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How Long Does Spaghetti Sauce & Pasta Sauce Last? Does Pasta Sauce Go Bad?

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Spaghetti sauce is a condiment that can be used with all types of noodles.

It’s often served alongside some meat or vegetable dish, and it has many different variations depending on how the cook likes to serve it up.

Spaghetti sauce is not something that you usually make yourself, as there are many pre-made varieties available for purchase in grocery stores today.

But how long does spaghetti sauce last? The answer depends on how you store the sauce and how often you use it.

What is Pasta Sauce?

what is pasta sauce

Pasta sauce is a condiment commonly used to dress pasta dishes, such as spaghetti or ravioli.

Some sauces result from a long cooking process and have been traditionally made from scratch with ingredients like tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs, and olive oil.

Pasta sauce is also often available in cans at grocery stores for a quick meal.

A variety of sauces can be used as pasta sauce, including Tomato Sauce, Alfredo Sauce, Marinara Sauce, Creamy Pesto Pasta Sauce, and much more.

Pasta sauce ranges in color from bright tomato-red to creamy orange-yellow, sometimes even light cream colored (white).

The variations of colors may surprise some people until they realize that not all pasta requires tomatoes to make the sauce.

The ingredients and cooking process for making pasta sauce can vary depending on which dish you are preparing.

Some spices, like pesto or bolognese, require a few extra steps to prepare, while others, like tomato sauce or marinara sauces, are pretty simple.

How to Store Spaghetti Sauce & Pasta Sauce?

how to store spaghetti sauce pasta sauce

Every pasta sauce and spaghetti sauce lover knows what a challenge it can be to store this condiment, as the canned goods are susceptible to spoiling.

The key is finding an airtight container that will keep your precious sauces safe from light-induced oxidation for long periods.

The easiest way to store spaghetti sauce and pasta sauces are in the original can that it came from.

For those who purchase their sauce at a grocery store, you might be able to find them in plastic containers or even cardboard boxes, which are generally safe for storing food.

However, some people prefer switching over to glass jars for aesthetic reasons only as they still provide all of the necessary protection.

Glass containers should be kept in a cool place that doesn’t get much sunlight.

The best way to store pasta sauce and spaghetti sauces is by pouring them into the container of your choice and sealing off any openings with an airtight lid or sealant tape so they don’t let oxygen seep in.

Once you’ve finished consuming the spaghetti sauce or pasta sauces, be sure to throw out any leftovers in a sealed container.

You can also reserve it for another day if you have made too much and need more time before finishing your supply.

How Long Does Spaghetti Sauce & Pasta Sauce Last? Does Pasta Sauce Go Bad?

how long does spaghetti sauce pasta sauce last

The length of time spaghetti sauce lasts on the type you are using and your storage methods.

Pasta sauce is more acidic than tomato soup, which means it’s essential to store the jarred or canned spaghetti sauces in a cool, dark place.

A pantry is a good option for this type of storage as long as the sauce stays away from heat and light.

It can last for up to 12 months.

Pasta sauce opened is best refrigerated and will last about ten days before spoiling from bacteria, mold, or spoilage.

Unopened pasta sauces should be stored in the pantry until they are used with a shelf life of 6 to 12 months.

When it comes to dry spaghetti sauce mix, the ingredients are more stable than fresh tomatoes and sauces, giving them a longer shelf life.

A dry package of spaghetti sauce mix will last about six to eight months in your pantry before it goes bad.

Once opened, a packet of pasta sauce should always be stored in the refrigerator, where it will last for about seven to ten days.

Can You Freeze Spaghetti Sauce & Pasta Sauce?

can you freeze spaghetti sauce pasta sauce

As a general rule of thumb, you can freeze most sauces and condiments.

This includes pasta sauce, spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, ketchup (catsup), mayonnaise, etcetera.

The only exception is if the foods contain fresh vegetables or fruits that are not being cooked when they’re added to the mixture; these should never be frozen because doing so will change the texture and taste of the food.

However, if you have a batch of spaghetti sauce that you want to put in individual containers for meals to go or freeze for later consumption, then freezing it is perfect.

It will be easy to reheat when needed without worry about spoilage.

You can also take advantage of sales on canned pasta sauce and spaghetti sauce to have several months of supply on hand in the freezer.

If properly frozen, the sauce will last for up to four months.

How to Tell if Spaghetti Sauce & Pasta Sauce is Bad?

how to tell if spaghetti sauce pasta sauce is bad

If you’re a pasta lover, chances are at some point or another you’ve opened up your fridge to find that dreaded moment of truth staring back at you: “How long has this spaghetti sauce been in here?” It’s time for the ultimate test.

The first thing to do is read the label.

If it’s been sitting in your fridge for more than a month, you should probably toss it out and make some new spaghetti sauce.

Another way of knowing if pasta sauce has gone bad is by smelling or tasting it.

If the smell doesn’t quite go away after opening up the jar, it’s time to get a new jar.

And if the taste is off, it won’t do your pasta any favors either.

You can check the texture of the pasta sauce as well.

If it’s watery or has chunks of some sort in it, the chances are that it hasn’t been sitting for too long, and you should get a new jar.

This is also an excellent time to check the jar of pasta sauce for bulging or leaking.

If either one has happened, it’s time to get rid of that spaghetti sauce and make some new.

The final thing you can do is look at the color on your spaghetti sauce jar if there are any changes in color with mold growth.


Is your pasta sauce past its prime? Does it have an off odor or taste to it? If so, you may be wondering if the food is still safe to consume.

However, this isn’t always as easy as just popping open another jar from the pantry.

The good news is that most of these jars are pasteurized and can last for up to months after opening with proper storage conditions in mind.

We hope this article has helped clear up any confusion around what makes an expired pasta sauce.

Now give it a try.

How Long Does Spaghetti Sauce & Pasta Sauce Last? Does Pasta Sauce Go Bad?

Recipe by Kimberly Baxter Course: Shelf Life


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  • Spaghetti sauce

  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags

  • Labels and markers


  • Read the guide thoroughly to learn how long it lasts.
  • Label your container with the content and date and keep track of how much you’re using!
  • Make sure to store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place (pantry or fridge).
  • If frozen, thaw in the fridge before use. Always check for signs of spoilage before using.

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