Do you love salads of all kinds? From fresh fruit salads to those with famous leafy greens, salads are a staple food item that people consume daily.
However, they aren’t known for their superior longevity. Most salads – especially those with salad greens – tend to go bad quickly.
How long is the shelf life, though?
Find out how long you can store salad below!
How Long Does Salad Last in the Fridge
How long a salad can actually last in the fridge depends mainly on what type of salad you’re storing. That’s why we’ve included the top five salads below.
This type of salad is one of the most beloved options for sandwiches and wraps.
Due to the inclusion of chicken, this salad can easily be stored in the fridge for up to four days.
Potato salad has a slightly longer shelf life than chicken salad stored in the fridge.
You can keep munching on this delectable “salad” when stored properly for five days.
Tuna salad is another great salad that people make often.
Research suggests that this type of salad can be enjoyed between three and five days after being placed in the fridge.
This type of salad lasts the same amount of time as potato salad: five days.
So, if you find that you can’t finish up your egg salad ASAP, know that you have plenty of time to consume this yummy store-bought or homemade salad.
Coleslaw, like potato and egg salad, can last in the fridge for up to five days when properly stored.
A traditional salad, such as Caesar salad, doesn’t have the same life span – especially if it’s a dressed salad.
Leftover salads with salad dressings may only last one or two days.
Those without salad dressing can easily last for three to five days.
Fresh fruit salad will stay fresh for five days in the fridge.
Regardless of the pasta salad you make, you can rest assured that your delicious concoction will last four to five days when stored in the refrigerator.
How To Keep Salad Fresh Longer? 6 Prep & Storage Tips
Most salad lasts less than five days in the refrigerator, which doesn’t give you a lot of time. But if you want to maximize the longevity and freshness of your food, you can follow these tips.
1. Use Fresh Ingredients
The fresher your ingredients are, the longer you can keep your salad fresh.
For example, if you’re making a salad that includes salad leaves, baby spinach, and other vegetables, you want to ensure they’re fresh and crisp.
If they’ve been in the fridge for several days already, they’re inching towards going bad before they even make it into your salad, causing your salad to go bad quicker.
2. Wash Your Ingredients
Keep your salad good for a more extended period by washing your ingredients in cold water.
This is especially true if you make a salad with lettuce leaves or fruit.
While you’re at it, wash your hands thoroughly before making your salads to reduce the chance of premature bacterial growth.
3. Dry Ingredients Before Using
Yes, you should wash your ingredients before using them. But you need to dry them before creating your salad. Otherwise, you’re sure to wind up with excess water that can cause your salad to go bad quickly.
You can use a salad spinner to easily dry off lettuce leaves. Or, you can use paper towels.
4. Wait to Add Dressing
If you know you’re planning to place salad in the fridge – whether it’s up to two days, three days, or five days – I recommend waiting to add the dressing.
Dressed salads go bad quicker than undressed ones. So, keep your dressing off to the side until you’re ready to consume your tasty food.
This is especially true for dressings containing some acid, such as citrus juice.
5. Store in an Airtight Container
Regardless of which salad you make, always store the prepared salad in a container. This will allow it to retain its freshness while fending off strong odors.
If your container doesn’t have a lid, you can always wrap the top tightly with plastic wrap.
Glass containers also work like a charm.
Whichever container you use, always place the salad in the crisper drawer!
6. Add a Dry Paper Towel to the Container
Another easy way to extend longevity is to add a paper towel to the container.
Paper towels will soak up excess moisture that would otherwise cause wilted leaves.
Signs Salad Has Gone Bad
Most salad options are loaded with health benefits. But if you consume old salad, you may end up with a foodborne illness instead.
Make sure you don’t end up connected to your toilet for the night by looking for these signs that your salad has gone bad.
1. Change in Texture
One of the easiest ways to tell that your salad has gone bad is to look at the texture.
Does the salad appear slimy? Then it’s gone bad.
This option works best for salads that contain lettuce and other raw vegetables.
2. Off Smell
Go ahead and smell your salad. If it smells off, then it’s bad and should not be consumed.
This is especially true for salads that contain meat or dairy products, as they’re more likely to cause food poisoning.
Discoloration can also be a clear indicator that your food is past its prime.
Look it over. Do you notice any discoloration, such as brown spots? Is there any fuzzy mold beginning to grow? Then don’t eat it and get rid of it ASAP!
Can You Eat Leftover Salad the Next Day?
As long as you put the salad in the fridge within two hours after making it, it’s perfectly fine to eat leftover salad the next day.