Alongside pizza, rice, and eggs, pasta is considered the most eaten food in the world. This alone says a lot about this popular Italian cuisine staple.
Pasta is traditionally made from wheat, but aside from wheat pasta, there are many types of pasta including those made from lentils, peas, beans, and gluten-free pasta.
All of them are great, but it is up to you to decide what suits you the most. Aside from various types of pasta, there are also many different types of pasta dishes including lasagna, macaroni, and spaghetti. The main character of today’s article will be spaghetti.
And the main question will be, “How long is spaghetti good in the fridge?”. Here in the introduction, I will just say that the shelf life of spaghetti in the fridge mainly depends on the way you store them there and that will be explained in more detail later in the text.
In this article, I will also answer some other important questions related to spaghetti and pasta in general, their storage tips, and their shelf life in general.
Stay tuned to learn more about this important information.
How Long Is Spaghetti Good For In The Fridge?
Generally speaking, the refrigerator is the best place to store cooked spaghetti in. The same counts for cooked pasta in general.
However, the exact time frame in which spaghetti will remain good in the fridge mainly depends on the way of storage. So, let’s take a look at how long can you keep spaghetti in the fridge.
• Spaghetti noodles refrigerated on their own: When spaghetti noodles are stored in the fridge on their own, i.e. separated from any kind of pasta sauce, they can last for up to 4-5 days in the fridge.
• Spaghetti and cream-based sauce refrigerated together: This is the only type of spaghetti sauce with which spaghetti can stay good for a little longer in the fridge because the cream contains some ingredients that are better at cool temperatures. So, if you refrigerate spaghetti with a cream-based sauce (like pesto cream), it will stay good for up to 5 days.
• Spaghetti and tomato-based sauce refrigerated together: Generally speaking, aside from cream-based sauces, when you store pasta without any sauce in the fridge, it will last longer. When you add any kind of sauce, the shelf life of cooked pasta deteriorates. So, spaghetti and red sauce, refrigerated together, will last for up to 3-4 days in the fridge.
• Spaghetti and meatballs (or meat sauce) refrigerated together: Meat deteriorates the shelf life even further. So, if you store spaghetti and meat together in the fridge, they will last there for up to 2-3 days.
• Spaghetti and fish sauce refrigerated together: And, finally, there is the spaghetti combined with fish sauce. As you all know, fish is quite a sensitive type of food when it comes to spoilage, so spaghetti combined with fish sauce will last the least in the fridge.
How To Store Spaghetti In The Refrigerator?
Now that you know how long is leftover pasta good for in the fridge, it is time to learn how to store it properly there because, without proper storage, all of that goes in vain. So, if you decide to store your cooked spaghetti in the fridge, it is essential that you follow these steps.
STEP 1: You first need to completely cool your spaghetti before you store it in the fridge. So, rinse them with cold water and drain them as much as possible. If you refrigerate warm spaghetti, the risk of harmful bacteria growth will be higher.
STEP 2: When your spaghetti is cooled down properly, you have to transfer them to an airtight container. You can also use the bag, but make sure to pull out all the excess air because the air can cause bacteria growth.
• You can also portion your leftover spaghetti and store those portions separately in multiple shallow airtight containers. Cover those containers with the container lids or with plastic wrap.
STEP 3: Label the containers with the exact date of storage and put them somewhere deep in the fridge. Avoid putting them close to the fridge door because the temperature is unstable there.
One more tip. Always try to store spaghetti noodles separately from the spaghetti sauce because that way, it will last longer.
How Long Does Spaghetti Last At Room Temperature?
Generally speaking, there are not many types of food that like to sit out too long. If you are dealing with dry pasta or uncooked pasta that is still in its original packaging, it can stay good in the pantry for quite long. Many other foods have a shorter shelf life. So, you shouldn’t worry about that.
However, if you are dealing with homemade spaghetti or some leftover spaghetti, you shouldn’t let it stay at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
That is the popular 2-hour rule which states that food shouldn’t be left in the temperature danger zone (40-140 degrees F) for more than 2 hours.
Since room temperature ranges from 40-90 degrees F, it falls into that category. When spaghetti is left in that temperature danger zone, the risk of harmful bacteria growth multiplies.
How Long Does Pasta Last In The Freezer?
If you want to extend the shelf life of your spaghetti, it is best to store it in the freezer. If you do that properly, your spaghetti will last there for up to 2 months. However, you must know how to do that the right way, so here are some tips.
• When you are freezing your spaghetti, it is best to freeze them along with the sauce. The main reason for that is the fact that plain pasta gets mushy when thawed alone.
• It is also good to combine your spaghetti with some olive oil before storing it in the freezer to prevent them from sticking together.
• It is best to cook pasta al dente or a bit undercooked in order to avoid getting pasta too soft when thawing.
• When choosing between a heavy-duty freezer bag and a container, it is always better to choose the bag. I would suggest you use a resealable plastic bag when freezing your spaghetti.
• If you choose a resealable plastic bag, make sure that you suck out all the excess air in order to avoid potential freezer burn that can spoil the flavor and texture.
• If you don’t want to use all the frozen spaghetti after the freezing and defrosting process, it is best to separate it into small portions, i.e. exact portions that you will use.
• Never refreeze your spaghetti once you thaw them because it won’t be good for consumption after that.
One of the most popular pasta dishes is pasta salad, and here is all you have to know about freezing pasta salad.
How Do You Reheat Leftover Spaghetti?
When it comes to reheating leftover spaghetti, there are several ways to do that properly. Below, I will present you with the best ways to reheat your leftover spaghetti and I will briefly explain what you have to do in each situation.
• Sauce-free pasta: It is quite simple to reheat spaghetti noodles that haven’t been combined with any sauce whatsoever. Just transfer your pasta to some boiling water and let it stay there for about 30 seconds. When it comes to the sauce, you can reheat it in the microwave or in a saucepan.
• Saucy pasta: If your pasta is combined with some kind of sauce like alfredo sauce or with meatballs, it is best to reheat it in the oven. Just transfer it to a shallow ovenproof dish and cover the dish with some cooking foil. Heat it in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees F. You can also reheat your saucy pasta in the microwave or in a pan over medium-low heat.
• Frozen pasta: When it comes to reheating frozen pasta, the process is the same as for previously mentioned situations. However, the difference is that you have to thaw the frozen pasta before reheating it. In order to do that, it is best to transfer leftover pasta from the freezer to the fridge and let it defrost there overnight. An alternative way is to transfer the bag with pasta from the freezer directly to the bowl of hot water and defrost it there.
How Do You Know If Spaghetti Is Spoiled?
If you have done all these previously mentioned things correctly, but you are still not sure that it is safe to consume your spaghetti, there are some signs of spoilage that you have to be aware of. They are listed and briefly explained below.
• Slimy Texture: The first thing you have to do when you start to inspect your pasta is to touch it. If you feel that the pasta is slimy or gooey under your fingers, then it is probably bad.
• Mold: Just like with most types of foods, mold on your pasta is a definite sign of spoilage. If you see any mold, discard your spaghetti immediately.
• Discoloration: If you sense any discoloration such as a whitish or grayish hue, your pasta is probably bad and you shouldn’t consume it.
• Bad Smell: And, finally, if you sense any change in smell, i.e. if the smell of your pasta upsets your stomach, you should throw it in the trash because it is spoiled.
What Are The Consequences Of Eating Spoiled Spaghetti?
Eating old or spoiled food in general is definitely not a good idea when it comes to your health. The same applies to pasta and spaghetti. The spoilage of spaghetti and pasta is a consequence of harmful germs that grow on it.
B. cereus is one of the most common pathogens on spaghetti that cause foodborne illnesses because of which you can experience symptoms of food poisoning. Those symptoms include an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea.
In extreme cases, these types of bacteria can even cause death. So, you really have to be careful when dealing with spaghetti. It is even more serious if the pasta is combined with some other ingredients like meat, eggs, or dairy products.
In that case, even more types of bacteria can grow including Listeria, Salmonella, Clostridium, and Campylobacter.
So, when you are dealing with perishables like spaghetti, you should be extra careful. Know the exact shelf life of every kind of spaghetti, know how to store them properly, and the exact signs of spoilage.
How Long Are Cooked Noodles Good For?
After hours of cooking your noodles, you have to decide what you want to do with them. In order to do that, you have to know how long they are good for.
So, if you leave them at room temperature, they will be good for up to 2 hours.
If you refrigerate them, they will last in the fridge for about 4-5 days.
And, if you freeze them, they will remain good for up to 2 months.
How Long Do Spaghetti And Meatballs Last In The Fridge?
If you store spaghetti and meatballs together in the fridge, you must know that they won’t remain good for quite a long. Contrary to freezing spaghetti alone, spaghetti combined with meatballs won’t be good for longer than 4-5 days.
In fact, they will stay good in the fridge for only 2-3 days because of the presence of meat.
Is Spaghetti Good For 7 Days?
If you freeze spaghetti on their own, it will remain good for more than 7 days.
On the other hand, if you leave them at room temperature or store them in the fridge, they won’t be good for consumption after that time frame.
Refrigerated Spaghetti Shelf Life
Just like any type of food, if you want to preserve its best quality and if you don’t want to end up with spoiled food, you have to know how long it can last and how you can handle it properly based on that shelf life information.
It is the same thing with spaghetti. If you don’t want to find your spaghetti spoiled the very next day, you have to know the information about its shelf life, as well as proper storage.
And since spaghetti is mostly stored in the fridge, the main question is “How long is spaghetti good for in the fridge?”.
In this article, I answered the question of how long different types of spaghetti are good for in the fridge, as well as how to store them properly, and what the main signs of spoilage are.
And that is actually all you have to know.