Pasta is one of the most known Italian dishes used all over the world. There are many different types of pasta with different shapes and flavors you can choose from like spaghetti, fettuccine, ravioli, penne, fusilli, farfalle, and many more.
However, all these pasta noodles that are used to prepare various dishes will not taste soo good if there is no pasta sauce to enhance their flavor.
And while talking about pasta sauces, I have to mention that many different pasta sauces consist of different ingredients and have different flavors.
Tomato sauce is one of the most common pasta sauces, but there are also other types of pasta sauces made with other ingredients such as cheese, milk, cream, and meat. Other sauces include marinara, pesto, alfredo, bolognese, ragu, carbonara, vegan pasta sauces, etc.
You can buy all these sauces or make them at home. However, you must store your pasta sauces properly so they will stay safe for use.
If you have homemade pasta sauce, you can place it in an airtight container. Keep it in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Once opened store-bought pasta sauce can last for 5-7 days.
Let’s learn more about pasta sauce, in general.
Does Pasta Sauce Go Bad in the Fridge?
Pasta sauce goes bad even in the fridge if it is not stored properly. Therefore, if you want to store pasta sauce in the refrigerator it is best to put it in an airtight container and make sure it is sealed properly.
Store-bought pasta sauce once opened can be also stored in the refrigerator. However, it has to be closed and stored at 40°F (4,4°C). Or below to prevent and slow down the mold to form and extend its shelf life.
Once opened pasta sauce, or not properly closed has a greater chance to go bad than the pasta sauce that is not opened, or is properly closed in an airtight container.
How to Store Pasta Sauce Properly?
If you have unopened store-bought pasta sauce you can store it in the cupboard, but after you have opened it you have to keep it in the fridge to prevent it from spoiling.
You also have to store your homemade pasta sauce in an airtight glass or plastic container in the refrigerator.
Store-Bought Pasta Sauce
Most of the store-bought pasta sauces have a 1-year shelf life. However, if you have once opened the jar you have to use it as soon as possible because it can be kept in the refrigerator for only 5-7 days.
Homemade Pasta Sauce
Homemade pasta sauce stored in an airtight container in the fridge can last 3-5 days.
It is not safe to use a pasta sauce that has been kept longer in the refrigerator even if there are no visible signs of mold because it can easily cause you a foodborne illness.
It is recommended to always reheat the pasta sauce before use at 165°F (73,8°C) to kill the bacteria if they are present.
How Long Does Pasta Sauce Stay Good in the Fridge Once Opened?
If you are cooking with pasta sauce occasionally and you always have half a jar of pasta sauce in your fridge then you have to store it properly. That way, you can use it again in your dishes.
There are many different opinions on how long pasta sauce stays good in the fridge once opened but one thing is sure: you can’t keep it longer than 1 week.
The length of his period depends on many different factors such as the type of the pasta sauce, storage temperature, type of the container, how was the pasta sauce treated before you put it in the refrigerator, was the sauce left opened a long period on the counter, etc.
It is important to keep once opened pasta sauce at a temperature of 40-38°F because this temperature can slow down mold growth and extend its shelf life.
How About Leftover Pasta Sauce?
If you have leftover pasta sauce that has been heated once you should not keep it in the refrigerator for more than 3 days even if it is stored in an airtight container.
The more you are reheating and then refrigerating the sauce, the higher the possibility of bacteria growing and multiplying. Therefore, it is better to throw it away than to use this pasta sauce.
Don’t be fooled by the dates you see on the pasta sauce jars. They inform you for how long the pasta sauce will have the same quality and flavor as when it was made but not for how long it is safe to use.
Therefore, once opened pasta sauce that smells, looks, or tastes bad should be discarded as it can contain mold, yeast, or lactic acid bacteria which are bad for your health and can cause food spoilage and poisoning.
Does Tomato Sauce Go Bad in the Fridge?
Tomato sauce is an acidic product that after opening can be stored in the refrigerator for 5-7 days in a glass or plastic airtight container.
Even though tomato sauce contains ingredients like salt and sugar which act as preservatives. It also helps the tomato sauce to stay fresh longer. If it is stored for more than one week it can go bad.
Furthermore, if your tomato sauce changes color, has an acidic smell, or tastes bitter then you should throw it away.
You can extend the shelf life of tomato sauce by freezing it. Put it in freezer bags or freezer-safe containers. Then, store it for up to 6 months to retain its best quality.
Does Cream Sauce Go Bad in the Fridge?
Once opened cream sauce can last from 5-7 days in the refrigerator in a plastic or glass airtight container.
The cream sauce usually contains ingredients like butter, heavy cream, and cheese. To preserve its quality it is better to store it in plastic or glass airtight containers.
If it is not properly stored it can go bad in the fridge as well.
You can also freeze your cream sauce. However, due to the ingredients freezing and thawing can affect the quality of the cream sauce.
Properly frozen cream sauce in airtight containers or freezer bags can last for 6 months. Don’t keep the cream sauce at room temperature for more than 4 hours as it can easily go bad.
Does Wine-Based Sauce Go Bad in the Fridge?
The wine-based sauce can be stored in the fridge in plastic or glass airtight containers for about 3-4 days.
It is usually made with meat stock. And same as other types of sauces, this one can also go bad in the fridge if it is not stored properly. You can also freeze the wine-based sauce and it will keep its good quality for up to 6 months.
Does Oil-Based Sauce Go Bad in the Fridge?
The unopened oil-based sauce can last 6-12 months at room temperature.
However, once opened oil-based sauce has a shorter shelf life. And can last for about 10 days in the fridge, stored in airtight glass or plastic containers.
The oil-based sauce can also go bad if it is not stored properly.
How to Tell if Pasta Sauce is Bad?
Few signs will indicate that your pasta sauce is bad. The first sign that the sauce has gone bad is that it will change its color and become watery.
You will notice that it has a darker color and a bad acidic smell. And if for some reason it happens that you have tried the sauce it will have a bitter flavor. However, the most certain way to tell that your pasta sauce is gone bad is if there is mold formed on its surface.
If your pasta sauce has some of these signs then it is not safe for consumption. So, just toss it.
If you have eaten a spoiled pasta sauce and you feel some of the symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fever, and/or diarrhea it is best to consult a doctor right away as you might be experiencing symptoms of food poisoning.
There are different types of pasta sauces made with many different ingredients. Depending on the type of pasta sauce you can store them for a longer or shorter period in your refrigerator. Or you can freeze them to extend their shelf life.
However, one thing that is in common for all types of sauces is that after opening they all have to be stored in a glass or plastic airtight container. Therefore, keep your sauces in the fridge at all times so they stay safe for use.
If you stick to the suggestions above, you will always have pasta sauce for your dishes. Open the container, observe, smell, and taste your sauce if necessary.
If you don’t notice an unpleasant smell or taste use it. However, if the pasta sauce looks or smells bad don’t hesitate to throw it away.
How do you store your pasta sauce? Do you have any new suggestions to share with us on how to store pasta sauce in the refrigerator?
Share your suggestions in the comment section down below!