If you are wondering about how to freeze and store paneer, here is the most comprehensive guide to help you out.
These methods and tips have worked wonderfully for me and several other home cooks. So, let’s jump right into it.
- Baking Sheet
- Parchment Paper
- Freezer-Safe Air-Tight Container or Ziploc Bag
- Prep the Paneer: Whether you make it at home or bought it from the store, drain and cut the paneer into pieces that you prefer to cook with.
- Spread Out: Lay the paneer out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure that the pieces are spread out evenly and don’t clump together.
- Flash Freeze: Leave the tray in the freezer for a couple of hours or overnight and let the paneer freeze solid. Keep it covered if there is a strong odor in the freezer.
- Pack and Seal: Transfer the paneer into a Ziploc bag or freezer-safe air-tight container and seal them in. If you are using a Ziploc bag, make sure to squeeze out all the excess air before sealing the bag.
- Label and Freeze: Add a label on the bag with the best before date, and you are good to go.
Freezing Paneer after Cooking It
If you want to get some food prep out of the way, you can sauté the paneer and then freeze them.
Prep the Paneer
Cut the paneer into cubes of sizes you prefer to cook with.
Cook and Cool
Sauté the paneer in oil till it gets a golden-brown crust. Then take it off the pan and let it cool down to room temperature.
Pack and Seal
Transfer the cooked paneer into a Ziploc bag or freezer-safe air-tight container and seal them in.
Label and Freeze
Add a label on the bag or container, and you can freeze the cooked paneer till you need it next.
Here is a video tutorial by “Mickey’s Kitchen and Lifestyle” on YouTube to help you out –
How Long Can You Freeze Paneer?
You can freeze paneer for 1 to 3 months. Though you can freeze it for longer, the paneer will deteriorate in quality and texture, the longer it stays in the freezer.
So, it is best to use it up sooner rather than later and don’t keep it for longer than 6 months.
The key to freezing paneer for long is to make sure that it is thoroughly wrapped and protected from being exposed to air or freezer burns.
Also, the fresher it is before you freeze it, the fresher it will be once you thaw it.
How to Store Frozen Paneer?
You can store frozen paneer in any freezer-safe air-tight container or Ziploc bag.
The key is to keep them covered from air and freezer burns. You could also keep them in the freezer, double wrapped in cling wrap and foil paper.
Store-bought paneer can be frozen directly in its packaging if it has not been opened. If you open it, transfer it into a freezer-safe air-tight container or Ziploc, before long-term freezing.
How to Defrost Paneer?
You can defrost the paneer by leaving it in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight and letting it thaw gradually.
This allows for less drastic temperature change and consequently less change in texture.
If you are in a hurry, you could also microwave the paneer for a couple of minutes.
You could also put the paneer, in the bag or container, in a bowl of lukewarm water and let it thaw for a while before cooking with it.
Can You Refreeze Paneer?
No, it is best recommended not to refreeze the paneer. Paneer is fragile and can change in texture and taste if it is repeatedly frozen and thawed.
It also has a high chance of getting bacterial growth if it has been left for longer than a couple of hours.
You could instead freeze them raw or cooked paneer after cooking them into a curry or recipe.
To avoid having to refreeze at all, you can portion the paneer beforehand or flash freeze them to easily grab a handful from a big batch.
Does Paneer Freeze Well?
Yes, the paneer freezes well, and if done right, it can last in the freezer for a couple of months. Freezing paneer is a great way to extend its short shelf life.
But keep in mind that the paneer deteriorates over time in the freezer, so it is best to use it up sooner rather than later.
Cooked paneer does better in the freezer than uncooked paneer. You could also freeze them in dishes if you like.
Yes, you can freeze paneer curry. You can cook and cool them down to room temperature before portioning and freezing them in freezer-safe air-tight containers or Ziploc bags.
Make sure to leave headspace, if you are using a container to make room for any expansion. It would be best to freeze the paneer pieces separate from the gravy to avoid the paneer from getting soggy and mushy from being soaked in the curry.
I hope this article helped you make the most of the extra paneer in your pantry by freezing them.
If you have any doubts or would like to share some freezing hacks of your own, it would be lovely to hear from you.
Feel free to share this article with your friends and family who love Indian food.