Can You Freeze Chicken Salad? Useful Tips

Handy Tips For Daily Use

Written by Elisa Chan. Updated on Chicken Salad

Whenever we have some spare food left, the only way we can save it is to freeze the leftovers. However, certain dishes are more demanding when it comes to freezing and further defrosting since both these procedures can degrade their quality significantly.

For instance, chicken salad is one of such dishes.

Have you ever asked yourself a question: “Can you freeze chicken salad?”. 

Well, today the answer will be revealed!

Factors to Consider Before Freezing Chicken Salad

When we are about freezing certain food, we usually don’t bother much about the basic requirements regarding this process. And that is a big mistake since different foods react to frost differently.

The poultry mix is not an exception.

Prior tossing the rest of your favorite foodstuff to the frosting camera, double-check that you consider several handy hints that might help to avoid fatal mistakes and ruin the dish even worse.

  1. Since poultry mix has some veggies like celery and/or scallions that are rather susceptible to frost, their presence raises the possibility for this foodstuff to spoil
  2. This sort of product requires mayo or yogurt as a dressing. Both these condiments tend to separate after defrosting, besides, they will most likely turn rancid when we try to heat the dish up
  3. Another bad thing about mayo is that it often creates clumps after being defrosted which, let’s agree, doesn’t make the whole dish look appetizing

What shall we do then, you may ask? Indeed, such issues can make you feel like this salad is impossible to freeze but it is not true!

You will only have to memorize several useful tricks to make chicken salad last longer!

How to Freeze Chicken Salad?

So you have made a batch of chicken salad and now it’s time to toss it to frosting camera. What shall we start with?

The very first thing to remember is that no dressing is allowed prior to freezing! No matter whether you are going to make a traditional mayo-containing dish or you’d like to substitute mayonnaise with some other, more durable dressing (for instance, whipped dressing for salads, pesto, olive oil, or mustard), having a liquid component that tends to separate won’t make any good.

Also, exclude greens since they don’t tolerate frost too much.

So the second the dish is prepared, only several simple actions are needed to be taken.

HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN SALAD | 3 easy healthy chicken salad recipesHOW TO MAKE CHICKEN SALAD | 3 easy healthy chicken salad recipes
  1. If a lot of this foodstuff was made, split it up. Put aside the part that’s going to be consumed right now, and do the same to the one that’s going to be preserved. 
  2. Prepare a freezer-resistant tank with a tight lid that stops air (re-sealable plastic packet will also be fine).
  3. Transfer the foodstuff into the tank/packet, and remove the air out of the package.
  4. Close it tightly and toss to the frosting camera.
Factors to Consider Before Freezing Chicken Salad
Photo by Alina Chernysheva on Unsplash

Condiment must be added right before serving when the foodstuff is completely defrosted.

Like this, you will manage to keep it crisp and fresh longer (for three months or so) without transforming the foodstuff into a mushy mess.

Shelf Life And Thawing Suggestions

How to Make Traditional Chicken SaladHow to Make Traditional Chicken Salad

Well, it’s all clear now with freezing but what about the storage? If chicken salad is so picky when frozen, isn’t it the same demanding regarding storage conditions? And what about defrosting it? How it must be done correctly?

Well, these are all inquiries that are asked all the time by those who are not familiar with basic storage and preservation regulations.

Let’s answer them one by one.

How to Freeze Chicken Salad
Photo by Travis Yewell on Unsplash
  1. As for unfreezing, the optimal option is to let the foodstuff stay refrigerated overnight. Such a method allows it to unfreeze slowly and properly without causing any harm to it. Besides, it saves the texture, too.
  2. After the foodstuff is completely soft, add dressing and veggies, stir everything thoroughly, and the course is ready to go to the table!
  3. If it so happened that no time is left, try to immerse the tank with the foodstuff into the tank with tap water to make the thawing process faster (make sure no water gets inside the salad packet!).

As for the shelf life of chicken salad, here we also have several things that are useful to know about to not screw up the food.

Fridge Freezer
Salad with dressing 3-5 days tightly sealed Freezing is not recommended due to separating
Salad without dressing About a week Stock it for 3 months

As you can see, it is not so complicated to deal with this sort of foodstuff. A couple of hints and you will cook it and preserve it like a pro!

Hints For Avoiding Contamination

Since this sort of foodstuff contains meat and dressing that has eggs in it, it makes this foodstuff predisposed to spoilage and contamination processes.

Naturally, we would like to protect our foodstuff from such troubles.

How long can you freeze chicken salad
Photo by sheri silver on Unsplash

To achieve this, always follow several simple suggestions:

  1. Freeze the homemade salad on the day you made it. Like this, it will be the freshest and will last longer frozen
  2. Before preserving, we advise you to chill the foodstuff in the fridge since exposing it to frost warm will lead to faster spoilage.
  3. Never leave the poultry mix unchilled for a long period of time since mayo can turn bad sooner than expected.
  4. If one bought some commercially made salad, it’s better to freeze it right past it was opened.

And remember that, if this salad stayed unchilled for too long, don’t even think of preserving it, simply throw it away since the risk of contamination is too high!

How long will Costco chicken salad last
Photo by Angela Bailey on Unsplash

How to Tell If Chicken Salad Has Gone Bad?

What if the worst thing happened and you suspect your poultry blend is off?

Is it possible to define the spoiled product for sure?


Yes, it is! And here is how it can be done:

  1. If the foodstuff is too mushy
  2. If it smells off and/or weirdly, especially after defrosting

discard it instantly since it is already spoiled.

Some people think by mistake that watery salad is also bad but if it smells and looks fine, then it is ok to consume. Excess liquid could appear after defrosting and it can be easily removed.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Can Chicken Salad be frozen for later use?

Yes, it can, only make sure you expose it to frost without the dressing since it can lead to sooner spoilage.

⭐ Can you freeze Costco chicken salad?

Commercially packed salads are ok to preserve, too. However, it is best to be done right after the packet is opened. Don’t wait too long!

⭐ Can you freeze salads with mayonnaise?

Mayo tends to separate easily and it’s actually not good for frosting. That is why it’s recommended to add it to dishes after they were defrosted.

⭐ What happens if you freeze mayonnaise?

Frozen mayo will first of all separate after defrosting. Besides, eggs, oil, and vinegar it contains will make it spoil faster.

⭐ Can you freeze pasta salad with mayonnaise?

Pasta and mayo combination is not the best variant for freezing. First of all, because it will spoil much sooner after thawing, and second, it will turn into a mushy oily mess when defrosted.

⭐ Can you freeze Sam's chicken salad?

Any commercially made foodstuff of this kind can be frozen, however, make sure you do it right after it was opened.

Written by
Elisa is a passionate cook who will advise you on healthy and delicious food topics! With her help, you will discover how to properly store and freeze food, as well as learn important nuances about preserving vitamins in your meals to make them stay nutritious.
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.
The BEST Chicken SaladThe BEST Chicken Salad