Does pasta expire?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Does pasta expire?” We will also discuss the way to determine if your pasta has gone bad.

Does pasta expire?

No, pasta doesn’t expire but like any other food pasta also goes bad when enough time has passed. It is not a perishable item like fruits or meat, so it doesn’t go bad in a way that they go rotten. Dry pasta won’t rot or grow mold no matter how long you keep them on your pantry shelves, but after a certain time has passed, it will lose its original flavors.

To be more precise, unlike other perishable foods, dry pasta comes with a “best before” tag. In most cases, pasta is good for 2 years from its manufacture date. Not to confuse this date with the expiration date. They can still be consumed even after the date has passed, they will just not be as fresh as they were earlier. That is the time the pasta will stay at its peak freshness.

If we’re talking about freshly prepared pasta, it is a different story. Unlike dry pasta, fresh ones are prepared with a lot of moisture and eggs making it a perishable food. According to the USDA, you should consume it within two days of purchase, but you can extend its shelf life by storing it in the freezer.

For more information, follow these guidelines:

Dry pasta 

Although dry pasta won’t go bad, it will gradually lose quality. Dry pasta that has not been opened can be stored in the pantry for up to two years after the date of purchase. Dry pasta doesn’t need to be chilled or frozen. Doing so won’t increase its shelf life, so there’s no point in storing it in a refrigerator.

Fresh pasta 

Fresh pasta is perishable so you have to be careful when storing them to increase its shelf life as long as you can. If kept in the refrigerator, fresh pasta should be eaten within two days of purchase; if kept in the freezer, it should be eaten within two months. It won’t keep well in the pantry as it contains raw eggs and can be dried out if kept in the open.

Cooked pasta

You may also store the leftover cooked pasta in a refrigerator or freezer. At normal room temperature, it won’t even last a few hours. But you can store it in the freezer for up to two months or in the refrigerator for up to five days. It lasts longer than fresh pasta if stored in a refrigerator. For more details, please click the link here.

How to know if your pasta has gone bad?

You can easily tell which pasta is fresh and which ones have gone bad by observing its physical characteristics or by its smell and taste. Let us discuss more what you can look for while deciding if your pasta is good or bad:


Dry pasta loses flavor as it ages. The pasta becomes stale and flavorless, it longer has the same freshness as before. That’s when you know that the pasta is better off discarded. Although you may not notice a big change in its appearance, tasting it will make things clear. If we’re talking about the taste of cooked pasta, it loses its natural flavor and is no longer edible after a few days.


Whether it’s dry pasta or cooked one, once they go bad, they release a foul odor. Simply by smelling the pasta, you will be able to figure out whether it is still edible or has gone bad. Bad pasta has a very unpleasant smell you can find in other old-packed food items.


If your pasta has any white spots or discolorations, it is likely that it has gone bad and should be discarded.


If you notice any white clouds or dark spots on your cooked pasta, that is because of the mold. When pasta is kept in storage for longer than five days, molds are likely to make an appearance. You can also notice that your pasta becomes slick and sticky after cooking due to the development of molds. Molds can also appear in dry pasta if it is exposed to high humidity.


In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “Does pasta expire?” We have also discussed the way to determine if your pasta has gone bad.