The good: it’s easy to freeze potato salad. The bad: thawing potato salad is a bit trickier.
Don’t worry as we’ll walk you through all the steps so you can enjoy delicious potato salad.
Can you freeze potato salad?
Why is it that potato salad can only be bought or made in large quantities?
And while the best BBQ should have potato salad, there is often a lot of leftovers. Thankfully this tasty side dish can easily be frozen.
However, because potato salad can’t be reheated, you will want to carefully thaw it so that bacteria doesn’t have a chance to multiply, thereby making your hard work inedible.
Packaging potato salad for freezing
Remove the leftover potato salad from its original container and place it in an airtight container.
Make sure this container is freezer-safe. Be sure to leave 1 ½ inch at the top so that there is room for the potato salad to expand while freezing.
Put on the lid container, sealing it tightly, and then label and date your content. Store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
If you have leftover potato salad, you can use a freezer-safe plastic bag.
Place your leftovers in the bag but leave 1 ½ inch of room in case your salad expands.
Press the sides of the bag together to gently remove excess air at the top. Close your bag.
Label and date your potato salad and place it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How to thaw potato salad
When you’re ready to eat your leftover potato salad, you’ll want to follow the steps for thawing.
First, remove the potato salad from the freezer and then place it in the refrigerator.
Do not try to thaw the potato salad either in the microwave or on the counter overnight.
Potato salad should not be exposed to temperatures over 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Otherwise, bacteria will quickly multiply, leading to it spoiling.
Ideally, leave the potato salad in the fridge overnight.
Spoon this delicious side dish into a new serving bowl and add extra garnish such as fresh herbs to liven it up.
If you want to thaw your potato salad in a quicker manner, you can use the cold water method.
Place your frozen potato salad, still in its freezer container, in the sink. Fill it with cold water.
Every 30 minutes, drain the sink and add fresh cold water.
This way the potato salad will be kept at a safe temperature until it has been thawed completely.
The cold water method will take a few hours.
You can place any leftover potato salad in the fridge. You can keep it in its original container or in an airtight container.
Potato salad left in the fridge has a shelf life of 2 to 4 days.
Before you consume potato salad this way, check for any mold growth, watery texture, or off-putting smells.
This is a sign bacterium has multiplied beyond any safe amounts and it should not be eaten.
You should never store potato salad at room temperature.
Potato salad should be kept at room temperature for a maximum of 2 hours. Any more and it will not be safe to eat.
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How long does potato salad last in the freezer?
Potato salad can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. It needs to be properly stored in an airtight container for best results.
How long can you keep store-bought potato salad in the fridge?
Potato salad can be kept in the fridge for 2 to 4 days.
This is a wide timeframe so once you’ve passed the two-day mark, keep your eye out for any signs the potato salad has become inedible.
This includes an odor, green or black coloring, or slimy texture. Even a tiny amount of bacteria in food can lead to food poisoning, so it’s best to err on the side of caution.
What makes potato salad go bad?
When food goes bad, it means that it has a large amount of bacterial growth.
Bacteria love non-acidic foods, like potatoes, and warm temperatures. If potato salad is left at room temperature, or above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 2 hours, bacteria then have the optimal circumstances to multiply.
To put it plainly, keep your potato salad in the fridge unless you are serving it.
Can you freeze potato salad without mayo?
When you freeze anything with mayonnaise, thawing it can be really tricky.
The mayonnaise can break down and instead of a thick spread, once thawed it becomes gooey and even runny. Therefore, freezing potato salad without mayo and then thawing it is a much easier task.
Whether you have store-bought potato salad or home-prepared potato salad, chances are there will be leftovers.
You can freeze any leftovers for up to 3 months, but make sure you thaw it slowly and cautiously for the best results.