Once you’ve made a batch of pesto for a potluck or poured it into a jar for yourself, you may be wondering how long it will keep in the fridge. While unopened jars can be kept for a few weeks, store-bought pesto keeps its freshness for longer. And you can freeze leftover pesto for later use. In this article, we’ll discuss the various ways to store pesto so you can enjoy it for longer.
The basil-based sauce known as pesto, also known as pesto alla Genovese, was invented in Genoa, the Italian region of Liguria. Basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, salt, and Parmesan are the ingredients used to make traditional pesto (or other hard Italian cheese, such as Pecorino). The traditional way to prepare it is using a mortar and pestle, but you may also use a blender or food processor.
Crushed garlic, pine nuts, basil, hard cheese, and coarse salt are used to make the sauce pesto. The ingredients are all combined with olive oil, and the pesto is then “pounded” (pesto in English) using a high-end molcajete to achieve the proper consistency.
How Long will Pesto Last in the Fridge?
For a complete list of indicators and conditions, continue reading. Refrigerated pesto will be kept for 1-3 weeks in the refrigerator and can be frozen for longer. The best before date, the technique of preparation, and the way the pesto is stored are only a few of the variables that affect the shelf life of pesto. It is available in fresh, canned, and bottled forms, and it can also be swiftly produced with a food processor or blender.
Pesto is delicious and used as a sandwich spread, a pasta sauce, a bread dip, and many other dishes. Fresh basil, olive oil, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese are most frequently mashed or blended to create pesto.
So how long can pesto remain fresh beyond its expiration date? Pesto has an approximate shelf life after its “best before” date when stored properly.
- In Refrigerator (Past printed date) and Freezer (Past printed date)
- The pesto that is bought and refrigerated lasts for (Unopened) 1-3 weeks, 6 to 8 months
- Purchased Pesto in a can lasts for (Unopened) 4-6 weeks, 6 to 8 months
- Purchased pulverized pesto Blend lasts for (Unopened) 4-6 weeks in the Pantry, 6 to 8 months
- Fresh pesto keeps for (Opened) 5-7 days, 3 to 4 months
- The pesto that is bought and refrigerated lasts for (Opened) 7-14 days, 3 to 4 months
- Purchased Pesto in a can lasts for (Opened) 7-14 days, 3 to 4 months
What are the Factors that Affect the Pesto’s Shelf Life?
Be mindful of two things if you want to prolong the shelf life of your pesto: the container you store it and the ingredients you use to make it.
What’s in it
It is challenging to store pesto and cannot simply be placed in the refrigerator. The container is crucial in preserving your pesto’s freshness and antibacterial properties.
Add enough pesto to fill your jar (about 34 of the way), and add a layer of olive oil to the top. The oil aids in preventing the contamination of the sauce by pathogenic germs.
Use a tall, narrow glass container instead of a wide, shallow one to reduce oxygen exposure. Since less oil is required when using the large container, the pesto’s consistency shouldn’t significantly change. As soon as you open the lid, immediately close it.
Use of Ingredients
When it comes to ruining your perfectly crafted pesto, the components matter, if your pesto spoils despite proper storage, blame the ingredients.
Check the label on the oil bottle you are using in your kitchen. Olive oil often spoils after 18 to 24 months (extra virgin olive oil lasts for 12-18 months). This figure drops to 6 and 12 months if you utilize alternative varieties like peanut or canola. Regarding flavour and shelf life, nothing can compare to olive oil.
How then can you determine if your olive oil is rancid? Just crack the bottle open and take a whiff. Throw them away immediately if you detect a crayon or cement filler odour. You can taste it if you don’t have a good nose; don’t be concerned; doing so is safe. If it has a bitter flavour, you may be sure that something’s off.
The colour can be observed as a more straightforward approach. The likelihood is that you cannot use it any longer if it becomes dark. So keep your bottle in a cool, dark place. Direct sunlight can also change the hue.
If you plan to utilize pine nuts in the original recipe, you shouldn’t omit this step. Pine nuts are more pricey than other crunchy options like walnuts or cashews. However, plant oils, a chemical that causes nuts to turn rancid after a specific time, have cursed the entire nut family.
How long do your pine nuts have left before they go wrong? After a month in the refrigerator and three months in the freezer, the highest quality variety will spoil. Don’t forget to store them in airtight containers or sealed bags to prevent exposure.
It would be a mistake to forget the herbs that give the pesto its vivid green colour. It’s a love-hate relationship, but those fresh basil leaves will ruin your pesto because they only stay fresh for nine days.
How Can I Tell if My Pesto is Bad?
Imagine holding a potluck gathering, and you want to serve some homemade pesto to your guests. Sadly, you discover that your dish has malfunctioned and gone off. Of course, the issue is whether you keep it or the components themselves. So how can you know if your pesto has reached the end of its shelf life?
Pesto loses its stomach-rumbling curb appeal when it goes wrong. A pale brown tone replaces the attractive green hue, and there must be a problem with the greens if you notice anything different about the colour. Fresh vegetables typically only remain edible for a week or longer.
The repulsive stench will be the next thing you notice. Throw your pesto away if it smells rotten and strange (like old oil if you’re having trouble picturing it).
If you’re wondering, Taste Pesto, which has passed its expiration date, is still good to eat. It doesn’t taste as fresh as it did previously (and you can tell, obviously). The good news is that consuming poor pesto won’t make you ill.
Last but not least, if white mould begins to grow on the surface, do not attempt to scrape the mould off your pesto because mouldy food should never be consumed.
What are the Tips for Storing Pesto?
Pesto should be stored carefully to prevent spoilage, regardless of whether it is freshly prepared or purchased from your neighbourhood grocery shop. The three reminders you need to be aware of to preserve your pesto are listed below.
Store Fresh Pesto
There is no doubt that the best foods are freshly produced. However, it differs when it comes to pesto. Fresh pesto has a short shelf life and cannot be stored at room temperature for more than two hours.
Please put it in the fridge as soon as you’re done making new presto. Please put it in an airtight container or a glass jar. Pour more olive oil on top of it for added protection before covering the container with the lid. Your pesto is shielded from bacterial invasion by the oil, which serves as a barrier.
Present-day pesto brands include Classico, Sacla, Genovese, and many more. Commercial pesto like this one has preservatives to help it stay fresh longer.
How should they be kept? Similar to how you purchased it. They must be chilled if they are on exhibit in the refrigerated area, and they should be on the shelf in your home if they are on the racks with the other condiments.
The pesto that has been opened should be moved to an airtight container with a lid to prevent exposure. Put the container in your refrigerator; the relaxed environment will keep it fresh for the following two to three days.
Can We Freeze Pesto?
Yes, and the solution is easy. Additionally, it’s the best approach to delay the pesto’s expiration date.
The ice cube method is clever for storing any sauce or condiment leftovers. You may have heard of it. How are you going to make pesto using this technique?
Get an ice cube tray first, and drain the remaining pesto into each hole. Next, add a thin layer of olive oil over the top to prevent the pesto from coming into contact with the air. That’s all, then! Use the pesto cubes by placing the tray in the freezer.
If you’re still curious, there’s another trick for freezing pesto. You will need two sheets of parchment paper, a tray (the size should be small enough to accommodate your freezer), and pesto.
Spread the pesto thinly (no more than a quarter of an inch) over the first sheet of paper before placing it on the tray. Before putting it in the freezer, line the second sheet with your pesto and give it a moment to rest. Because it’s a thin layer, this method can take up more space, but your pesto should thaw more quickly.
What is the Potential Health Hazard While Consuming Pesto?
After reading this, you might reconsider eating your poor pesto if you persist. Herbs and oil, the two main components of pesto, have a relatively low acid content. They help the Clostridium botulinum germs flourish when combined, and it is a pathogenic bacterium that contributes to foodborne botulism.
After eating rotten food, your body will begin to exhibit symptoms for the following 18 to 36 hours. If you do not digest a lot of toxins, this progress may occur more slowly. What you will experience is as follows:
- Nauseous abdominal pain
- Having trouble breathing
- Mouth ache
Some people may have more severe symptoms, such as double vision or impaired vision. Therefore, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so don’t hesitate to throw away your pesto right away.
When storing homemade pesto, you must consume it within three weeks to avoid spoilage. If you do not want to eat it within this time, freeze it. Store-bought pesto has added preservatives, which can cause the taste to change after a few months. As a result, homemade pesto will not last as long as jars of pesto, so keep it refrigerated!
When storing pesto, you should keep in mind that pesto can spoil due to various factors. If you’re not sure of what to do, check the date. If the pesto has gone wrong, discard it. Otherwise, you can replace it with a fresh jar. And, when it’s still good, jars of pesto can last for up to one month in the fridge.