Does gnocchi go bad?

In this article, we will answer the question “Does gnocchi go bad?” and discuss the shelf life of gnocchi and how to tell if the gnocchi has gone bad. 

Does gnocchi go bad?

Yes, gnocchi goes bad. Cooked and uncooked gnocchi can go bad due to the high moisture content of this food, which makes it susceptible to microbial spoilage.

Gnocchi is made with very perishable ingredients, such as potatoes and eggs and wheat flour and has a short shelf life of days to a month, depending on many factors (1,2,3). 

What determines how fast gnocchi goes bad?

There are many factors that determine how fast gnocchi goes bad. The shelf life of gnocchi depends on the following (1,2,3):

  • The quality of the ingredients: Gnocchi is made of wheat flour, eggs, potatoes and water. These ingredients can carry different microorganisms and previously contaminated ingredients will accelerate spoilage. The use of fresh and high quality ingredients can favor the shelf life extension
  • The production conditions: microbial contamination can be caused through poor handling, bad hygienic conditions of the production facilities
  • The production process: Gnocchi can be pasteurized or irradiated, in order to have an extended shelf life of over a month, according to studies
  • The packaging material: packaging can protect the gnocchi pasta from drying and from microbial contamination, as well from oxygen, extending thus the shelf life. The use of modified atmosphere packaging can also favor the shelf life of fresh gnocchi significantly
  • The storage conditions: refrigerated storage is necessary to ensure the shelf life of fresh or cooked pasta, whereas freezing can extend the shelf life, as it reduces the rate in which degradation reactions as well as microbial growth occur

How can you tell if gnocchi has gone bad? 

To tell if gnocchi has gone bad, you should be able to identify possible signs of spoilage. The common signs are (1,3):

  • Generation of off-odors, such as acetone-like, fruity or alcoholic, which may indicate spoilage by yeast
  • Production of gas, which is noticed by bubbling or bloating of the packaging
  • Formation of slime on the surface or slimy texture
  • Loss of firmness by softening of the dough
  • Generation of off-flavors
  • Discoloration can indicate spoilage by oxidation 

What is the shelf life of gnocchi?

The shelf life of homemade fresh gnocchi is 1-2 days in the fridge and about 2 months in the freezer (4).

The shelf life of pasteurized gnocchi is, according to studies, 30 days under refrigeration (2)., while gamma-irradiated fresh gnocchi pasta can be kept for about 90 days at room temperature without any critical sensory changes (1).

Cooked pasta has a shelf life of 3-5 days in the fridge and 2 months in the freezer.

Can you eat packaged gnocchi past the use-by date? 

Yes, you can eat packaged gnocchi past the use-by date, unless there are signs of spoilage in the gnocchi.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, food can be safely consumed after their use-by date, as the use-by date indicates till when the product has its best quality preserved.

The food may be consumed after this date when it was stored correctly and handled properly (5).

What are the risks of eating spoiled gnocchi? 

The risks of eating spoiled gnocchi are of experiencing a foodborne disease. Gnocchi may be contaminated by several microorganisms, including yeast, bacteria and molds and pathogens (1,2,3).

Salmonella, Streptococcus, and Bacillus species are able to spoil gnocchi and cause diseases, when ingested. 

Staphylococcus aureus, Campylobacter jejuni, Listeria monocytogenes, or Escherichia coli cause foodborne disease and lead to symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and flu-like symptoms (6).

Vacuum packed gnocchi can favor the development of Clostridium botulinum, which is able to grow in low-oxygen conditions and causes botulism, which can be fatal (2,3).

Other FAQs about Pasta that you may be interested in.

What happens if you put the pasta in water before it boils?

Which has more carbs, pasta or potatoes?

What is the only reliable way to test the pasta for doneness?


In this article, we answered the question “Does gnocchi go bad?” and discussed the shelf life of gnocchi and how to tell if the gnocchi has gone bad.


  1. Cassares, Marcella, et al. Effect of gamma irradiation on shelf life extension of fresh pasta. Rad Phys Chemistry, 2020, 174, 108940. 
  2. Schebor, Carolina, and Jorge Chirife. A survey of water activity and pH values in fresh pasta packed under modified atmosphere manufactured in Argentina and Uruguay. J food protect, 2000, 63, 965-969.  
  3. Cook, Frederick K., and Billie L. Johnson. Microbiological spoilage of cereal products. Compendium of the microbiological spoilage of foods and beverages. 2009.  
  4. Food Keeper. United States Department of Agriculture.  
  5. Food Product Labeling. United States Department of Agriculture. 
  6. Foodborne illness and disease. United States Department of Agriculture.

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