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.


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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.

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.


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.