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Can You Freeze Quinoa Salad?

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By Ross Young

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Looking for a healthy lunch full of protein and nutrients? You can’t beat a quinoa salad! Packed full of healthy grains and your favourite salad, this is a tasty dish that is nutritious, easy to make and fits perfectly in your packed lunch.

It’s a handy meal to have around but can you store it easily too? Can you freeze quinoa salad ready for later?

The Quick Answer

No, you can’t freeze an assembled quinoa salad but you can freeze quinoa so that you always have cooked quinoa ready to go and make it into a delicious salad whenever you need it. You can freeze cooked quinoa for about eight months.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

How to Freeze Quinoa Salad

We wouldn’t recommend that you freeze a whole quinoa salad. You are likely to want to add ingredients that just don’t freeze well. This will depend on your ingredients, but if you have any salad ingredients, beans, or even cheeses, you won’t be able to freeze it.

What you can do is freeze cooked quinoa in handy portions so that all you need to do is grab out a packet of cooked quinoa, thaw it out and add it to the rest of your ingredients on the day you want to eat quinoa salad for lunch.

So, we have focused here on how you would freeze your cooked quinoa instead:

  1. Cook
    Cook your quinoa as you normally would. If you want to add a little extra flavour you could try cooking it in stock rather than plain water.
  2. Drain and Cool
    Drain and allow the cooked quinoa to cool completely.
  3. Divide Into Portions
    Next, you need to divide the quinoa into portions. Make sure your portion is about the size you want for your salad.
  4. Bag Up and Seal
    Pop these portions into freezer bags. Squeeze out any excess air and seal the bags tightly. To save space in the freezer you can also flatten the packets of cooked quinoa out and stack them in the freezer.
  5. Label
    Label the bags with the date and contents. If you are watching your waistline you could also add the amount and calories to the label so you know what you are eating.
  6. Freeze
    Pop these into the freezer and freeze them for up to eight months.

Can You Freeze Quinoa

3 Tips for Freezing Quinoa Salad

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

  • Assemble Overnight – Because you can’t freeze your quinoa salad fully assembled due to the different ingredients in the dish, you need to make your life as easy as possible, especially if you are rushed in the mornings. You can grab your quinoa salad out of the freezer the night before you need it and make your salad with the frozen grains. This might include adding plenty of herbs or a handful of pomegranate seeds.
  • Flavour and Label – To save yourself time and to make your quinoa salads interesting you can cook up a batch and divide it into portions. Add different flavourings and seasonings to each portion so that each portion has different flavours and then pop them into the freezer. Just don’t forget to add the flavour to the label too so you know what you are thawing out.
  • Keep it Airtight – As with most types of food, one of the secrets to keeping your quinoa tasting fresh even after it has been frozen is to keep it as airtight as possible while in the freezer. Make sure you have squeezed out the air from the bags before sealing and make sure they are fully sealed. If in doubt you can double bag the quinoa to make sure it remains fresh tasting.

How Long Can You Freeze Quinoa Salad?

You can’t freeze quinoa salad as a whole but luckily you can freeze cooked quinoa for about eight months.

You Can Freeze Quinoa Salad for up to 8 Months

How Do You Defrost Quinoa Salad?

Thawing out your quinoa is an easy process. You can just take the bag out of the fridge and put it into the fridge overnight. If you are worried about it leaking moisture into the fridge you can put it into a bowl first.

If you are planning on eating your quinoa straight away and warm then you can also defrost it by putting it into the microwave or cooking it from frozen. This is not suitable for quinoa salad but it is good to know if you want to add quinoa to another dish that is served hot.

Can You Refreeze Quinoa Salad?

No, you can’t refreeze quinoa salad or cooked quinoa. Unfortunately, there is always a risk of bacteria growth when cooling and heating food and this applies to grains like quinoa too.

Does Quinoa Salad Freeze Well?

Quinoa salad does not freeze well at all. If you tried then you may well end up disappointed. But, this is not because of the quinoa. The cooked quinoa should freeze fairly well! The problem occurs with the other ingredients. Many of these won’t freeze well and would ruin your quinoa salad.

Related FAQs

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

Can You Freeze Couscous Salad?

Instead of quinoa, perhaps you’ve knocked together a quick couscous salad. Well, can you freeze couscous salad?

Freeze Couscous Salad

Can You Freeze Cooked Quinoa with Vegetables?

You should be fine to freeze quinoa with cooked or roasted vegetables. However, there are a handful of vegetables that don’t freeze as well as others.

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