Keep Your Coleslaw Fresh: Can You Freeze Coleslaw?

Have you ever found yourself with a surplus of coleslaw and wondered can you freeze coleslaw for later? The answer is yes, you can! Freezing coleslaw is a great way to reduce waste and have a delicious side dish ready whenever needed. However, there are some important things to remember to ensure that your coleslaw freezes well and maintains its flavor and texture. In this blog post, we will explore the ins and outs of freezing coleslaw and provide helpful tips and tricks to do it right. So, let’s dive in and discover how you can enjoy your favorite coleslaw even when it’s not fresh!

Can You Freeze Coleslaw?

As a chef with years of experience and expertise in the kitchen, I can confidently say that you can freeze coleslaw. However, a few essential things must be remembered to maintain its flavor and texture.

Firstly, it is crucial to freeze the coleslaw before it goes bad. Freezing is a great way to extend the shelf life of coleslaw and keep it fresh for longer. It’s best to freeze coleslaw in a freezer-safe container, leaving about an inch of headspace at the top. This will allow for expansion as the coleslaw freezes.

It’s important to note that coleslaw containing mayonnaise may not freeze well. Mayo-based dressings tend to split when frozen, affecting the overall texture and taste of the coleslaw. If you’re planning to freeze coleslaw, it is recommended to stick to homemade versions with an oil and vinegar-based dressing.

In terms of storage, frozen coleslaw can last up to 6 months in the freezer. However, consuming it within a reasonable time frame ensures the best quality.

Can You Freeze Coleslaw In a Bag?

can you freeze coleslaw with mayo

I confidently say that you can indeed freeze coleslaw in a bag. This method is ideal for freezing smaller portions of coleslaw that you can easily use as needed.

To freeze coleslaw in a bag, spoon your freshly made coleslaw into a resealable plastic freezer bag. Make sure to press out as much air as possible before sealing the bag tightly. Labeling the bag with the name, date, and amount of coleslaw is also important. This will help you track what you have in the freezer and how long it will last.

Once the bag is sealed, please place it in the freezer until it becomes solid. When ready to use the frozen coleslaw, thaw it in the refrigerator. Once thawed, drain any excess fluid and add mayonnaise or other desired ingredients to suit your taste.

Can You Freeze Coleslaw With Mayo?

can you freeze coleslaw with mayo

From my experience, I found freezing coleslaw with mayo is not recommended. Mayo-based dressings do not freeze well and tend to separate and become watery once thawed. Therefore, it is best only to freeze coleslaw made with a vinegar-based dressing.

If you have leftover coleslaw with mayo or want to make some in advance, it’s best to enjoy it fresh rather than freezing it.

Can You Freeze KFC Coleslaw?

I feel I can indeed freeze KFC coleslaw. Freezing is a great way to ensure you always have a delicious side dish when needed. However, it’s important to note that the creamy KFC coleslaw doesn’t hold up well in the freezer compared to the vinegar-based slaw. So, if you have the option, I recommend going for the vinegar-based coleslaw when freezing.

Remember that frozen coleslaw’s shelf life is around 6 months, so it’s important to label and date your containers. Additionally, ensure that the ingredients you use are fresh if you’re making homemade coleslaw, or check the expiry date if you use store-bought coleslaw.

Can You Freeze Coleslaw Without The Dressing?

can you freeze coleslaw without the dressing

I can confidently say that you can absolutely freeze coleslaw without the dressing. Coleslaw mix, consisting of shredded cabbage, carrots, and sometimes onions or red peppers, freezes quite well. However, when frozen, mayo-based dressings tend to separate and lose their creamy texture.

To freeze coleslaw without the dressing, transfer it to a freezer-safe container, leaving about an inch of headspace at the top. This ensures that the coleslaw has room to expand as it freezes. Glass jars or zip-top bags work great for this purpose.

By freezing coleslaw without the dressing, you can store it for up to 6 months. When ready to enjoy it, thaw it in the refrigerator and add your desired dressing before serving. 

Can Coleslaw Dressing Be Frozen Along With The Vegetables?

I found coleslaw dressing should not be frozen along with the vegetables. Mayo-based dressings, like those typically used in coleslaw, do not freeze well and tend to separate when thawed. Freezing mayonnaise can significantly affect its texture and flavor, resulting in a less-than-desirable coleslaw experience.

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How Does Freezing Affect The Taste Of Coleslaw?

what are the steps to freezing coleslaw

I want to tell you that freezing coleslaw can indeed affect its taste. The coleslaw that includes mayonnaise as an ingredient tends to lose its flavor when frozen. The mayonnaise tends to separate and create a watery appearance, resulting in a rougher texture. This can significantly alter the taste of the dish.

Will Freezing Coleslaw Alter The Crunchiness Of The Vegetables?

I must say that freezing will alter the vegetables’ crunchiness of coleslaw. Coleslaw is typically made with shredded cabbage, carrots, and other crunchy vegetables, contributing to its enjoyable texture.

However, when these vegetables are frozen and thawed, they lose some crispness. The freezing process causes water molecules in the vegetables to expand and damage their cell structure, resulting in a softer and less crunchy texture. Therefore, if you want to maintain the crunchiness of the vegetables in your coleslaw, it’s best to prepare it fresh and consume it immediately.

What Are The Steps To Freezing Coleslaw?

what are the steps to freezing coleslaw

I will share the steps to freezing coleslaw with you so you can enjoy this delicious dish anytime you want.

Step 1: Prepare the Coleslaw

Start by shredding or chopping your cabbage and any other vegetables you plan to include in your coleslaw recipe. Remove any excess moisture from the vegetables by patting them dry with a clean kitchen towel or using a salad spinner. This will help prevent the coleslaw from becoming watery when you thaw it later.

Step 2: Make the Dressing

Once the dressing is ready, toss it with the prepared vegetables until evenly coated.

Step 3: Portion and Pack

To freeze coleslaw, it’s best to portion it into individual servings. This will make it easier to thaw and serve later on. 

Step 4: Label and Date

Before placing your coleslaw in the freezer, don’t forget to label and date each container or bag. Frozen coleslaw can typically be stored for up to 3 months without compromising quality.

Step 5: Freeze and Thaw

Now it’s time to freeze your coleslaw. Place the containers or bags in the freezer, storing them flat to prevent spillage. Allow the coleslaw to freeze completely, which usually takes 4 to 6 hours.

When ready to enjoy your frozen coleslaw, remove the desired portion from the freezer and thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Avoid thawing at room temperature, as this can lead to food safety concerns. Once thawed, stir the coleslaw to redistribute the dressing and serve it chilled.

Tips For Freezing Coleslaw

Making a fresh batch of coleslaw every time can be time-consuming, especially when you have a busy schedule. That’s why I’m sharing my tips for freezing coleslaw with you, so you can have this tasty dish ready whenever you want, without any hassle.

  1. Choose the right coleslaw recipe: Creamy coleslaw with mayonnaise tends to separate and become watery when frozen and thawed. Instead, opt for vinegar-based coleslaw recipes that have a tangy dressing. These types of coleslaw hold up better in the freezer.
  2. Prepare the coleslaw: Remove any excess moisture by patting them dry with a paper towel. This will prevent the coleslaw from becoming soggy when frozen.
  3. Make the dressing: When freezing coleslaw, keeping the dressing separate from the vegetables is important to maintain the crunchiness and texture.
  4. Portion and pack: Use freezer-safe containers or resealable bags to pack the coleslaw. Remove as much air as possible from the containers or bags to prevent freezer burn.
  5. Label and date: This will help you track how long the coleslaw has been frozen and ensure you consume it within a reasonable time frame.
  6. Freeze properly: It’s best to freeze the coleslaw as soon as possible after preparing it to maintain its freshness.
  7. Thawing and serving: Give it a good stir to recombine the dressing with the vegetables once thawed. Add fresh ingredients, such as chopped herbs or nuts, to enhance the flavors.

How To Thaw Frozen Coleslaw?

how to thaw frozen coleslaw

One common dilemma many home cooks face is how to thaw frozen coleslaw effectively. Thawing frozen coleslaw may seem daunting, but the right approach can be a breeze. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Plan ahead: Before freezing your coleslaw, it’s essential to package it to maintain its freshness properly. Use airtight containers or freezer bags to prevent freezer burn or moisture loss. Label each container with the freezing date to keep track of its shelf life.
  2. Please transfer to the refrigerator. Be patient when it’s time to thaw your frozen coleslaw. Place the container in the refrigerator for a gradual thawing process. This method ensures the coleslaw remains safe and retains its original texture and flavor. Depending on the size of the container, it may take anywhere from a few hours to overnight for the coleslaw to completely thaw.
  3. Stir gently: Once the coleslaw has thawed completely, gently stir to redistribute any separated liquids and ingredients. This step helps restore the coleslaw’s original consistency and ensures all the flavors are well combined.
  4. Serve and enjoy: Your thawed coleslaw is now ready to be served! Whether using it as a side dish, topping for sandwiches, or a base for your favorite salads, the thawed coleslaw will provide a refreshing and crunchy addition to your meals.

FAQs About Can You Freeze Coleslaw

How Long Does Coleslaw Last In The Fridge?

In general, if you’re storing store-bought coleslaw, it can stay fresh for a day or two past the printed date on the container or 3 to 4 days after opening it, depending on which comes first. Homemade coleslaw usually lasts between 3 to 4 days. It’s always best to monitor the temperature and any signs of spoilage before consuming it.

What Is The Best Dressing For Coleslaw?

When it comes to the best dressing for coleslaw, simplicity is key. A creamy mayo-based dressing is a classic choice that never disappoints. Opt for a high-quality mayonnaise like Sir Kensington’s, or make your homemade version to achieve the tastiest results. Adding apple cider vinegar adds a tangy twist to the dressing, while Dijon mustard brings a mild, peppery flavor. These ingredients create a perfectly balanced dressing that is sweet, tangy, creamy, and peppery all at once.

Is Coleslaw Gluten-Free?

Coleslaw is usually gluten-free, with most of its ingredients being naturally gluten-free. However, it’s important to double-check the ingredients list if you’re ordering coleslaw from a restaurant or buying pre-made coleslaw. Common coleslaw ingredients like cabbage, carrots, sugar, salt, pepper, and celery seed are all gluten-free.


In conclusion, freezing coleslaw is possible, but it’s essential to be aware of the potential changes in texture and take proper freezing and thawing precautions. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the convenience of having coleslaw on hand whenever needed. So freeze that coleslaw, knowing it will still be a delicious addition to your meals even after its time in the freezer.

Do you have any questions about can you freeze coleslaw? Let us know in the comments below.


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