Does Tomato Paste Go Bad?

In this brief guide, we will address the question, “Does Tomato paste go bad” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how much time does tomato paste takes to go bad or what are some of the storage practices needed to prolong the shelf life of tomato paste.

Does tomato paste go bad? 

Yes, tomato paste is a very perishable commodity once it is opened. The shelf life of tomato paste primarily depends on the storage methods that you use. Moreover, homemade and store bought tomato paste will also have different shelf lives because of the addition of preservatives.

Tomato paste is a basic and staple ingredient for most dishes like taco fillings, pasta, meatloaf, etc. Most of the dishes require only an amount, which means you do not need to use full can. Tomato paste is a concentrated form of tomato sauce with no added flavours but contains some preservatives. For the added tang, tomato pastes can also have additional herbs and spices which is better for cooking versatile dishes. It can be made at home and can also be bought from the store.

How Long Does Tomato Paste Last?

Like other condiments, all kinds of tomato paste come with a best-by date. The unopened paste usually lasts for months after the date on the label is passed. If stored for a really long time, quality would not remain the same, but the paste will be safe to eat unless there was something wrong with the container.

Unopened tomato paste can last for more than 6 months in the pantry. Provided that the seal tight, canned tomato paste once opened stays fine for about 5 to 7 days in the fridge. Tomato paste in a glass jar usually stays in good shape for a day or two longer.

If you need the paste to the last longer, you can either freeze it or buy tomato paste in tubs. Opened tomato paste tubs last in good quality for a pretty long time, typically about 45 days. The opened tomato paste will likely last a bit longer, but the quality might not be that great. 

Can You Freeze Tomato Paste?

Freezing tomato paste is definitely an option. The only downside is that once you defrost the paste, the quality degrades slightly. It is fortunate that tomato paste is most often used in cooked dishes, where that minor change is hardly noticeable.

Freezing in ice cube trays is easy and requires little work. You can transfer the paste into the tray and put it in the freezer. After a few hours, when the cubes are solid, transfer them into a freezer bag. Before you put it back into the freezer, add a label with name and date if you like. If you find an ice cube small then muffin trays can be used for this purpose.

It is easy this way because you can skip thawing if the paste is used in a recipe cooked on the

stove. The other benefit is that you can defrost as much as you need without thawing the

whole thing.

Other FAQs about Tomato Paste which you may be interested in.

how to convert tomato paste into tomato sauce

Can tomato paste be substituted for tomato puree?

How to turn tomato paste into tomato sauce?

How To Tell If Tomato Paste Is Bad?

To check if tomato paste has gone bad, look for any change in the appearance. Mold growth is probably the most obvious sign of spoilage for tomato paste. Any visible discolorations on the surface of the paste could be mold too. If there’s mold anywhere in the container, discard it.

An off odour is another typical sign that the paste has gone bad. If the paste starts getting watery, it’s likely still safe to consume, but throwing it out is the way to go. Its taste won’t be that good, and you don’t want to mess up a perfectly good recipe with unpalatable tomato paste. 

If everything is in perfect order, the paste is most likely safe to eat. Give it a taste and decide if it’s still good enough to use in your recipe.

How to Store Tomato Paste?

There are three types of containers in which tomato paste can be stored: cans, glass jars, or tubes. Storage guidelines are basically the same for each. As long as the container is unopened, keep it in a cool and dry place, away from heat sources. The pantry or a kitchen cabinet is the natural place to store tomato paste. Just make sure the cupboard or shelf isn’t near the oven or a radiator. And if it’s a glass jar, remember that it shouldn’t sit in the sunlight.

Once you open the container, the tomato paste should be tightly covered and put into the fridge when not in use. While sealing glass jars or tubes is not an issue, cans are trickier. You can seal those with cling wrap or a plastic bag and a rubber band. Or transfer the remaining paste into an airtight container or a glass jar. 

As you already know, tomato paste does not last that long but with only a bit of extra work, we can prolong its shelf life for months.


In this brief guide, addressed the question, “Does Tomato paste go bad” as well as other related questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how much time does tomato paste takes to go bad or what are some of the storage practices needed to prolong the shelf life of tomato paste.


How Long Does Tomato Paste Last and How to Tell if It’s Bad?