How long does Pasta Sauce last in the fridge? (3 kinds)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “How long does Pasta Sauce last in the fridge?”. We will explore various pasta sauces that are popular. We will also look at ways to store the pasta sauce in the fridge to retain optimum freshness.

How long does Pasta Sauce last in the fridge?

Pasta sauce is prepared with either a tomato base or cream. The shelf-lives and handling of tomato pasta sauce and cream pasta sauce are different.

  • Cream-based pasta sauce will last for a week.
  • Tomato-based pasta sauce will last for anywhere between 5-10 days.
  • Oil-based pasta sauce will last for 2 weeks.

The shelf-life will also vary from brand to brand. If you made the pasta sauce from scratch, it lasts for a shorter period than the store-bought. 

Homemade Pasta Sauces do not have preservatives added to them which makes them last for a shorter period. Most store-bought pasta sauces also do not have added preservatives.

Your homemade pasta sauce will last for 3-4 days. 

Why is it necessary to refrigerate the pasta sauce?

To ensure the freshness of pasta sauce, refrigerate it promptly; before the pasta sauce temperature enters the danger zone.

The danger zone lies between 40 to 140 Fahrenheit. Moderate temperatures harbor bacterial growth. A hot or cold environment will hinder the reproduction of microorganisms. Therefore, food authorities do not endorse consuming leftover foods sitting at room temperature for more than the recommended period.

Refrigeration is significant when it comes to slowing down food spoilage. However, food still spoils in a refrigerator at a slower and safer pace. The temperature of the fridge should be at least 40 degrees. If you do not intend to consume it, refrigerate within 2 hours of cooking your homemade pasta sauce.

How to store pasta sauce safely?

To preserve the safety and quality of pasta sauce, the significance of food preparation is immense.

  • Store your pasta sauce store in the refrigerator within 2 hours of being cooked. 
  • Reserve pasta sauce in an air-tight container to prevent environmental contaminants from coming in contact with it.
  • Do not expose pasta sauce and keep it covered at all times. When you cover pasta sauce, you prevent access to airborne bacteria from spoiling your food.
  • Every time you use your sauce, be sure to use a dry and clean spoon. If you introduce bacteria to the sauce by using a contaminated spoon, you are reducing the shelf-life of the sauce. 

Other FAQs about Sauces which you may be interested in.

How to cut the acid in tomato sauce?

How long does spaghetti sauce with meat last in the fridge?

How to store hot sauce?

How to tell if your pasta sauce has spoiled?

Pasta sauce will undergo explicit changes as it nears its expiration. It will change its appearance and color. The color will fade and, the paste will thicken.

Your bright-red tomato pasta sauce will change its color to maroon.  

Also, be sure to watch out for distinct odors and molds. The presence of gray or green mold indicates that the pasta sauce is no longer safe for consumption. 

Tomato-based products usually spoil because of lactic acid bacteria, while mycotoxins also play their role in spoilage.

If your pasta sauce is dairy-based, the shelf-life will vary to some extent. Cheeses and creams neutralize the pH of the tomatoes in the sauce. Tomato-based sauces are acidic, which means bacterial growth is not as viable. If the pH of the sauce is close to neutral, the sauce will spoil sooner, as bacteria spores grow and make the sauce unsafe for consumption.

What makes your pasta sauce spoil?

Do not consume the pasta sauce if you left it at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Temperatures between 40 and 140 Fahrenheit encourage microbial growth.

According to USDA, the temperature of 40 F to 140 F, labels as The Danger Zone. This range of temperature encourages bacterial growth. Spoilage is usually a quality issue in its initial stage and does not cause illness. However, gradually the food becomes a complete hazard.

Spoilage bacteria causes food to develop unpleasant attributes such as odor and taste. As the pathogenic bacteria take over afterward, the food becomes capable of making a person sick.

Can you freeze your leftover pasta sauce?

If you don’t intend to consume pasta sauce within three to four days, you could probably freeze it. With contrary to refrigeration, freezing makes the microorganisms inactive.

However, read the label carefully and do your research before you put pasta sauce in the freezer. Sauces, such as cream or cheese-based, are not recommended to be put in the freezer. Tomato-based Sauces, on the other hand, usually retain their quality even after stored in the freezer. When frozen, they will last for at least one to two months or longer, depending on other factors.

In this brief guide, we answered the question, “How long does Pasta Sauce last in the fridge?”. We explored various pasta sauces that are popular. We also looked at ways to store the pasta sauce in the fridge to retain optimum freshness.


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.