Preserving the Flavor: The Ultimate Guide to Freezing Provolone Cheese

Can you freeze provolone cheese? – The Complete Guide

Provolone cheese is a versatile and flavorful cheese that is often used in Italian cuisine. Whether you have a surplus of provolone cheese or simply want to extend its shelf life, freezing it can be a convenient option. In this complete guide, we will explore the process of freezing provolone cheese, including proper wrapping techniques, thawing methods, and how to effectively use frozen provolone cheese.

Where provolone cheese comes from

Provolone cheese is an Italian cow’s milk cheese that originated in southern Italy. While it is primarily produced in the Po Valley region of Italy, including Veneto and Lombardy, it is also produced in North America. This semi-hard cheese has a distinctive flavor and is widely enjoyed for its versatility.

How provolone cheese is made

Provolone cheese is made from cow’s milk (and sometimes buffalo milk) using a process similar to mozzarella. The curds and whey of the milk are separated, and the curds are stretched twice while still hot. The cheese is then soaked in brine and covered with a wax or plastic rind. Traditional provolone is made with all natural ingredients and is free of preservatives, while industrially produced provolone may contain additives.

Provolone Cheese Nutrition Facts

Provolone cheese is a relatively nutritious dairy product. A one-ounce serving of provolone cheese contains approximately 100 calories, 8 grams of fat, 19.6 milligrams of cholesterol, less than 1 gram of carbohydrates, 7 grams of protein, and over 20% of the recommended daily value of calcium.

How to Freeze Provolone Cheese

When stored properly, provolone cheese will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. However, if you have excess provolone cheese and would like to freeze it for long-term storage, follow these steps:

  1. Wrap the cheese: To maximize freshness, wrap provolone in parchment paper and then in plastic wrap.
  2. Choose your freezing method: There are three ways to freeze provolone: block, slice or shred.
    • For blocks of provolone: If the block is too large, divide it into smaller blocks weighing no more than half a pound. Wrap each block in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place in an airtight freezer bag.
    • For sliced provolone: Wrap each slice individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. You can wrap several slices together. Place wrapped slices in airtight freezer bags.
    • For shredded provolone: Place the shredded cheese in an airtight freezer bag and remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
  3. Label and date: It’s important to label freezer bags with the contents and freezing date for easy identification later.

How to thaw frozen provolone cheese

When you’re ready to use your frozen provolone, follow these thawing methods:

  1. Refrigerator Thawing: Place frozen provolone in the refrigerator and thaw overnight. Sliced and shredded provolone will thaw more quickly than blocks, which can take up to 24 hours to fully thaw. Use defrosted cheese within 3-4 days.
  2. Counter-Thaw: If you plan to use the provolone immediately and the room temperature is between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, you can defrost it on the counter. Once completely thawed, transfer to the refrigerator immediately.

How to Use Thawed Provolone Cheese

Thawed provolone may have a slightly different texture than fresh cheese, but it is still suitable for a variety of culinary applications. Here are some ideas for using thawed provolone:

  • Slice provolone: Add it to grilled cheese sandwiches, patty melts, or place it on breaded chicken and broil for a few minutes.
  • Shredded provolone: Add it to hot dishes like pasta casseroles, French onion soup, potatoes au gratin or stuffed peppers.
  • Block provolone: Slice or shred the defrosted block. Sprinkle a larger piece with herbs and bake for a delicious creamy spread on toasted French bread with jam or chutney.

Remember that while freezing provolone cheese extends its shelf life, the texture may become slightly crumbly and less smooth after thawing. However, these changes are less noticeable when the provolone is melted.


Freezing provolone cheese is a convenient way to store it for an extended period of time; it can be safely frozen in blocks, sliced or shredded. Proper packaging and labeling are essential to maintaining its quality. When thawed, the texture of provolone may change slightly, but it can still be used in a variety of dishes. Whether you’re melting it on a sandwich or adding it to a warm, cheesy dish, thawed provolone can add flavor and richness to your culinary creations. Enjoy the convenience of frozen provolone while ensuring its deliciousness for future use.


Can I freeze provolone?

Yes, you can freeze provolone. Freezing it is a great way to extend its shelf life and prevent it from going bad.

How should I pack provolone before freezing it?

To maximize freshness, wrap provolone in parchment paper and then in plastic wrap. This double wrapping helps protect the cheese from freezer burn.

Can I freeze blocks of provolone?

Yes, you can freeze block provolone. If the block is too large, it’s a good idea to cut it into smaller blocks, no more than half a pound, before wrapping and freezing.

How long can I freeze provolone?

Provolone cheese can be safely frozen for up to 3 months. However, for best quality, it’s best to use it within 1-2 months of freezing.

How do I thaw frozen provolone?

The best way to thaw frozen provolone is to place it in the refrigerator and allow it to defrost overnight. Sliced and shredded provolone thaws more quickly than blocks. Use thawed cheese within 3-4 days.

Can I use thawed provolone for melting?

Yes, you can use thawed provolone for melting. While the texture may be slightly different from fresh cheese, it will still melt and add a rich, creamy layer to your dishes.