Cooking too much pasta sauce is so easy to do. Instead of throwing it away, it just makes sense to refrigerate it. Besides, there may be a dish later in the week you could use it for. But how long is too long here? This is what you need to know.
So, how long does pasta sauce last in the fridge? Pasta sauce typically lasts between 2-5 days in the fridge. Although fridge temperature, the way the sauce is covered, and the ingredients in the sauce can impact how long it stays good for. Generally, sealing the sauce and keeping it airtight will ensure it lasts as long as possible.
Besides, this is not just about how long we can keep it.
It’s how long you should keep it before it starts to turn.
Nobody wants to eat pasta sauce at that stage!
You won’t be a very popular person in the house that night!
Does Pasta Sauce Go Bad In The Fridge?
Pasta sauce can go bad in the fridge if it is not properly stored and sealed. Even when sealed, and airtight, they will only have a limited time until they start to go off.
And here is why.
Bacteria can actually grow at cold temperatures.
In fact, some particular strains thrive in such conditions.
And the longer you leave pasta sauce, or any other food in the fridge, the longer the bacteria has to proliferate.
While a small amount of bacteria here and there is harmless, in fact – impossible to prevent entirely, if it grows too much it can actually cause illness!
So, first and foremost you need to store it properly.
And we will get to that shortly.
But second, you shouldn’t keep it too long.
Aside from mold, it’s actually hard to see visible signs that pasta sauce has turned.
This is why it is advised to be quite stringent on the timeframes.
If in doubt, chuck it out!
And if you are worried about that previously mentioned bacteria; if you do reheat it later, rest assured any such bacteria should be killed off.
Within reason of course.
How Can You Tell If Pasta Sauce Is Bad?
Smell and color are the main two indicators that pasta sauce has gone bad. And that’s comparing both the smell and color to how they were originally, for that particular sauce.
If pasta sauce passes the look and smell test, then there is actually another way to tell.
You should be able to notice it right away.
And if you do, you need to discard it.
Any food that it has come into contact with, included.
Don’t continue eating as that can make you ill.
In more extreme cases you may even observe the development of mold – which should be quite visible.
At first, mold will collect in a particular section of the sauce, before progressing to the rest of the sauce entirely.
How to Store Pasta Sauce In The Fridge
The best way to store pasta sauce is upright, in a safe place in the fridge in an airtight container. It’s also a good idea to keep the sauce away from the back of the fridge, and somewhere secure to ensure it doesn’t fall out and hurt someone in the process!
Glass bottles are ideal here.
And they fit neatly and conveniently into most fridge shelves.
Next to the milk.
But whether you decide to purchase your own, recycle an old glass bottle from a previous sauce, or even use the one the sauce came in.Besides, you may be making the pasta sauce from scratch at home, or it could have been purchased pre-made.
Alternatively, if you do not have any glass bottles you can use any other container, so long as it is airtight.
Glass is generally best, although any type of Tupperware can be used too.
Just to be to let the sauce sufficiently cool if it was warmed and you do want to transfer it to the fridge.
At least let it cool down to room temperature.
Oh and here’s another thing.
Don’t regularly open the lid while the sauce is in its container in the fridge.
Keep it airtight.
That will help preserve it.
2-5 days. On average.
That’s how long pasta sauce typically lasts.
That’s assuming you’ve done all the right things along the way – including letting it sufficiently cool, transferring it to an airtight container, keeping it sealed etc.
But don’t take my word for it.
The only way to truly tell will be that moment before you intend to reuse it.
How does it smell, how does it look?
Perhaps even give it the taste test.
Assuming no mold is present, obviously.
Wondering how other sauces fare in the fridge? Check out my other guides here:
Hi there. I’m Jeremy – a passionate food technologist with several decades in the food industry. With a love for sauces, food, and nutrition, I decided to create WeWantTheSauce. Here I share my experience, knowledge, and recommendations; from ingredients and recipes to storage all the way through to nutrition for every sauce imaginable.