So you are wondering "How long can tomato sauce last in the fridge?"
Good question and it depends on the following...
There are many different types of tomato sauce available as you know ranging from pasta sauce, to pizza sauce, to a concentrated paste-like substance, to ketchup used to dip fries in.
Which do you have?
Here's advice on how to store all of them carefully...
How Long Does Pasta Sauce Last In The Fridge?
So how long does tomato pasta sauce last in the fridge typically?
This article is specifically talking about how long tomato based pasta sauce like spaghetti sauce lasts in the fridge but the guidelines will apply to most flavours of pasta sauce.
Well, there are 3 different types of pasta sauce - fresh, tinned/canned, and homemade. Each comes with its own unique storage specifications.
Tinned or Canned Past Sauces Shelf Life Once Opened And Refrigerated
Tinned or canned store bought sauces tend to contain a lot of preservatives to increase the shelf life of the product.
The shelf life of these sauces, once opened, will vary depending on the brand.
Different manufacturers will have different recipes and therefore different lifespans. Culinary Circle brand sauce should be used within 3 days.
Albertson’s and most other generic brands such as Classico and Barilla advise using within 5 days. Prego is by far the longest lasting sauce, with an average lifespan of 14 days in the fridge.
Homemade Pasta Sauce Shelf Life Once Opened And Refrigerated
Homemade pasta sauce will not contain any preservatives (with the exception of a little salt and sugar). This means that it will expire much faster than store bought stuff.
Homemade tomato sauce should be stored in the refrigerator inside an airtight container to minimize the contamination and oxidation the sauce goes through. If stored correctly, you should be able to keep your sauce for 4 to 5 days.
Fresh Pasta Sauce Shelf Life Once Opened And Refrigerated
Fresh, store bought pasta sauce is likely to have a similar lifespan to homemade and should be used within about 5 days of opening.
You will notice a decrease in the color intensity of the sauce if it is beginning to turn. It may also begin to smell sour and begin to grow mold.
So Generally How Long Will Pasta Sauce Last For In The Fridge?
So typically pasta sauce will last in the fridge for anywhere from 3 to 14 days depending on the brand or whether you made it yourself.
When using store bought sauce always check the label for the manufacturers instructions and follow those combined with using your sense of smell for both canned, fresh and home made.
If it smells sour or looks mouldy then don't risk eating it.
How Long Does Pizza Sauce Last In The Fridge?
This differs from pasta sauce as it is usually uncooked, whereas pasta sauce tends to be cooked. It is essentially tomatoes, salt, pepper, and some seasonings blended together to make a smooth-ish sauce.
It is uncooked as this will produce a tangier and more vibrant tomato flavor when cooked on top of the pizza.
Open tomato pizza sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for anywhere between 5 and 7 days. This is a guideline for store bought pizza sauces that contain preservatives. Homemade pizza sauce is likely to turn a little faster.
These should be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Homemade pizza sauce should keep for 4 to 5 days before it begins to go off.
The best place to start is by checking the expiration date printed on the jar. Check for green, white, or black mold on the lid of the jar or the surface of the sauce. Check for sour odors and tastes.
If your jar is unopened, check for broken seals on the lid. This will allow contaminants in and cause your sauce to go off.
So to conclude, pizza sauce generally can last for up to 4 to 5 days max in the fridge.
How Long Can Tomato Paste Last In The Fridge?
This is a thick and concentrated version of tomato sauce. The tomatoes are cooked for a long time and are then strained. This removes the skin and seeds, turning it into a very smooth sauce.
This is then cooked for a second time to reduce the liquid and concentrate the flavors. This produces a thick paste with a strong tomato flavor.
It often comes in a metal tube similar to other pastes. This can last for months in the cupboard when it is unopened. Once it has been opened it must remain in the refrigerator when not in use.
This has by far the longest shelf life of any tomato sauce. Tomato paste will keep and remain food safe for between 6 and 8 weeks once it has been opened.
Canned tomato paste will only keep for 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator once it has been opened. This is why we would always recommend opting for tomato paste in a tube.
The only exception to this is if you plan on batch cooking a recipe which will use an entire can of tomato paste.
If you wish to keep canned tomato paste, please transfer the contents of the tin to an airtight container before placing it in the refrigerator.
Tomato paste purchased in a jar is likely to last for up to about 10 days in the refrigerator. As with the other types of tomato sauce, sour odors, mold, and bitter tastes indicate that the tomato sauce has gone off.
How Long Can Tomato Ketchup Last In The Fridge?
When unopened, tomato ketchup can be stored in a cupboard for months on end. Once it has been opened, you must always ensure the bottle is kept closed.
It should be stored on the countertop for around 2 weeks.
If you do not intend to consume within this time period we suggest storing it in the refrigerator. When stored in the refrigerator, ketchup can last for up to a year.
You can tell ketchup has gone off if you see mold or discolorations within the ketchup.
If it smells sour or off in any way, or the taste has been altered, we suggest disposing of it.
So To Summarise: How Long Can Tomato Sauce Last in the Fridge?
It really depends on what tomato sauce you mean when you ask how long it will last in the fridge.
Even within the sauce types, different manufacturing methods and ingredients mean that there is not one standard time period.
The best way to check the safety of your tomato sauce is to check the expiration date printed on the container.
We would also recommend labelling each jar or can with the date you opened it. This will help you to keep track of when you should trash things or whether you can continue to keep your tomato sauce in the fridge.