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How Long Does Pesto Last?

Pesto is loved for its vibrant color and nutty flavor, but like all food substances, it will spoil eventually.

If you’re looking at a pesto jar that’s been open for a few days, you may be wondering how to tell if your jar has gone bad. 

How Long Does Pesto Last?

If this is the case, you’re in the right place!

You’ll find out how long pesto lasts for in this post, including how to tell if it has spoiled and whether it needs to be refrigerated. 

Read on to find out the answers to any pesto-related queries!

Will Pesto Spoil?

No matter what type of pesto you have, all pesto will go bad eventually.

This is because the product is made with fresh ingredients that will perish in due course. 

Store-bought pesto jars tend to be canned, which will increase their shelf life to a few months long.

These generally contain preservatives that help them survive more than a few days after they have been opened.

However, if your pesto is in a jar that needs to be refrigerated, it will have a much smaller shelf life. 

Homemade pesto which is free from synthetic preservatives will only last for a few days; possibly even less if it’s stored out of the fridge.

Shelf Life Of Pesto

Here is a breakdown of different types of pesto and their estimated shelf life when stored in the fridge:

Homemade Pesto: four days

Pesto, opened, sold refrigerated: four to seven days

Pesto, unopened, sold refrigerated: expiration date one to two weeks

Pesto, opened, sold unrefrigerated: four days to two weeks

Pesto, unopened, sold unrefrigerated: one week

Unopened store-bought pesto will survive for a few months if it’s refrigerated when sold.

If it is sold refrigerated, it may last for a few weeks beyond its expiration date. 

After you open the jar, the pesto may last between four days and two weeks, though this varies between brands.

Pesto Sold Unrefrigerated

Pesto cans that are sold unrefrigerated have a shelf life between eight months and one year.

They may even keep for a few months after their expiration date, like other canned items.

Once you open the product, you have between three days and a fortnight to use the product, based on the brand that you go for. 

As these periods can differ between brands, always look at the label to see how long the product is edible for once it’s opened. 

These differences are down to the various preservatives used by different pesto brands.

In most cases, the shorter the shelf life, the fewer artificial preservatives used to make the pesto.

How Long Does Pesto Last

Pesto Sold Refrigerated

If your pesto product is sold in the refrigerated area of the store, it will usually have a smaller shelf life, no more than a couple of months long.

These may be good for a little while after the expiration date, but this period is only a week or two long.

After you open the product, you have between four and seven days to enjoy the sauce, based on the pesto’s ingredients.

There are also differences between pesto brands, so always look at the label before you buy.

Pesto That’s Homemade

Homemade pesto made in your kitchen will only last for four days when stored in the fridge.

You will need to store the sauce in a sealed, clean container when doing so. 

Pesto made at home has a shorter shelf life as it won’t contain any artificial preservatives.

You’ll have between three and four days to enjoy the pesto, like a lot of other perishable homemade sauces. 

How Long Does Pesto Last?

Signs That Pesto Has Spoiled

Here are some signs that you should throw your pesto out:

  • Change in color: Pesto is normally green, but if it has turned brown, it’s a sign that it has spoiled. 
  • Mold: Any sign of mold on the sauce indicates that it’s unsuitable for consumption.
  • Tastes or smells rancid: If the pesto tastes bitter, or smells putrid, bitter, or chemical-like, it needs to be disposed of. Even unopened jars can go rancid if they are stored in bad conditions. 
  • Kept in storage for a long time: If your pesto jar says it should be enjoyed within a week, and it’s been in the fridge for two weeks, it needs to go.This is also the case with homemade pesto that’s been stored for a week.

Do You Have To Keep Pesto In The Fridge?

All pesto jars need to be refrigerated once opened. 

The only time you won’t need to keep pesto refrigerated is if you have an unopened product that wasn’t refrigerated in the store.

This will need to be stored in the fridge after you open it. 

All other types of pesto, even homemade recipes, always need to be refrigerated.

How To Store Pesto Correctly

Always ensure that your pesto jar is sealed properly when you’re not using it.

Use a clean spoon each time you take the product out of the jar.

Never double-dip between products or food items.

You can stop pesto from turning brown by applying a thin olive oil coat before you put it back in the fridge.

This forms a barrier between the air and the pesto, preventing oxidation from taking place.

Freezing Pesto

You can increase pesto’s shelf life by freezing it.

This can be done with both store-bought and homemade pesto.

You just need a plastic container and a few minutes.

Freeze pesto by transferring the product into an airtight container with a clean spoon.

Make sure that there are a few inches on top before you seal the container.

Securely fasten the lid to prevent the pesto from leaking out of its container.

Label the container with its storage date and name, then place it in the freezer.

Store the pesto in separate, smaller portions, as you won’t need to defrost one larger vessel to obtain one serving.

If you don’t have a lot of containers, freezing your sauce in ice cube trays works well as an alternative. 

If it’s frozen, store-bought pesto will remain edible for around eight months.

Homemade pesto will have a shorter shelf life, so try to finish your supply within six months. 

Final Thoughts

Now you know how long pesto lasts for! 

Store-bought pesto products will have a longer shelf life than homemade varieties. 

Homemade pesto should be enjoyed three to four days after it’s made.

Store-bought pesto may last between four days and two weeks once it’s opened, though this varies between brands. 

You can keep unopened, sold unrefrigerated pesto products out of the fridge, but always store them in the refrigerator, along with all types of pesto, once they are opened.  

Creamy Pesto Chicken Recipe

The Creamy Pesto Chicken is a visually appealing dish that requires minimal effort and can be prepared quickly.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Creamy Pesto Chicken Recipe
Servings: 3
Calories: 2260kcal


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup pesto


  • Fillet the chicken breasts into two thinner pieces or pound them to an even thickness then cut each breast in half to create four portions.
  • Season the chicken with a pinch of salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat the surface.
  • Add the chicken to the skillet and cook on each side until golden brown and cooked through (about 7-10 minutes total).
  • Remove the chicken to a clean plate.
  • Turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet along with the minced garlic and halved grape tomatoes. Sauté for about five minutes or until the tomatoes start to soften and lose their shape.
  • Add the heavy cream and pesto to the skillet with the tomatoes and stir to combine.
  • Allow the sauce to come up to a simmer. Taste the sauce and adjust the salt or pepper to your liking.
  • Add the chicken back to the skillet with the tomatoes and sauce, turning to coat the chicken.
  • Allow the chicken to simmer in the sauce for just a few minutes more to heat through.
  • Serve hot.
  • Enjoy!



Calories: 2260kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 331g | Fat: 91g | Saturated Fat: 30g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 34g | Cholesterol: 968mg | Sodium: 1123mg | Potassium: 5893mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2314IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 152mg | Iron: 9mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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