How long can macaroni salad last in the fridge? The answer depends on many factors, including what type of dressing you use, whether or not there are raw eggs in it if onions were used instead of scallions, etc.
This blog post will discuss all aspects, so you know when is the best time to eat your pasta salad before it goes bad!
The shelf life for any macaroni salad with Italian dressing lasts 4-5 days in the fridge (with no eggs).
Is It Safe To Freeze Macaroni Salad?
Yes! Freeze your pasta salad in containers or bags with Ziplocs. If you put the sauce on top of the noodles, they are more likely to get soggy, so make sure it’s mixed well before freezing.
After it’s done freezing, let it thaw in the fridge overnight, then enjoy! -Macaroni salad with pasta is best for up to 6 months. -Macaroni salad with shell pasta is best for up to 3-4 months.
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How Long Can Macaroni Salad Last In The Fridge?
The shelf life for any macaroni salad with Italian dressing lasts 4-5 days in the fridge (with no eggs)
- If your recipe includes cucumbers, add 1-2 more days before it goes bad
- If your recipe includes mayonnaise, add 2 more days before it goes bad
- If your recipe has any sort of seafood in it, discard it immediately
- If your recipe includes hot sauce or spices, subtract 1-2 days before it goes bad
- If your recipe makes more than 4 cups of macaroni salad, divide the leftovers into airtight containers and keep them no longer than 5 days. Also, be sure to mark them with the date!
How Long Can Macaroni Salad Be Left Out?
If you are making your recipe in the morning, keep it out no longer than 4 hours.
If you are making your recipe in the afternoon or evening, overnight is best! Keep it out for up to 6 hours at max before refrigerating.
What Causes Macaroni Salad To Go Bad?
The worst thing for your macaroni salad is if it’s exposed to air, moisture, or heat. It contains mayonnaise, so if you do not seal the container tightly enough, it can quickly become slimy/go bad. Be sure to only use airtight containers when storing your pasta salad at home!
Why Does Macaroni Salad Brown?
Macaroni salad will turn brown if exposed to air. However, you can prevent this by using tightly sealed containers or Ziplocs.
How To Tell If Macaroni Salad Has Gone Bad?
If your macaroni salad turns an odd color, smells unusually sour/fishy, or has mold on it, discard immediately.
If your macaroni salad is slimy or has a cloudy texture/smell, throw that bowl of pasta away! It’s no good to eat anymore!
How To Store Macaroni Salad?
Although you can store homemade macaroni salad in the fridge for up to 5 days, we recommend that you prepare it when you are ready to eat! You can store your leftovers in the fridge for a few days, but if you want the best results, make a fresh batch.
If preparing right before serving, place in the fridge and keep no longer than 4 hours.
For leftovers, divide them into an airtight container and be sure to date the container with a sharpie! Keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.
For long term storage (up to 6 months), freeze your pasta salad in an airtight container, label it with the date, and keep it frozen for up to 6 months. To thaw, let sit overnight in the fridge.
Do not keep your pasta salad outside the fridge for more than 4 hours! That is far too long and may cause it to go bad. Is It Safe To Eat Macaroni Salad That Has Been Sitting Out For More Than 4 Hours? No, you should always refrigerate any macaroni salad that has been left out of the fridge for more than 4 hours.
What Happens If You Eat Old Macaroni Salad?
If you eat old macaroni salad that has been exposed to air, moisture, or heat (for more than 4 hours), there is a chance of getting food poisoning. Make sure you throw out any pasta salad if it’s slimy, smells bad, or looks discolored.
Food poisoning will typically occur within 12-24 hours of eating old food. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and fatigue. If you experience these symptoms within a few days of eating pasta salad, you should seek medical attention immediately!
What Are Some Foods That Go Well With Macaroni Salad?
If you are looking for side dishes to go with your pasta salad, why not try some of these!
- Diced tomatoes
- Baked beans
- Deli meat sandwiches (turkey/chicken) Macaroni Salad Recipes Macaroni Salad With Italian Dressing Recipe Macaroni Salad II Recipe Macaroni Salad With Ham Recipe Macaroni Salad With Sweet Relish Recipe
- If you enjoy seafood, try our Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe or Shrimp Pasta Salad Recipe!
What’s The Best Way To Eat Macaroni Salad?
You can easily eat your macaroni salad by itself. No utensils are needed!
If you want to make a sandwich out of it, be sure not to overfill the bread or your sandwich may fall apart! Be creative with how you choose to serve it.
Homemade Macaroni Salad Recipe
- 2 cups dry macaroni
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 4 hard-boiled eggs,
- diced small 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
- Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Mix the remaining ingredients with the macaroni, making sure it’s evenly mixed.
- Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least 4 hours so the flavors can mix together.
The Bottom Line
Macaroni salad is a popular dish that can be found in many restaurants. It’s easy to make at home! Always remember to discard your pasta salad if it has been left outside of the fridge for more than four hours or smells bad/is discolored/has to mold on it. Make sure you save yourself from getting food poisoning, and make sure to keep your pasta salad cold!
What’s your favorite way to eat macaroni salad? Let us know in the comments below.