Here’s How Long You Should Keep Cooked Pasta In The Fridge

Cooked pasta has a short shelf life, but the fridge and freezer can help you extend its shelf life. Preserving leftover pasta helps to prevent waste.

It also allows you to have cooked meals stored up for future use, especially on days when you need a quick meal.

But before you refrigerate or freeze food you must know how long it keeps in the refrigerator or freezer.

Let’s take a quick look at how long you can keep a bowl of cooked pasta in the fridge.

How long can cooked pasta stay in the fridge?

Cooked pasta can stay refrigerated for three to five days for the best quality. You may get lucky and have it fresh for seven days, but this rarely happens.

The best temperature for the storage of cooked pasta is 40°F or less.

How long can cooked chicken pasta stay in the fridge?

Consume cooked chicken pasta within three to five days of refrigerating.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), you should not keep cooked chicken in the refrigerator for more than three to five days. This also applies to cooked pasta.

How long can cooked creamy pasta last in the fridge?

Cooked creamy pasta can last up to seven days in the refrigerator.

Cream-based sauces do well in the fridge, so refrigerating creamy pasta is not a bad idea. However, it should not go beyond seven days. If you can eat it earlier, it’ll be better for you.

How long will tuna pasta last in the fridge?

Under ideal storage conditions, cooked tuna pasta will keep up to four days in the fridge.

After this period, it’ll no longer taste good. If you eat tuna pasta bake that has been in the refrigerator for more than four days, you may be eating contaminated food.

How long will cooked pasta salad last in the fridge?

Most pasta salads will last three to four days in the fridge if you store them properly.

How long your bowl of cooked pasta salad lasts depends on the ingredients it contains. It can last up to seven days if it contains fewer ingredients.

For instance, oil-based pasta salads will last longer than mayo-based or dairy-based pasta salads. Most importantly, store the bowl of salad at 40°F or less.

How long can pasta sauce last in the fridge?

Properly made pasta sauce can last four to ten days in the fridge. How long it lasts depends on the base ingredient in the sauce.

Tomato-based pasta sauce can last five to ten days in the refrigerator. Wine-based pasta sauce will keep for ten to fourteen days, cream-based pasta sauce will keep for seven days, and oil-based pasta sauce will keep for seven to ten days.

However, you will get the best of your pasta sauces if you eat them earlier. Also, keep them at 40°F or less.

How to tell if cooked pasta is bad

How long have you refrigerated it?

If you have refrigerated cooked pasta beyond a week, it’s most likely no longer good. You should throw it away.

What does it look like?

Visible mold growth and discoloration, such as grayish pasta, are signs that the bowl of cooked pasta is no longer good.

Also, if the pasta feels slimy or gooey when you scoop or touch it with your hands, it has expired and is meant for the trash.

What does it smell like?

Expired cooked pasta smells foul, rancid, or pungent. Sauced pasta will smell fouler than plain pasta.

The bad odor is due to bacterial growth on the pasta. If you notice this when you take a whiff of it, do not eat it.

What does it taste like?

If you can’t get something concrete from smelling and touching the pasta, taste it

You don’t need to eat a spoonful of pasta to know if it’s bad, just a little bit of it is enough. If it tastes rubbery or sour, nothing like the delicious pasta you prepared, it has gone off.

How to reheat cooked pasta from the fridge

How you reheat cooked pasta from the refrigerator depends on whether you are reheating plain pasta or pasta with sauce.

To prevent the pasta from getting soggy, pour it into a colander or strainer and dip it into a pot of boiling water. Leave it in until you are sure the pasta is warm enough.

Afterward, take it out and serve. If you’re reheating sauced pasta, do it over a stovetop or in an oven or microwave.

The sauce in the pasta will keep it from drying out as it warms. If you’re reheating the pasta in the oven or microwave, you can cover the bowl of pasta with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

What are the risks of eating expired cooked pasta?

Eating expired cooked pasta or pasta that has stayed too long in the refrigerator can make you sick.

Expired pasta contains B. cereus, which may manifest as nausea, diarrhea, cramps, and vomiting. And it can get severe. You must assess old pasta before eating it.

How to preserve cooked pasta

  • Do not allow the cooked pasta to sit out beyond two hours before you refrigerate it. Otherwise, it’ll go bad quickly.
  • Toss plain pasta with vegetable oil to prevent them from sticking together. Make sure the pasta is not soaked but lightly coated in oil.
  • Also, make sure the pasta cools completely before sealing it.
  • Store cooked pasta in an airtight container or a freezer bag before keeping it in the refrigerator.
  • In addition, if you want to refrigerate pasta and sauce, the best thing to do is to store them in separate containers or bags.
  • Most importantly, save yourself waste by eating the pasta early enough.


Can you get sick from eating old pasta?

You may experience slight inconveniences from eating old pasta if it is contaminated. You could have signs like nausea, diarrhea, or bloating.

Therefore, carefully examine old pasta for signs of spoilage before you eat it. If it doesn’t smell, look or taste too good, throw it away.

Can you reheat cooked pasta twice?

You may reheat cooked pasta, but most foods do not taste so good after reheating them the second time.

If you have reheated pasta once, you should eat all of it. Also, heat only as much pasta as you can eat at a time.

Should you eat cold pasta straight from the fridge?

Yes, you can. If you don’t want to reheat it because you feel it will impact the taste.

Moreover, some people believe that eating cold pasta can have less impact on blood sugar, especially if you’re trying to keep blood sugar levels steady.


Pasta is delicious but how every family dinner ends with leftovers is still quite a mystery. And it hurts to throw away a delicious bowl of pasta and sauce or lasagne.

How then do you preserve it for the next day or the day after? How long can you keep cooked pasta in the fridge?

You can’t and should not keep cooked pasta in the refrigerator longer than five days. After this duration, you may lose your pasta and all the effort you put into preparing a delicious meal.

When you take out the pasta from the refrigerator, carefully inspect it for signs of spoilage. If you notice any, throw the pasta away. Store pasta properly and the leftovers will come in handy someday.

Thanks for reading.

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