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How Long Does Pasta Sauce Last In The Fridge? A Quick Guide




Pasta sauce refers to any sauce that's specially prepared to go with pasta. Most pasta sauces rely on a couple of primary ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, and garlic, while others incorporate additional ingredients such as meat to enrich the sauce with proteins and a deeper flavor. This guide will take you through everything there is to know about pasta sauce, how to store it, and some of the leading brand recommendations.


What Is Pasta Sauce?

Pasta sauce, also commonly referred to as marinara sauce, is a slow-simmered sauce that's added to pasta. Marinara sauce can be easily confused with spaghetti sauce, which is a flavorful relish mostly consisting of tomatoes and meat that's added on spaghetti.


Types Of Sauce And How Long They Can Be Stored For

Type Of Sauce

How Long Does It Store In The Fridge

Tomato Sauce

5 to 7 days after opening the container

Oil Sauce

Should be kept in room temperature to avoid solidifying

Cream Sauce

3 to 5 days after opening the container

Homemade Sauce

5 to 7 days sealed in an airtight container


Considerations Before Storing Your Sauce

Amount Of Sauce - The amount of sauce you want to store will dictate the best form of storage to use. It's preferable to store the sauce in single-serving sizes to avoid having to store sauce that's already been thawed once.  

Type Of Sauce - Some types of pasta sauces contain ingredients that do not respond well to cold temperatures, such as oil and honey, which will both solidify if refrigerated. It's important always to check the manufacturer's label to see if the pasta sauce is refrigerable or not.

How You're Going To Eat It After - Exposing pasta sauce to cold temperatures, may at times, affect its flavor and texture depending on the ingredients in it. While the thickness of the sauce can be readjusted after thawing it, the flavor can be quite hard to change, so avoid refrigerating pasta sauce with ingredients such as homemade soy sauce and hot sauce. 

How Long You Want It To Last - Your choice of storage will determine how long you can store the pasta sauce. While some varieties can be frozen for up to 3 months, others require refrigeration and will only remain fresh for up to a week.


Methods For Storage

Fridge Storage Method

While most pasta sauce brands can be stored in the pantry, they will require to be moved into the fridge where the cold temperatures will preserve the freshness for a couple of days or even weeks depending on the manufacturer's specifications. 

1.  Homemade Pasta Sauce

Recommended Short Term Storage Method: Refrigeration

How long can you store it for? 5 days

How To Store Pasta Mixed With Sauce In The Fridge

Equipment Required

  • Fridge ready container or ziplock bags


1.  Pack the pasta sauce into a fridge-ready container and seal it airtight.

2.  Store the pasta sauce in the upper shelves of the  fridge for the next 5 days.

Freezer Storage Method

Freezing pasta sauce offers a long term solution to all your sauce storage needs as it can retain its flavor for up to 3 months. Before freezing pasta sauce in original packaging you should check if the label states that the product is suitable for freezer storage. 

Recommended Long Term Storage Method: Frozen

How long can you store it for? 3 months

How To Store Pasta Sauce In The Freezer

Equipment Required

  • Freezer ready containers or bags

1.  Scoop out the sauce into freezer-ready containers and seal them airtight before storing the pasta in the freezer for the next 3 months.


Canning Homemade Sauce

After a bumper tomato harvest, chances are that you will have way too much homemade tomato sauce that will require canning. Canned tomato pasta sauce can be stored in the pantry for up to 6 months. 


  • 8 pounds red tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tbsps jarred lemon juice

Equipment Required

  • 4 pint-size mason jars equipped with fitting sealable lids 
  • Iron pot
  • Canning kettle
  • Jar lifter
  • Ice bath
  • Blender
  • Fine sieve


1.  Bring a pot of water to a boil over medium heat.

2.  Cut a minor “X” on the bottom part of each tomato

3.  Blanch the tomatoes for upto 30 seconds in the boiling water

4.  Use the slotted spoon to fetch out the tomatoes and transfer them into the ice bag for up to 1 minute

5.  Gently slip off the skins from the tomatoes and dice the peeled tomatoes

6.  Whirl the diced tomatoes for 30 seconds in a blender and filter the puree using a fine sieve

7.  Boil the tomato puree in a pot and add the salt while stirring constantly for around 45 minutes while gradually lowering the heat.

8.  Bring a canning kettle to a boil and sterilize the mason jars and lids for at least 10 minutes.

9.  Put 1 tbsp lemon juice in each mason jar and fill them with the hot tomato sauce leaving about a half inch of headspace at the top.

10.  Screw the lids and process them in the canning kettle for around 40 minutes. Make sure that the jars are submerged under the booming for at least an inch deep.

11.  Remove the mason jars and let them cool to room temperature before transferring them into the pantry. 


Big Brand Recommendations

Dolmio - The brand recommends checking the expiry date on the original packaging before using stored pasta sauce. Once the container has been opened, the sauce can be stored in the fridge for the next 3 days. Read more on link.

Prego - Prego allows up to 14 days of refrigeration after once you have unsealed the pasta sauce. Read more on link.

Ragu - Ragu recommends that you use their pasta sauce before the 'best if used by' date and that all opened containers be refrigerated. Further reading material link.

Don PepinoDon Pepino recommends that all their pasta sauce products be kept under refrigerated conditions once opened and to be consumed within 3 days.

Vincent's - Vincent's pasta sauce should be stored in a cool, dry condition and refrigerated after opening the container for the next 3 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Opened Pasta Sauce Last?

Once opened, pasta sauce can only remain fresh for 5 to 7 days and only under refrigerated conditions.

How Long Does Jarred Pasta Sauce Last In The Fridge?

Homemade jarred pasta sauce can last in the fridge for 4 to 5 days without any added preservatives.

How Can You Tell If Tomato Sauce Is Bad?

Pasta sauce that's prepared using tomatoes will darken from a bright red to a dull maroon hue and develop a rotten smell when it goes bad.

Can You Get Food Poisoning From Pasta Sauce?

Pasta sauce that's gone bad may get contaminated with harmful bacteria leading to food poisoning and should, therefore, be avoided.

Does Jarred Pasta Sauce Go Bad?

Yes, eventually, pasta sauce does go bad, although that can be quite a long while past the printed expiry date.

Is Week Old Pasta Sauce OK To Eat?

Refrigerated week old pasta sauce should be cooked thoroughly before consuming it and remember to check for any signs of molding.

Is Pasta Sauce OK If Left Out Overnight?

Yes, pasta sauce leftovers can be consumed later on, although it's recommended first to freeze all leftovers.

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