Coleslaw is a staple when it comes to outdoor barbecues and picnics. Whenever I have to make some coleslaw, I make sure to buy the biggest cabbage head I can lay my hands on. As always, though, there’s leftover coleslaw at the end of the day. How can I keep the coleslaw stored correctly so it won’t go to waste?
When preparing food for a large group of people, we tend to overestimate the amount we make. Since coleslaw is a simple dish to prepare, it is easy to end up with so much more than you can eat. Thankfully, you can store your extra coleslaw in the freezer.
You can freeze coleslaw, but make sure to check the dressing that comes with it. Mayonnaise-based dressing is discouraged since freezing this kind of dressing causes it to separate. The coleslaw may also lose its crunchiness when using a mayonnaise-based dressing. Other dressings, such as those made from vinegar and oil, are preferred when freezing coleslaw.
Can You Freeze Coleslaw?
Frozen coleslaw will never be as fresh and crunchy as the original batch. Freezing can preserve some of the flavor and texture, but it is always best to serve the slaw freshly made.
Add flavor to coleslaw by using seasonings that are not affected by freezing, such as celery seed, mustard seed and lemon pepper. You can use these with both vinegar- and oil-based dressing.
Freezing coleslaw already mixed with mayonnaise-based dressing will cause a rougher texture and a change in flavor. You can opt to freeze the coleslaw and dressing separately for better results.
It only takes a month in the freezer to change the flavor and texture of the coleslaw. The vegetables often seep moisture into the slaw, making the end result watery.
Coleslaw with vinegar-based dressing will remain fresher for a longer period. The vinegar, and other spices, act as preservatives to the shredded cabbage, carrots, and other vegetables in the coleslaw.
After thawing, keep the coleslaw at an even cool temperature to maintain its quality. It is best consumed within three days. To ensure your safety, do not refreeze the coleslaw that has already been defrosted.
How to Freeze Coleslaw
For coleslaw that is either dry or already mixed with any type of dressing, the following steps describe how to store it correctly inside the freezer.
- First, place the chopped vegetables inside a plastic zipping freezer bag. Make sure to remove excess air from the bag.
- Next, check that the bag is tightly sealed. Label the bag with the date of preparation.
- Stack the freezer bags in layers inside the freezer. Try to make the bags as flat as possible.
- Defrost coleslaw within a few months then consume within three days of defrosting.
- When you need to use the coleslaw, move the bag from the freezer to the refrigerator then thaw overnight.
- If the coleslaw was dry when frozen, add the dressing once the coleslaw has been defrosted. The ingredients should be cool and crunchy.
- Avoid reheating; serve it as a cold dish, instead.
Now you can enjoy coleslaw with all sorts of dishes, with nearly no preparation time.
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