Parties aren’t parties without a good ‘ol serving of chicken salad. Let’s face it, when preparing for a celebration (whatever it may be) chicken salad is at the top of the list when you’re making your party menu.
The fact that chicken salad has proven its versatility in parties for decades makes it a huge win for anyone who wants to keep their guests healthy and happy. You can basically serve chicken salad as your means of an appetizer, a main course, or if you want, a side dish.
Yes, chicken salad is the perfect recipe for people who always have their plates full.
With that being said, the last thing we want when we’re hosting a party is running out of food. Not only is it embarrassing for the host, but it’s extremely inconvenient for your guests.
That’s why one of the best ways to avoid this from happening is by overestimating the food you serve, but what can you do with the leftovers? This leads us to the question of: Can you freeze chicken salad?
So, Can You Freeze Chicken Salad?
When we talk about it literally, you have the power to freeze anything you like as long as you own a freezer, which means this is a no-brainer question: Yes, you can freeze chicken salad!
So, save your leftover chicken salad from the party you just threw because you can put it into good use.
While it’s true that we may encounter a bit of a problem when it goes down to the salad’s mayonnaise or yogurt (depending on which of the two you prefer to use), it certainly doesn’t stop us from thawing it out later for snacks.
If you’re an adventurous cook – or you’ve been watching your mom make chicken salad while you were growing up – then you’d know that there’s more than one way to prepare this dish.
However, what doesn’t change is that the fresh ingredients you use for your recipe wouldn’t be as appreciated if you don’t use yogurt or mayonnaise for the dressing. With that being said, it’s important to remember that yogurt and mayonnaise have the tendency to separate after freezing.
TAKE NOTE: Don’t freeze your chicken salad if the dish has already been exposed to high temperature, been taken out outdoors, or have been sitting still at room temperature for a number of hours.By this time, bacteria have already started developing on your salad, which makes it unsafe to consume after freezing.
When you’re creating chicken salad in bulk, you need to make sure you are serving it gradually as you can. It’s pointless to serve all it at once; it’s most likely just going to spoil.
The rest of the chicken salad should be put inside the refrigerator. This ensures that you’re giving your guests fresh salad per serving, and you’re protecting your salad from the exposure of bacteria. Also, the salad you placed in the ref is safer to freeze and will last longer.
How Long Should Chicken Salad Stay In The Freezer?
Here’s the best part – you don’t have to worry about your chicken salad of going bad anytime soon because it’s safe to store it in your freezer for more than three months. It highly depends on you store your leftover chicken salad.
It’s impossible to give an accurate number as to how long because there are some factors to consider.
For instance, if you put your chicken salad into one big container and just thaw it out for a serving or two, and you it back to the freezer, then there’s a high possibility that you’ll only end up shortening your frozen chicken salad.
But then again, the ingredients you used in making chicken salad is also at play.
How Do You Freeze Chicken Salad?
Let’s face it; freezing chicken salad doesn’t require much of an effort to do so. All you need is to have a functioning freezing, a couple of containers, and well, that’s basically it!
What we want is to maximize the space of your freezer as much as we can, so avoid purchasing large containers for the job. Just get a container that’s enough to hold your leftover salad and stick it inside your freezer.
If you have time to kill or your freezer space is limited, then pack your chicken salad in freezer bags. Just scoop a serving or two in each bag. By using this method, you’ll save a lot of freezer space.
Also, individually packing your chicken salad will save you the time of thawing one huge batch to get only a few servings, it makes a neat life hack!
If you’re freezing your chicken salad with either yogurt or mayonnaise, then take the time to give it a real nice stir in order to blend the ingredients perfectly. This will help you save when you separate the chicken salad after the thawing process.
Here are some of the effective freezing procedures that I’ve been following whole my life – keep these in mind for an easier process:
- Put your chicken salad in freezing portions in which you think are enough for one serving. This will make things faster for you for the time when you do get some.
- You can use resealable plastic bags for the job or you can even opt for airtight containers to put your salad in your ideal portions. Always remember to get rid of the excess air via squeezing the plastic bag.You can go for vacuum sealers in this case as it’s the best option. Just put in mind that all plastic containers should be tightly sealed to keep your chicken salad edible the next time around.
- It’s best to put a label of each portion with the date you’ve put it in the freezer, this is for tracking purposes. This will guide you in making sure that it’s still safe to eat, so remember to use a permanent marker for this reason.
- While it’s not exactly necessary, it’d be best if you the container in the frostiest area of the freezer. This will lengthen the time of your chicken salad up to three months and above.
What’s The Thawing Process?
After placing your chicken salad inside your freezer for conserving purposes, the next step you have to think about is the thawing process. Don’t worry, you don’t need to do any special preparation, but you do need to know when you’re going to need your serving of the good ‘ol chicken salad.
With that being said, you have to remove the chicken salad from the freezer and leave it in the fridge the night prior. The follow morning, you can expect to see a nice-looking chicken salad.
There are times where the chicken salad might be a bit watery, but don’t worry about it. Quickly drain the excess water and you’re done.
Make sure you aren’t thawing your salad at room temperature; this only exposes your dish to bacteria when you do so.
Once you have thawed your chicken salad, don’t put it back to the freezer. Once you have already taken the salad out already, then be sure to use it. Consume your chicken salad within two to three days after thawing. As for the left overs, make sure to dispose of it properly.
What Should You Do After Thawing?
Once you have thawed your chicken salad, then you can put it into good use. However, there are some nifty tips and tricks you can apply, so you can enjoy your chicken salad to its full potential.
- As mentioned before, drain the excess water from your container. Do this before you put the chicken salad into your serving dish. Keeping the excess water will only make the salad watery and bland.
- Stir your chicken salad perfectly and mix the ingredients together for the desired blend. This process will make the zest evenly spread all over your salad.
- If you like to enhance the salad’s texture and consistency, then you may put cornstarch and stir it up again. The fastest way to do this is to put more fresh mayonnaise into the mix.
- Since thawed chicken salad can’t beat the taste of a freshly made dish, then you may use your leftover salad as a sandwich filling. Making it an ingredient for your homemade pasta salad works as well.
- Put more color to your chicken salad. Meaning, add fresh fruits, greens, and even sliced vegetables. It’ll make the outcome fresher and more appealing.
- Add a pinch of salt to make the salad alive again. You can also put a dash of ground pepper to give you the desired kick of the chicken salad dish.
Can I freeze it with other dressings besides mayonnaise or yogurt?
It is best to avoid freezing chicken salad with dressings that contain dairy or sour cream, as they tend to separate when thawed. However, you can try freezing chicken salad with dressings that are oil-based, such as vinaigrettes or Italian dressing.
Can I freeze chicken salad with nuts or fruits?
While it is possible to freeze chicken salad with nuts or fruits, they may become mushy or lose their texture when thawed. It is best to add these ingredients after thawing the chicken salad.
How long can I store frozen salad?
You can store frozen chicken salad for up to three months in a freezer that maintains a temperature of 0°F (-18°C) or lower.
Can I refreeze the chicken salad that has been thawed?
It is not recommended to refreeze chicken salad that has been thawed, as it may increase the risk of bacterial growth and spoilage.
Can I freeze the salad that has been left out at room temperature for a few hours?
No, it is not safe to freeze chicken salad that has been left out at room temperature for a few hours, as it may contain harmful bacteria.
Can I freeze chicken salad that contains cooked eggs?
It is not recommended to freeze chicken salad that contains cooked eggs, as they may become rubbery or tough when thawed.
Can I freeze salad that contains avocado?
It is not recommended to freeze chicken salad that contains avocado, as they may turn brown and lose their texture when thawed. It is best to add avocado after thawing the chicken salad.
Can I freeze it if it has been previously frozen?
It is not recommended to refreeze chicken salad that has been previously frozen, as it may decrease the quality and texture of the salad.
Can I freeze it in a glass container?
It is best to avoid freezing chicken salad in glass containers, as they may break or shatter when exposed to extreme temperatures. It is recommended to use plastic containers or freezer bags instead.
Can I thaw in the microwave?
It is not recommended to thaw frozen chicken salad in the microwave, as it may cause uneven thawing and affect the texture of the salad. It is best to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
What are you waiting for? Now that we have answered the age-old question: Can you freeze chicken salad – then you’re free to go and host the party you’ve been planning about.
In fact, you have the choice to make your chicken salad in advance and freeze it out later, so you’ll have enough time to plan for the event (if you’re running low on time, that is.)
All in all, preparing chicken salad is a practical solution for all of the busy bees out there. If this helped you out, make sure to share it to your friends and family!