How long can pasta sauce last in the fridge?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “How long can pasta sauce last in the fridge?”, discuss answers to other related questions like how to store pasta sauce, and can pasta sauce go bad.

How long can pasta sauce last in the fridge?

The pasta sauce can last in the fridge for 5-7 days approximately. But this time duration varies depending on certain factors such as the type of pasta sauce, the storage conditions, and the ingredients added to the sauce (such as meat, if added). There are chances that some sauces do not show the growth of mold in them, but the mold has penetrated dramatically in them, so it is better to use the sauce in the recommended timeline. Otherwise, it is better to freeze the sauce if it is to be used after a long time.

The shelf life of pasta sauce

As described earlier, the shelf life of pasta sauce varies with the type of pasta sauce (homemade, bought from the market) and conditions under which you have stored the sauce. The sauce that is bought from the market contains some preservatives or additives which are meant to increase the shelf life of the sauce. Also, these sauces are enclosed in a glass jar (airtight) that limits the moisture content, keeping the sauces good to be used over a longer time-frame.

Tomato-based pasta sauce

The tomato-based sauce that does not contain any pre-mixed meat will hold for 5 days to a week, such as spicy marinara. While the tomato-based sauces that contain pre-mixed meat (such as chili, spicy Italian, meat sauce, or red calm sauce) will hold for about 3-4 days.

Cream-based pasta sauce

Cream-based pasta sauce can last in the fridge for about 7 days. This relatively extended duration is because the cream-based sauces have ingredients, such as heavy cream, that are better in cold. The cream-based pasta sauces include Alfredo sauce, Cajun alfredo, pesto cream, and white clam.

How to store pasta sauce?

If you are going to use the sauce within a week, you can keep the sauce in an airtight box and refrigerate it. But if you want to store the sauce for months, freezing will serve you the best option. The freezing temperature will help you increase the shelf life of the sauce by keeping the growth of microorganisms, including bacteria, at bay. However,  you can not be sure about its taste because its taste will be changed over time, but the quality will be good enough to utilize the frozen sauce.

In the freezer, the pasta sauce is stored in freezer-safe plastic bags. For this, you need to place the resealable bag in a bowl by turning the edges of the bag over the rim of the bowl so that you can easily transfer the sauce to the bag. Make sure that a space of about 1 inch is left in the bag so that to make the expansion of the sauce in the bag easy and possible when frozen. Storing pasta sauce in this way will help you keep the sauce fresh for up to 3 months.

Are some pasta sauces better than others for storing?

Generally, tomato-based pasta sauces used for dishes like spaghetti, remain fresher for longer. This is because of the acidity of the tomatoes that functions as a preservative. On the other hand, cream-based sauces are best enjoyed straight away. These sauces can be stored in the fridge for a few days, but their taste and texture will keep on changing during this period. So, if you want to prepare the sauce to be stored for a longer time, you should prepare the tomato-based sauce.

Can pasta sauce go bad?

Pasta sauce, if it is placed over the counter of your kitchen, can easily go bad. The reason behind going bad of your sauce is the fact that at room temperature, bacteria grow at a faster rate on their substrate, and this is why the sauce can go bad within 4 hours. After 4 hours, the quality of the sauce will have gone so bad that it will not be worth eating the sauce. So there is no option left for you but to discard the bowl of pasta sauce because consuming a bad sauce can cause you to be sick due to food poisoning.

Signs that pasta sauce has gone bad

To minimize the risk of food poisoning or stomach-related issues, it is important to know the signs that help you know that the sauce has gone bad and it is the right time to discard the sauce because nothing is more important than your health. The common signs of smell, taste, and color change will help you make decisions easily.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How long can pasta sauce last in the fridge?”, discussed answers to other related questions like how to store pasta sauce, and can pasta sauce go bad.


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