Have you ever made chicken salad for a barbeque and realized you had made way more than people could eat?
It can be a real problem trying to figure out what to do with the leftovers. Should you toss them? But what about the time it took to prepare the salad and purchase the ingredients?
It can be frustrating to toss dishes out without being able to consume all of the food.
Well, typically, foods can be frozen to preserve them. So, now you’re thinking, can I freeze chicken salad to eat later?
Below you will find a complete guide to preserving chicken salad, including what ingredients can and can not be frozen.
Can you freeze homemade chicken salad?
A basic chicken salad usually consists of lettuce, cooked chicken, dressing, and add-ons like fruit pieces, cheese, and croutons.
If possible, when serving the chicken salad, offer the cooked chicken on the side. This will ensure it is easier to freeze the chicken after your family has eaten the dish instead of trying to pick out the chicken pieces later.
Unfortunately, lettuce, cheese, and croutons do not freeze well. These ingredients can be put in the fridge, where the salad should still be consumable for an additional day. After about a day, the lettuce begins to wilt and the quality of the salad lessons.
What about other types of chicken salad?
1. Can you freeze a chicken salad that has mayonnaise in it?
There are different types of chicken salad; one such salad is a creamy variety that includes mayonnaise. Mayonnaise is not suitable for freezing.
As there is no way to remove the mayonnaise from this salad, the best option is to create a smaller batch of chicken salad.
Prep the ingredients (chicken, celery, etc.) for more chicken salad, but leave them in separate dishes.
This allows you to mix more salad quickly if needed easily. Without the mayonnaise added in, the ingredients can be used for other recipes, and the chicken can be frozen.
What about other condiments like mayo?
2. Can you freeze chicken salad with mayo?
Is there a difference between mayonnaise and mayo?
Absolutely. Mayonnaise includes egg yolks. Mayo, on the other hand, does not include egg yolks. That’s the only difference.
Even though mayo does not contain egg yolks, it is still not suitable for freezing. The oil in the mayo will separate from the rest of the ingredients when defrosting.
Keep the ingredients separate. The condiments and vegetables can stay in the fridge, and the chicken can, of course, be frozen.
I bet you’re wondering if Miracle Whip makes chicken salad freezable.
3. Can you freeze chicken salad with Miracle Whip?
Miracle Whip, unlike mayo and mayonnaise, is freezer friendly.
Miracle Whip has a lower oil content which means less of a chance of the miracle whip separating upon defrosting. Plus, the taste of Miracle Whip tends to maintain itself during the freezing and defrosting time.
You can premix the Miracle Whip and Chicken before freezing. The remaining ingredients (vegetables) will still need to be kept in the refrigerator.
What about freezing salad with fruit in it?
4. Can you freeze chicken salad with grapes?
It is not recommended to freeze grapes as they take a long time to defrost.
This can result in chicken salad with difficult-to-eat grape pieces. Unless you want hard grapes in your chicken salad, avoid freezing the grapes.
What you can do is prepare the grapes the day of or a few days before by slicing them and keeping them in a container in the fridge.
5. Can you freeze chicken salad with Greek yogurt?
Most condiments do not freeze and defrost well. Specifically, anything that contains dairy is a no-no for the freezer. Do not freeze Greek yogurt with chicken salad as the liquids can separate while it is defrosting.
This will create a chicken salad with a liquid section that is unappetizing.
Keep the yogurt in the fridge with your other ingredients until you are ready to prepare and serve the salad.
What about other sources of protein?
6. Can you freeze chicken salad with eggs?
Raw eggs are freezable if the shell is removed. However, this does not apply, as most chicken salads include hardboiled eggs that are sliced. Hardboiled eggs are not freezable.
The taste is altered once you freeze pre-cooked eggs.
Hardboiled eggs can be cooked a few days ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator. Slice them as needed before preparing the salad.
So, is there any way to freeze chicken salad?
7. How do I freeze chicken salad?
Chicken salad is not an excellent food for freezing. However, there are sections of chicken salad that do perfectly well in the freezer. Check the guide below as a recap on which sections can be frozen and which cannot.
- Chicken: Definitely okay to freeze! Make sure to defrost well ahead of time to avoid pieces that are hard/frozen in the middle.
- Greens: Keep these in the fridge until ready to use. This will help the greens stay fresh and crisp.
- Mayonnaise/Mayo: Avoid freezing these at all costs. They will separate during defrosting.
- Miracle Whip: This can be frozen easily. Don’t be afraid to mix chicken with Miracle Whip before freezing together.
- Grapes: avoid freezing these. Pre-slice grapes and keep them in the fridge until you are preparing the salad.
- Greek yogurt: Avoid freezing this as well. Dairy never freezes well.
- Eggs: Keep these in the fridge. Eggs can be hardboiled ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for a few days.
What about keeping chicken salad in the fridge – can I keep eating it for a few days?
8. How long does homemade chicken salad last in the fridge?
The length of time that chicken salad lasts in the fridge depends on a few things. Take a look at the below information on how to keep your salad fresh for longer.
- Did the salad sit out on the counter? Leaving the salad out on the counter for a few hours or more can cause the salad to go bad. Do not try to preserve the salad that has been sitting out.
- Does the salad include greens? If so, the greens will be wilted after one day (with dressing). If not, the salad should last for about 3-5 days in the fridge.
- Is there dressing on the salad? Dressing usually causes green salads to wilt faster. If there is dressing, the salad is usually only good for one day in the fridge.
Tips for making your salads last longer:
- Refrigerate salad immediately after everyone has been served. If your friends want seconds, take the salad out to serve and then replace it in the fridge.
- Keep the dressing on the side if possible, to help avoid wilting leaves.
- Store salad in an airtight container to keep moisture out.
What if the salad is store-bought? Will that help it last longer?
9. Can I freeze Costco chicken salad?
Unfortunately, it is not recommended to freeze Costco chicken Salad. Some of the ingredients include sour cream, dressing, and eggs.
The texture will be off when it is defrosted, and the dairy will not freeze well.
Make sure to plan out your portions with Costco chicken salad to avoid having to throw out a large quantity.
What if it’s rotisserie chicken instead of chicken breast?
10. Can I freeze rotisserie chicken salad?
Most rotisserie chicken salads have very similar ingredients to a regular chicken salad recipe.
The main difference is the method of cooking the chicken. If the rotisserie chicken salad has any dairy, eggs, or vegetables in it (like celery), you should avoid freezing it.
I bet you’re wondering about freezing chicken salad from other stores as well.
11. Can I freeze Sam’s Club chicken salad?
Sam’s Club Chicken Salad is a much simpler recipe – only including mayonnaise, chicken, and celery. As both mayonnaise and celery do not do well in the freezer, this one is on the do not freeze list as well.
But can a chicken salad be frozen in other forms?
12. Can you freeze chicken salad sandwiches?
Certain sections of chicken salad sandwiches can be frozen, such as bread, chicken, and miracle whip. The chicken and miracle whip should be frozen separately from the bread.
The remaining ingredients (celery, eggs, etc.) should be kept in the refrigerator.
As a whole, chicken salad sandwiches are not great frozen. You will end up with soggy bread and a potentially off-tasting chicken salad.
Although chicken salad (both with greens and as a creamy recipe) is a delicious dish, it is best eaten immediately after making it. Or, within 1-5 days from the fridge, depending on the ingredients used.
Now that you have more details on chicken salad, you can create or buy chicken salad in the future knowing the best ways to preserve it.
Make sure to keep your ingredients refrigerated before preparing the salad, and you’re sure to have a great tasting dish for your next family get-together!