How Long Does Egg Salad Last in the Fridge?

Here’s all you need to know about the shelf life, storage, and spoilage of egg salad. Learn how long egg salad lasts, how to store the leftovers, and when to toss it.

Bought or made too much egg salad, and not sure how many days it can sit in the fridge? How long is egg salad good for?

Or maybe you’re about to cook eggs for the salad, and you’re considering doubling the recipe. But you’re not quite sure if you can freeze the leftovers.

Sounds familiar?

If so, this article is for you. Let’s dive right in.

Info

All the info below applies to your salad no matter if it’s made with mayonnaise, greek yogurt, hummus, or any other mayo alternative. As long as it has plenty of hard-cooked eggs, it’s an egg salad.

Bread with egg salad
Bread with egg salad

Table of Contents

How Long Does Egg Salad Last?

CounterFridge
Egg Salad2 hours3 – 4 days

Egg salad keeps for 3 to 4 days in the fridge and doesn’t freeze well.

The only exception when the storage time might be shorter is when your salad features an ingredient that quickly loses quality, e.g., a dressing that separates after a day or so. Otherwise, it should keep for 4 days without any issues.

That’s the recommendation from FoodSafety.gov, and it’s definitely one to follow. You could probably refrigerate the salad for an extra day or so, but any more than that and you’re playing with fire.

And in case you were wondering, this guideline applies to other salads too, so if you were curious how long tuna salad lasts or how long is chicken salad good for, I just saved you a couple of clicks.

Even though egg salad might include a bunch of various ingredients, such as dill, chives, pickles (here’s how long pickles last), mustard, onions, and so on, that 3 to 4 days suggestion stays true for pretty much any type of egg salad.

Tip

Hard-boiled eggs last about a week. Instead of doubling the amount of egg salad you make, boil twice as many eggs. When you finish the first batch of the salad, you can quickly whip the second one right away because you have the eggs ready and waiting.

Egg salad prep
Egg salad prep

How Long Can Egg Salad Sit Out?

Throw out egg salad that’s unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours. The reason behind that is that bacteria multiply quickly at temperatures between 40°F (5°C) and 140°F (60°C), and after those 2 hours, they could rise to levels that could cause food-borne illness.

If it’s a how day and the temperature where the salad sits is above 90°F (32°C), that period shrinks to 1 hour.

What if you want to bring the egg salad to a picnic?

There are two options to go about that.

The first one is to eat the salad early in the day so that it doesn’t sit in a warm temperature for hours. If you go with this one, throw out any leftovers.

The second one is to use a cooler bag, portable fridge, or a similar gadget. If picnics are your thing, buying one of these is definitely worth it.

Finished egg salad in a bowl
Finished egg salad

How To Store Egg Salad

Store egg salad in the fridge sealed tightly. If your store-bought salad doesn’t come in a resealable container, transfer the leftovers into an airtight container.

Like with other salads (e.g., potato salad), always use clean cutlery when you’re scooping the salad. Double-dipping is never a good idea unless you want this popular sandwich spread to grow mold prematurely or risk food poisoning.

Also, try to keep the salad on the counter for as short as possible. Grab the container, scoop the paste onto your sandwiches, and put it back in the fridge sealed tightly.

What if you have too much egg salad on hand? Can you freeze the excess to eat later? Let’s talk about that.

Egg salad in a container
Egg salad in a container

Can You Freeze Egg Salad?

Unfortunately, egg salad doesn’t freeze well. That’s because egg whites become rubbery after thawing, and most dressings (including mayo) separate upon defrosting.

What you end up with after freezing and defrosting the egg salad is a watery mess with altered texture, separated dressing, and limp veggies that used to be crisp. Long story short, it’s not worth it.

Tip

If you have a ton of egg salad in the fridge, try finding creative ways to use more of it. Sometimes it’s as simple as adding it as a side dish for dinner or spreading a more generous amount over your toasts.

Bagels with egg salad
Bagels with egg salad

How To Tell If Egg Salad Has Gone Bad?

There are a couple of things to do before you make an egg salad sandwich with that egg salad that sits in the fridge for a few days already. Here’s what to do:

  • Check dates. If you made or bought that salad more than 5 days ago, discard it.
  • Give it a good whiff. If there’s an off smell (probably from the eggs), it’s no good.
  • Consider texture. If you made the salad using homemade mayo or yogurt, it might have separated a bit by this point. Try reviving it by giving it a good whisk. If that doesn’t help, it’s past the point of no return.
  • Taste it. If there aren’t any red flags until now, it’s time to give a tiny amount a taste. If it’s no good, get rid of it.

Like with all foods, err on the side of caution. If you’re not 100 percent sure that 4 days old egg salad is okay to eat, play it safe and discard it.

Breakfast with egg salad
Breakfast with egg salad

Does Adding Vinegar or Lemon Juice Extend the Lifespan of Egg Salad?

I wouldn’t bet on that.

In many articles, you can find that if you want to extend the storage time of an egg salad, you should add a bit of lemon juice or vinegar. There are a couple of issues with that statement.

First, vinegar can’t destroy all the germs. Sure, it works well against several pathogens responsible for common foodborne diseases, including Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Salmonella, but not all of them.

Second, it’s not like all of the salad ingredients are submerged in vinegar or lemon juice. There are probably only a few drops of it, maybe a teaspoon, that’s it. Assuming that such a small amount will prevent or slow down bacterial growth in a big bowl of egg salad is naive.

All in all, adding lemon juice or vinegar might help a bit, but I would advise against assuming a salad with one of those acidic ingredients has a longer shelf life than one without.

Egg Salad Shelf Life and Spoilage Summary

Thank you for taking the time to read this short guide on egg salad. Let’s recap what we’ve covered above:

  • How long does egg salad last? Unless it features any ingredients that lose quality sooner, egg salad lasts four days in the fridge. You might let it sit for an extra day, but any more than that is risky.
  • How long can egg salad sit unrefrigerated? Egg salad can sit on the counter for up to 2 hours. If the temperature is above 90°F (32°C), that period shrinks by half.
  • How to store egg salad? Keep it sealed tightly and in the fridge. Egg salad doesn’t freeze well because the whites go rubbery, the veggies limp, and the dressing often separates.