Should you eat potato salad now or freeze it? Yes. Must you? Most likely not. You’ll find out why in this article.
You can freeze just about anything, as long as you have enough freezer goods. But just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.
We understand what it means. We had a lot of potato salad left over after a summer party. No one likes 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?
The US Department of Agriculture says that leftovers should be eaten within three to four days. The can of potato salad you buy at the store will have an expiration date.
But don’t forget the “two-hour rule.” After being out of the fridge for two hours, potato salad is no longer healthy and should be thrown away.
In this case, you’ll also need to think about the parts. Your German-style potato salad didn’t have any mayonnaise, right? This kind of potato salad will last a little bit longer than ones with mayonnaise or hard-boiled eggs.
Can You Freeze Potato Salad?
Yes, potato salad can be frozen. But keep in mind that when it thaws, its texture will change. There are many parts that can be changed. Mayonnaise is an emulsion, so if you freeze it, it will separate. When the potato salad is thawed, the different parts will have separated, so it will look and taste strange.
Potato salad with sour cream or other dairy-based ingredients also doesn’t do well in the freezer. You can save a potato salad made with oil or mustard for later use, but when it thaws, the texture and taste will be worse. When you put potatoes in the freezer, they can get soggy and even turn gray.
If you have extra potato salad, don’t freeze it. Instead, find other ways to use it. You can either mash everything together and use it to make potato croquettes, or you can put it in a tortilla and eat it like a wrap.
You can also bake potato salad by putting it in a strainer, rinsing off any extra mayonnaise, and roasting it at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes while flipping the potatoes halfway through. (We’re not joking; you have to try it.)
How to Freeze Potato Salad
Here’s what you should do if you need to freeze potato salad. Make sure you read our full guide to freezing food before you start.
Most frozen vegetables can stay good for eight months. Potato salad has a lot of extra things in it, so it is likely to lose its taste and texture after three to six months.
Freezing homemade potato salad
If you want to save the potato salad for another time, put it in a bag that can be frozen. Press the salad into a flat layer while squeezing out as much air as you can.
If the potato salad is frozen in a flat pan, it will thaw faster and keep its texture. This is great for potato salads made with mustard or oil.
Freezing store-bought potato salad
You should freeze store-bought potato salad without the container it came in. If you freeze the potato salad in a square container, the center will stay frozen while the sides melt.
This will change the way the salad tastes and feels. Put it in a bag that can go in the freezer, and then freeze it as you normally would potato salad.
Freezing potato salad with mayo
Potato salads that have mayonnaise or sour cream as a dairy ingredient should not be frozen. If you use these things to make potato salad, it won’t freeze well and will have a weird texture when you thaw it. It’s best to reheat potato salad made with mayonnaise before serving it, but you can also freeze it.
How to Thaw Potato Salad
You can let frozen potato salad thaw in the fridge overnight. If you don’t have much time, you can put the bag in the fridge for a short time to cool it down.
It is best to change the water every 30 minutes while the salad thaws so that it doesn’t turn brown. Make sure the bag doesn’t let any water in so the potato salad doesn’t get soggy.