Kitchen Fact: Can You Freeze Coleslaw?

Coleslaw – one of the most popular salad recipes – is relished by many people across the world, irrespective of their gender or age. Coleslaw is a very enticing and delicious dish on hot summer days or just when you crave some crunchy yet healthy snacks.

But, do you know what the best part about coleslaw is?

It is very, very simple to prepare!

And sometimes, because of this, you enjoyed making too much that you shredded an entire humongous cabbage and a bunch of carrots only to find out that it is more than enough for your family.

Now, what do you do?

Should you throw it out (which I’m telling you right now is not a good thing!)  or freeze it?

But, wait!

Can you even freeze it?

Let’s find out!

What is Coleslaw?

Coleslaw is one of the most common side dishes that is served in major fast-food chains. It consists of shredded carrots and cabbage and is best partnered with various sauces and dressings. It can be served as a lightweight dish of refreshing appetizers to heavy meals like meats and barbecue.

What is Coleslaw?

Coleslaw came from the Dutch term “Khosla”, meaning cabbage salad. It is said that this salad recipe was mentioned in a recipe book that was published way back in 1770, entitled “The Sensible Cook: Dutch Foodways in the Old and New World”. The book featured a salad recipe that had thin strips of cabbage mixed with melted butter, oil, and vinegar.

Coleslaw has so much variation:

In Germany, apples or onions are usually added to their coleslaw recipe. The UK version of this salad had onions and carrots. While in the US, mayonnaise and buttermilk substitutes are also used.

Is It OK To Freeze Coleslaw?

So about the bygone problem— can you freeze coleslaw?

The answer?

Yes, you can!

But, there is a condition!

Is It OK To Freeze Coleslaw?

You can freeze your leftover coleslaw as long as it does not have any mayonnaise!


Well, it is mainly because of the mayonnaise. Mayonnaise does not freeze very well. It tends to separate after being frozen, and you would end up with a watery dressing. Plus, your coleslaw will also lose its crunchiness.

Refrigerating coleslaw is not a bad idea either, especially if you are going to eat it the next day or after just a few days. Coleslaw left in the fridge will be safe for consumption for 3 to 5 days when properly stored.

Proper Freezing and Thawing of Dry Coleslaw

Freezing coleslaw is very much easy. You only need two steps to freeze coleslaw leftovers properly:

  • Step 1: Put the shredded carrot and cabbage mix into a freezer bag. Remove the excess air and seal the container tightly.
  • Step 2: Label the date of freezing so that you will not forget. Keep in mind that raw cabbage can last for up to 18 months while raw carrots can go until 12 months in the freezer.

Now, after freezing your coleslaw, you wish to defrost and eat it. What do you do?

  • Step 1: Remove the bag containing the coleslaw from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator.
  • Step 2: You can leave it for a couple of hours or overnight for best results.

When the coleslaw is thawed out, it should be crunchy and cool. Now, all you need to do is prepare it for serving and stir dressings and the ingredients together.

Proper Freezing and Thawing of Coleslaw with Oil and Vinegar-Based Dressings

Coleslaw mixtures that use vinegar and oil-based dressings usually have the best freezing and thawing process.

Examples of vinegar and oil-based dressings are lemon juice, celery seed, and mustard seed. Any of these types mixed with cabbage and carrots will freeze better than mayonnaise-based coleslaw.

The freezing process of coleslaw with oil and vinegar-based serving is pretty much like freezing dry coleslaw. You put the salad in a freezer bag, remove excess air and seal the container tightly. However, the only difference is that coleslaw with dressings should be eaten within a few months, unlike dry coleslaw that can take a year and remain edible.

Thawing coleslaw with oil and vinegar-based is pretty much the same as dry ones. You remove the bag from the freezer and put it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight for best results.

Beyond Freezing: Alternative Ways to Use Coleslaw Leftovers

Apart from freezing your coleslaw leftovers, there are other yummy ays in making sure that all shredded cabbage and carrots never see the insides of the freezer. Here are some of them:

1. Add It To Your Sandwiches

Are you tired of the same old crunchy coleslaw for a snack? Well, it is a great idea to use it as a spread on your grilled sandwiches. The texture and flavor of coleslaw can enhance the overall appeal of the meat and will surely make your sandwich both delicious and healthy. You can grill the meat before adding the coleslaw.

2. Mix It With Tacos

Who doesn’t like tacos? They are crunchy and yummy and great comfort food.

But, guess what?

Coleslaw and tacos are the best partners out there!

Together, tacos and coleslaw will do wonders for your tummy by satisfying your appetite with every bite you take.

One piece of advice I could give you:

Try to add frozen coleslaw on top of warm tacos. The contrasting temperature will create the ultimate flavor you will surely enjoy!

3. Make It The Main Dish

Coleslaw can be added to meat and other vegetables like peas to create a delicacy worthy of being called the main dish! Smoked chicken quarters or frozen smoked salmon are both great choices that you can use.

Crunchy Thoughts

Now, you don’t have to worry about a bunch of shredded cabbage and carrot leftovers. You can most definitely freeze the crunchy duo and eat them when your cravings come back once again.

I hope you find this article helpful. If you have any questions or suggestions, or maybe a recipe for coleslaw leftovers, I’d love to hear it! Just hit the comment section below!

Until then, a crunchy day to you!

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