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How Long Does Pasta Last in the Fridge?

Posted in Food Safety on April 30, 2022

Cooked pasta can typically last in the fridge for about 3 days. However, it can depend on the type of pasta, and each dish should be examined to ensure there are no signs of spoilage before consumption. Here is a table that shows how long some of the more popular types of pasta will last in the fridge.

Pasta Expiration Dates

Type of Pasta Days in Fridge
Fresh Homemade Wheat Pasta 4 to 5 days
Fresh Store-Bought Wheat Pasta 1 to 3 days
Cooked Wheat Pasta 3 to 5 days
Lasagna or other cooked pasta with sauce 5 days
Tortellini or other stuff pasta  3 to 5 days
Gluten-Free pasta 3 to 5 days
Lentil, bean, or pea-based pasta 3 to 5 days

How Should Pasta Be Stored?

After cooking pasta, store it in the fridge at 40°F (4°C) or lower once it has cooled and within two hours. If you put warm pasta in a sealed container in the refrigerator, it will trap the moisture, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. Before storing, you can drizzle a bit of olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking together, then place the pasta in a shallow, airtight container or resealable bag.

Can You Freeze Pasta?

To maximize its shelf life, cooked pasta can be safely stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When freezing, cook the pasta al dente because the noodles may not survive reheating if they are too soft. Add some olive oil, then place the pasta in a freezer-safe bag or container. Alternatively, you can put cooked pasta in a single layer on a baking sheet to freeze and then transfer it to a container.

How Can You Tell If Pasta Has Gone Bad?

Check for the following signs to tell if your cooked pasta has gone bad:

  • Slimy Texture: If the pasta looks or feels slimy or sticky, it is time to discard it.
  • Mold: If there are dark or fuzzy spots, the pasta is spoiled and should be thrown out.
  • Discoloration: Any discoloration or dullness, such as a gray or white color, is a sign of spoilage.
  • Weird smell: If the pasta emits an odd smell, it is not worth the risk and should be tossed.

What Happens if You Eat Expired Pasta?

When pasta is left sitting at room temperature for more than two hours or stored for too long, harmful bacteria accumulate. If consumed, there is an increased chance of foodborne illness, and you may develop mild to severe symptoms. The effects of food poisoning are unpleasant but, in most cases, resolve within 1 to 5 days. You may experience nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, fever, chills, diarrhea, and dehydration. Young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems are at risk of developing further complications.

If you or a loved one was served expired pasta or became ill from consuming contaminated pasta, a food safety lawyer may be able to help recover compensation on your behalf.

Will Reheating Pasta Kill the Bacteria?

Unfortunately, no. If cooked pasta has been sitting at room temperature for longer than two hours or has been in the fridge for too long, reheating it will not kill off the bacteria, and you can still get sick.