Everyone loves Chicken Salad! Well, that’s a bold statement, but my family and I absolutely love it. It’s a great dish to prepare for family gatherings, picnics, and parties. But when you prepare any large quantities of food, inevitably there will be times that you make way too much and you don’t know what to do with the leftovers. So what options do you have — can you freeze chicken salad? Is there a right way of doing it? Will it taste the same after thawing and many more.
The answer to those questions is YES. You can definitely freeze your chicken salad. The easiest and simplest way to keep your food for future use is to freeze it, and chicken salad is no exception. However, the way we prepare this traditional chicken dish is vital in contributing to the durability and usability of the salad while you store it in the freezer and after you thaw it.
Carefully read the following article for some great strategies/rules that should be considered before preparing and freezing your chicken salad. And if you’re missing any of those important kitchen items to help you prepare your meal, check out our Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Essentials.
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Rules To Consider Before Freezing The Chicken Salad
Here are certain things that you should keep in mind before freezing your chicken salad.
- You would need to taste the salad first. The primary rule of freezing is that if the food item is not good in taste, freezing will worsen the flavor. So it’s better not to freeze the salad if the taste is terrible and chuck it out.
- Avoid freezing chicken salad with a dressing of mayonnaise, yogurt, egg, crunchy scallions, celery vegetables, etc., as these ingredients are temperature sensitive (not a good candidate for freezing). Mayonnaise and yogurt will split and separate after thawing, and the crunchy vegetable will lose its flavor and texture. If you have to use these dressings, stir the salad to blend it well and give it maximum consistency after thawing.
Pro tip: Try to freeze your chicken salad and the dressing separately.
- Use ingredients that freeze better, like coconut milk, Miracle Whip, whipped salad dressing, and dairy-free substitute dressings, as these types of dressing keep quite well in the freezer.
- Don’t freeze the chicken salad that has been sitting out in the kitchen for a long time. Freeze it within an hour or as soon as possible to avoid any contamination. Chicken salads that have been out under the sun can lead to bacteria on the surface layer of the chicken salad, making it unsafe and unhealthy.
- Divide the salad into decent portion sizes and freeze in vacuum-sealed bags or airtight containers to enhance shelf-life. Do remove any extra liquid from the salad before sealing and after thawing.
- You should never freeze the chicken salad after thawing it.
- It is generally safe to freeze sufficiently refrigerated chicken salads for an extended period.
Step-by-step Guide On How To Freeze Your Chicken Salad
If you are wondering how to go about the freezing process, here is a 6 step guide to help you out.
Make it a habit to refrigerate the extra chicken salad between servings. Leaving the salad sitting out can lead to contamination.
Take two spoons and mix the salad well to keep the dressing intact and minimize clumping.
Partition your chicken salad into small and manageable portions. Then scoop the salad portions into resealable freezer plastic bags or airtight containers. This way, you can thaw required portions as needed. Moreover, this will ensure that the salad’s ingredients are not crumpled and smashed while in the freezer.
Before vacuum sealing the airtight bags, squeeze out the excess air by pressing down gently. A vacuum sealer gadget will be handy in this case. Adopting this technique will reduce any chance of the salad becoming soggy and avoid bacterial growth due to excess air.
After sealing the bags, stick a label or write down the date of freezing. This way, you’ll know how long the salad has been in the freezer. Discard any salad from the freezer if held for more than three months.
Lastly, flatten the chicken salad bags and place them horizontally in the freezer, i.e., in a flat position. Store the bags in the coldest part of the freezer.
Your chicken salad freezing process is now completed. You can thaw it whenever you crave for some more.
How to Make Chicken Salad
Basic Chicken Salad is made with lean chicken breast, Mayo, Lemon Juice, and Celery. I also like to add Almonds and Raisins or Grapes. Here’s a great Classic recipe I found for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Can We Keep The Chicken Salad In The Freezer?
A chicken salad can last for a maximum of 3 months in a freezer, depending on the ingredients and process of freezing. However, it is recommended to use it within a month if you do not compromise on flavor and texture.
How To Thaw A Frozen Chicken Salad?
The chicken salad thawing method requires effort. Don’t thaw the chicken salad at room temperature. Take out the sealed bag from the freezer and place it in the fridge for some hours. Only take it out of the fridge once it’s completely thawed. Drain the excess liquid, if any, and toss & stir all the ingredients. You can add fresh fruits, sliced veggies, and fresh seasoning to improve the texture and flavor.
Note: The chicken salad that had been thawed out must be consumed within two to three days of thawing. Don’t refreeze a thawed salad.
How To Detect If The Chicken Salad Is Spoiled Or Turned Bad?
After thawing, smell the chicken salad. It has gone bad if it gives off an unpleasant smell or taste and is no longer safe to eat. Again, if the salad’s color is brownish or grey, or you can see a growth of slime or fuzz on the surface layer, the salad is spoiled. Discard it immediately.
Chicken salads are one of the most healthy options to serve in any social gathering. Hence, try not to throw or waste such a delicious recipe and use as many leftovers as you can. You can appropriately save your chicken salad without affecting its taste and freshness by following the above guidelines.
So, now that you have the complete knowledge of freezing your chicken salad, it is time to arrange a party and prepare the most mouthwatering dish for your loved ones in advance.
Read also: Can You Freeze Almond Milk?