Does Pasta Go Bad?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “Does pasta go bad?” as well as other related questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how to store pasta and how long does pasta last.

Does pasta go bad?

Absolutely, pasta does go bad over time. Now the question is whether the pasta is dry or cooked. 

Dry pasta will last for about a year or two, on the other hand, fresh pasta will only last for about 4-5 days. THe shelf life of pasta depends on the storage conditions, when it was prepared, and the ingredients used in the preparation of pasta. 

Dry pasta is a kitchen staple that often sits in the cupboard for months or even years at a time. Like cheese, pasta is one of the top favourite foods in the whole world. If you are a pasta lover then your pantry must be filled with all kinds of food. 

How To Store Pasta

Pasta is a food that is shelf-stable and can be easily stored for longer periods. You can keep it in your pantry to cook whenever you want. You should store dry pasta in a cool and dry area, preferably in the pantry or in the kitchen.

Once you open the package, you can leave the pasta in it, or transfer it to an airtight container as a container protects the food product from any moisture much better than the plastic packaging does. 

If properly stored uncooked, dried pasta can stay in the pantry for1-2 years. Fresh and cooked pasta can be stored in the refrigerator as the cold temperature slows down bacteria and mold growth. Fresh pasta can last for around 4-5 days in the refrigerator.

Cooked pasta can go into the fridge in an airtight container; it can stay good for around a week. To avoid clumping, toss pasta with extra virgin oil. If the pasta is already mixed with sauce, no need to add anything else.

How Long Does Pasta Last

Pretty much all dry pasta comes with a “best-by” or “best if used by” date. That date is not an expiration date, but only a rough estimate of how long the pasta will retain its freshness. Pasta won’t magically turn bad after this date. You can allow a few months to a year after the recommended date, subject to perfect packaging and ideal storage conditions.

When it comes to fresh or homemade pasta, it’s good for only a couple of days. If it’s a store-bought one, the “use-by” date on the package is a pretty good estimate. 

For homemade pasta and cooked leftovers stored in the fridge, it’s best for only 3-4 days. If you’d like to save it for longer, freezing the fresh pasta is pretty much the only option. Last but not least, cooked leftovers. If stored properly, they usually retain good quality for about 3 to 4 days in the fridge

Other FAQs about Pasta which you may be interested in.

How to keep the pasta from absorbing all the sauce?

How To Tell If Pasta Is Bad

When it comes to fresh pasta, it should be pretty obvious if it’s spoiled or not. When you notice any discolourations, like white spots or signs of mold, throw the pasta out. Same thing if it developed an off smell.

A small hole in dried pasta packaging means a safe entrance for bugs and insects. The biggest enemy of dry pasta is little pantry bugs. Because of that, when you store dried noodles for an extended period, it’s good to thoroughly check the contents of the container before using them. If you can find any little bugs in there, discard the pasta. 

Canned Pasta Do not use canned pasta if the can is leaked, severely dented and rusted, bulged, and spurted liquid when opened.

Check out Which is the best-canned pasta.

If none of the mentioned signs appears, your fresh pasta should be fine. Of course, if it’s already a few days past the “use-by” date, it’s probably better to stay on the safe side and discard the pasta anyway.

Cooked pasta leftovers have very similar signs of spoilage. Brown or black specks, white spots, or any signs of mold mean you should throw the pasta out. Same thing if it smells off, or you store it for longer than like 5 days.

Dry pasta, in most cases, doesn’t go bad in a way that it gets moldy and unsafe to eat. Not unless some moisture or other substances reach it.


Pasta degrades in quality over time and because of that, after a few years of storage, pasta’s taste might be not as good as you would like it to be. Keep your uncooked dry pasta in sealed containers in your pantry. Make sure it is bug-free. Cooked pasta and fresh homemade pasta should go in your refrigerator and freezer in an airtight container.


In this brief guide, we have answered the question, “Does pasta go bad?” as well as other related questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how to store pasta and how long does pasta last. 

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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.