This is a pretty common thing; we make too much of a dish for a special event, and now are faced with storing it or tossing it out.
I freeze a lot of leftovers on a regular basis. Simple and safe process that almost everyone does.
Egg salad though, this is a different situation.
Why Do Eggs Hate the Freezer?
Now, I must say that eggs CAN be frozen, but there are very specific ways to freeze them appropriately. Here we’re answering your question, is it good to freeze egg salad specifically.
There are, of course, two distinct parts of an egg. The yolk and the egg white.
The egg yolk holds up better to freezing than the whites because they are higher in protein content and have less water content. The egg whites contain more liquid and expand when frozen. This expansion changes the texture and consistency of the egg itself.
The egg in egg salad is a minced or chopped up mixture of cooked whites and yolks. There are also other ingredients, we will get to those after!
Does Cooked Egg Freeze Better than Raw?
Lots of foods hold up better in the freezer once cooked, eggs are not one of those!
The problem with fully cooked eggs being frozen is mostly the texture that is changed with the freezing process. The liquids in the egg expand when frozen and alter the consistency. The cooked egg, be it minced, chopped, whole or anything in between takes on a very rubbery texture. This will not be undone, even after it is thawed.
What About the Other Ingredients in the Egg Salad?
Since you’re still curious, maybe rubbery egg texture hasn’t grossed you out? No problem! Those other ingredients might hold up okay to the freezer, right?
Lets look at what’s typically in an egg salad mixture:
- chopped cooked egg
- diced green onion
- salt and pepper
- prepared mustard
We covered the chopped egg above. Moving on to the next ingredient, mayonaisse it actually is similar in a lot of ways to the egg itself.
Mayonnaise contains egg yolk as one of its main ingredients, along with oil and vinegar or lemon juice. The taste and consistency of the mayo in the egg salad will change with freezing. The problem is that it, like the egg whites have a high water content (thanks to the vinegar mostly).
This makes the mayo change in texture, it seperates the water and oil during thawing. Visually alone, this is not good. It will lead to clumpy parts in the egg salad that will look like it has spoiled. The taste of the mayo will also be altered, becoming bitter after freezing and thawing.
Green Onion (and sometimes diced celery) is our next ingredient in the egg salad. It too does not enjoy freezing. You can probably guess the issue here, as it’s a common theme!
The green onion also has a high water content, and the very make up of the structure and cells of the onion plant will be damaged after freezing. This results in a slimy, flattened version of their once crispy self.
Spices are the winner here. Although they will potentialy loose some of their flavor, the spices hold up the very best out of all the ingredients. Not enough to save the egg salad though.
In Summary – It’s Not a Good Idea to Freeze Egg Salad
Try to enjoy your egg salad immediately when you prepare it. The egg salad will hold just fine in your refrigerator for a couple days.
There’s just too much damage that a freezer will do to the mixture. Nobody wants to eat rubbery, separated mayo, slimy onion egg salad in a few weeks or months.
If you do find yourself with way too much egg salad to eat it’s recommended to toss it, unfortunately.