How Long Does Tomato Paste Last in the Fridge? Answered!

How Long Does Tomato Paste Last in the Fridge? Answered!

Do you know how long does tomato paste last in the fridge? I have all the answers you need and I will also teach you how to store this amazing ingredient.

A package of unopened tomato paste will typically keep for 6 months after its best-by date. If properly stored, an opened one will usually last 7-10 days. That is a huge difference. Mold is the most common enemy of tomato sauce.

Although some people live for danger, it’s not a good idea to scrape off the mold and use the sauce. Brownish or black discoloration or funny smell are the first signs of trouble. Also, the texture can be telling as well. It should be firm and sturdy. If it becomes runny and watery, don’t eat it, please. If everything seems perfectly fine, you should still taste test it before ruining a whole meal with a bad tomato paste.

Either you want to enhance the tomato tastes in a pasta sauce, or add some acidity to your favorite meals for a sunny flavor, a dab of tomato paste adds additional flavors and is convenient to use if you don’t have fresh ones.

Does tomato paste expire?

Tomato paste expiration date

Is it okay to eat canned tomato paste after the “expiration” date printed on the package? Yes, as long as it has been stored properly, the package is undamaged, and there are no signs of spoilage – commercially packaged tomato paste will typically carry a “Best By,” “Best if Used By,” “Best Before,” or “Best When Used By” date, but this is not a safety date, but rather the manufacturer’s estimate of how long the tomato paste will remain at peak quality.

Technically, tomato paste kept consistently frozen at 0°F will last indefinitely and the suggested dates are just to maintain the best quality.

Can I store some tomato paste in the fridge?

Storing tomato paste

Tomato paste comes in cans, glass jars, and tubes. On the other hand, the methods for preserving tomato paste are almost the same. When you open the bottle, it means your tomato paste should be refrigerated and properly packed.

Seal the can with cling wrap or a plastic bag if you’re using one. Alternatively, any remaining paste should be stored in an airtight container.

How long does tomato paste last in the fridge?

How long does tomato paste last in the fridge

How long may opened canned tomato paste be stored in the refrigerator? If kept cold, tomato paste can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.

Tomato paste is inherently wet, therefore if it has gone bad, it is most likely because it has become a breeding ground for mold. Tomato paste will have a moldy surface that might range from greenish to yellowish and should be discarded right away.

Never opened tomato paste

Despite being one of the most common ingredients in almost all cuisines around the world, large amounts of tomato paste are wasted because people don’t know how to properly store them and rarely use a whole can for a meal, causing them to go bad and mouldy. An unopened can of tomato paste will generally keep its best quality for about 18 to 24 months if properly stored, though it will usually be safe to use after that.

Tomato paste can be purchased in a can or a tube, and the tube is always preferable (unless you’re cooking in large batches that require the entire can). Once opened, tubed tomato paste will keep in the fridge for 6-8 weeks. Tomato paste in a can is only good for 5-7 days after it has been opened.

Tomato paste already opened

Tomato sauce adds depth of flavor and layers to your meals, and is a pantry staple that is inexpensive, versatile, and flavorful. It’s ideal for making tomato sauces for pizza, spaghetti, chili, and other dishes. Because of its strong umami flavor, it can also improve the flavor of soups, stews, and braised meat, moreso when caramelized.

The precise answer is influenced significantly by storage conditions; keep opened tomato paste cool and properly wrapped. Refrigerate canned or packaged tomato paste in a covered glass or plastic container after opening to extend shelf life and reduce food waste.

Step by step – How to store tomato paste?

How to store tomato paste

A can of tomato paste can be refrigerated for up to 5 days after it has been opened. So you’ll either have to throw it away or cook with tomato sauce for the rest of the week. If you’re like me and don’t fancy either, there is a third option. Please keep in mind that storing an open tin can in the refrigerator is never a good idea unless you intend to use it within a few hours. So, how do you store a nearly empty can of tomato paste?

How to store tomato paste in the fridge:

  1. After you finished cooking, place the leftover sauce in an airtight container.
  2. Use the smallest container possible.
  3. Make sure there is the least possible air in the container and perfectly closed.
  4. Never leave it in the can.
  5. Use it in a week.

How to store tomato paste in the freezer:

  1. Put all the left tomato paste in the ice cube tray and put it in a freezing bag labeled. Use it within 3 months.


  1. Measure the leftover tomato sauce into equal amount of patches on a baking sheet.
  2. Freeze them until solid and put them into a freezer bag labeled. This way, you don’t have to measure next time. 
  3. Use them within 3 months.

Can I freeze tomato paste?

Yes, you can freeze tomato paste if you want to store it for a longer period of time. This is actually a great way to prevent food waste if you bought a can of tomato paste and you have leftovers that you don’t plan to use up in the next 5 days. The main drawback is that defrosted tomato paste loses its quality. However, because tomato paste is commonly used in prepared dishes, separating the two is difficult. 

Fill ice cube trays halfway with the paste. Instead of defrosting the full container of frozen tomato paste, defrost only the amount needed for your cooking preparations. Scoop the frozen tomato paste from the ice cube trays to the freezer in a bag. Whenever you need to use tomato paste, take out one scoop and thaw it on low heat in the saucepan before you get cooking.

You may also wrap a can in plastic and freeze it overnight. The next day, just push the paste out of the open end using the metal end. Take the item out of the can and rewrap it. You can take one out for each meal as needed. When properly stored, canned tomato paste will maintain its best quality in the freezer for about 4 months, while it is safe to eat for much longer.

Final tips and tricks

Tomato paste is just tomatoes that have had their skins and seeds removed and have been boiled down to a thick paste. Tomato paste has a strong flavor because raw tomatoes are acidic and have an umami flavor. Cooking concentrates and enhances the taste. As you cook with it, you’ll notice that the flavor is so concentrated that you don’t need much of it for most recipes.

The simplest way to tell if opened canned tomato paste is rotten or spoiled is to smell and look at it: if the tomato paste has an unusual odor, flavor, or appearance, or if mold appears, discard it. All tomato paste from cans that are leaking, oxidized, bloated, or damaged should be thrown.

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