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Can You Freeze Potato Salad?

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By Olivia Sheppard

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Potato salad is a dish loved by many, whether it’s part of a buffet or picnic. Potato salad is often a dish that is made in bulk for large parties, so if you can’t give away leftovers, how should you store them?

Can You Freeze Potato Salad?

Yes, you can freeze potato salad for up to 3 months. However, it’s not the best thing to freeze, especially if it has been made with mayo or sour cream dressings, which will split and turn grainy.

Does Potato Salad Freeze Well? No

Can You Refreeze Potato Salad? No

How to Freeze Potato Salad

Potato salad, whilst a simple dish to make, is a more complicated dish to freeze.

You may notice slight changes in the texture or appearance of the salad, depending on what ingredients were used.

However, regardless of whether you have used a mayonnaise, sour cream or oil base, you can still freeze leftover potato salad as long as you follow the steps below:

  1. Select an Airtight Container: An airtight container will prevent any oxygen from getting to the food when it has frozen, which you want to avoid. An airtight container will help to protect your dish against freezer burn, which can completely ruin the taste and texture of the potato salad.
  2. Fill the Container: Transfer your potato salad into the container, but leave around an inch gap from the top to allow room for expansion once the food has been frozen.
  3. Label: It’s essential to label all frozen food to ensure that you don’t surpass its use-by date, but it is especially important for a food product that contains sour cream or mayonnaise.
  4. Freeze: Finally, pop the container into the freezer where it can be kept for around 3 months.

You can also use a freezer bag to freeze your classic potato salad recipe. If using a freezer bag, opt for the best quality you can find, ensuring it seals tightly.

3 Tips for Freezing Potato Salad

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

Consider If You Need to Freeze It
Freezing potato salad can be tricky, and it will impact the flavour and texture once thawed, so before you freeze it, do consider if you can keep it in the fridge or divvy it up to friends and family as leftovers. 

Use Airtight Containers
You should always use airtight containers when freezing food, but especially for anything that contains an egg product like mayonnaise. This is to prevent bacteria from entering the food and spoiling the dish. 

Opt for Individual Portions
If you’re not confident you will use your leftover frozen potato salad all in one go, put it in individual pots and freeze. This will ensure you can keep it in the freezer longer and you only have to defrost what you are going to use.

How Long Can You Freeze Potato Salad?

Potato salad should be consumed within 3 months of freezing.

The reason why potato salad doesn’t last as long as other products are due to the mayonnaise or sour cream, which degrade much faster. Within just a few weeks, the dressing will have split and turned grainy, unfortunately.  

How Long Does Potato Salad Last in the Fridge?

Homemade potato salad can be kept in the fridge for around 5 days. It should be stored in a covered bowl or airtight container.

How Do You Defrost Potato Salad?

When you come to defrost your potato salad, if the salad that you froze has an oil or vinegar base, then it will likely come out looking rather cloudy.

This is normal, and the cloudiness should disappear once you have thoroughly defrosted and stirred the salad. 

The easiest way to defrost potato salad is to leave it out at room temperature.

However, keep an eye on how long it has been out at room temperature, as if your potato salad contains egg or egg products (like mayonnaise or tartar sauce), the chances of bacterial growth at room temperature are much higher.

Potato Salad

Consuming any foods left out at room temperature for too long could cause you to be very ill. 

Another thing to note is that if your salad did contain mayonnaise, the sauce is likely to separate from the base ingredients once it has been thawed. 

Can You Refreeze Potato Salad?

No, it is not recommended that you refreeze potato salad once it has already been defrosted.

Given how hard it can be to defrost correctly, it’d also be a lot of effort to re-freeze and defrost all over again, so it’s best to thaw everything you have left (unless stored in individual portions).

Does Potato Salad Freeze Well?

Unlike other potato-based dishes such as mashed potatoes or potato soup, potato salad doesn’t freeze well, especially if it’s covered in mayonnaise or sour cream-based dressings.

Mayonnaise tends to separate once frozen, and when it defrosts, the texture and flavour will be off. You’ll have better luck freezing potato salad that’s been dressed with a non-dairy oil-based vinaigrette, like German potato salad.

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

Can You Freeze Shop Bought Potato Salad?

No, this is not a good idea. Most shop-bought potato salad dishes will be coated in a dairy or egg-based dressing which will become ruined entirely once frozen and thawed.

What Can You Do With Leftover Potato Salad?

Instead of freezing it, try to consume it within 4 to 5 days. It can be used as a sandwich or jacket potato filling or even blended with more mayo for a quick dip.

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