With great health benefits, eggs can be a delicious snack and comfort food when cooked into omelets, souffle, and even the humble egg salad made from only two ingredients. Talk about an easy recipe! These base ingredients can be mixed with other foods to customize the perfect egg salad exactly the way you like it.
If you have too much egg salad on hand, its creamy texture also makes it a great sandwich filling. With a rich and strong flavor, one can however only handle so much eggy goodness.
Read on for some useful tips on the best way to preserve leftover egg salad .
Types of Egg Salad
Classic egg salad contains two major ingredients; chopped hard-boiled eggs and mayonnaise (with salt and pepper to taste). It is often eaten as a side dish, as a topping for a green salad, or as stuffing on soft bread for an egg salad sandwich.
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 a basic egg salad, bacon, ham, bell peppers, capers, cheese, cucumber, pickles, and ketchup are also well-known additions.
Can Egg Salad Be Frozen?
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 fresh eggs due to the removal of the outer lining. This layer protects the egg from air and bacteria.
Even though 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 into small pieces, mashed, or mixed with other ingredients, it is not really possible to freeze the yolks only.
The second reason why freezing egg salad is not a great idea is due to the mayonnaise. Freezing mayonnaise can cause the emulsion to break down and split, resulting in a less creamy consistency and almost curdled appearance once thawed.
Some people use Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise as a healthier option, however, this won’t retain its nice consistency either once frozen.
If you have added other ingredients with a high moisture content such as onions, pickles, bell peppers, or celery, these will also turn mushy on thawing, making for a wet and soggy end result.
Egg salad can be frozen to increase its short shelf life, but there is no guarantee that you will want to eat frozen egg salad with its new rubbery and slightly watery consistency, even when adding extra ingredients.
We highly recommend using a recipe that contains egg yolks only with miracle whip instead of mayonnaise when freezing egg salad. It is just as quick and easy to make but will last longer and yields a better defrosted product.
If you have made a simple egg salad recipe without any additional water-rich ingredients such as tomato, lettuce leaves, and onion, follow the below steps to store your egg salad in the freezer. Ensure the egg salad is fresh and never (ever) freeze spoiled food.
How To Freeze Egg Salad
Step 1: Portion
Portion the egg salad into a clean airtight container 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 close completely without any cracks. Label the sealed 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 or aluminum foil. 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 with a clean spoon. Always store egg salad in the refrigerator and never leave it at room temperature.
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 changes in taste and texture 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! If you make too much, we suggest egg salad sandwiches for lunch tomorrow.
Up Next: How To Freeze Potato Salad
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