How Long You Can Really Keep Jarred Pasta Sauce In The Fridge

There are few activities more special than cooking from scratch. But every once in a while, it's totally acceptable to use pre-made ingredients to create a delicious dish. For instance, a plate of pasta isn't complete without a good, hearty sauce. As with most condiments, pasta sauce comes in a wide variety of flavors, colors, and textures, all of which are elements dependent on what the recipe calls for. While it can be pretty simple to whip up your own batch of pasta sauce, popping open a jar of the stuff from the grocery store makes the most sense at the moment.

Many branded pasta sauces are packed with added sugars, salt, and preservatives, according to Eat This! Not That. However, they make a convenient option for a quick, filling meal when you don't have a bunch of tomatoes, cheese, herbs, and spices on hand. So, exactly how long does the average jarred pasta sauce last, even when kept in the fridge? The answer may surprise you.

An open jar of pasta sauce stays good in the fridge for a few days

An unopened jar of pasta sauce typically has a shelf life of 18 months, as long as it is stored in a cool, dry place at room temperature and remains free of any dents, cracks, or rust. Barilla suggests storing an opened jar of sauce in the fridge for up to five days. Pasta sauce should be consumed quickly to avoid too much bacteria from seeping into the jar, which can result in contamination and spoilage. Shelley Feist, executive director of partnership for Food Safety Education, told Martha Stewart she recommends reheating pasta sauce to 145 degrees before eating it, as this will kill bacteria that may cause foodborne illness.

If you still have some sauce leftover in the jar you'd like to use for a future dinner, it can be safely frozen for up to three months. Just be sure to transfer the sauce to an airtight, freezer-safe container first.