Cottage cheese is creamy, tangy, low in calories, and packed with calcium and protein. For those reasons, you might eat a bowl of it topped with fresh fruit for breakfast, or use it as an alternative ingredient in recipes for eggs, dips, and even lasagna. No matter how you use the soft cheese, as soon as you peel open the container, the clock starts ticking on its freshness — so it's essential to know how long it lasts once you place it in your fridge.
A container of cottage cheese is safe to eat from the fridge for up to one week, according to guidance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It's the same length of time for other soft cheeses like ricotta and brie. As a reminder, the fridge should be set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below per the USDA. You might be quick to freeze an opened container of cottage cheese, but the USDA claims the cheese doesn't freeze well. You can try it, but it will separate and its texture will change after it's defrosted. But if you are dealing with full-fat cottage cheese, it might freeze better because the fats will help maintain its consistency better.
Read more: What Happens If You Accidentally Eat Mold?
Grainy Texture, Mold, And More Signs Of Spoiled Cottage Cheese
It's easy to tell if your opened cottage cheese has turned bad before you eat it. If the cottage cheese appears watery or has a grainy-like texture, then it's probably no longer safe to eat. More obvious signs of bad cottage cheese include black, gray, or green mold. Cottage cheese that has a sour smell or taste has also likely gone bad, despite the expiration date on the package, and shouldn't be eaten.
There are many ways to use cottage cheese before it goes bad if you are tired of eating it on its own or are out of ideas. It's an easy swap in recipes that traditionally use ricotta cheese like lasagna or other pasta dishes. Keep in mind the texture will be a bit different. You can also make whipped cottage cheese dip with a drizzle of olive oil or honey paired with crackers or vegetable sticks. To be more creative with that leftover cottage cheese, try it in recipes like egg salad, homemade pancakes, creamy guacamole, egg dishes like quiche, and even cheesecake.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.