Your Pasta And Your Fridge
Pasta is one of the world’s favorite foods.
Traditionally made from wheat, there are now many more types of pasta, such as pea, lentil, bean, and other gluten-free varieties.
While dried pasta can last in your pantry for years, you may wonder exactly how long it keeps in the fridge once it has been cooked.
Just like other precooked foods and leftovers, cooked pasta should be stored in the fridge.
This is because cooked pasta contains moisture that will eventually lead to mold growth, and cooler temperatures slow the expiration process.
It’s helpful to know how long you can expect different types and preparations of pasta to last in the fridge before they should be discarded.
The expected fridge-lives of different types of pasta are based largely on the main ingredient for instance, whether it’s made from lentils, wheat, or contains eggs.
Here’s how long some of the most popular types of pasta will last in the fridge:
Fresh homemade wheat pasta: 4–5 days
Fresh store-bought wheat pasta: 1–3 days
Cooked wheat pasta: 3–5 days
Lentil-, bean-, or pea-based pasta: 3–5 days
Gluten-free pasta: 3–5 days
Tortellini or other stuffed pasta: 3–5 days
Lasagna or other cooked pasta with sauce: 5 days
Note that these are general expectations, and individual dishes may vary, but you can assume that most cooked pasta lasts for less than 1 week.
It’s still important to examine your pasta and make sure there are no signs of spoilage before you eat it.
Cooked and fresh homemade pasta should be stored in the refrigerator to slow mold growth and preserve its freshness as long as possible. Most pastas last in the fridge for 3–5 days.
You can usually tell whether your pasta has gone bad by looking at it and feeling it.
One of the most telling signs of expired pasta is that it has become slimy or gooey, which usually occurs right before visible mold begins to grow.
You may also notice that it has a dullness or discoloration, such as a grayish or whitish hue.
Sometimes you may even be able to smell that your pasta has started to go bad and should be thrown out.
Once you have cooked pasta, let any leftovers cool thoroughly and then store it in the fridge within 2 hours of being cooked.
Moisture trapped when warm pasta is sealed up and placed in the fridge can create the perfect environment for bacteria or mold to grow.
Pasta in the fridge should be stored in shallow, airtight containers or resealable bags.
It can be helpful to toss the leftover cooked noodles in a bit of olive oil to prevent them from sticking together too much in the fridge.
Lastly, be sure to keep your refrigerator at 40°F (4°C) or lower to preserve cold foods.
Pasta is a popular food around the world, and it’s made from a number of bases, such as wheat, legumes, and gluten-free grains.
While dried pasta has a long shelf life in the pantry, cooked and fresh homemade pasta should be eaten somewhat quickly. Most cooked pasta only lasts in the fridge for between 3–5 days before it starts to show signs of expiration.
Eating expired pasta comes with risks similar to those associated with eating other expired foods, such as foodborne illness.
This makes it important to follow proper handling, preparation, and fridge storage techniques, as well as eat your cooked pasta in a reasonable time frame.