We live in a fast age where the only food that our younger generation loves is ‘fast food.’ So, the BBQs and chicken salads are nothing new to us. But, people generally ask me, ‘can you freeze chicken salad?’ The question is legitimate because chicken salads can be more expensive than vegetable salads. You would not mind throwing away your vegetable salad but think twice before dealing with your chicken salad in the same way.
So, Can You Freeze Chicken Salad?
My answer is a conditional YES. You can freeze chicken salad to make it last three months in the freezer. But, much depends on the ingredients used to make the salad.
Therefore, if your chicken salad does not contain mayonnaise and you remove the hard-boiled eggs, it is perfectly safe for freezing. Another significant point is that you should think twice before freezing chicken salad that has been sitting on your dining table for a few hours at room temperature.
My advice is that you should decide the amount of chicken salad you would consume in a single sitting. Then, you can safely freeze the rest of the salad without letting it lie on the dining table.
How Do You Freeze Chicken Salad?
The process is simple. We shall explain it step-by-step so that you do not miss any.
Step 1 – Get Your Container Ready
- Identify an airtight container and note down the date and contents. It is better to write down the date first because your container could get greasy after you finish adding your salad.
- Noting down the contents is helpful because it can help you pick up the right food when you need it. Almost all frozen foods can look the same.
Step 2 – Toss The Salad Well
- Tossing the salad well before freezing enables the ingredients to separate correctly. Otherwise, you could end up having a mess on your hands.
Step 3 – Place The Chicken Salad In The Container
- Use a large spoon to fill the container or sealable freezer bags with the salad.
- Ensure to stop after filling the bag halfway. Overfilling the freezer bag entails extended freezing times. At times, the bag can rupture.
- The freezer bag protects the salad from freezer burns that can change the salad ingredients and make it inedible.
Step 4 – Seal The Bag Well
- Remove excess air from the zip-lock bag to seal it properly. A good idea is to use the vacuum suction machine.
- However, airtight containers are the best because removing excess air from these containers is easy.
Place the container inside the freezer and allow it to frost.
How To Defrost Chicken Salad?
I would recommend going slow when defrosting chicken salad. The chicken salad contains dense meat chunks. The icy core can take time to thaw. You should not risk biting into a freezing meat chunk and damaging your teeth.
Speeding up the process by transferring the contents at room temperature or heating it in a microwave oven is a strict NO. Your chicken salad can lose its texture and flavor.
The best solution is to leave the chicken salad to defrost naturally inside the fridge. Unfortunately, it can take around eight hours for the ice to melt.
So, is there an alternative if you do not have the time to allow natural defrosting? Under such circumstances, you can transfer the salad to a waterproof bag. Seal it properly and place it in a bowl filled with tap water.
This process can speed up defrosting without affecting much flavor and taste.
Points To Note During The Defrosting Process
- You might notice a thin watery substance and a thicker liquid oozing out of the salad. Let the juices come out. There should not be any problem unless you try to mix the two.
- I would suggest pouring out the liquids into the kitchen sink. It is not fit for consumption.
- Finally, you have your wholly defrosted chicken salad ready to consume. You can add a few vegetable toppings, coriander leaves, and roasted almonds.
How Long Can You Freeze Chicken Salad?
Dietary experts recommend a maximum of three months. However, from personal experience, I would recommend consuming the salad within one month of freezing it. Freezing it for extended periods can affect its flavor.
Here are some queries that people frequently make concerning freezing chicken salad.
Can You Freeze Chicken Salad With Mayo?
No, it is not advisable to freeze chicken salad with mayo because mayo does not freeze well.
Can You Freeze Chicken Salad with Miracle Whip?
Compared to mayonnaise, Miracle Whip has less oil content. Therefore, it does not separate when defrosting. Hence, you can freeze chicken salad with Miracle whip.
Can You Freeze Chicken Salad Made with Yogurt/Greek Yogurt?
The chicken salad texture can change if you freeze it with yogurt. However, there is no change in the nutritional value. Nevertheless, it is not recommended to freeze chicken salad made with yogurt / Greek yogurt because dairy products do not share a good affinity with the freezer. In addition, the liquids can separate during the defrosting process.
Is It Possible To Freeze Chicken Salad Sandwiches?
Yes, you can freeze chicken salad sandwiches if you use Miracle Whip instead of mayo. It is ideal to wrap your sandwiches in plastic wrap and place them inside a sealable freezer bag.
Can You Freeze Chicken Salad with Grapes?
Frozen grapes can become mushy when defrosted. So, freezing your chicken salad with grapes is not a bright idea.
Can You Freeze Costco Chicken Salad?
We do not recommend freezing Costco chicken salad because the ingredients include eggs, sour cream, and dressings. All the ingredients do not freeze well, resulting in the salad losing its texture when defrosted.
You can see that freezing chicken salad is not an issue, provided you follow the procedure discussed here. If your children demand fast food and chicken salad, you can satisfy their appetite comfortably. If I ask you now, ‘Can you freeze chicken salad,’ you will undoubtedly reply in the affirmative.