If there is any dish that is a true egg celebration, egg salad is. Its creamy texture makes it great as a sandwich filling when not eaten as a salad on its own. With a rich and strong flavor, one can however only handle so much egg salad. So, what to do with leftovers?
Read on to find out the best way to preserve egg salad, and how long it will last.
Types of Egg Salad
Made with chopped hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper, egg salad is often eaten as a side salad, used as a topping for a green salad, or stuffed into sandwiches as a filling.
While onion, celery, mustard, and paprika are all commonly used in egg salad, there are several other creative ingredients that can be included for a more lavish meal. To spruce up an egg salad, bacon, ham, bell peppers, capers, cheese, cucumber, pickles, and ketchup are also well-known additions.
Can I Freeze Egg Salad?
Freezing egg salad is unfortunately not the most successful way to store it. Although freezing will prolong its shelf life, the texture will not be as good as it was freshly made.
Hard-boiled eggs have a shorter shelf life than raw eggs due to the removal of the outer layer lining the shell. This layer protects the egg from air and bacteria.
Although egg yolks can be frozen and used quite successfully once thawed, egg whites turn rubbery and watery. Since the nature of an egg salad involves eggs being chopped, mashed, or mixed with other ingredients, it is not really possible to freeze the yolks only.
Another major factor in the freezing of egg salad is the mayonnaise. Freezing mayonnaise can cause the emulsion to break down and split, resulting in a less creamy and almost curdled appearance once thawed.
If you have added other water-rich ingredients such as onions, pickles, bell peppers, or celery, these will also turn to mush on thawing, making for a wet and soggy end result.
Egg salad can be frozen to increase its shelf life, but there is no guarantee that you will want to eat your rubbery and slightly watery egg salad after it has thawed.
If you have made a simple egg salad without any additional water-rich ingredients such as tomato, lettuce, and onion, follow the below steps to store the egg salad in the freezer.
How To Freeze Egg Salad
Step 1: Portion
Portion the egg salad into air-tight containers or zip lock freezer bags.
Step 2: Seal and Label
Make sure to press out any remaining air from the zip lock bags and seal tightly. Containers should be airtight and seal completely without any cracks. Label the container with the date and contents to keep track of how long it has been in the freezer.
Since egg salad ingredients are highly temperature-sensitive and will degrade with any extreme temperature changes, it will not make a difference to the quality if you add a few extra layers of wrapping. As long as all the air is kept out, a freezer bag or airtight container will be sufficient.
How To Thaw Frozen Egg Salad
Remove the egg salad from the freezer and place it directly in the fridge to thaw. The texture will change so you will have to give it a good stir. Never leave egg salad at room temperature and always check that the egg salad has not gone off before consuming.
If you are set on freezing an egg salad, you may want to try a substitute version using egg yolks only with miracle whip and seasonings. Traditional egg salad with boiled, chopped eggs and mayonnaise does not yield an appetizing texture on thawing.
Besides the textural changes after thawing, you always want to ensure that the egg salad is still safe to eat. Store it at a consistent temperature in the refrigerator before and after freezing. Keeping it in an airtight container slows contamination and the growth of harmful bacteria.
Your best option when it comes to enjoying egg salad – keep it fresh!
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