Can you freeze coleslaw for later? There are many questions to whether or not you can freeze coleslaw or not.

The truth is you can as long as it is vinegar based and not mayonnaise based. Mayonnaise-based coleslaw spoils rapidly, which why when you make up a batch you should only make up enough to feed a number of people eating it. Trying to save mayonnaise-based coleslaw more than two days in the refrigerator to retain freshness is difficult enough.

However, vinegar based coleslaw remain freshest the longest and are safely frozen because the vinegar, sugars, and spices typically used to make this type of coleslaw actually help preserve the shredded blends of veggies used to make a coleslaw dish such as the cabbage, carrots, and broccoli.

The best way to eat coleslaw is fresh the day it is made. Trying to store coleslaw any longer than a day while retaining some crunch and flavor is almost impossible, which is especially true when it comes to coleslaw dishes made with mayonnaise dressing.

With vinegar based coleslaws freezing is really only recommended when you want to make the batch up ahead of time for a cookout or dinner party to have on hand as an extra side dish later on when enough time isn’t available to you to make up a batch.

Otherwise, freezing coleslaw is not recommended. Coleslaw always tastes best fresh and stores the best in the refrigerator for the shortest amount of time possible. Below is a guide on how can you freeze coleslaw:

How to Freeze Coleslaw?

It is always important to freeze vinegar-based coleslaw after it has been freshly made. You should never fresh coleslaw that is a couple days old because the chances of bacteria growing in it increase the risk of receiving food poisoning after eating it.

Coleslaw

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To freeze a fresh batch of vinegar coleslaw simply scoop it into a freezer-safe container, seal it shut well to prevent frostbite from occurring and place a label with the date you made the coleslaw onto the container.

After, place the container in the freezer where it should stay fresh for up to 1-month. Trying to keep coleslaw longer than a month with drastically change the flavor and texture of it. Freezing coleslaw as it makes it watery than usual because the veggies extract their juices the longer they are coated with a vinegar dressing.

FAQs: Freezing Coleslaw

Can you freeze shredded cabbage for coleslaw?

Most leafy vegetables do not fare well in the freezer and that includes cabbage. More so if the cabbage is shredded. Since leafy vegetables are prone to browning and wilting, exposure to freezing temperature could shorten the shelf life of the fresh produce even more. But if say, you are making coleslaw in advance and you’d like to shorten the process of making this side dish by freezing the shredded cabbage, you can freeze the vegetable as long as you will use it right away.

You can freeze the shredded cabbage raw or blanched. Blanching is a great idea but you might lose the shredded cabbage’s crunch. As such, we suggest freezing the raw cabbage but you have to immerse the vegetable in a salt and water solution to delay oxidation. When cut, cabbage tends to discolor and wilt. The salt and water solution will extend the appearance and texture of the vegetable.

Just peel the wilting leaves of a cabbage head then rinse the vegetable in running water. Remove deep-seated dirt in the base of the cabbage head. Cut the cabbage in half, remove the core, and start slicing the vegetable in thin slices to shred it.  After cutting the cabbage head into shreds, prepare a salt and water solution in a small bowl. Submerge the cabbage shreds and let sit for at least 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, drain the water and shake the excess water off the cabbage shreds. Lay the cabbage shreds on a clean dishcloth or paper towel and air dry for a few minutes. After air-drying the vegetable shreds, they are ready for freezing.

Just pack the cabbage shreds in a resealable plastic bag. Do not pack the vegetable bits too tightly to prevent bruising. Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

If you decided to blanch the cabbage shreds before freezing, you can skip the salt and water solution. Just prepare a pot of boiling water and an ice bath. Start by preparing the cabbage shreds and then submerge the vegetable in boiling water for no more than 2 minutes. After blanching the cabbage shreds, submerge the cabbage shreds in the ice bath. This will stop the cooking process. Then, shake the excess water off the cabbage shreds. Lay the cabbage shreds on a clean dishcloth or paper towel and air dry for a few minutes. After air-drying the vegetable shreds, they are ready for freezing.

Just pack the cabbage shreds in a resealable plastic bag. Do not pack the vegetable bits too tightly to prevent bruising. Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Can you freeze coleslaw without dressing?

Yes, you can freeze coleslaw without the dressing. Most culinary experts actually recommend this method to retain the quality of the veggies after freezing and defrosting. A classic creamy coleslaw dressing is sensitive to temperature changes. By skipping the dressing, you can store the vegetable in the freezer without fear of the dressing going bad after defrosting the coleslaw.

Can you freeze coleslaw made with mayo?

We don’t recommend freezing coleslaw with mayonnaise because again, mayo is a temperature sensitive ingredient. Also, the risk of food poisoning is too high if you are freezing dishes that contain eggs or mayonnaise. But if you have lots of coleslaw leftovers then you can freeze the leftovers if left with no other choice.

Mayonnaise is made with eggs, which tend to have a short shelf life. If you must freeze coleslaw made with mayo, do so quickly while the side dish is freshly made. This will help lock in the freshness of the slaw, minimizing cross-contamination and bacterial growth.

Don’t expect the texture of the cabbage to remain crunchy once you stored the coleslaw leftovers in the freezer either. The freezing temps will alter the texture of the vegetable no matter how carefully you pack the slaw.

Can you freeze KFC coleslaw?

While vinegar-based coleslaw will fare better in the freezer, creamy coleslaws like KFC coleslaw can be frozen. Commercially made slaws tend to have a longer shelf life compared to homemade coleslaw. Still, you want to transfer the KFC coleslaw in a freezer-safe container to protect the side dish from frost and freezer burns.

One thing to keep in mind before freezing KFC coleslaw, the slaw will take on a watery consistency once it’s been defrosted. This won’t change the taste of the slaw but it could affect the texture of the greens. Just give the slaw a good stir if you are seeing a separation between the liquids and solids.

How to Defrost Frozen Coleslaw?

The proper way to defrost vinegar coleslaws is by placing taking the container of it from the freezer and placing it directly into the refrigerator where it will take about 12-hours to defrost.

Never place coleslaw dishes on the counter or in a bowl of water to defrost because this could increase bacteria growth in the coleslaw. Coleslaw must be kept at a constant cool temperature in order to remain fresh.

Once the coleslaw is defrosted, it should be eaten up within 3-days. After that, any coleslaw remaining should be tossed out since you do not want to risk food poisoning.

Summary

Freezing may not be the ideal way to preserve this classic dish but it works as far as extending the shelf life of coleslaw goes. Now that you know how can you freeze coleslaw, you can keep the leftovers in the freezer and enjoy it later! As long as the slaw is stored properly, it will keep well in the freezer.