Here's Why You May Want To Think Twice Before Freezing Alfredo Sauce

Making fresh food at home has been growing in popularity. According to food industry news site FoodNavigator, a consumer survey of about 1,005 people conducted in April 2020 found that more than half of the participants not only admitted to cooking more, but also said that they're likely to continue doing so in the longer term. But more cooking likely means more leftovers, and figuring out how to store all that food can be tricky, especially when it comes to more temperamental ingredients. 

Obviously, not all food freezes well. Dishes like casseroles, soups, and even meatloaf can fare well in icy conditions long-term, as well as components like marinara or Bolognese. However, some sauces, like creamy homemade Alfredo sauce, may not do as well. It may seem odd that a simple, common pasta sauce would have an issue being frozen and subsequently reheated. What exactly happens that makes it so undesirable?

Just say no to freezing Alfredo

In terms of Alfredo sauce, it's important to note that it depends whether the creamy pasta topper was made from scratch or bought in a store. Store-bought versions of Alfredo sauce tend to have cornstarch in their recipes, which Martha Stewart's website notes "helps the cheese to bind properly and prevents separation when reheated." 

Meanwhile, homemade Alfredo tends to forego this added ingredient (as well as some other preservatives) leaving only a high dairy count and low probability for a happy outcome when reheating it from the freezer. Christopher Arturo of the Institute for Culinary Education explained to Martha Stewart's website that "the cream tends to shatter" during the reheating process, which "ruins the texture."

Stay Healthy Hacks advises that if you do decide to freeze Alfredo sauce — although this is not recommended unless you're familiar with the differences between homemade and store-bought versions — you shouldn't leave it in there for more than three months, as that may further affect the flavor and texture. So while there may be a way to salvage that sauce, it may be in your best interest to leave the freezer free for other, more stable items. 

But there is a silver lining to this revelation: it is an excellent excuse to eat all your pasta at once. Bon appetit!