How Long does Chicken Salad Last?

There is no right or wrong answer to the question: How long does chicken salad last? It is best eaten within three to four days. The shelf life of chicken salad depends on the cooking and storage methods used. If you’re unsure how long chicken salad last, here are some tips. Make sure you store your chicken salad in an airtight container and use it within three days.

Chicken Salad

When making chicken salad, ensure the chicken is cooked to a temperature of at least 165°F. Check the temperature of the chicken with a food thermometer before cooking it. Remember that, depending on the temperature, you may keep your chicken salad in the refrigerator for three to five days. Furthermore, it should be refrigerated within an hour of preparation. It will not return to its former state if left out for more than two hours.

Chicken Salad

The iconic creamy American-style meal that dates back to the mid-1800s may be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “chicken salad.” Boiling eggs, celery, apples, grapes, and almonds or nuts are common additions to this chicken salad, and these ingredients are often blended with cooked chicken and held together with mayonnaise.

Many distinct flavor profiles and components can be combined in a chicken salad. It’s usually served cold and made with cooked chicken, a dressing, and extra veggies, nuts, seeds, or fruit for added taste and crunch. Thai-inspired chicken salad, for example, combines chopped chicken and cucumber with peanut, ginger, garlic, chile oil, and rice vinegar aromas.

Sour cream and mayo bind together chicken and assorted vegetables such as beans, corn, and potatoes in a traditional Mexican chicken salad called Ensalada de Pollo. Chicken salad can be found in delis and restaurants, purchased prepackaged at the grocery store, or made from scratch at home.

How Long does Chicken Salad Last?

If you’re wondering how long chicken salad lasts, the answer mostly depends on storage conditions. Refrigerating it within a few years of preparation or purchase is a smart practice, and the chicken salad should be refrigerated in sealed containers to extend its shelf life.

  • Chicken salad can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days if properly stored, and chicken salad should be discarded after a couple of hours if it is going to be left at room temperature.
  • This is because germs begin to thrive rapidly between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Look for a little off odor, appearance, or mold if you’re unsure whether or not to discard the chicken salad. It’s best not to taste it because it can make you sick. At the same time, the ingredients utilized should precisely determine the salad’s shelf life.
  • In a low moisture environment, such as an airtight container in the fridge, chopped or cooked veggies and mayonnaise can easily last for five days. Vegetables, on the other hand, can lose their nutritious value after two to three days.
  • When it comes to cooked chicken, it’s best to avoid eating it after three days in the fridge. If there is nothing else to eat on the fifth day, it can be eaten, but it should only be done as a last resort.
  • It’s ideal for keeping it in a container that can be covered for storage. Using your senses to assess whether or not your chicken salad is safe to eat is a valid test.
  • Your senses are the most dependable equipment, even if they aren’t flawless. A spoiled chicken salad has a lot of similarities to other salads, and Discoloration, a foul odor, and a slimy, damp texture are among them.
  • The chicken may absorb the flavors of the other components, such as onions, lettuce, and tomatoes, resulting in a foul odor. The Discoloration is caused by naturally occurring enzymes in salad ingredients that degrade and ruin the carbs and proteins.
  • Finally, mold and bacterial growth are responsible for the slimy feel. Chicken salads contain a high moisture content, creating ideal conditions for mold and bacteria to develop over time.

Can you Freeze Chicken Salad?

Chicken Salad

Unfortunately, freezing chicken salad isn’t a good idea in most circumstances. Fresh chicken salad will look and taste better than thawed chicken salad, and it will be safe to eat, but the quality will degrade.

When it comes to freezing this salad, here’s what’s likely to go sideways:

  • if it includes mayo or a dairy-based dressing, it will separate
  • egg whites will turn rubbery
  • most veggies will turn limp and release extra water – you will end up with a soggy chicken salad
  • if there are any fruit pieces, most of them will undergo a similar process to veggies, which means even more sogginess and no crunch

As you can see, freezing a homemade or store-bought chicken salad isn’t do you any good. Cooked grains (such as rice or quinoa) and cooked chicken freeze well, which is great news. You can take advantage of this by preparing twice as many grains or chicken as needed and freezing the surplus.

How can I Tell if Chicken Salad has Gone Bad?

There are three easy ways to tell if it is time to discard your chicken salad:


Keep an eye out for any discoloration or alterations in appearance. Is your chicken salad a little dry in places? Is the chicken, any of the vegetables, or any of the other components discolored or darkened? Do you think it’s slimy or overly moist? Any of these signs may signal that you should toss your salad.


Throw away your chicken salad if it has an unpleasant odor. The odor could result from the chicken salad absorbing scents from other foods in the fridge, or it could result from spoiling any of the ingredients. If there is an unpleasant odor, it’s time to get rid of it.


If you’re not sure, try a small bit. Throw away your salad if anything about it tastes wrong. A word of caution: Do not taste or eat the salad if mold is present. Throw it away.

Unfortunately, chicken salad (especially with mayonnaise) is not a food that, when homemade, can be kept for long. So when planning, be sure to factor in your storage time if you are looking to make it ahead, and only make as much as will be consumed within 3-5 days.

How to Store Chicken Salad?

Your chicken salad should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Transfer any leftovers into a food container and refrigerate if yours is store-bought and you can’t readily reseal it.

If your salad has a lot of greens (such as lettuce, spinach, or kale), use a larger container instead of cramming everything into a single one. The vegetables will not wilt as rapidly and will retain their quality for longer.

When serving the salad, always use clean equipment and never double-dip if you’re not going to consume the contents of a container in one sitting. Following this regulation can avoid microbial infection, which could cause the chicken salad to mold prematurely.

Are There Alternatives to Using Mayonnaise in Chicken Salad?

There are several alternatives to traditional mayonnaise for use in chicken salad, including:


Yogurt is a common mayonnaise substitute used in salad dressings and sauces. Greek yogurt is thicker than other sorts, so it will likely have a similar texture.


Using a vinaigrette to dress your salad can make it lighter, brighter, and more sophisticated – especially if it’s a citrus-based vinaigrette.

Nut Cream

Using a nut cream will give the traditional chicken salad a new twist. Cashew cream, commonly used in raw diets, may be manufactured at home and, when combined with citrus-based ingredients, can serve as a substitute for mayo.

The bad news is that because the chicken’s clock is still ticking, using one of these substitutes will not prolong the time your chicken salad can be stored.

Does it Help with Weight Loss?

Chicken salad offers both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to weight loss. Chicken salad may aid weight loss in some people, while it may obstruct weight loss in others.

Chicken salad’s high protein content may help you feel fuller for longer. It may also help you control your appetite and food cravings, which can help you lose weight.

Several studies have found high protein diets particularly beneficial for weight loss and long-term weight maintenance. While chicken salad is heavy in protein, it isn’t a particularly effective weight-loss food.

Instead, the best way to lose weight is to consume an overall healthy diet that meets your daily calorie needs and is high in lean protein, healthy fats, fiber, and nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. Chicken salad can readily be incorporated into this diet if consumed in moderation.


Chicken salad isn’t something you’ll want to eat regularly, and it’s preferable to make it as needed and only keep it in the fridge for a few days before eating it.

Chicken salad is a great method to convince your children to eat more vegetables. This recipe is both delicious and simple to prepare. However, the length of the chicken salad is determined by the ingredients utilized. To avoid chemicals and other toxins, opt for organic chicken breast. Instead of butter, you might use olive oil. In addition, celery and carrots are high in fiber and minerals. If you want to be healthier, use lettuce leaves instead of bread.

Chicken salad can be refrigerated for a few days if it isn’t left out for more than two hours. Furthermore, by double-dosing the recipe, you can extend the shelf life of store-bought salad. Knowing what components to use will help you extend the shelf life of your chicken salad and enjoy it for longer. While the salad can be refrigerated for many days, it is best consumed as soon as possible.