Does pasta expire?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “does pasta expire” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not pasta expires. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of fresh, cooked, and dry pasta along with ways to spot bad pasta.

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

Does pasta expire?

Whether or not pasta expires depends mainly upon whether or not it was cooked. As the cooked pasta is boiled in water thereby it can go bad pretty quickly. For how long the cooked pasta lasts depends upon the storage conditions in which you are keeping it.

On the other hand, when it comes to dry pasta it has a long shelf life but like all other foods, it also expires after a certain time.

When it comes to pasta you can look for certain indicators that will tell you whether or not your pasta is bad.

If you spot some mold or any other organic growth in the surface of your pasta then we recommend you get rid of such pasta. Eating pasta that has gone bad can put you at the risk of many food-borne illnesses especially food poisoning. Which symptoms of food poisoning you will experience generally depend on the type of bacteria growth the pasta had.

If you cooked old pasta with some meat or dairy product in it, then it can have bacteria like Salmonella, Listeria, and Campylobacter that can cause severe health issues. 

Moreover eating pasta infected with B.Cereus can cause severe gastrointestinal issues like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.

Moreover, if you smell some off-smells like something acidic or putrid in your cooked pasta then it is an indication of bad pasta and you should discard it. If you spot black, brown, or white specks on your cooked pasta then you should get rid of it.

How long does pasta last?

Different variants of pasta have different shelf lives mainly depending upon the key ingredient that is used in its formulation. Moreover, whether the pasta was home-made, or store-bought, or if it was dry or fresh, also impacts its shelf life.

Fresh store-bought pasta

While talking about the fresh store-bought pasta, it lasts for more than 1-2 days when stored in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fresh homemade pasta

Fresh homemade pasta lasts for about 3 days when it is stored in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can read how to make fresh pasta at home here.

Pasta leftovers

So if you have cooked your pasta and are left with some leftovers, then these pasta leftovers last for about 3-5 days if stored in an air-tight container in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Moreover, when it comes to fresh pasta or pasta leftovers you should keep one thing in mind that you should not leave your opened fresh pasta or cooked pasta leftovers at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Bacteria grow at a faster pace between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit and if you leave your pasta for more than 2 hours at room temperature then there are great chances that bacteria would have already found their way to your pasta and would have spoiled it. Therefore you should discard the cooked pasta that is left out in open for more than 2 hours.

Dry pasta

Dry pasta has the longest shelf life and it lasts for about 1-2 years or even more 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 if you have opened your dry pasta packet then it is recommended to store the rest of the dry pasta in an air-tight container.

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.

Is pasta safe to use after the best-before date?

The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the pack of pasta refers to the quality rather than safety so pasta doesn’t necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date. It is the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality and flavor of pasta but you can still use pasta that is past this date as long as it was stored properly.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “does pasta expire” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not pasta expires. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of fresh, cooked, and dry pasta along with ways to spot bad pasta.



Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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