It seems that sometimes people just can’t get enough pasta. We can’t blame them – this popular dish is an absolute champion in convenience. As long as you have one decent pot and a stove, you will only need a couple of minutes to put the food on the table.
However, all this practicality is somewhat undermined by the fact that pasta is good only as its sauce, and this is the point where things start to become a bit more complicated. You see, sauces usually take a bit more time and effort to be prepared.
So, why wouldn’t you simply prepare your favorite variety and keep it frozen and use whenever you need to? Or save leftovers for the next day?
This is precisely the topic we will cover here today, and we are going to take a look at one of the most popular recipes out there – Alfredo sauce.
Let then see can you freeze Alfredo sauce and how to do that properly.
What The Heck Is Alfredo Sauce?
But, before we proceed to these important questions, we have to clear some things for up and coming cooking novices. Like for instance – what is Alfredo sauce?
Well, Alfredo sauce is an incredibly popular white sauce that is most often used to accompany pasta recipes. The name “Alfredo” comes from the Italian chef Alfredo di Lelio who invented the recipe in Rome all the way back in 1914.
This original recipe became insanely popular, found its way to Hollywood, and from this point on, it spread like wildfire and conquered the entire world. Some of the most popular food combinations that are closely associated with the sauce are:
- Swedish meatballs
- Tomato pierogie casserole
- Baked potatoes
- Chicken with tomato
- Basil chicken with tomato
With all this variety and regional differences in mind, the chances are that if you do a quick Google search of the Alfredo sauce, you will find dozens of different recipes.
Still, most of them have one lowest common denominator – they all use quality salted butter, heavy cream, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
But, we have to point out that some of the ingredients that can be found in Alfredo sauce (namely butter and Parmesan cheese) have one fatal flaw – honestly, they feature a pretty poor shelf life. Read our article to find out does parmesan cheese go bad.
That brings us to the main topic – is there any way we can preserve the leftovers of this insanely tasty sauce and how to do that efficiently.
How Long Can Alfredo Sauce Stay In The Fridge?
When people talk about preserving Alfredo sauce, they mostly think about two things – storing in the fridge and deep freezing in the… Well, freezer. So, before we proceed to deep freezing, we will first try to see just how efficient the refrigerators are in keeping this delicious sauce alive and what we can do to maximize its shelf life.
The good news here is that in spite of its inherently low stamina, Alfredo sauce can pull off more than decent 3 to 6 days of refrigeration before going bad. But, we have to agree on one thing – this margin is pretty broad, is it? Let’s see what we can do to reach that 6-day mark.
How To Properly Store Alfredo Sauce In The Refrigerator?
Much like many other similar foods featuring dairy products, Alfredo sauce usually starts developing some dangerous bacteria within two hours after moving the saucepan from the stove. Don’t blame the sauce – it’s simply how nature works. If you leave the food at room temperature for too long, the pests like Escherichia coli and Salmonella will, inevitably, multiply and cause food poisoning.
In the case of outside summer picnics, this time frame can be easily reduced to a mere one hour.
So, the first tip for preserving your precious Alfredo sauce would be to store it into the fridge as soon as possible and no more than two hours after serving.
The second thing that has an influence on the food quality is the oxidation or lack thereof. To put it simply, exposing food to air starts a chemical process that degrades the quality of the ingredients. Sooner than later, the food is no longer edible.
In this case, we would usually recommend storing the sauce in the air-tight package. But, since we are talking about the sauce, the regular self-sealing plastic bags won’t suffice. They can be damaged way too easily, and you don’t want that mess in your fridge.
Therefore, we recommend that you use a plastic can that can be tightly sealed. And since we want you to push your Alfredo sauce to its limit, you can cover the opening with stretchable plastic foil before putting on the lid.
There you have it – an easy and effortless way to keep your Alfredo sauce safely stored in the fridge as long as possible.
How Long Can Alfredo Sauce Stay In The Fridge?
Well, this is a revealing subheading if there ever was one. So yeah, if you came here wondering, can you freeze Alfredo sauce the answer should become evident by now – yes, you can do that. As a matter of fact, all the sensitive ingredients you can find in all types of Alfredo sauce behave pretty well when you put them to a deep freeze.
How good? We are happy to report that, depending on the storage, you can squeeze 4 to 6 months of one perfectly safe to use and edible addition to your pasta.
However, you can see that we are once again dealing with a margin. This time, instead of two days, we can throw away the whole two months. If you have ever tried Alfredo sauce, you know just how big of waste this is.
So, without further ado, let’s see…
How To Properly Store Alfredo Sauce In The Freezer?
The basic logic here works pretty much the same when we stored the sauce in the refrigerator. However, you have to keep in mind that hot matter has a natural tendency to move upwards during extreme temperature changes.
This natural process can draw moisture out of your sauce and build it up on the surface, causing the food to lose taste, longevity, and quality.
To avoid this unfortunate event, you will need to make sure that the sauce has enough time to properly cool off before you put it into the freezer. Since keeping it at room temperature (between 40 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit) is not an option (see the paragraphs above), you will first need to put the sauce in the freezer for a couple of hours.
All you have to do now is to get a couple of air-tight containers and make them even more secure by covering the top part with plastic foil before sealing them with the lid. Since you don’t have the comfort of refrigerator shelves at your disposal, we advise that you use rectangular-shaped containers.
All you need to do is to make sure not to fill the container to the top because Alfredo sauce has a nasty habit of expanding while frozen.
Also, you may notice your cream picking up the yellow hue. That is perfectly normal. You see, Alfredo sauce is very rich in water and fat content. When frozen, these ingredients will split and rise up to the surface. No need to worry, though –when you start thawing the content, these ingredients will mix in and once again form a coherent compound.
How To Thaw And Reheat Your Frozen Alfredo Sauce?
Speaking of thawing, we have answered the question, can you freeze Alfredo sauce? Let us now see what you can do to thaw it defrost it properly without using any of the ingredient quality.
First and foremost, the frozen sauce will take some sweet time to properly defrost. Allowing it to spend that time in the open may cause ingredient degradation – especially if you are leaving the sauce to thaw overnight.
To eliminate this problem, plan ahead your meal one day in advance and leave it in the refrigerator instead. Do not remove the lid or the protective plastic foil. Also, keep the sauce on the lower shelves because the cold air has a tendency to drop down. When you take the sauce out tomorrow morning, it will be just like you have stored it in the fridge immediately after cooking. If you still notice slight yellow residue on the surface, give the sauce a couple of quick stirs with a wooden spoon, and your problem should be solved.
All you have to do now is to pour the sauce into some small pan and start reheating. If you are using the microwave, you will need only a couple of minutes at a moderate temperature. Heating by pan is not that complicated, either – keep the sauce on the low heat and stir the cream until it becomes hot. Finally, if you are using the oven – keep the temperature at 50% and let the sauce heat up for about 15 minutes.
So there you have it – an answer to the question can you freeze Alfredo sauce as well as a couple of useful tips on how to put it to freezing and reheat it afterward. Now, it’s up to you to try your luck with this delicious Italian sauce and rekindle your love for pasta. If you have felt something was missing from your previous recipes, the chances are that Alfredo sauce is that magic ingredient.