Macaroni Salad- Can It be Frozen?


You had a great dinner party with university friends at your house. Each person prepared a favourite dish which they are good at, and you made some macaroni salad since there were many meat dishes already. The dish was really good, all friends said. However, there is some leftover at the end, and of course you do not want to toss the rest into the garbage. You do not worry about the meat, but you wonder whether macaroni salad would be kept in refrigerator or freezer for later use.

Even though freezing food gives you freedom and control to enjoy the leftovers when you would like to, it is not a good idea to store or freeze macaroni salad.

What is Macaroni Salad?

Macaroni salad is originally an American pasta salad dish. It is a cold salad combine with macaroni pasta. Depending on each person’s taste, they have different options to make a macaroni salad dish. But generally, people mix together vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper in a bowl. Then stir with cheese, pineapple, chicken, carrot, and macaroni, and arrange on plates. On the top of the bowl, they add some mayonnaise and onion to finish the salad. It is a good side dish to eat in barbecue parties or picnics, easy to make and easy to serve.

Why can’t we freeze macaroni salad?

Firstly, many people are worried that macaroni salad can’t be frozen because it has mayonnaise. This mayonnaise will make the dish frozen improperly. Yes, they are right. Mayonnaise is made of cream, oil, egg yolks and some other ingredients. If we freeze food has mayonnaise, it will create large ice crystals and lose its creaminess when thawing. Mayonnaise contributes to the separation and changes the consistency of the salad.

Secondly, if you add shrimp or any type of shell fish in the macaroni salad, it is better not to store it because the salad won’t be able to stay the original taste of seafood after thawing.

Lastly, pasta salad is not a good dish to be frozen. It is getting thicker during the freezing process and wouldn’t thaw well anyway. It might get all nasty and break-down after defrosting, and would destroy the macaroni salad dish.

Read more: Can you freeze cream-based soups?

How to solve the problem of freezing macaroni salad?

Of course noone wants to throw the leftovers into the wastebasket. We recommend you some solutions to solve when you have prepared extra macaroni salad.

  • The best way to solve the macaroni salad leftovers is to put it in a box and give to your neighbors, friends, or relatives who were not at the party or ask your friends to bring it home for their family members after the party.
  • Prepare the macaroni salad without mayonnaise, just add the mayonnaise on the top when the salad is ready to serve.
  • Do not add seafood in the salad dish, using chicken instead if you want to freeze it.
  • Avoiding eggs or at least egg yolks to the salad.
  • In order to prevent bacteria, you must thaw the salad in the refrigerator about three hours after taking out from the freezer.
  • You should place macaroni salad in suitable freezing bags such as airtight bag before putting in the freezer.


Macaroni salad is an excellent dish which provides much protein, fat, and multivitamin and suitable to serve a large group of people. However, how much macaroni salad can one person consume at once? You should estimate it well before preparing macaroni salad. If the meal/party has other dishes, it is better to prepare just enough but not too much salad.

If you accidentally have some macaroni salad leftovers, we suggest you learning some solutions that we have posted in this review to save your salad for another day.


  1. Hana