Who does not love potato salads? As a quintessential side dish, it adds a yummy dose of umami to any meal!
A potato salad is a dish that is made from boiled potatoes and other ingredients.
Given that it frequently goes with the main meal, it is commonly regarded as a side dish. It is generally accepted that it originated in Germany, from where it quickly spread over the rest of Europe.
American-style potato salad often contains mayonnaise or other mayonnaise-like replacements (such as sour cream or yogurt), vegetables (such as celery and onion), and herbs. It can be served at room temperature or chilled.
Most people enjoy potato salad, which you can make in a hurry.
However, there are instances when there’s a considerable amount left over and you question if you should put it in the other compartment of your fridge or freeze it for later use.
I had a lot of questions about this, so I made the customary decision to do some research.
If you were wondering too, you are right – the ingredients are not exactly conducive to prolonged storage. Particularly eggs and mayonnaise. And as you already know, freezing a mayonnaise and potato mix carries the potential hazard of food poisoning.
Related: How long will different types of potatoes last?
Can you freeze potato salad?
Ok, first, we need to get this clear. As far as possible, make only as much salad as is required. Or freeze potato pieces separately without other ingredients and mayonnaise.
Having said this, some people frozen, thawed, and eat potato salad, and guess what? They survived to tell the tale.
The fact is, potato salad has a notoriously short shelf life, and when you keep it in the fridge, it’ll only keep for a week. But, when held in the freezer, it should keep for several months.
That being said, most culinary experts and chefs don’t recommend freezing potato salad. The boiled eggs, dairy, and mayonnaise in the salad tend to degrade quickly when frozen and defrosted.
If there is some leftover, it’s distressing to throw away perfectly good potato salad. So the answer to the question is – yes, you can freeze potato salad, with a few things to remember.
Further Reading: Most Recommended Potato Mashers – Reviews
Spin the salad
- This is the most important step if you want your potato salad to keep its incredible taste. By spinning, the salad gets rid of all the moisture in the potatoes, helping them keep their shape and stopping them from going mushy when they are thawed.
- Just put the salad in the spinner, push the button down for thirty seconds or so, and then pour away the excess water. Easy and simple!
How to freeze potato salad?
If you enjoy eating, you are aware that whether a meal is hot or cold, the freshness of the components you use might impact its flavor. Therefore, I advise selecting the freshest items you can find because frozen vegetables freeze best when they are fresh.
For your salad dressing, it is essential that you use fresh eggs, yet most individuals are unable to differentiate between good and terrible eggs. Let me help you out a little bit!
Pro Tip: Submerge an egg in water in a bowl. It is a goody if it sinks on its side. It is still acceptable if it stands up. Anything that floats is a baddy. 🙂
Even if you are serving it right away, I advise chilling it as soon as it is prepared. It is okay to move it to the freezer from the refrigerator section.
Only the amount that will freeze in 24 hours should be put in the freezer. That translates to two or three pounds of food every freezer cubic foot.
I recommend storing the potato salad against the wall of the freezer compartment for quick freezing, and once frozen, keep other frozen food close together in the freezer compartment.
You should be aware that mayonnaise tends to break up during the freezing but don’t worry – it is safe to eat. So your potato salad may lose its creamy texture, but hey – it can be eaten! It is better to use commercially made mayonnaise than homemade merely because it has preservatives and therefore lasts longer, too.
There shouldn’t be any moisture when storing, so do not freeze potato salad in a serving bowl. Store it in plastic bags that are freezer safe or in a good quality airtight container. And please leave some space in the container for the potatoes to maintain form and breathe.
Unfortunately, shredded or mashed potatoes freeze better than cubed ones!
Your potatoes shouldn’t be overcooked, as this way they can be frozen for a more extended period. The trick is to start boiling them by adding them with salt to a pot of ordinary water, so they should heat up along with the water.
Be sure not to add the diced potatoes to boiling water. That will make them overcooked, and it will spoil the texture of the salad, both thawed and fresh.
Do not freeze potato salad for too long. The potatoes lose their texture after a month of continuous freezing. It’ll be much after thawing because the water content in the mayonnaise will separate out. More than one month is too risky, health-wise too.
I think that the right idea is to label the container and mention the date.
How to thaw potato salad?
Ok, you had put away your salad to freeze appropriately, and now it’s time to take it out and finish it. I suggest not refreezing the second time. Prepare to thaw it by removing it from the freezer into the refrigerator compartment.
Your refrigerator temperature should be 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything above that temperature and the thawed potatoes will start to spoil.
Do not attempt to thaw the potato salad in the microwave. Room temperature is not a good option too, because the mixture contains eggs, and there are chances of bacterial growth while thawing which can lead to food poisoning.
The taste and texture will be a little different from the freshly made potato salad, but that cannot be helped.
I would say that the best way is to finish the potato salad as soon as you make it for some reasons:
- Potatoes spoil very fast at room temperature, and they cannot be stored in the refrigerator at more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. While serving potato salad fresh, some experts provide cooling around the vessel with ice cubes. They even put a couple of them in a bag, deep in the center of the potato salad to keep the ambient temperature right.
- Even if you have to store potato salad, there are better ways of storing it than as a salad. I like to fill it into tortillas, which can be frozen.
- Mayonnaise doesn’t freeze well – it breaks up in texture, and in all likelihood, the taste will also change after you thaw it.
- Raw ingredients in the potato salad like onions also tend to become mushy after thawing.
- You have to be super careful while freezing potato salad. So, why go through all that trouble? Just make enough and if there’s extra, give it away! There isn’t absolutely anybody who would refuse a delicious potato salad! 😉
Assemble the salad
Once the veggies and the potatoes are defrosted, put them in the salad spinner to get them nice and fluffy. After that, pour your dressing over the potatoes and give it a good stir.
Potato salad is a delicious side dish, but only practical if you know the proper way of extending the shelf life of it. Freezing is not the ideal method of preserving its freshness. Instead, it is best suited for refrigeration – when left in the fridge, it can stay safe for consumption for 3 to 5 days.