface in containers to prevent freezer burn.
- Label containers: Mark each container with the freezing date for tracking.
- Seal tightly: Ensure airtight seals on containers or remove air from freezer bags before sealing.
- Placement: Put containers or bags in the coldest part of the freezer for consistent temperature.
- Stack carefully: Stack containers securely to save space without spills.
- Maintain temperature: Keep the freezer at 0°F (-18°C) or lower for best results.