Have you ever wondered how long does shredded cheese last before it goes bad? We mostly reach for a bag of already-shredded cheese to save time when cooking, but the key is ensuring the cheese stays safe and delicious.
As professional chefs and home cooks, we must ensure our food is fresh and up to safety standards.
In this blog post, we’ll explore what makes shredded cheese shelf-stable, common storage tips for maximum longevity, and answers to questions about expiration dates and freezing options. So let’s get into it!
What Is Shredded Cheese?
Shredded cheese is grated into small, thin pieces that are easy to sprinkle over dishes like pizzas, salads, and pasta. It is typically made from cheddar, mozzarella, or a blend of different types of cheese.
Shredded cheese is an incredibly versatile ingredient that is used in various dishes to add flavor, texture, and nutritional value. Whether you prefer mild or sharp, melted or sprinkled, shredded cheese is a must-have in any kitchen.
How Shredded Cheese Is Different From Block Cheese?
Shredded cheese and block cheese are both cheese products made from milk. However, there are some main differences between the two.
First and foremost, shredded cheese is pre-grated and comes in thin strips or strands. On the other hand, block cheese is sold in large, rectangular blocks that need to be shredded, sliced or grated before use.
Shredded cheese is ideal for quick meals and recipes that require even melting, as the cheese has uniform consistency and is easy to sprinkle over dishes. Block cheese, however, has a firmer texture and can be used for snacking or other recipes that require chunky or sliced cheese.
Another key difference is that shredded cheese often contains anti-caking agents, which help it maintain its shape and texture, while block cheese is free from these additives.
What Are Different Types Of Cheeses?
Here is the list of cheese categories divided into soft cheese and hard cheese:
Soft cheese has a creamy and smooth texture. It is usually spreadable and has a tangy flavor. Soft cheese is classified into different types such as:
- Ricotta Cheese- An Italian cheese made from whey. It contains a slightly sweet and mild flavor and is used in cooking, such as lasagna, stuffed pasta, and cheesecake.
- Cream Cheese – A fresh, tangy, smooth cheese perfect for spreading on bagels, toast, and crackers. It is also used in various dessert recipes, such as cheesecake or frosting.
- Cottage Cheese – A cheese curd product drained but not pressed, resulting in a loose, lumpy, and moist texture. It contains a sweet flavor and is often used in salads, dips, and smoothies.
- Blue Cheese – This cheese is characterized by its blue or green veins of mold. It has a strong and pungent flavor pairs well with fruits, nuts, and crackers.
Hard cheese has a firm and dense texture. It is usually aged longer and has a stronger, sharper flavor. Hard cheese is classified into different types such as:
- Cheddar Cheese – A British cheese that is smooth and creamy when young and becomes crumbly as it ages. It has a sharp, tangy flavor with beer, wine, or apple slices.
- Brick Cheese – An American, semi-soft cheese with a mild, sweet flavor and a hint of nuttiness. It is often used for sandwiches, burgers, and soups.
- Parmesan Cheese – An Italian cheese that is hard, granular, and sharp-tasting. It is often shaved or grated over salads, pasta dishes, and soups.
- Gouda Cheese – A Dutch cheese that can have a hard or semi-hard texture. It has a buttery and nutty flavor that goes well with apples, pears, or crackers.
- Mozzarella Cheese – An Italian cheese that is fresh, semi-hard, and has a mild and slightly tangy taste. It is often used in pizzas, salads, and sandwiches.
How Long Does Shredded Cheese Last?
|Type of cheese||Fridge||Freezer||Room temperature|
|Unopened shredded cheese||Up to 6 months||Up to 8 months||Not recommended to store at room temperature|
|Opened shredded cheese||Up to 2 weeks||Up to 8 months||Not recommended to store at room temperature|
|Homemade shredded cheese||Up to 5 days||Up to 8 months||Not recommended to store at room temperature|
Unopened packages of shredded cheese can last up to 6 months in the fridge or up to 8 months in the freezer.
On the other hand, opened packages of shredded cheese should be consumed within 2 weeks if stored in the fridge or up to 8 months if kept in the freezer. Keeping shredded cheese at room temperature is not recommended as it will likely spoil quickly.
Homemade shredded cheese lasts only 5 days if stored properly in the fridge and up to 8 months in the freezer. It is important to note that the cheese must be stored in its original packaging or airtight container to preserve its freshness and ensure that it’s safe to eat.
Can Shredded Cheese Go Bad?
Yes, shredded cheese can go bad if not properly stored or if its shelf life has expired. Like any cheese, shredded cheese develops mold and bacteria over time and can spoil quickly if exposed to humid environments.
How Do You Tell If Shredded Cheese Is Bad?
Grated cheese or shredded cheese is convenient to use while cooking various dishes or adding them as toppings. However, shredded cheese can go bad.
Below are some signs of spoilage to look out for:
- Smell: A strong, off odor is a clear indication of spoiled or moldy cheese. Cheese that has been exposed to a humid environment or stored under varying temperatures and conditions will likely have a pungent smell.
- Taste: If the shredded cheese tastes like sour milk, it could indicate that the cheese is past its expiration date.
- Texture: Shredded cheese with a crumbly texture or appearing sticky and clumpy could indicate spoilage.
- Color: Fuzzy discoloration comes on the shredded cheese when mold appears on the cheese. Therefore, discarding the moldy part or the entire package of moldy cheese is advisable.
It is very important to check the expiration date of the shredded cheese before consuming it. Also, ensure the shredded cheese is stored in a dry and cool place, which can help preserve its freshness.
What Can Happen If You Eat Bad Shredded Cheese?
Eating bad shredded cheese can lead to food poisoning and various stomach-related issues. This is because when cheese goes bad, it often harbors harmful bacteria like E. coli or listeria that can cause illness. Bad shredded cheese consumption symptoms may include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
It’s essential to note that dairy products, like shredded cheese, are highly perishable and can quickly go bad if not stored correctly. Therefore, following food safety guidelines when handling dairy products is crucial to prevent foodborne illnesses.
How To Store Shredded Cheese?
Storing shredded cheese properly is essential for preserving its best quality and extending its shelf life. Whether you have an unopened package, opened package, or homemade shredded cheese, here are the steps to store cheese to keep it fresh:
Unopened package of shredded
- If the shredded cheese is still in its original wrapper, check the expiration date and consume it before it expires.
- If you don’t plan on using the cheese anytime soon, store it in the fridge to keep it fresh longer.
Opened package of shredded
- After opening the package, transfer the remaining cheese into a resealable plastic bag or an airtight container. This will help prevent air exposure, making the cheese dry out faster.
- Store each variety in a separate container to prevent cross-contamination if you have different cheeses.
- Label each container with the date and cheese type to help you keep track of its freshness.
Homemade shredded cheese
- If you’ve made shredded cheese at home, transfer it into an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag after shredding. You can also freeze it immediately to help it stay fresh longer.
- To freeze, pack the shredded cheese in an airtight container or wrap it in aluminum foil, plastic wrap or parchment paper, removing as much air as possible before sealing.
- To properly store the cheese, ensure the container is labeled with the storage date and type of cheese before freezing.
Storing shredded cheese in the fridge is the best option to help it stay fresh longer. However, if you have a large amount of grated cheese you won’t use soon, freezing can be a great option to extend its shelf life. Store cheese according to its variety and use it before expiration to ensure the best quality.
Which Is The Most Popular Type Of Shredded Cheese?
Shredded cheddar cheese is by far the most popular type of shredded cheese, and for good reason. Cheddar cheese is known for its distinct sharp taste, complementing many different foods.
It is perfect for melting evenly and quickly when shredded, making it a top choice for dishes like nachos, macaroni and cheese, and grilled cheese sandwiches. It is also a versatile cheese that pairs well with a wide variety of flavors, from sweet to savory.
Additionally, shredded cheddar cheese is widely available in grocery stores in pre-packaged bags and in-store deli sections, adding to its popularity and accessibility. Shredded cheddar cheese is a go-to choice for delicious and easy meal solutions.
Benefits of Using Shredded Cheese
When it comes to cooking or snacking, using shredded cheese has several benefits. Here are some of them:
- Convenience: Grated parmesan, shredded cheddar cheese, and shredded fresh mozzarella cheese add flavor and texture to a variety of dishes, and they are ready to use right out of the bag. This saves time and effort compared to grating or slicing cheese yourself.
- Melts Better: Shredding cheese increases the surface area, which helps it melt faster and more evenly. This is especially important when using cheese as a topping on pizza, nachos, or any other dish where melted cheese is a key component.
- Flavor: Most cheeses have a milder flavor when shredded, which allows them to blend well with other ingredients without overpowering them. This makes them great for adding to salads, sandwiches, and omelets, where you want a hint of cheesy flavor without it being too overwhelming.
- Versatility: Shredded cheese can be used in a wide variety of dishes, from traditional mac and cheese to tacos, to baked potatoes and beyond. Using shredded cheese in different dishes can add a unique flavor to classic dishes.
Overall, shredded cheese options are versatile and convenient to add a delicious and melty element to any dish.
Delicious Dishes To Make With Shredded Cheeses
There are countless delicious dishes that can be made with shredded cheese! Here are a few delicious dishes that you can make with shredded cheese:
Lasagna made with shredded cheese is a classic dish that combines melted cheese’s rich and creamy taste with the savory flavor of tomato sauce and ground beef. The layers of lasagna noodles and cheese are enough to satisfy your hunger cravings.
Learn how to make Cheesy Lasagna.
Instant Pot Panera Mac And Cheese
Creamy and cheesy, Panera Mac and Cheese feature a blend of different cheeses that create a mouthwatering flavor. The addition of Shredded cheese adds additional creaminess and flavor to the dish.
Here is the best recipe for making Instant Pot Panera Mac And Cheese.
Cheesesteak Egg Rolls
Shredded cheese is one of the key ingredients in Cheesesteak Egg Rolls. The cheese pairs well with the beef and sautéed onions, creating a savory and tangy taste that will satisfy you.
You can follow this great recipe to prepare Cheesesteak Egg Rolls.
Egg muffins become an effortlessly delectable breakfast option with shredded cheese. The cheese adds a creamy and mild flavor to the eggs, making them even more enjoyable.
Learn more about how to make Egg Muffins.
Chicken Broccoli Cheese Casserole
Shredded cheese is an essential ingredient in this classic casserole. The combination of chicken, broccoli, and cheese creates a savory and creamy flavor that will leave you craving for seconds.
Enjoy this great recipe for Chicken Broccoli Cheese Casserole!
Shredded cheese is not just a topping in this hearty soup recipe, but it also serves as a significant ingredient that helps to create a rich and cheesy flavor that pairs well with beef and seasonings.
Read more about how to make Cheeseburger Soup.
Crack Chicken Pin Wheels
Crack Chicken Pin Wheels feature a combination of shredded chicken, cheese, and ranch seasoning, all combined into a tasty and addictive appetizer. The cheese helps to bind all the ingredients together and provides a tangy and creamy flavor to the mix.
Try this recipe for making Crack Chicken Pin Wheels.
Tater Tot Casserole
Tater Tot Casserole is a comfort food classic that uses shredded cheese on top of the dish to create a crispy and cheesy crust. Combining tater tots, cheese, and ground beef create a savory and filling meal.
Learn this recipe to make Tater Tot Casserole!
Shredded cheese is one of the essential ingredients in this popular chicken recipe. The cheese pairs perfectly with the ranch seasoning, broth, and cream cheese to create a delicious and creamy sauce.
Read more about how to make Crack Chicken.
Chimichangas is a Mexican dish that usually contains a blend of shredded cheese and meats like beef, pork, chicken, beans, and salsa. The cheese adds a creamy and tangy flavor to the filling, making it even more delicious.
See this recipe to make these Delicious Chimichangas.
So, How Long Does Shredded Cheese Last?
In conclusion, shredded cheese is a versatile and convenient addition to many dishes. Whether used as a topping or an ingredient in a recipe, shredded cheese can add a delicious and creamy flavor to any dish.With proper storage, it has a shelf life of a few days to up to 8 months, depending upon the storage method, so you can enjoy shredded cheese for months to come. Enjoy experimenting with different recipes and see how much fun using shredded cheese in your cooking can be!