Ricotta is a type of cheese of Italian origin that is usually used to prepare cheesecake or as a filling for different kinds of pasta, but how is ricotta preserved?
As ricotta is a highly perishable product, you should always keep it cold. So, you can store ricotta in the fridge for one or two weeks or freeze it, and it will remain in good condition for 3 to 6 months.
If you want to know how to preserve ricotta, you must keep reading. (By the way, If you want to check how to store cheese, here is my guide.)
How to keep ricotta in the fridge
Ricotta is a highly perishable dairy product. For this reason, it can not be left for more than two hours at room temperature.
Generally, we usually buy ricotta in a food store or supermarket. Here, selecting those with a reasonably distant expiration date is crucial, and you must ensure it is in good condition.
Do not buy ricotta that looks very watery or liquid, nor those containers that give off a foul smell or have the expiration date scheduled for a few days.
Usually, the ricotta comes in a plastic container to store it, although it also comes with bagged presentations. In that case, placing the ricotta in the coldest area of the fridge is best.
You may keep the sealed ricotta refrigerated until the expiry date shown on the carton. If you have opened it, you have to replace the lid of the container and continue storing it in the coldest part of the refrigerator for one week or two. 
If the ricotta came in a bag or the container broke, you can transfer it to a plastic or glass container with a clean and dry airtight lid.
If you have prepared your ricotta, you must first sterilize the containers and wait for them to dry, then put the homemade ricotta and store it in the coldest area of your fridge.
You can only keep the homemade ricotta in good condition in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
How to freeze ricotta
Can ricotta be frozen? Yes, you can freeze the ricotta, but it is not an option that advises you to do.
First, its consistency will change; it will not be the same as fresh, but the most important thing is that its flavor will decrease considerably the longer it is frozen.
But if these points do not matter so much to you and you do not want to waste a considerable amount of ricotta, you can freeze it as follows:
- Step 1: Transfer the ricotta to bags or small containers.
The ricotta can not be re-frozen. For this reason, it is best to distribute the ricotta in bags or small airtight containers if you have a lot of it.
- Step 2: Bag the ricotta portions.
Put the ricotta portions in a large freezer bag to add extra protection. With this, you can prevent them from having frostburn.
- Step 3: Tag.
Write the product’s name (ricotta), plus the storage date, on the bag or on a label (which you will stick to the bag).
- Step 4: Store the ricotta in the freezer.
In this way,You can freeze the ricotta for 3 to 6 months. 
How to thaw ricotta?
The safest way to defrost the ricotta is to pass the frozen portion to the fridge the night before using it so that it will thaw slowly.
And although the thawed ricotta can not be re-frozen, you can store it in the fridge for 2 or 3 more days.
If you are in a hurry, you can defrost the ricotta at room temperature or in the microwave for a few seconds. Still, if you use this method, you should consume all the thawed ricotta since you cannot refrigerate it afterward.
If you use the ricotta for some cream, soup, or sauce, you can add it directly frozen.
Remember that thawed ricotta usually has a significant liquid separation, which you can mix back with the ricotta or get rid of.
How do you know if the ricotta spoiled?
One of the first signs that could tell you that the ricotta spoiled, or will be about to do so, is if it changes color. The ricotta is white, so if it starts to turn yellow, it is not long before it spoils. Once wholly yellow, it is no longer safe to eat.
Nor should you ingest the ricotta if it has mold. It is a sign of decay if it has black or green spots or lint. Although it is rare for this to happen, if it happens to you, throw all the ricotta in the trash so you do not go intoxicated.
Another way to tell if the ricotta is bad is by its taste and smell. If your ricotta has a rancid or sour smell or taste, it’s already spoiled, and you can’t eat it.
How long does ricotta last?
|Ricotta in the fridge (sealed)||Until the expiration date|
|Ricotta in the fridge (open)||1 – 2 weeks|
|Homemade ricotta in the fridge||4 – 5 days|
|Frozen ricotta||3 – 6 months|
|Thawed ricotta in the fridge||2 – 3 days|
What is the best way to store ricotta?
The best way to preserve ricotta is to store it in the fridge. Even if it is not for long, the refrigerated ricotta can maintain its flavor and consistency.
Otherwise, if you freeze the ricotta, it will keep it in good condition for longer. Still, its flavor and consistency will be negatively affected.
Another thing to keep in mind is that homemade ricotta and commercially sold ricotta usually have a similar shelf life. Only the sealed ricotta of commercial sale usually lasts a little longer.
Here is a list of products you can combine with ricotta, and you can see their respective storage guide.