Here’s all you need to know about the shelf life and spoilage of pumpkin puree. Learn how long opened pumpkin puree lasts in the fridge, how to tell if it’s spoiled, and whether canned pumpkin goes bad.
You opened a can of pumpkin purée a couple of days ago, and you’re thinking: is this still safe to eat? How long does pumpkin puree last in the fridge?
Or there’s an ancient can of pumpkin sitting in the pantry for who-knows-how-long, and you’re wondering if expired canned pumpkin is safe to eat.
If either sounds familiar, this article is for you.
Let’s jump right in.
How Long Does Pumpkin Purée Last in the Fridge?
Once opened, a can of pumpkin purée keeps in the fridge for 5 to 7 days. Make sure to transfer the leftovers to an airtight container or jar so that they don’t get contaminated and go bad prematurely.
Those 5 to 7 days of storage is what you’ll find on the label of a typical store-bought pumpkin puree can. But you can always follow the standard advice for leftovers and use up your leftover pumpkin puree within 3 to 4 days for extra safety.
Of course, remember to transfer the leftovers from a can to an airtight container. This way, it doesn’t pick up any smells and isn’t accidentally contaminated with bacteria or fungi.
Related: How Long Do Pumpkins Last?
Fresh Homemade Pumpkin Puree
Use your homemade pumpkin puree within 3 to 4 days of making it. That’s the standard storage time for perishable leftovers, and it’s no different for pumpkin puree. It’s also how long butternut squash puree lasts.
As with canned pumpkin, transfer any leftovers to airtight containers once the puree cools down to about room temperature.
If you bought your first pumpkin and ended up with much more homemade pumpkin purée than expected (been there), you can:
- freeze it
- make a bunch of soup (here’s one recipe, and here’s another)
- bake a pumpkin pie (you can freeze pumpkin pie too)
- make pumpkin pie filling and freeze it
Next up, let’s talk about the signs of spoilage.
How to Tell if Pumpkin Puree Is Bad?
Signs of spoiled canned pumpkin include:
- Mold. If there’s mold or any other organic growth, it needs to go. The puree should be uniform in color and texture. The exception is homemade pumpkin purée, which often includes some leftover rind or overcooked skin.
- Off odor. If the purée doesn’t smell like pumpkins, smells “funny” or sour, it’s no good.
- Bad taste. If the purée is super old, meaning the can you just opened is expired for a couple of years, check the taste before using it in your cooking. If it’s not good enough, open another can.
- Too long storage time. If your canned pumpkin is open for more than a week, discard it. It might still be okay to use, but you never know.
The same signs work for homemade pumpkin purée, obviously.
Now, let’s talk about unopened canned pumpkin.
How to Store Leftover Pumpkin Puree?
Store your leftover pumpkin pure in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week if it’s store-bought puree or up to 4 days if homemade. Alternatively, you can pre-portion the puree and freeze it in airtight containers or freezer bags.
If you’d like to read more about freezing pumpkin puree, check out my guide on the topic.
Does Canned Pumpkin Go Bad?
Canned pumpkin can go bad if the can is leaking, swelling, or rusting. But if the can is fine and the seal is intact, canned pumpkin easily lasts for a couple of years past the printed date. And as long as you store it in a cool and dry place, its quality should be okay, even if it’s way past the “expiration” date.
Like all canned food, “expired” canned pumpkin is, in almost all cases (excluding some weird accidents), perfectly safe to eat for at least a couple of years.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to tell how long is unopened canned pumpkin good for after the expiration date.
3 to 5 years is a safe assumption, but it could be way more than that. If the can is in good shape, open it up, assess the contents, and go from there.
If you’re not sure if your puree is okay to eat, go back to the section on spoilage.
How Long Does Pumpkin Soup Last in the Fridge?
Pumpkin soup will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days, similar to leftover pumpkin puree.
If that’s not long enough, you can freeze it for a couple of months. Defrost it overnight in the fridge, and reheat it on the stove on low heat. If it’s too thick or the bottom starts to burn almost immediately when reheating, loosen up your pumpkin soup with a few tablespoons of water.