Do Pistachios Go Bad? Signs of Spoilage, Shelf Life & Storage

Let me guess—you have a bag of pistachios that has been sitting in your cupboard for a long time. Now, you’re wondering “do pistachios go bad?”

The answer is yes. Pistachios are nuts, and nuts go bad. However, it takes a long time for pistachios to spoil. They keep well at room temperature and you can also store them in the refrigerator or freezer to increase their shelf life.

This article discusses what pistachios are, whether or not they go bad, how to preserve them, and more. Keep reading to find out.

What are pistachios?

pistachio nuts - millenora

Pistachios are the edible seeds of the pistachio tree, which is native to Asia and the Middle East. They belong to the same family of trees as cashews and mangoes.

Pistachios are a tasty treat that you can eat raw or roasted, salted or unsalted. They are also used in different recipes, from appetizers to entrees and desserts.

Although they aren’t as common as other nuts (like almonds or cashews), you can find them in most grocery stores.

They’re available in shelled and unshelled varieties. You can also find them in pre-roasted or raw forms.

Do pistachios go bad?

Yes, they do. Pistachio nuts have a high oil content, which contributes to their rich and buttery flavor. However, on the flip side, this oil also makes them susceptible to spoilage.

The good news, however, is that pistachio nuts don’t spoil quickly. Unopened packages can last for several months on the counter or in the pantry.

Once opened, it’s best to store them in an airtight container after removing any excess air from the bag.

What is the shelf life of pistachios?

Unshelled pistachios will last up to 6 months at room temperature and more than 1 year when stored in the freezer.

Shelled pistachios, on the other hand, will last for up to 5 months at room temperature and up to 1 year when stored in the freezer.

The shelf life of these nuts also depends on how they were processed and packaged before being sold at grocery stores and farmers’ markets.

For instance, pre-roasted pistachio nuts will not last as long as the raw varieties. Also, whole nuts will last longer than nut pieces. Similarly, unshelled pistachio nuts will last longer than shelled ones.

Can you eat expired pistachios?

As long as there’s no mold or obvious signs of spoilage, pistachio nuts are safe to consume even after their expiration date.

They might not taste as good as they did when they were fresh, but it is safe to eat them. Unopened packs of pistachio nuts generally last one to two months after the “best by” date on the package.

However, you must carefully inspect your nuts for signs of spoilage. If you notice a change in texture, color, and taste, trash the nuts.

How to tell if pistachios are bad

There are four major ways to tell if pistachio nuts have gone bad: smell, color, touch, and taste.

Smell: The first thing you should do is smell the pistachios. If they smell rancid or foul, they have gone bad. If the nut tastes or looks fine but smells odd, do not eat it.

Color: If the shells have turned brown, they’ve gone bad. The more you expose these pistachio nuts to air, the more likely they turn brown.

Touch: This is all about texture. Pistachios should be firm and dry. If they’re sticky or mushy, or if their skins feel loose or wrinkled, discard them immediately. This means the nuts have gone bad, and you should not eat them.

Taste: The final test is taste — a test you should only perform on a single nut. If the flavor is off in any way, discard the whole pack.

How to preserve pistachios

Keep them in a cool, dry place

The best way to preserve these nuts is to keep them in a sealed container such as a glass jar or a plastic food storage bag. Make sure it is as airtight as possible.

Keep the container in a cool, dark place such as your kitchen cupboard or pantry.

Store them away from other foods

Pistachios are high-fat nuts and can easily absorb odors around them. Store them away from other foods with strong odors such as onions. Otherwise, they’ll take on the aroma of these foods and go bad.

Refrigerate them in an airtight container

To make your nuts last longer, put them into an airtight container and keep them in the refrigerator. They’ll stay fresh and edible for about six months.

Freeze them for longer storage

If you want to keep your nuts fresh for up to one year, put them in an airtight bag and freeze them at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius).


How many pistachios should you eat in a day?

The recommended daily intake is about 1-2 handfuls of nuts. But if you’re trying to gain weight or training for a marathon or other athletic event, you might need to eat more.

What do rancid pistachios taste and smell like?

Rancid pistachios taste bitter and have a sharp, unpleasant smell. Rancidity in pistachios means that the fats and oils in the nut have decomposed due to exposure to oxygen.

Are pistachios healthy?

Yes, they are. Pistachios are a healthy snack with a ton of significant health benefits. They’re full of protein, fiber, and beneficial fatty acids — a combination that can help you feel full for hours after you eat them.

The only potential downside, however, is that pistachios are high in calories. This means that although they are packed with nutrients, you must eat them in moderation.

How long do shelled pistachios last?

5 months to 1 year. If you store them in an airtight container at room temperature, pistachios should remain fresh for up to five months. And if you put them in a refrigerator or freezer, they will stay fresh for up to 1 year.

How do you know if pistachio is safe to eat?

To test whether pistachio is safe to eat or not, smell or taste it. If it still has a nice aroma and does not taste bitter or soapy, then it’s safe to eat.


Pistachios generally have a long shelf life and can last up to 1 year before going bad. If you do not plan to eat the nuts immediately, seal them tightly in a bag. Keep the bag in a cool, dry place, so they do not go stale.

If you want your pistachios to last a very long time, put them in an airtight container, and store the container in a refrigerator or freezer. As long as you store them properly, pistachio nuts can last for months beyond their sell-by date.

If you love to snack on nuts, you can also check out this article on the shelf life and spoilage of dates.

Thanks for reading.