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How Long Does Chicken Salad Last? Does it Go Bad?

If you’re like me, then you probably love having a stash of cooked protein in the form of chicken salad on hand to enjoy throughout the week.

But at some point, one might wonder: how long does it last?

Is it alright to eat that same container of chicken salad several days later or is spoilage inevitable?

In this blog post, I’m going to take a deep dive into the answer and give you the 411 on food safety when it comes to storing your homemade (or store bought) short-term savory treat.

Be sure to read all the way through so that you can confidently decide just exactly how long your leftover/stored up chicken salad will last!

What’s Chicken Salad?

Chicken salad is a dish that typically contains chopped chicken, mayonnaise, and a variety of other ingredients such as celery, grapes, nuts, and onions.

It is often served on bread as a sandwich or on top of a bed of greens as a main course salad.

Chicken salad can be made with either cooked or raw chicken, but it is important to use cooked chicken if you are serving the salad to young children, elderly people, or anyone with a weakened immune system.

The Mayo Clinic recommends that chicken salad be refrigerated and consumed within 3-4 days to minimize the risk of foodborne illness.

However, if you are using raw chicken in your chicken salad, it is important to consume it within 1-2 days to avoid the risk of Salmonella or other foodborne illnesses.

Chicken salad is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.

If you are looking for a quick and easy lunch option, try serving chicken salad on a bed of greens or in a whole wheat pita pocket.

For a heartier meal, serve chicken salad over brown rice or quinoa.

You can also get creative with your toppings and add dried fruit, crumbled blue cheese, or avocado for an extra boost of flavor and nutrition.

How to Store Chicken Salad?

When it comes to storing chicken salad, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

The first is that chicken salad needs to be refrigerated.

It’s best to store chicken salad in an airtight container so that it doesn’t dry out.

Chicken salad can last for 3-4 days in the fridge.

Another thing to consider when storing chicken salad is what type of chicken you’re using.

If you’re using cooked chicken, it’s important to make sure that the chicken is properly cooled before adding it to the salad.

You don’t want to add hot chicken to the salad because it will cook the other ingredients and make the salad less safe to eat.

If you’re using raw chicken, make sure to cook it thoroughly before adding it to the salad.

Raw chicken should never be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

When it comes to storing chicken salad, the most important thing is to keep it refrigerated.

Chicken salad will last for 3-4 days in the fridge if it’s stored in an airtight container.

Just make sure to use cooked or cooled chicken so that the salad is safe to eat.

How Long Does Chicken Salad Last?

Chicken salad is one of those dishes that can be enjoyed both hot and cold.

It’s perfect for a summer picnic or a winter potluck.

But how long does chicken salad last?

Chicken salad will last in the fridge for 3-4 days.

After that, the chicken will start to spoil and the salad will no longer be safe to eat.

If you’re not planning on eating the salad within a few days, it’s best to freeze it.

Frozen chicken salad will last for 2-3 months.

When it comes to chicken salad, fresh is always best.

But if you need to make ahead or have leftovers, there’s no need to worry.

Just be sure to store it properly and enjoy within a few days.

Can You Freeze Chicken Salad?

You can freeze chicken salad, but it’s not going to taste as fresh as it would if you made it the day of.

The mayo in chicken salad will separate and become watery when frozen, so it’s not going to be as creamy.

If you’re planning on freezing your chicken salad, make sure to add an extra dollop of mayo before serving.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the texture of the chicken will change when frozen.

It will become more chewy and less tender, so it’s best to eat frozen chicken salad within a few weeks.

After that, the quality will start to decline.

If you do decide to freeze your chicken salad, make sure to store it in an airtight container.

This will help to keep the quality of the salad for longer.

When you’re ready to eat it, thaw it overnight in the fridge and give it a good stir before serving.

How to Tell If Chicken Salad is Bad?

The best way to tell if chicken salad is bad is to look at the color and texture of the chicken.

If the chicken is discolored or looks dry, it’s probably not safe to eat.

Chicken salad can also go bad if it smells sour or off.

If you’re unsure whether the chicken salad is still good, it’s best to err on the side of caution and throw it away.


Chicken salad can last in the fridge for up to four days, but it’s best eaten within two days of being made.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy lunch option, chicken salad is a great choice.

It’s also perfect for potlucks or picnics since it doesn’t need to be kept warm.

Just be sure to keep it chilled until you’re ready to serve it.

Thanks for reading and I hope this was helpful.

How Long Does Chicken Salad Last? Does it Go Bad?

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Shelf Life
Servings 1 Serving


  • Chicken salad
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  • Store your product in an labelled container in a cool, dark place like the pantry or fridge.
  • If your food is frozen, allow it to thaw in the fridge before cooking.
  • Make sure to look for signs that your food has gone bad before eating it.
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