Coleslaw is a popular type of salad recipe that consists of a shredded form of cabbage along with sliced pieces of carrots mixed in together with a an type of sauce or dressing. On a hot summer day, coleslaw can be a refreshing side dish or appetizer that can go with meat, potatoes, corn, and other main dinner dishes. A perfect compliment to any big barbecue or family dinner, your guests will enjoy coleslaw especially if there’s enough to go around for everybody. However, if you buy a big cabbage and shred all of it along with a bunch of carrots, and you end up having a lot of leftovers after your dinner or barbecue, can you freeze coleslaw? Will it stay good a few weeks or months after your initial usage?
Can You Freeze Coleslaw?
You’ll be happy to know that you can indeed freeze your coleslaw but you have to make sure to follow a few precautions before you proceed. It is recommended to not freeze your coleslaw if you have used mayonnaise as apart of your recipe because it may affect the taste after the freezing process has completed. If you want to use another cream-type of salad dressing that is more freezer friendly, you can go ahead and freeze your coleslaw without any worries. However, vinegar-based dressings are the best when you plan on freezing leftover coleslaw.
You can still freeze a mayo-based coleslaw product but it may not taste very good when compared to other cream dressing alternatives. This is because mayonnaise has a tendency to separate after being frozen which makes it watery and have a rougher texture. If you still really want to use a mayonnaise-based dressing, it would be highly advisable to add your dressing after the coleslaw has been frozen already to preserve your intended flavor or taste.
The Freezing and Thawing Process (Dry ColeSlaw)
To freeze coleslaw that is a dry mix, make sure to adhere to the following steps:
- Place the chopped up cabbage, carrots, and other ingredients in a freezer bag and remove the excess air before tightly sealing the contents.
- After sealing the bag, remember to label and date the day of first freezing for the bag with a permanent marker.
To thaw out the dry mix, remove the bag from the freezer and place it directly after in the refrigerator to defrost for a couple of hours or overnight depending on the timing. When you thaw out the dry coleslaw correctly, the ingredients will be cool and crunchy. You will then be ready to add your dressing (mayonnaise-based or not) to the dry coleslaw mix and then stir all of the ingredients together. You will want to serve the final coleslaw at a cold temperature and then refrigerate immediately after you are finished using it.
The Freezing and Thawing Process (ColeSlaw w/ Oil and Vinegar-based dressing)
Coleslaw mixtures which use oil and vinegar based dressings are often best for the freezing and thawing processes overall. Examples of oil and vinegar dressing include mustard seed, celery seed, or lemon juice. Any of these types mixed in with the lettuce and carrots will freeze better than mayonnaise-based coleslaw. Instead of freezing the dry coleslaw mix and then adding the mayonnaise dressing after the thawing process, you can freely add oil and vinegar based dressing to your coleslaw mix before you freeze and thaw it.
Before you freeze this type of coleslaw, remember to follow these steps in order to achieve the best results:
- Freeze the coleslaw with the dressing using either a freezer-safe container or a freezer bag for individual servings.
- Remove any excess air before you tightly seal the bag or container before you put the contents in the freezer.
- Label and date each bag or container of the coleslaw with the date of first freezing with a permanent marker. By doing this, you will know how long your coleslaw has been frozen for.
Coleslaw can be stacked in layers evenly in the container to best freeze the entire product. Frozen coleslaw should be used and eaten after a few months of freezing. It is not recommended to eat any type of coleslaw after a year of freezing.
To thaw out the oil or vinegar-based coleslaw, remove the product from the freezer and place directly in the refrigerator for several hours or for overnight.
Cole slaw with dressing added to it beforehand may be a bit watery after months of freezing so its’ important to drain any excess water before serving. Already frozen coleslaw that has been thawed out should be used two to three days after for best results. You should always refrigerate your coleslaw and never keep it in your kitchen at room temperature. Don’t re-freeze your previously frozen coleslaw and it should always be refrigerated when you’re not using it.