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Can You Freeze Macaroni Salad?


By Lewis Brindley

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Whether served at a BBQ or as a quick and easy lunch, macaroni salad is delicious, versatile and crowd-pleasing. But, what is the best way to store it?

Can You Freeze Macaroni Salad?

Yes, you can freeze macaroni salad for up to 2 weeks. Transfer the salad into a freezer bag before pressing out excess air and sealing. Then, transfer the macaroni salad to the centre of your freezer.

Does Macaroni Salad Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Macaroni Salad? No

How to Freeze Macaroni Salad

Sadly, freezing macaroni salad isn’t quite as simple as making it. To ensure success every time, we recommend following our steps.

  1. Bag Up: Portion the macaroni salad into freezer bags. You could use one large bag, but it’s far better to freeze it individual portions – just make sure you get an even distribution of ingredients.
  2. Remove Excess Air and Seal: Seal the bag 90% of the way and push the excess out through the remaining gap before quickly sealing. This is the best way to seal it without too much air.
  3. Label: Write a clear label on the bag outlining the contents and the date.
  4. Freeze: Finally, pop the macaroni salad bags into the freezer, ideally away from the front.

3 Tips for Freezing Macaroni Salad

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing macaroni salad to have the best results:

Use Your Own Dressings
Macaroni salad contains a whole host of ingredients, and one of them is commonly mayonnaise. Mayonnaise does not freeze well, as the emulsion breaks down during freezing. Instead, use your own non-egg-based dressing for the macaroni salad that is to be stored in the freezer.

Freeze In Portions
Freezing macaroni salad in individual portions is a wise choice, as it will allow you to make sure that the salad is never thawed unnecessarily. That would damage the consistency of the pasta.

Consider the Weakest Ingredient
Macaroni salad will freeze as well as the weakest ingredient in the dish. You need to consider what ingredient will not freeze well. Dairy and mayonnaise-based dressings will not freeze well nor will high-water content items such as tomatoes.

Macaroni Salad

How Long Can You Freeze Macaroni Salad?

You can freeze macaroni salad for up to 2 weeks.

The reason that we wouldn’t advise freezing for any longer than this is the water content in the pasta. Over time, that will lose a lot of texture while frozen. No one wants mushy macaroni!

How Long Does Macaroni Salad Last in the Fridge?

Macaroni salad can be kept in a covered dish in the fridge for up to 4 days. After just a day or two, however, some of the ingredients will become a little softer.

How Do You Defrost Macaroni Salad?

The best way to defrost macaroni salad is to place it into the fridge. This slow thawing process will decrease the chances of the mayo in the dressing splitting, leading to a better final product.

You could also allow it to thaw at room temperature or in a basin of warm water. The problem with those more rapid methods, though, is that they can make the salad runnier.

Can You Refreeze Macaroni Salad?

We would not advise refreezing macaroni salad.

The freezing, thawing and refreezing process can play havoc with the textures of the salad, especially the pasta, the main element! If you don’t mind mushy, soft pasta then it is safe to refreeze but it won’t be enjoyable to eat.

Does Macaroni Salad Freeze Well?

Yes, macaroni salad does freeze well!

The trick is to ensure that it thaws slowly, so make sure that you place the frozen macaroni salad into your fridge, where it will thaw to fridge temperature very slowly overnight.

If you’ve still got questions about freezing macaroni salad or macaroni in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Macaroni Salad with a Mayo Dressing?

Yes, macaroni salad with a mayo dressing can be frozen but expect the dressing to split a little. You can prevent this somewhat by thawing it as slowly as possible in the fridge overnight.

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