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Freeze-Dried Cheese: How to Use It (Recipes & Video Demonstration)

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Craving cheese during an emergency? You’re not alone! This guide is for families who love cheese and want long-term storage solutions. Discover how freeze-dried cheese offers a delicious and practical way to keep your family’s favorite ingredient on hand for any situation.

Cheese is one of those staples that many of us have difficulty doing without it. It’s a key ingredient in many things, from food storage pasta dishes to tacos and casseroles to any number of meal-stretching rice recipes. But unfortunately, the kind of cheese we tend to buy from the grocery store in shrink-wrapped blocks isn’t made for long-term food storage. This is a significant problem for those who like to plan far ahead.

I once taught a food storage class in Arizona where I mentioned that recipes heavy on cheese wouldn’t be very compatible with food storage. One woman said, “You mean no more cheese enchiladas?” She and the other women in the room looked horrified! I quickly reassured them they could still enjoy their cheese enchiladas, thanks to freeze-dried cheddar cheese!

Science has given us freeze-dried cheese to solve just this problem! It may look pricey, but it’s well worth the cost simply because of its remarkable shelf stability, flavor, and the fact that it tastes and melts exactly like fresh cheese when rehydrated.

A Quick Video Recipe Demonstration Using Freeze Dried Cheese

Watch as I take the mystery out of freeze dried cheese with a quick recipe demo!

Recipes Made With Freeze Dried Cheese

Here are a couple of recipes to get you started: Mac-n-cheese, tortilla pizzas, and a recipe demo for quesadillas.

Classic Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is a classic dish and real comfort food if ever there was one! It combines Cheese Blend, a tasty, powdered cheese, and freeze-dried cheddar.



  1. Cook macaroni noodles for 8–10 minutes or until tender; drain and cool slightly under cold water. Set aside.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat; stir well and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add macaroni to the saucepan and reduce heat to low, stirring until noodles are coated.

Tortilla Pizzas

Pizza is one of the most popular items to make with freeze dried cheese. This recipe uses a tortilla as the crust, making for a quick and easy meal.



  1. Rehydrate ingredients according to directions on the can.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. In a small bowl, combine basil, oregano, garlic powder, and olive oil. Lightly brush one side of the tortilla with the mixture.
  4. Sprinkle equal amounts of meat, green pepper, and tomatoes on each tortilla. Top with cheese.
  5. Place on the middle rack of the oven, and bake for 8 minutes or until crisp.
  6. *Fresh versions, using the same amounts, can be used instead of freeze-dried.

All About Freeze Dried Cheese

Don’t be put off by the idea of “cheese in a can.” This isn’t that suspicious “cheese” mix that you put on macaroni.

This is actual cheese.

Freeze-dried cheese can genuinely be used any way you use regular grated cheese.

And the best part is that it comes in several varieties, so you’re equipped to make lasagna with mozzarella, enchiladas with cheddar, and quesadillas with Monterey Jack!

How do you rehydrate it?

You rehydrate the cheese the same way you do any other freeze-dried food. Just soak it in room temperature or warm water for a few minutes. Drain well, and then use it in your cooking.

Easy-peasy! You will want to make sure you have plenty of water stored to eat your freeze-dried food in emergencies, if water isn’t readily available.

Plus, I show how I do this in the recipe demo in this article.

What does it taste like?

Freeze-dried cheese looks almost precisely like the grated cheese you buy in plastic bags at the grocery store. Each cheese strand is crunchy, and I’ve been known to eat a handful every once in a while. They’re reminiscent of Cheez-It crackers. I’ve been known to snack on it directly from the can. It tastes a lot like Cheez-It crackers!

When rehydrated, the cheese forms a soft, melted-looking mass, which you can then spread over casseroles, roll up in corn tortillas, or use in just about any other way. When heated, it melts exactly like fresh cheese.

How is it made?

Before the late 2000s, I only associated freeze-dried items with the “astronaut food” packets you can purchase in science museum gift shops: fun, weird, but not terribly practical for regular people.

Today, however, freeze-dried foods are a food storage staple.

Regular freezing causes ice crystals to form within the food, which can damage the food’s texture, color, flavor, and nutrients. Think, if you will, about frozen strawberries in the frozen food section and how sad they look once they are thawed.

In contrast, freeze-dried food is flash frozen so quickly that ice crystals do not have time to form, preserving texture, structure, and taste.

From there, the frozen food is placed in a vacuum. This allows for sublimation so that the water molecules evaporate off; the water goes from solid to a gas without passing through the liquid state.

The end result is cheese that looks, smells, and behaves like cheese when used for cooking.

Is freeze-dried cheese really as versatile a regular shredded cheese?

Yes! You can do just about anything.

I’ve made pizza and quesadillas, used it with tacos, and made all kinds of casseroles. No one in my family noticed any difference, not even my picky toddler. Read this for all the ways to use freeze-dried food in your favorite Mexican food recipes.

I wouldn’t recommend using it for fresh eating, as with crackers or in a cold cut sandwich, but only for reasons of convenience: it’s pre-shredded and thus carries the danger of falling off the cracker.

Final Thoughts

If your family loves cheese and you’re looking for ways to ensure a steady supply in any situation, freeze-dried cheese is a delicious and practical solution. Learning how to use freeze-dried cheese is simple; it’s a super versatile and tasty product that I recommend. With its extended shelf life and versatility in recipes, freeze-dried cheese can help you keep your family’s cheesy cravings satisfied even during emergencies. So stock up on your favorite varieties and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve got a tasty and nutritious ingredient on hand for whenever you need it.

What freeze-dried foods do you like to use? Please share with me in the comments!

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