How good is pasta sauce after opening? (+3 ways to tell)

In this article, we will answer the question “How good is pasta sauce after opening?”, and how to store pasta sauce?

How good is pasta sauce after opening? 

Pasta sauce, once opened, will last anywhere between 3-5 days in the fridge. 

In the fridge  (opened)In the freezer (opened)
After opening In freezer container
Newman’s Own Spaghetti Sauce lasts for3-7 days Recommended, but time not listed
Ragu Cheese Based Pasta Sauce lasts for3 days Not Recommended
Ragu Tomato Based Pasta Sauce lasts for3-5 days Not Recommended
Barilla Pasta Sauce lasts for3-5 days 3 months
Classico Tomato Based Pasta Sauce  lasts for3-5 days 2-3 months 

The shelf-life of the pasta sauce depends on its base ingredients. The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of different types of pasta sauces.

Types of pasta sauceIn the pantry(unopened)In the refrigerator(opened)
Tomato-based pasta sauce1 year5-10 days
Cream-based pasta sauce6-8 months7 days
Oil-based pasta sauce1 year2 weeks
Dry-package pasta sauce6-12 months7-10 days(If prepared)

Tomato-based pasta sauces will generally keep for longer due to the acidity of the tomatoes.  If the tomato-based sauce contains meats, consume it within 2-3 days of refrigeration as the meat will spoil quicker than the tomato sauce. 

Diary-based pasts sauces like Carbonara, alfredo, Cajun alfredo, pesto cream, white clam, and beer cheese sauces should be consumed within hours of preparation because they spoil rapidly.

How to store pasta sauce?

After opening the can, transfer the store-bought sauce to an air-tight Tupperware or glass container. The same applies to a homemade pasta sauce. It will remain safe for a week on average. Consume within 2-3 days for the best flavor.

If you want to extend the shelf-life beyond weeks, freeze store the sauce. Transfer the sauce to a heavy-duty freezer bag or an air-tight container and keep it in the freezer for up to 6-8 months. Any pasts sauce stored at 0°F will keep indefinitely in the freezer.

How to tell if the pasta sauce is bad?

  1. The consistency of the sauce will become thicker coupled with a tangy or sour odor when it is spoiled. 
  1. If the sauce is tomato-based, it will develop a dull red color instead of a bright red color due to spoilage.
  1. If there are clear signs of mold on the surface or the sauce or on the lid, discard it immediately.

Top pasta sauces


Marinara sauce is a staple ingredient of Italian-American cooking. The word ‘marinara’ is derived from ‘mariner’s and it shows the way fishermen paired the marinara sauce with their freshly caught fish. 

It is made with tomatoes, herbs, garlic, and onion. Capers, olives, or wine are optional ingredients.

Alfredo Pasta Sauce

Alfredo pasta sauce has a rich consistency and a creamy mouthfeel. It is made with Butter

Heavy whipping cream, Cream cheese, Garlic (minced and powder), Italian seasoning, Salt, Peppe, and some Parmesan cheese. 

All the ingredients are whisked together and simmered on low heat until a smooth consistency is achieved.

Bolognese Pasta Sauce

This meat-based sauce originated in Italy where it is known as Ragu in some parts. The basic ingredients are Butter, Olive oil, Salt, Pepper, Ground nutmeg, Ground beef, Milk, White wine, Tomatoes, Onion, Carrots, and Celery. 

The vegetables are sauteed in butter followed by the browning of the meat. Finally, the liquid ingredients are added and the sauce is allowed to simmer on low heat until thick.

Vegan Tomato Pasta Sauce

Vegan Tomato Sauce is the go-to sauce to pair up with pasta when you are in a hurry. The tomato puree is allowed to simmer with spices like garlic, salt, pepper, red chili flakes, basil, sugar, and oregano until thick.

Bean Bolognaise

Bean Bolognaise is a nutritious, delicious, and vegan-approved pasta sauce. To make this sauce, vegetables like onions, carrots, and celery are sauteed in olive oil. 

Then tomato paste, wine, vegetable stock along with rosemary, bay leaves, passata, and salt is added. The sauce is allowed to simmer until thick. Finally, the beans are added for a protein boost.

Amatriciana Pasta Sauce

This guanciale-based pasta sauce is a part of the tradition in Italy. The guanciale is cured with pork cheek, tomatoes, pecorino cheese of Amatrice. It is considered to be the best and most admired sauces of the Italian and Roman cuisines.

Guanciale is fried in olive oil with garlic and pepper. Then tomato puree is added along with the spices and herbs. It is allowed to simmer on low heat until thick.


In this article, we answered the question “How good is pasta sauce after opening?”, and how to store pasta sauce?


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