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Can You Freeze Coleslaw? (Mix or Homemade)

Coleslaw can be frozen? As a rule, I don’t use the entire bag of coleslaw mix I buy. Afterward, you feel bad and think, “maybe I can freeze it for later use?””””

Slaws can be frozen, but there are three rules you should know to keep them crunchy after freezing.

Freeze-ability Index Freezability Index of Two

How Long in Freezer

1 month

Best Stored In…

Airtight container or freezer bag

How to Thaw

Refrigerator

What to Expect

Watery, not as crunchy

Can I Re-Freeze?

Not recommended

Can I Freeze Coleslaw?

Is it possible to freeze coleslaw? Yes, you can freeze it, but you need to follow three important rules, otherwise it will be inedible:

  • When you freeze vegetables (cabbage, carrots, etc. ), the fresher they are, the better.
  • Keep coleslaw crunchy by mixing a vinegar-based dressing into it before freezing.
  • Do not freeze mayonnaise-based creamy slaws. However, Miracle Whip coleslaw, which is made with different ingredients than mayonnaise, can be frozen. As a bonus, it’s also possible to freeze KFC coleslaw.

How To Freeze Coleslaw In A Container

Once you’ve made the vinegar-dressed coleslaw, freeze it as soon as possible.

Never freeze creamy slaw made with pure mayonnaise. However, you can freeze coleslaw made with  because this condiment is made with different ingredients. Bonus: This means KFC coleslaw can be frozen, too.

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The Best Airtight Containers (Glasslock)

  • Over 3,700 Reviews
  • 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Airtight glass containers from Glasslock don’t leak or absorb food smells, and they’re oven-safe, freezer-safe, microwave-safe, and affordable.

How To Freeze Coleslaw In A Freezer Bag

Coleslaw frozen in freezer bags can be stacked in the freezer. Don’t let it come to room temperature before freezing, and freeze it as soon as you can.

PREP TIME

10 mins

TOTAL TIME

10 mins

EQUIPMENT

Using a slotted spoon

Plastic freezer bags that are resealable

Labels for freezers

Marker permanent

Your freezer’s back shelf

ASSIGNMENTS

Fill the freezer bags with coleslaw. Use smaller bags for faster freezing and thawing.

Important: Gently squeeze the air out of the bag before sealing it.

Stick a label to the bag, write today’s date on it and place it deep in the freezer.

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Best Practices For Freezing Coleslaw

You should freeze vinegar-dressed coleslaw as soon as you make it or buy it.

Coleslaw should not be allowed to come to room temperature before freezing.

The vinegar-dressed coleslaw freezes better than the mayonnaise-dressed coleslaw.

Can You Freeze Coleslaw Mix?

Many people ask me if you can freeze coleslaw mix, such as this one from Concord Foods. In general, you can freeze coleslaw mix, but only if you follow these three rules:

  • When you freeze vegetables, the fresher they are, the better. You don’t want to freeze coleslaw mix if you’re not sure how old it is or if it’s starting to look brown and old.
  • Coleslaw will stay crunchy with a vinegar-based dressing. Combine one with your coleslaw mix before freezing.
  • Coleslaw mixed with mayonnaise should never be frozen. You’ll have watery and gross coleslaw if you freeze mayonnaise. Miracle Whip is the only exception.

Also, you should transfer the coleslaw into a freezer-friendly container or resealable plastic bag.

Can You Freeze Coleslaw With Miracle Whip?

If you make coleslaw with Miracle Whip, you can freeze it.

You can’t freeze coleslaw made with mayonnaise, so I understand rule 3. 

Magic Whip is an exception, and here’s why:

Miracle Whip contains less oil and more ingredients, like egg yolks and cornstarch, which means it separates less when frozen.

Can You Freeze KFC Coleslaw?

You can freeze KFC coleslaw! Do you know why?

According to this former KFC employee who made batches of coleslaw regularly, the reason it’s so good is because it’s made with Miracle Whip. Here’s her recipe to make your own at home. Here’s a heads up: this recipe contains a lot of sugar.

As a bonus, here’s a great recipe for vinegar-based freezer slaw.

How Long Does Coleslaw Last In The Freezer?

Up to one month can be kept in the freezer for coleslaw. Better texture and taste can be achieved by defrosting and eating the coleslaw sooner.

Equipment Shopping List

This quick list is for you in case you notice you are low on freezer bags or need a new slotted spoon (don’t forget you deserve a gift!)

They’re affordable and get great reviews, so I’ve either used them or added them to my shopping list. Check ’em out next time you shop on Amazon!

The Best Slotted Spoon (OXO)

Over 1,000 Reviews

  • 4.5 out of 5 Stars
  • Solid, stylish, & dishwasher safe

The Ultimate Freezer Bags (Hefty)

  • Over 2,000 Reviews
  • 4.5 out of 5 Stars
  • Tough and easy to fill

The Handiest Freezer Labels (Chinco)

  • Hundreds of Reviews
  • 4.5 out of 5 Stars
  • Water-resistant, easy to remove, no residue

The Clingiest Plastic Wrap (Freeze-Tite)

  • Hundreds of Reviews
  • 4.5 out of 5 Stars
  • Amazon’s Choice

How To Thaw Coleslaw

The best way to thaw coleslaw is in the refrigerator because it requires the least amount of effort. A cold bath is faster for thawing frozen coleslaw.

How NOT To Thaw Coleslaw

Do not use a microwave to defrost coleslaw.

How To Thaw Frozen Coleslaw – In The Fridge

Defrosting coleslaw in the fridge is the safest and easiest method.

EQUIPMENT

  • A plate OR towel

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the container(s) or freezer bag(s) of frozen coleslaw on a plate/towel and refrigerate.
  2. In the refrigerator, thaw the coleslaw overnight.
  3. Once the salad has defrosted, open the container or freezer bag, and drain any excess liquid down the sink.
  4. Stir the coleslaw a few times to re-integrate the ingredients. Keep chilled.

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How To Thaw Frozen Coleslaw – In Cold Water

Follow these steps if you’re short on time. The time to thaw depends on the amount of coleslaw in the container or bag.

EQUIPMENT

  • A large bowl OR a clean sink
  • Cold water
  • INSTRUCTIONS

 

Fill a sink or bowl with cold water.

Fill the container with cold water and add the frozen coleslaw.

Replace the water every 30 minutes with cold, fresh water.

Drain any excess liquid from the container or freezer bag after the salad has thawed.

Stir the coleslaw a few times to re-integrate the ingredients in it. Serve chilled.

What To Expect After Defrosting Coleslaw

Fried coleslaw isn’t the same as fresh coleslaw. After you defrost coleslaw, here’s what you can expect in terms of taste and texture:

  • Cabbage and other vegetables may not be as crunchy as they used to be.
  • Coleslaw might be watery.
  • It shouldn’t change the flavor.

Eat the defrosted coleslaw within three days.

Can You Re-Freeze Coleslaw?

As long as you keep thawed coleslaw at 40 degrees F or lower, you can re-freeze it, but we don’t recommend it. By freezing and defrosting it over and over again, the integrity of the cabbage and vegetables will deteriorate, and it will become even more watery.

Ok, But What About…

Is there a better way to freeze coleslaw? Would you like to know something else? Feel free to leave a comment below or email us—we’d love to hear from you!

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