Have you ever experienced getting full way before you finish your meal? I know it’s a waste to throw that perfect chicken salad away.
But what if you can preserve it for next time? This article will tackle ways of keeping food and answer the question, ‘can you freeze chicken salad?’.
Is It Possible?
To answer this question, freezing chicken salad is very much possible. Most of the time, salads made in bulk will have some leftovers that can be too much for a single person to finish in a week.
Freezing can help in this situation, so you can have chicken salad whenever possible. It can also be helpful for moms and dads who have less time to prepare their lunch or breakfast because of chores or work.
Having frozen chicken salad stored in your refrigerator for easy defrosting will help give you the proper nutrients you need without sacrificing too much time.
There are some things to be considered before you freeze your chicken salad. Still, once they are checked out, you can store your frozen chicken salad inside your refrigerator for up to three months.
But remember that in some cases, the salad might not taste the same as before, or the textures don’t feel too right anymore. Continue reading below to find out how you can solve some of these problems and figure out how to retain the flavors of a frozen chicken salad.
Things to Consider before Freezing Chicken Salad
Just like we mentioned in the previous section, there are some things that you should consider before freezing chicken salad.
These factors will affect how your chicken salad will taste once you thaw it out, or it can also determine if you’d be able to freeze your salad in the first place. Let’s not waste time and dive into it, shall we?
The first factor to consider in freezing chicken salad is knowing all the ingredients included in making it. Most people use mayonnaise as their base for salads because they mix well with other ingredients.
However, if you’re planning to freeze your salad, you may want to think twice about it. Mayonnaise, when frozen, will form clumps that will be harder to thaw out and drastically affect the taste of your thawed-out salad.
Like Mayonnaise, yogurt doesn’t freeze too well, which can also be the same problem for you. If you want to play it safe, you can use whipped salad dressing as your base since it freezes very well, and you’ll still have that soft salad base once it’s thawed.
Also, consider egg whites which may have a rubbery texture after freezing, and other texture ingredients like nuts or crunchy fruits and vegetables, which may lose their crispness once frozen.
The other factor to consider before freezing your chicken salad is waiting time. Make sure your salad hasn’t stayed at room temperature for more than two hours because it will spoil even if you freeze it out.
Refrigerated chicken salad is good to be frozen, even if it has stayed there for more than a day. Always follow all necessary steps to freeze your chicken salad correctly.
Freezing Chicken Salad the Right Way
Now that we’ve checked everything out, it’s time to learn how to freeze chicken salad correctly. Generally, there are many ways in which you can store chicken salad, but this one will explain it to you step by step.
The first thing you need to do is to prepare your storage containers or bags. You may use resealable bags or airtight containers to ensure no air can enter.
If you want to secure them nicely, you may put the salad in resealable bags before putting it inside the airtight container. By doing this, you can divide the salad based on how much serving you want a per meal and get one from the container whenever you feel like eating chicken salad.
Next, make sure to toss your salad before storing it. This will help balance out the ingredients and mix them well to avoid clumps of ingredients stuck together when keeping.
Please give it a good toss until you see that all components are mixed together and not clumped. Once you’re sure, the salad is ready to be placed in your chosen storage bags or containers.
Grab a large spoon, one that’s big enough for the size of resealable bags you prefer. Ensure the containers won’t be filled to the brim and leave enough space inside.
Once you’ve poured enough salad for a serving, remove as much air as possible before closing the bags. Then, place it in the airtight container for double protection from freezer burns.
Once you’re finished storing all the salad in resealable bags and airtight containers, make sure to close the lid securely.
Label the cover with the words ‘chicken salad’ along with the time and date of when you stored it inside your refrigerator. This will help organize your freezer and give you a sense of how long the food has been held.
Defrosting Chicken Salad the Right Way
When defrosting chicken salad, you first need to move the salad from the freezer to your refrigerator. If you prepare it proportionally, you can take the plastic out of it and move it to the fridge.
Don’t be too hasty. Make sure to let it thaw out on its own so prepare it a few hours before your meal. Please do not put it inside the microwave or leave it on the counter since it may spoil the salad immediately.
Knowing how you should thaw your salad is essential since it can have a massive impact on the final taste. When forced to melt quickly, the chicken meat may leave a cold core that wouldn’t feel too good to eat.
Generally, it will take six to eight hours for your salad to defrost thoroughly, so prepare it beforehand. Rushing the process may cause a decline in the textures and flavor of your chicken salad.
However, if you are in a rush to have your meal, there is a way in which you can defrost the salad quickly. Put tap water into a bowl that’s big enough to submerge your plastic.
Once the salad is thawed, you will see two different liquids in the plastic. We recommend draining it down the sink because it can cause a foul smell and taste and ruin your meal.
After draining the salad, now’s the time for you to add a few ingredients and make your chicken salad great. You may add some base sauce like mayonnaise or salad dressing and some croutons or crunchy vegetables and fruits to add some texture to your salad.
All that’s left is plating it and enjoying the yummy goodness that is your chicken salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
After knowing how to freeze and defrost your chicken salad, it’s time to answer some of the frequently asked questions regarding the topic.
This section will give you some insight into the questions that need to be answered and may serve as helpful tips to guide you in the process. Without further ado, here are the two most commonly asked questions when it comes to freezing and thawing chicken salad.
How long does frozen chicken salad last?
Once your chicken salad is frozen in your freezer, you can leave it there for up to three months. Make sure that it’s tightly sealed, and check on it from time to time so that you can see if there is spoilage.
Even though it can last three months, eating the chicken salad within a month is still recommended.
The longer it stays inside your freezer, the more flavor and texture it will lose and the blander it will get. For fresher chicken and better flavor and texture, eat the frozen chicken salad within a few weeks of storing it.
How to determine a spoiled chicken salad?
If you are storing salad made with mayonnaise, it’s easier to be contaminated and eventually spoil. However, spoilage may occur no matter the ingredients for as long as the container is not secure.
To find out if your chicken salad has spoiled already, you may use the odor as the first indicator. If it has an odd smell, throw it out immediately. Another indicator is a mushy texture which makes it not edible anymore.
If you see a watery substance in your chicken salad, do not worry, it’s still edible. Just make sure to drain out the water once you thaw the chicken salad.
To sum it all up, it is safe to freeze chicken salad so you can enjoy it again next time. This technique can also be pretty helpful for parents with too much to do in the house and less time for food preparations. We hope we can answer your question, ‘can you freeze chicken salad?’.