You opened a can of pumpkin purée a couple of days ago and you’re thinking: is this purée still safe to eat?
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 edible.
If either sounds familiar, this article is for you. In it, we cover:
- how long is canned pumpkin good for once opened
- whether canned pumpkin goes bad, and if using an expired can is safe
- spoilage signs of open canned pumpkin
Interested? Let’s jump right in.
How Long Does Pumpkin Purée Last in the Fridge?
Once opened, store-bought pumpkin purée keeps in the fridge for up to 7 days, while homemade purée stays safe for about 4 to 5 days. Move the leftovers from the can to an airtight container for better protection.
Most cans of pumpkin pure recommend that you should use the leftovers within a week of opening, and I recommend the same. For homemade pumpkin puree, I suggest you go with the regular advice of 4 to 5 days of storage time for perishable leftovers.
Of course, remember to transfer the leftovers from a can to an airtight container so that the purée stays sealed. This way, it doesn’t pick up any smells and isn’t accidentally contaminated with bacteria or fungi.
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
Related: How Long Do Pumpkins Last?
Does Canned Pumpkin Go Bad?
If you store your unopened canned pumpkin in a cool and dry place, it should retain good quality for at least a couple of years past the printed date. And it stays safe to eat much longer.
However, if the can is leaking, swelling, or rusting, you should discard it no matter 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, here’s a couple of tips on the topic.
How to Tell if Opened Canned Pumpkin 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 as well.