How Long Does Pasta Last in the Fridge? [Answers] to Your QUESTIONS

Does Pasta Expire?

Have you ever wondered how long does pasta last in the fridge? It’s possible that you have some leftover pasta for you to store in the refrigerator safely, but does pasta expire?

how long does pasta last in the fridge

The short answer is yes. The more complex answer is that how long pasta lasts in the fridge can vary based on different factors. Supermarket-bought fresh pasta can last up to three days in the fridge. Home-made pasta can last in the fridge for just one or two days, but it’d be best to eat it within 18 hours. 

How Long Does the Different Types of Pasta Last in the Fridge?

If you’re quickly searching for an answer to how long the main types of pasta can be stored in the fridge, look no further. 

Homemade pasta cooked fresh: 4 days. 

Dry pasta cooked at home: 4 days.

Store-bought pasta cooked fresh: 2 days.

Gluten-free pasta: 4 days.

Stuffed pasta, such as ravioli: 4 days.

Pasta cooked with sauce: 5 days.

pasta cooked with sauce

If you’re wondering how long does dry pasta last, though, you should be extra careful because dry pasta shouldn’t be stored in refrigerators or freezers. After all, it may absorb moisture. You should instead store boxes of dry pasta in a pantry or a cupboard. 

How long does cooked pasta last in the fridge? Most cooked pasta won’t last more than five days before it expires. Sometimes it can even show signs that it is off after just three days from storage in the fridge. 

Signs That Your Pasta is Off

It usually is pretty simple to understand when your pasta has gone off, it may become gooey or slime, or it may even grow mold you can clearly see. Its color may also look weird. Use your smell too, because sometimes pasta that has gone off smells bad. 

The Best Ways of Storing Pasta in the Fridge

Leftover, dry or filled pasta can be stored in the fridge to be eaten at a later date. However, filled pasta, like ravioli or tortellini, usually has a shorter life span than dry pasta and the length of their safe storage depends on what they are filled with. 

green and yellow tortelini pasta

These types of pasta usually last between a few days and a few weeks. Be sure to check the expiration date on the package to be on the safe side. Plain, cooked pasta without any sauce or any other ingredient should be put in a plastic sealable bag or a container before putting it in the refrigerator, where it can last for up to five days. 

Remember that cooked pasta should not sit out for more than two hours. Then, when you put the cooked pasta in either the container or the plastic sealable bag, just make sure it has not become coated and it does not stick together. 

To prevent that from happening, you can mix it with a bit of butter, or you can use oil. Before closing the container or the bag, make sure the pasta has completely cooled off. When it comes to fridge storing, the kind of pasta doesn’t really matter. Whether you’re dealing with spaghetti, large shells, lasagna noodles, or whatever other types of pasta, it is not really an issue. 

Can You Get Sick From Leftover Pasta?

The short answer is yes. Eating leftover pasta can be pretty dangerous. You can actually get food poisoning because some bacteria can also be found in cooked pasta. B. cereus, for instance, is a type of bacteria you can easily get if you eat pasta four or five days after its preparation.

It usually causes nothing serious, just a harmless yet annoying mild case of food poisoning, but you never know. Symptoms typically are nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting even though, in some rare cases, it has lead to death. 

Why Does Cooked Pasta Grow Bacteria?

When it comes to sealing the leftover pasta before storing it in the fridge, remind yourself to be extra careful and make sure the cooked pasta has completely cooled off before sealing it because moisture trapped when pasta is still warm can help bacterial proliferation. It also encourages mold to grow. 

How Long Does Pasta Sauce Last in the Fridge?

Pasta often goes with yummy sauces, but how long does pasta sauce last in the fridge? To be on the safe side, you should check the pasta sauce for any preservatives. In general, though, pasta sauce can last up to ten days. 

The quality of the sauce is paramount and how accurately it is being stored in the fridge to determine the exact possible length of the sauce preservation. You can use glass bottles or any other airtight container to store pasta sauce in the fridge. Let’s now see some types of pasta sauces in detail:

Tomato-based sauces

Think about the tomato-based sauce you may use for your “spaghetti alla puttanesca.” It can last up to 10 days.  

Cream-based sauces

Made with butter, cream, and cheddar, it’s the most nutritious kind of pasta sauce, and it may last up to seven days in the fridge (unopened). 

Wine-based pasta sauces

wine based pasta sauce

You may not know that wine actually is an ingredient used in some types of pasta sauces, but its flavor often is light and sweet, and its goal is just to make the sauce taste strong. It lasts between ten and fourteen days in the fridge (unopened). 

Oil-based pasta sauces

Oil-based sauces bring a unique flavor to pasta, yet they are often unheard of. It tastes greasy due to the oil, and it often is combined with various vegetables. It lasts between seven and ten days in the fridge (unopened).

Pasta salad 

A mix of oregano, olive oil, pepper, salt, and red wine vinegar, pasta salad is an excellent solution for those who love to store pasta sauces because it should be prepared earlier and stored to be consumed at a later date for it to taste at it’s best. How long does pasta salad last in the fridge? It can last up to three or four days as long as it is properly stored in an airtight container.

Italian pasta salad

How long does open pasta sauce last in the fridge? We have mentioned how long pasta lasts in the refrigerator unopened, but, let’s be honest-it often has already been opened when we need to store it. Opened pasta sauce may last between three and ten days in the fridge. 

Spaghetti sauce, for instance, can last up to ten days and should be stored in an open metal can or in a covered plastic container or glass after opening it to keep it at its best quality.

When it comes to storing pasta sauces in the fridge, some ways are better than others. For example, you sometimes may have sauce already mixed with pasta, and other times you have a container with only pasta sauce ready to store and use in the next few days. Either way, pasta sauces should always be stored in an airtight container. 

Those serve-to-go sauces will then be available for a couple of days. Still, if you need to store them for a longer period, you can transfer the pasta sauce to an airtight zip-lock bag, or you can keep it there from the beginning if you already know you’ll need more than a few days to pass before you are going to use that pasta sauce. 

The Bottom Line

Pasta is without a doubt one of the yummiest and most loved food in the whole world. There is nothing like Italian-made pasta. You can get a taste of the fantastic food by preparing it yourself or simply buying it at the grocery store and cook it. Still, the good news is, if stored properly, leftover pasta can be consumed at a later date and can save a lunch or dinner during the week, or it may do the job if you want to impress family and friends over the weekend. 

Always remember to be careful with storing leftover pasta, check for any expiration dates, and follow the rules to avoid throwing it away or, even worse, feeling sick after having eaten pasta or pasta sauce has gone bad. 

A tip you could use is to be careful of the refrigerator’s internal temperature because low temperatures discourage bacterial growth and survival so that food doesn’t lose its expected shelf life. 

The fridge is also a great way to keep the original texture of pasta sauces as it provides enough moisture. UV sterilization can also be used to preserve the quality of pasta sauce. It may kill up to 99% of bacteria. 

Don’t think that storing pasta or pasta sauce in the fridge will 100% prevent bacteria from growing and spreading as not all bacteria are affected by low temperatures. 

Remember to keep an eye on anything important and some tips for preserving pasta and pasta sauces in the fridge. And now, who’s ready to cook?