Does Pesto Go Bad?

“Does pesto go bad” is a question that’s easy to answer. Since it contains basil, an as we all know basil goes bad, the sauce itself goes bad as well. If you’re interested in its shelf life, how it should be stored or how to tell if pesto should be discarded, this article is what you’re looking for. Read along!

How to store pesto

Pesto should be stored in the fridge, period. If you make you own pesto and won’t use it all, put it into the refrigerator. Also, remember that the container should be always sealed tightly when not in use.

If you would like to extend pesto’s shelf life, there are two things you can do. First one is: make sure the sauce is covered with olive oil before sealing the container. This should extend pesto’s shelf life by a couple of days. Another thing you can do, if you would like to keep the sauce edible for a much longer period of time, is to freeze it. It freezes and thaws well and you can store it for another month or two while keeping it fresh.

Pesto in the tins
(credit: thebittenword.com)

Shelf life of pesto

If you’ve bought a commercially packaged pesto that was refrigerated, it should be fine for about three to four weeks. Take a look at the date on the container to determine how long it can be stored without significant loss of quality and eventually going bad. Once the container has been opened, you should use pesto within a couple of days. Most sources recommend consuming it within three to four days for best quality. If you’ve covered it all with olive oil before storing, it should be fine for additional day or two.

When it comes to homemade pesto, its shelf life is also pretty short – 4, maybe five days. If you’ll apply the olive oil tip, you should gain an additional day or two.

When it comes to freezing pesto, it’s suggested to keep it in the freezer for no longer than two months. Of course it won’t go bad in the freezer, but its quality slowly deteriorates while in freezer and therefore keeping it there for too long isn’t a good idea. Of course the best thing you can do is to try freezing pesto for a month or two and examine its quality after thawing. This should help you with determining how long can you safely freeze it.

How to tell if pesto is bad

First thing to consider is the appearance. Take a look at the basil leaves. If they’ve changed color from green to brownish, it’s a good indicator that the pesto should be discarded. Of course is the sauce smells of or it tastes not as it supposed to, it should be discarded as well. But remember, the first thing to look at is the color of the leaves.

Summary
As you should know by now, pesto goes bad. Once the package is opened (or it’s homemade pesto), it lasts only a couple of days. You can extend its shelf life by covering the surface with olive oil before sealing or, if you need to keep the sauce for a longer period of time, you can freeze it.