How long does cottage cheese last?

In this article, we will answer the question “How long does cottage cheese last?”, and how to tell If the cottage cheese has gone bad?

How long does cottage cheese last?

The sell-by date printed on the package of cottage cheese is a good indicator of how long the cheese will last. Some flavored varieties of cottage cheese have a longer shelf-life because of added preservatives. The following table shows the estimated shelf-life of opened and unopened cottage cheese in the fridge.

In the fridge 
Cottage cheese (unopened)3-5 days past the sell-by date 
Cottage cheese (opened)5-7 days 

How to store cottage cheese?

  1. Like other dairy products, cottage cheese should be stored in the fridge. 
  2. Do not keep it in the fridge door because this area suffers the most temperature fluctuations.
  3. Once the package is opened, make sure you tightly seal it before putting it back in the fridge.
  4. Cottage cheese does not come in resealable packages. So after opening the package, transfer the cheese to an air-tight container for maximum protection.
  5. Instead of an air-tight container, plastic or aluminum wrap secured with rubber bands will also make for a good makeshift seal.
  6. If the cheese is to be consumed within a day, storing it in its original packaging after opening is not a bad option. But make sure you do not have any other strong-smelling food near the cheese in your fridge.

Can you freeze cottage cheese?

Cottage cheese can be frozen but the product will suffer quality loss. Like kefir and buttermilk, the solid of the cottage cheese will separate leaving behind the liquid. Though the consistency can be adjusted by blending the cheese in a food processor the texture won’t be the same as that of the fresh cottage cheese.

For this reason, use frozen cottage cheese only for sauces, casseroles, soups, and other cooked dishes. To store cottage cheese in the freezer, follow the steps below.

  • Simply chuck the original package of the cheese into a freezer bag.
  • If you want to thaw only small portions of cheese, you can use a muffin tray or ice cube tray.

How to defrost frozen cottage cheese?

Frozen cottage cheese should be thawed in the fridge. If you will be using it during cooking, you can directly toss the frozen cheese cubes into the pot.

How to tell If the cottage cheese has gone bad?

  1. A sour or rancid smell is an obvious sign of spoilage. Sour cheese does not become unsafe for consumption. It can be discarded for quality reasons.
  2. Pay attention to the texture. If the cheese feels clumpy and the water is floating on top, it has spoiled. The presence of mold or any discolored patches or spots is also an indication of spoilage.
  3. If the cottage cheese has been sitting open for more than a week or if it is a week past its best-by, it belongs in the bin.

How to make cottage cheese?


  • 1 liter Full Fat Milk or whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Lemon juice / Vinegar Or 1/2 cup Yogurt


  1. In a large pot, bring the full-fat milk to a rolling boil. Then reduce the flame and let the milk simmer on medium heat.
  2. Stir in the souring agent of your choice using a spoon. Let the milk simmer for another 2-3 minutes until it starts to form curdles.
  3. As soon as the milk splits into whey protein and cheese curds, turn off the flame.
  4. Place a muslin cloth or cheesecloth on a sieve. Place the sieve on a pot or vessel. Strain the split milk. The whey protein will collect into the bottom vessel leaving behind the cheese on the muslin or cheesecloth. Save this whey water and use it for kneading dough or to make a refreshing summer drink.
  5. The collected cheese on top can be used as-is. It can be turned into a block as well. For this, cover the cheese properly with the filter cloth. Place a heavyweight on top of this cheese and let it sit.
  6. Cut the cheese into portions. Store them in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

How to eat cottage cheese?

Cottage cheese can be added to pancake or waffle mix, granola bars, dipping sauces, and smoothies. It can be mixed with different spices and herbs to spread on toast. You can also add it to your salad bowls for a protein boost. If you ran out of sour cream, use cottage cheese instead.

Other FAQs about Cottage cheese that you may be interested in.

Can you freeze cottage cheese?

Can you eat cottage cheese after the expiration date?


In this article, we answered the question “How long does cottage cheese last?”, and how to tell If the cottage cheese has gone bad?


How Long Does Cottage Cheese Last?