A delicious bowl of chicken salad is a must-have for any special occasion or BBQ! It's a classic dish that's hearty, nutritious, and, of course, delicious. But what if you make an excessive amount of chicken salad? Can you freeze chicken salad?
We're glad to inform you that this dish freezes well, in case you miscalculated the amount of food you served or just want to stock up on chicken salad. The preparation of the dish, on the other hand, is crucial to the longevity of the chicken salad in the freezer!
Things to Consider Before Freezing Chicken Salad
Mayonnaise and other ingredients in a chicken salad may separate or become rancid much more rapidly than chicken meat. Furthermore, chicken salad includes crunchy vegetables like scallions and celery, both of which are sensitive to cold conditions.
If you prepared a large quantity of chicken salad, for example, split the servings into parts that you'll serve and portions that you'll freeze. Hold the mayonnaise until you're ready to serve for parts that need to be frozen. Mayonnaise is not a good choice for freezing and adding it to the salad before freezing would only compromise the dish's integrity. Add the mayonnaise shortly before serving, when the salad has fully thawed.
Mayonnaise alternatives such as whipped salad dressing, pesto, olive oil, and mustard also freeze better than mayonnaise. When frozen and thawed, these subs will not clump. If you wish to freeze the salad as is, use whipped salad dressing to make it easier to prepare.
How to Freeze Chicken Salad?
Chicken Salad with Mayonnaise
You can store a traditional chicken salad prepared with mayonnaise if you're committed to it. Simply make the salad in the usual manner. Prepare multiple freezer-safe containers with an airtight lid whenever you're ready to prep.
You can also use reusable plastic bags. Scoop the salad into the container (as needed), then press out as much air as possible before sealing. Place the chicken salad in the freezer after writing the storage date on it.
Chicken Salad without Mayonnaise
If you want to use one of the mayonnaise substitutes we mentioned before, make the salad as normal and freeze it. Scoop the salad into a freezer-safe container of your choice, then press out as much air as possible before closing. Place the chicken salad in the freezer after writing the storage date on it.
However, if you wish to keep the mayonnaise (along with the greens) out of the salad until it has thawed, do not add it before freezing. Simply season the chicken meat once it has been prepared. Refer to the above-mentioned freezing preps.
When ready to serve, thaw the seasoned chicken meat and top with a dollop of mayonnaise. Fresh celery and scallions should be chopped and mixed with the rest of the salad before serving.
Thawing Suggestions and Shelf Life
Frozen chicken salad can be kept in the freezer for up to three months. However, for the best taste, we recommend using up your stock as soon as possible.
To defrost, just place the frozen chicken salad in the refrigerator overnight to thaw. If the salad has become watery, give it a good whip until all ingredients are properly mixed. To create a thicker consistency, add a tablespoon of the dressing/mayonnaise.
Submerge the container in a bowl of tap water if you're in a hurry. This method should help to defrost the frozen chicken salad much faster. Of course, the container must be securely shut to prevent water from seeping into the dish.
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