Most kinds of animal milk can easily be frozen and thawed without great loss in taste and texture. The question as to whether recipes or products that have milk as a base or major ingredient can be frozen is also quite popular. One of the most popular milk-based items that this question is asked about is alfredo sauce. Alfredo sauce is often combined with many different types of pasta though its origins suggest that it was combined with Fettucine.
What Is Alfredo Sauce?
Traditional Alfredo is a simple white/cream sauce made by combining butter, double cream, and parmesan cheese. The Alfredo sauce is said to have been invented by Alfredo di Lelio in Rome in 1892. Alfredo di Lelio worked in a restaurant that was located in piazza Rosa which happened to be run by his mother Angelina. Di Lelio created a dish called “fettuccine al triplo burro” (triple butter fettuccine). Alfredo sauce is today sold as a ready to mix sauce in grocery stores in many countries. These day you may find that Alfredo has changed from its humble cheese and cream origins and you will find formulations thickened with eggs or starch. The main ingredients in modern alfredo sauces are butter, cream, garlic, herbs and Parmesan cheese.
Can You Freeze Alfredo Sauce?
It is possible to freeze alfredo sauce and keep it for months with the ability to successfully thaw and use it after freezing. There is a high probability that dairy products will separate when you freeze them. They contain water and fat. Because Alfredo sauce has cream in it, it is likely to face the same issues. When stored in the freezer, the colour will change to yellow. Store-bought alfredo sauce will have preservatives in it and may be able to keep for longer though this should not be relied on. Homemade alfredo sauce will lack the preservatives in store-bought alfredo sauce so there are a few things to be conscious of when freezing it.
Before Freezing Alfredo Sauce
There are a few precautions that need to be taken before the process of freezing alfredo sauce starts. These precautions will help you get the most out of the freezing process and keep your alfredo sauce for as long as possible. Firstly, if the alfredo sauce has been cooked or heated it is very important to cool the alfredo sauce in the fridge as soon as possible. Do not allow it to sit at room temperature for longer than two hours. If it cools to a bacteria friendly temperature there is likely to be some bacterial growth.
You can freeze any food to extend its storage life. With alfredo sauce, because it contains dairy products in it, you will need to use a careful process to do so appropriately. The main issues you have to concern yourself with when freezing alfredo sauce are air, the containers and labelling the sauce with the date of freezing.
- Prepare the Alfredo sauce for freezing as soon as it is cool enough.
- For faster chilling, you can refrigerate the entire pot with the sauce before freezing
- Put the sauce in freezer bags in thin layers, this will help it freeze quickly (No more than 2 centimetres thick)
- When closing the bags get as much air out of the freezer bags as possible before sealing them close
- Label the freezer bags with the date of preparation and freeze immediately
You can keep your Alfredo sauce in the freezer for months and use it in you regular pasta dishes and other favourites such as creamy chicken recipes. Alfredo sauce will do better in the freezer than when refrigerated. Freezing it requires special treatment since Alfredo sauce is made up of cream, butter and cheese. Dairy products go rancid easily, so freeze the sauce as soon as possible. You can keep this frozen sauce for up to three months but it is advisable to keep it no longer than that. After three months there is likely to be a deterioration in the quality of the sauce and you will notice when reheating.
Thawing alfredo sauce is a fairly simple process. Place the frozen sauce in the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight or a whole day. When defrosted, you may notice that the sauce has separated. This is normal. Whisk the sauce with your spoon and it will regain its texture and consistency. When you are ready to use it reheat the thawed Alfredo sauce up to 70 degrees Celcius. The alfredo sauce is now ready to be added to your favourite pasta. Do not refreeze once the frozen sauce is reheated or thawed. This is why the freezing method advised the use of freezer bags with small amounts to allow thawing just as much as is needed.
How To Tell If It’s Rancid
It’s very difficult to tell if your alfredo sauce has gone rancid just by looking at and while it’s frozen. It will look a little yellow while frozen. When the alfredo sauce has fully thawed the easiest way to tell if it has gone bad is by checking its aroma. If there’s a bitterness to the smell it may have gone bad. If the smell is heavy like a blue cheese you likely have a rancid sauce. A light smell may not be indicative this and you can taste it on the tongue. If it tastes bitter, sour or tangy then the sauce is rancid and you should rather discard it than use it.
Alfredo sauce can safely be frozen but you must be careful in its storage to achieve the 3-month frozen shelf life. It is best packed as soon as possible in freezer bags with as much air as possible taken out them and flattened after closing. It’s best to thaw it slowly in the fridge or cold water and heat it separately for use.