How Long Does Cottage Cheese Last?

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You’re definitely missing out if you haven’t given cottage cheese a try yet.

It’s a creamy, tangy dairy product that’s great for breakfast (especially with fruit) or as an afternoon snack, and best of all, it lasts forever.

The American Dairy Association says that most grocery stores sell cottage cheese packaged in aseptic cartons, which means there are no preservatives added.

These are also referred to as “raw milk” products because they don’t undergo pasteurization, which kills bacteria in milk.

This is why cottage cheese doesn’t need to be refrigerated until opening day.

But what about beyond opening day?

How long does fresh cottage cheese last once it’s opened?

How long does cottage cheese last in the fridge?

According to The Balance, you can store your cottage cheese up to four weeks in the refrigerator without any issues.

However, this depends on how it was purchased and how it’s stored afterward.

If you bought a tub at the supermarket, chances are it will only last two weeks before turning moldy.

Aseptic cottage cheese, on the other hand, should last for months in the fridge, according to the USDA.

However, this doesn’t mean you should throw out your cottage cheese just because its expiration date has passed.

Instead, use it within a week of purchasing it so that it still tastes good.

How long does cottage cheese last in the freezer?

Just like in the fridge, cottage cheese can remain frozen for up to four weeks in the freezer.

But again, this depends on how it’s kept in the freezer.

For example, if you buy raw milk cottage cheese, it will likely have a shorter shelf life than aseptic cottage cheese.

You may want to freeze it right away instead of keeping it around for too long.

How Long Does Cottage Cheese Last? 1

How long does cottage cheese last after it’s opened?

Once you open the container, you can keep cottage cheese in the fridge for three days.

After that, the cottage cheese will start to deteriorate.

At that point, it’s time to toss it out.

Can cottage cheese go bad?

Yes, cottage cheese can get moldy and turn into curds and whey, but this isn’t a big deal since it won’t affect the taste.

However, if you do notice some funky smells or discoloration, then it’s probably time to toss it out.

When you open the cottage cheese, you’ll see that the white, cream-colored, or light yellowish part is the curd.

The rest of the cottage cheese is the whey.

As the curd gets older, it turns brown and starts to smell off.

What are the signs that cottage cheese has gone bad?

There are several signs that cottage cheese has gone bad, including:

Stale or rancid odor

Discolored curd

Dark, greenish coloration

Mold growth

Whey separation

You can easily test whether cottage cheese has spoiled by gently squeezing it between your fingers.

If it doesn’t feel smooth and stretchy, then it’s time to discard it.

How Long Does Cottage Cheese Last? 2

How can I extend the shelf life of cottage cheese?

To prevent cottage cheese from going bad, you can store it properly.

First, make sure to buy cottage cheese that’s made with whole milk rather than low fat or nonfat milk.

Also, make sure to store your cottage cheese in the fridge.

If you’re storing it in the fridge, make sure you remove the cottage cheese from the fridge the same day you open it so that it stays cold and fresh.

Make sure to keep your cottage cheese out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources such as the microwave and stovetop.

And finally, make sure to keep your cottage cheese tightly sealed in containers.

Should I refrigerate cottage cheese?


Refrigerating cottage cheese isn’t necessary because it’s already been pasteurized.

So, unless you’re buying raw milk cottage cheese, you can keep it in the fridge for up to four weeks.

How long does cottage cheese last if it’s not refrigerated?

Refrigerated cottage cheese is fine to consume as long as it’s used within seven days of opening.

However, if you leave it outside of the fridge, it’s going to become less tasty over time.

This is because the temperature increases outside of the fridge, which leads to moisture loss and spoilage.

Is cottage cheese safe to eat when it’s past the expiration date?


In fact, the FDA suggests eating cottage cheese that’s past its expiration date as long as it hasn’t started to look moldy or rotten.

That said, cottage cheese that’s past its expiration date might not have the same flavor as other cottage cheeses.

I forgot my cottage cheese in the car.

Is it okay now?

Yes, as long as it’s still in the original packaging, you can keep it in the car for up to three days.

Otherwise, it’s best to discard it immediately.

What are the signs that cottage cheese has gone bad?

Here are some signs that cottage cheese has gone bad:

Rancid odor

Foamy texture

Greenish discoloration

Pungent or sour odor

Bubbles on top of the cottage cheese

Sour liquid on the bottom of the container

If you see any of these signs, then it’s time to toss out your cottage cheese.

How can I extend the shelf life of cottage cheese?

By following the tips above, you can extend the shelf life of cottage cheese for up to four weeks.

But if you’re looking for more ways to extend the shelf life of cottage cheese, you can follow these steps:

Use a paper towel to wipe away condensation on the surface of the cottage cheese.

Keep your cottage cheese in a cool place, such as the refrigerator.

Store the cottage cheese in a plastic bag to avoid condensation.

Avoid touching the cottage cheese while it’s inside the fridge.

Never put hot liquids directly on the cottage cheese.

Keep cottage cheese in airtight containers.

Don’t wash the cottage cheese with soap or detergent.

Wipe down the cottage cheese container with a damp cloth.

Stick to a specific serving size.

Don’t let your kids play with cottage cheese.

Don’t reheat your cottage cheese once it’s cold.

Should I refrigerate cottage cheese?

It really depends on the type of cottage cheese you’re using.

Raw milk cottage cheese usually needs to stay cold at all times.

This means that you shouldn’t keep it in the fridge for too long.

On the other hand, if you’re using aseptic cottage cheese, then you can keep it in the fridge as long as you don’t open it every day.

Once you open it, however, you should discard it within seven days.

What Does Cottage Cheese Taste Like​

Cottage Cheese Recipe

Cottage cheese has its own unique flavor and texture, but if you’ve never tried it before, you might be surprised at how different it can be depending on the brand and the way it’s made.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 149 kcal


  • 1 bowl


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 pinch salt


  • Small pot with milk in it should be brought to a boil. After adding vinegar, turn off the heat. Stir the mixture slowly for 1 to 2 minutes, or until curds form.
  • Pour the mixture into a cheesecloth-lined colander. After curds have cooled for about 15 minutes, allow liquid whey to drip out. Curds should be salted.



Calories: 149kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 8gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 132mgPotassium: 366mgSugar: 12gVitamin A: 395IUCalcium: 301mg
Keyword Cottage Cheese Recipe
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