Q. I bought a big head of cabbage at a local farmer’s market, and I want to make a huge batch of coleslaw with it. However, I think I’ll get 8 or more cups of coleslaw from the cabbage I have, and there’s no way I can eat all that coleslaw at once! I’m not sure what the best way to store coleslaw would be so that I can enjoy it throughout the summer. Does it matter what type of dressing I use when storing coleslaw? Can you freeze coleslaw?
A. Coleslaw can be frozen, but it depends on the type of dressing you choose to use with it. Freezing coleslaw with a mayonnaise-based dressing is not recommended. Mayonnaise has a tendency to separate after being frozen. Coleslaw with a mayonnaise-based dressing tends to get watery and loses its “crunch.” If you want to use a mayonnaise-based dressing with your coleslaw, you can prepare the coleslaw mix and freeze it undressed, and then add the dressing after the mixture has been thawed.
How to freeze coleslaw?
To freeze dry coleslaw mix, place the mix in a freezer bag, and remove the excess air. Seal the bag, then label and date it. To thaw, remove the bag from the freezer and defrost in the refrigerator. This helps keep the coleslaw ingredients crunchy and cool for the dressing. Dress the coleslaw with the mayonnaise dressing, toss to coat, and serve cold. Refrigerate leftovers immediately.
Oil and vinegar based coleslaws that use mustard seed, celery seed, or lemon juice freeze much more successfully and can be frozen with the dressing already added. To freeze this type of coleslaw, prepare the coleslaw according to the recipe and toss well in the dressing. Freeze the coleslaw in a freezer safe container or in a freezer bag. Remove the excess air, press the coleslaw flat, and seal the bag. Label and date the coleslaw and freeze. . It can be stored stacked in the freezer. Frozen coleslaw should be used within a few months of freezing.
To thaw, remove coleslaw from the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Coleslaw that is dressed will be a bit more watery after thawing than it was when fresh, so drain the excess water off the coleslaw before serving. Previously frozen coleslaw should be used within 2-3 days of thawing. Never refreeze previously frozen coleslaw and always keep it refrigerated.