Does Pesto Actually Expire? Find Out Now!

Yes, pesto does go bad and can spoil just like any other food product. Typically, pesto has a shelf life of around 7-10 days when stored in the refrigerator.

Pesto may spoil faster if it is left at room temperature or exposed to air for an extended period of time. Some signs that your pesto has gone bad include a sour smell, mold growth, discoloration, or a sour taste.

Proper storage techniques, such as storing pesto in an airtight container and always refrigerating it, can prolong its shelf life.

In this article, we’ll explore in detail how long pesto lasts, how to store it properly, and how to tell if it’s gone bad.

Does Pesto Actually Expire? Find Out Now!


Factors That Affect The Expiration Of Pesto

Does pesto go bad? Factors that affect the expiration of pesto

Whether you are a cooking enthusiast or an occasional home chef, pesto is one of those versatile sauces that can add flavor to almost everything. But, as with all foods, it has an expiration date. Have you ever wondered what affects the shelf life of pesto?

We’ll dive into the factors that determine the expiration of pesto.

Explain What Affects The Shelf Life Of Pesto.

Several factors can affect the shelf life of pesto: ingredients, processing, storage, and distribution. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key factors.

Discuss The Role Of Ingredients Such As Oil, Nuts, And Cheese In Determining Freshness.

Among the primary ingredients of pesto, nuts (such as pine nuts, cashews, and walnuts), oil, and cheese play a significant role in determining pesto’s freshness.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • The oil used in pesto can turn rancid over time, making the sauce taste and smell bad.
  • The nuts used in pesto can become bitter and stale after a while, which can negatively affect the flavor of the sauce.
  • Cheese is another essential component of pesto. If the cheese in the pesto is not fresh, it can affect the taste and texture of the sauce.

Mention The Effects Of Exposure To Temperature, Air, And Moisture.

Exposure to temperature, air, and moisture can all play a role in the expiration of pesto.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • Heat can speed up the process of spoiling pesto. Ensure that you store pesto in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight.
  • Air can cause the pesto to oxidize and react with the ingredients, leading to spoilage. After opening the jar, ensure that you seal it tightly every time you use the sauce.
  • Moisture can also increase the chances of spoilage in pesto. Keep the jar lid tightly shut after use and avoid letting any water come into contact with the contents.

Proper storage and processing can extend the shelf life of pesto. By understanding the factors that affect the expiration of pesto, you can ensure that your pesto remains fresh for longer and doesn’t become a standout addition to your “expired ingredients” drawer.

Signs That Your Pesto Has Expired

Pesto is a delightful italian condiment that can spice up any dish. Whether you toss it with pasta or use it as a spread for sandwiches, pesto adds a unique flavor to your meals. However, every food has a shelf life, and pesto is no exception.

Here, we break down the key physical and olfactory changes in expired pesto and how consuming it can lead to food poisoning.

Describe The Physical And Olfactory Changes That Occur As Pesto Expires

Pesto is a combination of fresh ingredients such as basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. When pesto goes bad, it can become dangerous to consume.

Here are a few physical and olfactory changes to look out for:

  • Separation: Separation occurs when the ingredients in the pesto begin to split apart, leaving oil on the top and solids on the bottom.
  • Discoloration: The color of pesto should be a bright green hue. Discoloration, such as browning or greying, is a sign that the pesto has expired.
  • Texture: The texture of the pesto can change when it expires, becoming grainy or slimy.
  • Smell: Fresh pesto should have a pleasant, robust aroma. Expired pesto emits a rancid or stale smell.

Highlight The Risks Of Consuming Expired Pesto In Terms Of Food Poisoning

Consuming expired pesto can lead to food poisoning, which is caused by harmful bacteria that grow on the food.

Here are some risks of eating expired pesto:

  • Salmonella: This bacterium is commonly found in expired pesto and can cause diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.
  • Staphylococcus: This bacterium produces toxins that can cause severe abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Botulism: In rare cases, pesto that’s been improperly stored can lead to botulism, a potentially fatal illness that affects the nervous system.

It’s essential to consume pesto before its expiry date for optimal quality and safety. Once it has expired, it’s best to dispose of it.

Next time you’re craving some pesto, ensure that you check the expiration date, store it correctly, and keep an eye out for any physical and olfactory changes.

How Long Can Pesto Last?

Pesto is a versatile italian sauce that has become popular globally. It is made with fresh basil leaves, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic, and extra-virgin olive oil. However, there remains a dilemma of whether pesto can go bad or not.

In this blog post, we will explore the factors that determine how long pesto lasts and how to store it properly for optimal freshness.

Provide A Guide On How To Store Fresh And Homemade Pesto For Optimal Freshness.

Proper storage is crucial when it comes to keeping homemade and fresh pesto flavorful and fresh for a long time.

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Store pesto in an airtight container and ensure that it’s covered with a thin layer of olive oil, which will protect it from oxidation.
  • Keep fresh or homemade pesto refrigerated, and it should stay fresh for about a week. However, it’s best consumed within three days of preparation.
  • For optimal freshness, freeze the pesto in an ice-cube tray or small container, depending on your needs.
  • For long-term storage, transfer frozen pesto cubes into a freezer-safe bag or container. It can stay frozen for up to six months without affecting its flavor or texture.

Discuss The Shelf Life Of Unopened And Opened Store-Bought Pesto.

Store-bought pesto, whether unopened or opened, has a limited shelf life.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • Unopened store-bought pesto can last for up to 18 months when stored in a cool, dry place, but you should always check the expiry date printed on the jar.
  • Once opened, store-bought pesto should be refrigerated to maintain its freshness. It can last for up to two weeks after opening.
  • Store-bought pestos are often loaded with preservatives and pasteurized to extend their shelf life. Therefore, they may have a longer shelf life than homemade pesto.

Highlight The Role Of Expiry Dates In Determining Pesto’S Freshness And Edibility.

Expiration dates are crucial in determining the freshness and edibility of pesto, and it is essential to adhere to them.

Here are some points to consider:

  • The most important factor in determining the freshness of pesto is the expiry date printed on the container.
  • Always check the expiry date before buying store-bought pesto and ensure that it is not near the expiry date.
  • Expired pesto can harbor bacteria that can cause food poisoning, and consuming it is not recommended.
  • Discard any pesto that has changed color, texture, or aroma. Pesto that has developed mold or an off-odor should also be discarded immediately.

Pesto is a delicious sauce that can enhance any dish’s flavor. But, it can go bad if stored improperly and past its expiry date. Following the tips on how to store pesto properly can help maintain its freshness, and adhere to the expiry dates to ensure its safety.

Ways To Prolong The Shelf Life Of Pesto

Whether you buy or make pesto at home, ensuring its shelf life is essential. The last thing you want is to waste your delicious pesto because you didn’t store it correctly. Here are some practical tips to help you keep your pesto fresh for longer.

Discuss Practical Tips On How To Keep Pesto Fresh For Longer

Use Preservatives

One way to increase the shelf life of your pesto is by adding preservatives. They help keep the pesto from going bad while also retaining its flavor. Common examples of preservatives used in pesto include salt, vinegar, and lemon juice.

However, it’s essential to ensure the preservatives you add complement the pesto’s overall taste and are safe for consumption.

Freeze Pesto

Freezing pesto is an excellent technique to prolong its shelf life. However, understand that not all ingredients in pesto freeze well. For instance, cheese may become crumbly, while leaves like basil will turn black in the freezer. The best way to freeze pesto is by storing it in an air-tight container.

It’s also essential to freeze the pesto in small quantities, depending on how much you use. This way, you don’t have to thaw and refreeze the pesto, which can lead to spoilage.

Proper Labeling And Storage

Proper labeling and storage are critical to keep your pesto fresh for longer. Make sure to label the pesto container with the date you made it.

This way, you can quickly determine when it’s safe to eat. Also, store the pesto in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight, as heat and light can cause spoilage.

You may also refrigerate the pesto, but avoid storing it in metal containers as they can oxidize and alter the pesto’s taste.

Observing ways to extend the shelf life of pesto is important. Once you follow these practices, you can continue to enjoy your homemade pesto for an extended period.

Frequently Asked Questions On Does Pesto Go Bad

Can Pesto Go Bad If Refrigerated?

Yes, pesto can go bad if stored in the refrigerator for too long, particularly if the jar has been opened. It may last up to 14 days in the refrigerator once opened.

Can Pesto Go Bad If It Has Turned Brown?

Yes, if the pesto has been exposed to air and has turned brown, it may have gone bad. Pesto should be green in color, and discoloration may indicate spoilage.

Can You Still Eat Pesto Past Its Expiration Date?

While it is not recommended, you may still be able to eat pesto past its expiration date if it has been stored properly and appears to be in good condition. However, this is not advisable as it may cause foodborne illness.

Can Pesto Be Frozen To Make It Last Longer?

Yes, you can freeze pesto to make it last longer. Store it in an airtight container or freezer bag, and it should last for up to 6 months in the freezer. Just make sure to thaw it completely before using it.

How Can You Tell If Pesto Has Gone Bad?

You can tell if pesto has gone bad by its appearance, smell, and taste. If it has turned brown or has a sour smell, or a bad taste, it is likely spoiled and should be discarded.


After all we’ve learned, it’s evident that pesto can go bad. The shelf life of commercial pesto can vary depending on different factors like storage temperature, ingredients, and packaging type. Homemade pesto tends to have a shorter shelf life than store-bought because of the absence of preservatives.

Nevertheless, you can prolong the shelf life of both homemade and commercial pesto by refrigerating it promptly and checking it for any signs of spoilage. It’s advisable to prepare pesto in small batches to prevent it from spoiling.

I hope this article has answered all of your questions about the shelf life of pesto, and you can now enjoy your pesto dishes safely and worry-free.

Remember, quality over quantity, and don’t compromise on taste by consuming spoiled pesto.

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