You have a bunch the leftover chicken salad, and also you’re wondering how countless days girlfriend have before it spoils. Exactly how long does chicken salad last?

Or possibly you’re considering doubling your usual recipe, yet you’re not certain if you’ll end up it before it walk bad.

You are watching: How long can chicken salad sit out

Sounds familiar? If so, this short article is because that you.

In in, we’re going to talk about:

shelf life – exactly how long is chicken salad good for?storing homemade (or store-bought) chicken salad – dos and also don’tsfreezing chicken salad – does that work?telling if her old chicken salad is still for sure to eat

Let’s jump ideal in.

Chicken salad closeup

How long Does Chicken Salad Last?

Chicken salad big 3 come 5 days if you keep it refrigerated and also in a sealed container. That’s the time that it remains safe for. The 2nd issue is just how long the salad retains good quality, and also it all relies on the ingredients.

If it’s a mayo-based chicken salad, it’ll most likely taste fairly alright because that the totality period. But if the dressing is oil-based (e.g., vinaigrette), the salad’s high quality after 3 come 4 days can not be practically as good as the was right after mixing every the ingredients together.

If it’s a salad with high humidity content, the veggies can wilt and lose your crunch after ~ a pair of days. For part people, those features are important; for others, not so much.

Finally, choose tuna salad or pasta salad, if your chicken salad includes any ingredients that rapidly shed quality, it might be an excellent for only a day or two.


If you’re not okay through eating a soggy chicken salad v soft veggies, shot to finish yours within 2 to 3 days because that the best quality.

Chicken salad plated
Let’s speak you want to carry that salad through you top top a picnic.How long deserve to chicken salad sit out?

Like all foods that call for refrigeration, you have to discard your chicken salad if that sits the end for an ext than two hours. If it’s a hot summer day, that duration is cut in half to around an hour.

That’s due to the fact that bacteria multiply promptly in temperatures between 40°F (4°C) and also 140°F (60°C), also known as the danger zone ().


If you desire to bring the salad with you, either use a portable fridge or eat the salad in ~ 2 hrs of prepping it (or taking it from the refrigerator). And also discard any leftovers if castle aren’t appropriately refrigerated.

Chicken salad simply mixed

How To store Chicken Salad

Your chicken salad must sit in the fridge, sealed tightly in one airtight container. If your is store-bought, and you can’t reseal it easily, transfer any type of leftovers right into a food container and refrigerate.

If your salad contains lots of greens (like lettuce, spinach, or kale), usage a larger container and avoid squeezing in as much as you deserve to into a solitary one. This way, the veggies won’t wilt as quickly and will retain high quality for longer.

As usual, if you’re no going to finish the contents of a container in one go, always use clean tools as soon as serving the salad, and also never double-dip. By adhering to this rule, you prevent microbial pollution that might cause the chicken salad to thrive mold prematurely.

What if those pair of work in the fridge aren’t long enough for you? Is freeze chicken salad your means out?

Chicken salad in an airtight container

Can You frozen Chicken Salad?

Unfortunately, freeze chicken salad isn’t a great idea in many cases. The s chicken salad won’t look or taste nearly as an excellent as a new one. It will certainly be safe to eat, obviously, however its high quality really suffers in the process.

When it concerns freezing this salad, here’s what’s likely to walk sideways:

if it has mayo or a dairy-based dressing, it will certainly separateegg whites will revolve rubberymost veggies will revolve limp and also release extra water – friend will finish up with a soggy chicken saladif there are any kind of fruit pieces, many of them will undergo a similar process to veggies, which means even much more sogginess and no crunch

As you deserve to tell, there’s not much an excellent that can come out of freezing a chicken salad the you whipped or bought.

The an excellent news is the cooked grains (e.g., rice or quinoa) and also cooked chicken frozen well. You have the right to take benefit of this by prepping much more grains or chicken than essential (e.g., double as much) and also freezing the extra.

This way, as soon as you want to do the salad, friend thaw the chicken and also grains, and prep only the veggies, fruits, and dressing.That speeds things up at least a bit, add to the salad you end up through is actually tasty.

Another chicken salad in an airtight container

How to Tell If Chicken Salad Is Bad?

Discard your chicken salad if:

There’s mold top top the surface.If you see any type of fuzzy action, throw out all of the leftovers. The same uses if that looks turn off in any kind of other way.The salad smells funny.If your nose says that salad is no good, remove it right away there is no tasting it.It sit in the refrigerator for too long.If the salad is in the refrigerator for favor 6 or 7 work already, simply ditch it. It could still be okay to eat, however you never know.It tastes off.If whatever up come this allude seems okay, provide that salad a taste. If you notice that something isn’t rather right, it’s time for that dish to go.

Chicken salad ingredients
Besides the above, pay fist to the humidity that has tendency to conference on the bottom the the container. That’s specifically true because that salads v an oil-based dressing.

If there’s lots of water, and also that salad currently sits in the fridge for choose 4 days, take into consideration discarding that for safety reasons. That liquid is a good place for any kind of bacteria come grow and multiply, and consuming that can not it is in the smartest thing to do.

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If her salad gets watery quickly, think about storing it there is no the dressing and storing the salad dressing separately. Or whipping a new portion the the dressing at any time you desire to eat the salad, if feasible. This way, that salad can retain quality and safety because that longer.