Can You Freeze Potato Salad?

Can you freeze potato salad? Yes. Should you? Probably not. Read on to learn why.

You can freeze almost anything, especially if you have the right freezer products to help. But because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Of course, we get it. We’ve found ourselves with a ton of leftover potato salad after a summer barbecue. It never feels good to waste food, which brings us to the question at hand: Can you freeze potato salad?

How Long Does Potato Salad Last in the Fridge?

According to the USDA, leftovers like potato salad should last in the refrigerator for three to four days. Store-bought potato salad will be stamped with a best-by date. You’ll want to keep the “two-hour rule” in mind, though. If your potato salad was held at room temperature for two hours, throw it away instead of returning it to the refrigerator.

It’s important to think about the ingredients here, too. Did you make a vinegary German-style potato salad without mayonnaise? That will last slightly longer than a potato salad made with mayo or hard-boiled eggs.

Can You Freeze Potato Salad?

Yes: You can freeze potato salad. Keep in mind that it won’t have the same texture when it thaws, though. A number of ingredients can be affected. Mayonnaise is an emulsion, so it doesn’t hold in the freezer. The individual ingredients will separate and make the thawed potato salad look and taste a little weird. The same can be said for potato salad made with sour cream or other dairy-based ingredients, which also don’t freeze well. While you’re better off freezing an oil- or mustard-based potato salad, the salad simply won’t be the same when it thaws. The potatoes will be soggy and can turn gray in the freezer.

Instead of freezing it, we recommend thinking of creative ways to use up leftover potato salad. Try stuffing it inside a tortilla for a fun spin on a wrap, or mashing the whole mixture to make potato croquettes.

You can also roast potato salad: Put it in a colander, wash off the excess mayonnaise and pop it in a 425°F oven for about 30 minutes, turning the potatoes halfway through. (Trust us: You’ve gotta try it.)

How to Freeze Potato Salad

If you must freeze potato salad, here’s how to do it. Before getting started, check out our ultimate guide for freezing food. In general, frozen vegetables last about eight months in the freezer. Since potato salad has added ingredients, you can probably count on about three to six months until the quality really starts to decline.

Freezing homemade potato salad

To freeze homemade potato salad, place the salad in a freezer-safe bag. Press the salad into a single layer and squeeze out as much air as possible. Freeze the potato salad flat, as this will help it thaw out more quickly and keep the potatoes from getting too soggy. We recommend this for potato salad recipes made with mustard or oil.

Freezing store-bought potato salad

To freeze store-bought potato salad, remove it from the container it came in. Freezing it in a square container will keep the middle of the potato salad frozen as the exterior thaws, leading to deteriorated texture. Place it in a freezer-safe bag and follow the instructions for freezing homemade potato salad.

Freezing potato salad with mayo

We don’t recommend freezing potato salad made with mayonnaise or dairy-based ingredients like sour cream. These ingredients don’t freeze well, leading to a weird texture when the potato salad thaws. If you do freeze potato salad with mayonnaise, we recommend serving it warm.

How to Thaw Potato Salad

The best way to thaw frozen potato salad is in the refrigerator overnight. If you’re running short on time, you can place the freezer bag in cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the salad is thawed. Keep in mind that the potato salad can become waterlogged if there is a hole in the bag, so be sure your bag is airtight.

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Lindsay D. Mattison
After years of working in professional kitchens, Lindsay traded her knives in for the pen. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to turn local, seasonal ingredients into beautiful meals for her family.