Can I freeze pesto

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “can I freeze pesto?” We will also discuss how you can store your pesto to last longer, which ingredients you can use to prepare it, and its nutritional value.

Can I freeze pesto?

Yes, you can freeze pesto. Freezing pesto can noticeably enlarge the shelf life of this dish for up to 6 months! Also, pesto does not exhibit any alteration to its features and it can be thawed in the fridge or the microwave.

You can store it in containers, jars or you can even use an ice cube tray! If you want to keep your pesto for a longer period, just keep reading!

What is pesto?

The term “pesto” refers to any uncooked sauce that was made by crushing or grinding ingredients until they form a paste. It originates in Italy, and the traditional pesto was made by crushing fresh basil with extra-virgin olive oil, Parmigiano cheese, and other ingredients.

You can either use a mortar and pestle or a blender, the way that suits you better is appropriate for you. Also, feel free to prepare pesto with whatever green you have available, some other ingredients that can be included in your pesto are:

  • Cilantro.
  • Parsley.
  • Oregano.
  • Arugula.
  • Spinach.
  • Baby kale.

Do not limit yourself, pesto can be prepared from many ingredients. You can also use roasted red peppers or sundried tomatoes. What is your favorite way to prepare pesto? Tell us in the comments.

What do you need to prepare pesto?

As discussed above, pesto can be prepared from different ingredients, such as

  • Leafy green herbs (as listed before).
  • Roasted red peppers.
  • Garlic.
  • Olive oil.
  • Cheese.
  • Nuts.

Garlic, salt, and aged cheese are added for flavor, while olive oil adds moisture to the mixture. For a crunchy texture, nuts can be used.

According to FoodData Central, classic pesto provides different nutrients, like

Nutritional facts about classic pesto
Total Fat37.6g

As you can tell, pesto exhibits a large amount of fat, however, most of it is unsaturated and plant-based. So, consuming pesto can provide you with heart health benefits. If you want further guidance on this subject, please click here.

How long can pesto last?

The shelf life of pesto can vary whether it is store-bought or homemade. 

When you have purchased your pesto, you can easily detect the best-by date, but even when it has passed, you can still safely consume your sauce, as long as it remains unopened. Once opened, the shelf life of the sauce is about 7 to 10 days. 

You can also prepare pesto at your home, but as it does not contain any preservatives, its shelf life diminishes to 4 to 5 days when stored in the fridge. Freezing your sauce could enlarge its shelf life by up to 6 months!

How do you store your pesto?

Pesto shelf life
TypeStored in the pantryStored in the fridge
Pesto (sold unrefrigerated, unopened)1 to 3 months past the best-by date
Pesto (sold unrefrigerated, opened)7 to 10 days
Pesto (sold refrigerated, unopened)5 to 7 days past the use-by date
Pesto (sold refrigerated, opened)5 to 7 days
Homemade pesto4 to 5 days

What signs indicate when pesto has gone bad?

Spotting rotten pesto is not hard, you can rely on your senses as they will help you notice when something is off. Some signs you need to consider when consuming this sauce are

  • Mold growth. Eating food with mold is not recommended as it can lead to food poisoning. So, make sure you check both the surface of the sauce and the inside of the container.
  • Off smell. Pesto should smell fresh, so, if you notice a rotten smell, it is better to throw the sauce away.
  • Brownish coloration. If you notice that the basil leaves have changed their color from green to brown, your pesto should be discarded.

How should pesto be stored?

The best way to store pesto is in a space that is not near sunlight, heat sources, or humidity. All of these factors can damage your sauce and accelerate spoilage. Make sure you store your pesto in an airtight container, seal it well and labeling can also help you keep track of time. 

Homemade pesto should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container, it is recommended to add a little bit of olive oil on top, this will keep the quality a bit longer.

Other FAQs about Sauces that you may be interested in.

Can I substitute spaghetti sauce for marinara sauce?

Can I substitute spaghetti sauce for pizza sauce? 

Can I thicken spaghetti sauce with cornstarch?

Can I use marinara sauce instead of tomato sauce in chilli?


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “can I freeze pesto?” We have also discussed other queries related to the subject at hand. 

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.