Chicken salad is best paired with barbecue meat dishes or even eaten on its own. There are several ways you can consume chicken salad. You can even take out the pasta and make it into a sandwich instead. It’s also the perfect party pica that you always want to fill your sidebar with. That’s why you always make a large batch of chicken salad every time you make one.
But what if you made too many? Can you freeze chicken salad? Why not! Scroll below to see how to properly freeze this staple party food so not a bit will go to waste.
How Long Does Chicken Salad Last in the Freezer
Freezing any food will extend the shelf life compared to just tossing it in the fridge. And for chicken salad, you can store them in the freezer and it’ll keep for three months. That’s a lot of time to have handy chicken salad ready whenever you need an instant side dish for your barbequed chops.
But that’s provided you freeze chicken salad properly. And here’s how.
- You can use plastic containers with an airtight lid. But if you don’t have much freezer space, you can also store your chicken salad in freezer bags.
- It’s also wise to divide them into serving portions so you don’t have to thaw everything at once. Because once you thaw them, you can’t refreeze them anymore.
- Just scoop the chicken salad into the freezer bags and seal properly. Also, allot an inch of headspace in case the contents expand.
- Make sure to remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Though freezer burn is not necessarily bad for your health, it can affect the quality once it’s thawed.
- Don’t forget to label the freezer bag so you won’t forget up to when you can consume them.
Protip: Before tossing your homemade chicken salad in the freezer, make sure the chicken has been cooked at an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit
Will freezing chicken salad affect its flavor and texture?
Unfortunately yes, when you freeze any type of food, there is a bit of compromise with the crispness of the food,
The texture of frozen food will be different. Oftentimes, thawed frozen food can lack crispness and crunch. And the consistency won’t be as firm.
How to thaw frozen chicken salad
The best way to thaw frozen chicken salad is to transfer it from the freezer to the fridge. And allow thawing in the ref overnight.
No matter what, do not thaw it at room temperature. This will make chicken salad susceptible to bacterial growth. Alternatingly, you can soak the salad in tap water. But make sure it’s still in the freezer bag.
If the thawed chicken salad becomes too soggy, you may drain the liquid out.
Tips for thawing frozen chicken salad
After thawing the chicken salad, add a tablespoon of salad dressing. This will replace the lost moisture.
You can also separate the chicken salad from the mayonnaise. So once it thaws, it will not be too watery.
Can You Freeze Chicken Salad With Mayonnaise
Yes, you can, especially if you’re using commercially prepared mayonnaise that has been sterilized. This will also help extend the shelf life of the chicken salad.
But as mentioned earlier, once you freeze chicken salad with the mayonnaise already mixed in, it will be more watery once you thaw it.
And there will be a considerable change in texture if you for chicken salad with mayonnaise. So what you can do is drain the liquid and add more salad dressing to replace the lost ones.
Mayonnaise, along with several other foods are not really great candidates for freezing. It will affect the overall texture and integrity of the dish. So it’s better to hold off the mayo and just add it if you are going to eat the chicken salad already.
Alternatingly, instead of using mayonnaise, you can opt to use mayonnaise substitute such as avocado, vinaigrette, or olive oil. Miracle whip also works. It has the same flavor as mayo, but the chicken salad will not be as watery when thawed.
Can You Freeze Chicken Salad With Greek or Regular Yogurt
Like mayonnaise, yogurt isn’t also the best food to freeze. Once thawed, it can render the chicken salad more watery.
So to avoid messing up your chicken salad, separate the greek yogurt and just add it as soon as you’re going to consume it.
But if you do insist, expect the thawed chicken salad to be water. Again, you can drain the excess water and add yogurt to replace the lost moisture
Can You Freeze Chicken Salad With Vegetables and Fruits
Yes, you can freeze them. But take note that ingredients such as apple, grapes, and celery will lose their crispness once thawed.
So you can either separate these ingredients before freezing the chicken salad. Or you may have to settle with the loss of crispness of these ingredients.
Freezing Chicken Salad With Eggs
Technically yes, you can still freeze chicken salad with eggs. And it also will keep in the freezer for two to three months and will still be safe to eat.
But ideally, it’s not advisable. Why? Because eggs turn hard and gummy when you freeze and thaw them. So it won’t be as palatable to eat.
The best thing you can do is just boil a new batch of hard-boiled eggs. It will just roughly take 5-10 minutes to do so.
How Long Does Chicken Salad With Mayo Last in the Fridge
Properly stored chicken salad can last in the fridge for 3- 5 days. The same thing applies to chicken salad stored with or without the mayo.
- Get an airtight container and put the chicken salad in it.
- You have to store chicken salad as soon as you are finished preparing it. Do not let it sit on the counter for more than an hour.
- It’s best to label the salad on what date you have stored them. This will help you identify if it can still be eaten.
- Do not refrigerate any leftover salad from this batch.
Additional Tips on Freezing Chicken Salad
- Store chicken salad in the freezer as soon as it is made. For homemade chicken meals such as chicken salad or turkey, store them in the freezer instead of the fridge if you intend to consume them on the later day of the week.
- Storing the salad separate from the mayonnaise is the best way to freeze chicken salad. This will give you a better texture. While it won’t really affect the taste of the chicken salad, it will have a significant impact on the texture of any food.
- Do not freeze chicken salad in the fridge if it has been sitting on the counter for more than two hours already. The cold temperature won’t help retard the bacterial growth at this point because it might have thrived on the food already.
Can You Freeze Rotisserie Chicken Salad
Absolutely yes. But it’s better to freeze the rotisserie chicken separate from the salad. And just add shredded chicken once you are already serving the chicken salad. Besides, a whole rotisserie chicken is a lot for a chicken salad!
Can you freeze chicken salad sandwiches
Yes, you can. But as with chicken salad, if you added in mayonnaise, fruits, or veggies, the texture of the salad will not be optimum when thawed.
What you can do instead is to separate the salad from the mayo, fruits, and veggies. And then just add them when you’re ready to eat your homemade chicken salad sandwich.
When Not to Freeze Chicken Salad
If your chicken salad has been sitting at room temperature for more than two hours, it’s not advisable to freeze it anymore. Alternatingly, if it meets the following conditions below, don’t freeze it anymore. Just consume it right away.
- If you bought the chicken salad from the store and it’s already opened.
- If the chicken or mayonnaise that you added is not that freshest or the quality is questionable.
- If the chicken salad already smells a bit off.
How to Know if the Chicken Salad Has Gone Bad
Spoiled chicken salad can harbor a variety of microorganisms, bacteria, and can cause serious food poisoning.
So here’s how to check if your chicken salad is not fit for consumption anymore.
- Take a sniff of the chicken salad. If it starts to develop an off-putting smell, it’s spoiled already.
- Take note of any color changes. If the chicken or the chicken salad ingredients start to turn grayish or brownish, your chicken salad is starting to spoil already.
- The texture of the chicken should be firm. So has developed a slimy layer on top, it definitely has gone bad. Chicken salads have a very high moisture content. That’s why they spoil easily. Also, check for any signs of mold growth.
- If you have kept your chicken salad for more than three days in the fridge, it might not be good to eat anymore.
What to Serve With Chicken Salad
Chicken salad is a versatile dish. And it can be paired with an array of dishes. And here are some of our all-time favorite combinations.
Cucumber slices with chicken salad on top
This is the low carb version of your favorite chicken salad sandwich. It’s also best enjoyed during the summer. It’s a perfect pica for the summer solstice.
You may also like: How Long Does Salsa Lasts
Crackers with chicken salad
This is easy to make hors d’ oeuvres for parties and gatherings. You can spice it up by adding green or black olives on top. You may also use low carb crackers
Raw veggie strips with chicken salad
Instead of the usual blue cheese dressing, why not dip your favorite raw veggies into a chicken salad instead.
Chicken Salad is a very versatile dish. It can be consumed as a snack, paired with veggies or pasta.
That’s why you often make large batches of chicken salad. But if you have too much to consume, you can freeze them to extend their shelf life. We have tossed in several tips on freezing chicken salad. You’ll find them pretty easy!
Eva M. Smith is the owner of this website. She is a 4 year old mother of two kids and a professional chef. Eva loves to cook for her family, but being a working mom has a lot of challenges. From squeezing in time to do the groceries to make three meals for the day. Eva knows how challenging cooking can be without a kitchen game plan.
That’s why she perfected techniques of preserving staple ingredients and several foods so that you have something pre-cooked or pre-baked to use for an array of meals. And they do not come short in flavor! And she does not want to sacrifice flavor with convenience. That’s why she is the best person to ask.