How Long Does Potato Salad Last?

Potato salad is a popular dish that is easy and straightforward to make and loved by many. However, it is also a meal that is easy to make too much of. If you find yourself with too much potato salad to handle, you are probably wondering how long it can keep well before starting to go off. 

In this article, you can find out how long potato salad will last and what is the best way to store it to help it last even longer. There are a few methods of storing potato salad that we will explain so you can avoid any waste and enjoy your homemade meal for longer.

There are a few tips and tricks that can help you here, and we will let you know about the best storage methods, how to tell if your potato salad has gone bad, and more. Just keep reading to find out.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

How Long Does Potato Salad Last?

The length of time that your potato salad is going to last will depend on what ingredients you have added to the mix. As a general rule, you should refrigerate your potato salad within two hours of making it, and it should last for around 3 to 5 days if you have stored it correctly. 

The reason that you need to refrigerate it within two hours is that bacteria can grow rapidly at room temperature, and the longer that you leave it out, the more time there is for harmful bacteria to grow.

You will need to make sure that the food has completely cooled down before putting it in the refrigerator, but you should do so as soon as possible. If your dish has been left out for longer than two hours, you should throw it away. 

How to Store Potato Salad?

When it comes to storing your potato salad in the refrigerator, you should make sure that you use an airtight container (like this one) to put it inside. This will maximize the shelf life as it prevents oxygen from getting to your food and making it go bad faster.

Most types of food will lose their flavor and texture if they are exposed to air or moisture, which is why it is important to use an airtight container. If you can’t find a container with a good fit, you can use plastic film to cover the container and prevent any air from getting in.

Don’t forget that you must use up all of your potato salad within three to five days. If you don’t have a particularly good memory, you can opt to write a label with the date of storing so you won’t forget. If there is still some left after day 5, you should throw it away. 

Can You Freeze Potato Salad?

If you want to make your potato salad last for even longer than it would in the refrigerator, you might be wondering if you can store it in the freezer.

It is not highly recommended that you freeze your potato salad, as it might not give you the results that you expected when it comes to defrosting it. However, it is safe to freeze it to eat it at a later date if you wish to. 

You should always use an airtight container to freeze your potato salad, and if you have a large amount of it leftover, you can use multiple containers. This will make it easier when you defrost it, as you can take out just one portion at a time, instead of the entire amount. 

Spoon the potato salad into as many containers as you need to, but make sure to leave at least an inch of room at the top. Make sure to write the date on a label, so you know when it needs to be eaten and how long it has been frozen. 

Can You Freeze Potato Salad That Contains Mayonnaise?

Food professionals do not recommend that you freeze potato salad if you have used mayonnaise to make it. This is because mayo is made from eggs, which are sensitive to temperature changes.

Mayonnaise is also highly likely to separate once it has been defrosted, and the oil will come apart from the mixture. The taste and texture will also be altered, and all of this combined will ruin the overall dish.

When mayo separates when defrosted, you can re-emulsify it to restore its previous consistency. However, when it is in a potato salad, this would be impossible to do. 

How to Defrost Potato Salad

Before it comes to eating the potato salad that you have frozen for later, you will need to defrost it. You can do this by taking the containers out of the freezer and putting them in the refrigerator to defrost overnight.

You might find that some of the ingredients have separated slightly, depending on what you used to make it. Stirring the mixture for a minute or so will help to restore the ingredients, and your dish should be fine to eat again after this. 

How to Tell if Potato Salad Has Gone Bad

Just like all other types of food, potato salad can go bad. The best way to tell is by using your own initiative and determining whether it looks or smells bad. Potato salad with a strong bad smell has gone off, and you shouldn’t eat it if this is the case.

If there are any signs of mold growing on the food, you should throw it out straight away, and if you start to eat it and it tastes funny, then that probably isn’t a good sign. If it has passed its expiry date, then it isn’t worth the risk of getting food poisoning, so you should discard it.


In answer to the question ‘how long does potato salad last?’ the answer is roughly 3 to 5 days if it has been stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Anything that is leftover past this point should be thrown away.

However, you can choose to freeze your potato salad before it goes bad to make it last even longer.

Scroll to Top