Can You Freeze Tuna Fish Salad?

Tuna fish salad, a delectable lunch option, great for picnics parties or to just take for a snack. Tuna salad is often made with canned tuna, and mayonnaise. These are the base ingredients. After that, people can add really whatever they like! Popular additions to tuna salad are pickles, relish, paprika, salt and pepper, celery and mustard, however the beauty of tuna salad is that you can really make it your own.

Tuna salad is an easy thing to make ahead of time. Whether you are meal planning, or cooking ahead for a party, whatever it may be, it’s easy to save tuna salad. While oftentimes it is just saved in the fridge, tuna salad can be frozen for later use. Keep in mind that mayonnaise isn’t freezer friendly and doesn’t bind when it is being thawed, so the flavor and texture of your tuna salad may be a little compromised as it’s thawing. 

Why Can’t Mayo Be Frozen?

The only real issue that arises when it comes to freezing tuna fish salad is because of the mayo. Mayonnaise doesn’t really like to be frozen and here is why. The main ingredients in mayo are eggs, oil, vinegar and lemon. Technically mayo can freeze just fine, however the problem comes when you try to thaw mayo. Because of the ingredients in the mayo, when they are thawed after being frozen they separate, leaving the oil at the top. The texture of thawed mayo is nothing like the creamy soft texture that you had before you froze the mayo. You can try and blend the mixture back together, though sometimes it may not work. 

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With that being said, it is a good idea to leave the mayo out of your tuna salad when you are going to freeze it. It’s better to freeze just the mixture without the mayo, then when the tuna is thawed, add in your mayo. Fun fact, this same rule would apply to something like chicken salad as well. 

How To Freeze Tuna Fish Salad

With everything we’ve talked about above, you now have an understanding of freezing tuna salad. You can mix the tuna with your spices, and everything else but leave the mayo out! Add the mayo once you are ready to eat it and everything else is thawed. This will ensure you get the best texture and taste for your tuna fish salad. Here is how you can freeze the tuna fish.

  1. Combine your spices and mustard, or anything else with your tuna (leaving out the mayo) 
  2. Get a freezer bag or a freezer safe container ready
  3. Scoop your tuna mixture into the freezer container, making sure it is sealed tightly
  4. Tuna can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months 

How To Thaw Tuna Fish Salad

Thawing tuna salad is simple, though you will want patience. There really is no good way to thaw tuna quickly, you will have to take it out of the freezer the night or the day before you’re ready to eat it and keep it in the fridge. 

Once it is thawed, you can add your mayo and anything else you’d like to spice it up and you’re ready to enjoy! 

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Final Thoughts

Tuna salad is a fun dish to make and it’s really easy to make ahead of time and save it for when you are ready to eat it. Tuna can in fact be frozen, however you may want to leave the mayo out until it’s thawed if you want to keep that creamy texture around. Once it’s all thawed, just add your mayo real quick and you’re good to go!