Does dry pasta go bad?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “does dry pasta go bad” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not dry pasta goes bad. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of dry pasta and the difference between dry and fresh pasta.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Does dry pasta go bad?

When it comes to dry pasta, it is a shelf-stable commodity and lasts for a very long time if it is stored properly. Like all other food items, dry pasta does go bad after a certain time but the good news here is that the shelf life of dry pasta is quite long so you do not have to worry about your dry pasta going bad because you have a long time to use it before it can go bad.

Moreover, dry pasta does not go bad in the conventional terms, which means that as long as there is no mold or organic growth on the dry pasta, consuming an old pasta won’t harm you.

It is worth mentioning that a mold can only grow on your dry pasta if it is kept in an unopened jar or container in a humid and warm environment. The moisture content of the air in a humid environment is quite high and if dry pasta is stored in such a place then moisture can mess up with the texture and quality of pasta and because of warm temperature, there will be greater chances of the mold to spread on it and spoil it.

Moreover, if you smell something rancid or putrid while taking a sniff test of your pasta then it is an indication of a bad pasta and it is better to discard such pasta (the rancid smell is often associated with pasta that has egg present in its formulation).

So it is a rare phenomenon that you spot a mold on the dry pasta and only if the pasta has egg in its formulation, that’s when it would give a rancid smell after going bad (it is worth mentioning that mostly dry pasta do not have egg in it), so the thing that is mostly associated with a bad dry pasta is the presence of small bugs in your dry pasta.

So if you spot some tiny bugs in your pasta then it is the time you should get rid of the dry pasta.

Another worth mentioning thing is that you will find the “best by” or “best before” date written on the pack of dry pasta and this date refers to the quality rather than safety so the pasta doesn’t necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date. 

This date refers to the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality and flavor of pasta but you can still use dry pasta that is past this date as long as it was stored properly.

Other FAQs about Pasta which you may be interested in.

How much water is needed to boil pasta?

How to keep the pasta from boiling over?

How long does refrigerated pasta last?

What is the shelf life of dry pasta?

Dry pasta lasts for about 1-2 or even more years if stored properly in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat. If you have an unopened dry pasta pack, you can store it as it is in the pantry but once you have opened your dry pasta pack, it is recommended to transfer the remaining dry pasta in an air-tight container or resealable plastic zipper bag to halt the air exposure of dry pasta.

You should not store your pasta in a humid environment, because if somehow moisture finds its way to your pasta, it can mess up its quality.

What is the difference between dry and fresh pasta?

Dry and fresh pasta differs in the ingredients that are used to make them as well as the method of preparation. Fresh pasta is made by using eggs and flour (all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour). These two ingredients are mixed to make a dough which is kneaded and afterward pressed with the help of rollers and cut.

On the other hand, dry pasta is made using finely ground semolina flour mixed with water. Then this paste is stuffed into molds and cut into the desired shapes. Now the dry pasta is dried at a low temperature for several days until all its moisture gets evaporated and that is why dry pasta has a longer shelf life.

You can read when to use dry pasta vs. when to use fresh pasta here


In this brief guide, we answered the question “does dry pasta go bad” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not dry pasta goes bad. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of dry pasta and the difference between dry and fresh pasta.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.