Skip to Content

How Long Does Tomato Sauce Last Unopened?

How Long Does Tomato Sauce Last Unopened?

We all love tomato sauce.

It is a commodity in most houses, especially those with children.

Sometimes it is easier and cheaper to bulk-buy tomato sauce, so you have plenty on hand when you need it.

If your kids are like mine and will only eat food with a tonne of tomato sauce added, you need a backup supply.

The thing with buying in bulk is the fact even tomato sauce has an expiry date.

Just how long does tomato sauce last unopened? Let’s find out.

How Long Does Tomato Sauce Last Unopened?

When you store tomato sauce properly and unopened, it is good for 2 years. Once it has been opened, it will store for two weeks in the fridge or 18 months in the freezer. The homemade sauce will last for around 12 months in the pantry unopened if it has preservatives added to it. You don’t need to be too strict on the use-by date with commercially made sauce.

How Long Does Sauce Last When In A Jar?

Glass is better to store the sauce in when you are looking to store long term. If you can buy tomato sauce in a glass bottle or jar rather than plastic, it is going to last longer.  

It can last longer when stored at the optimal settings, such as in a cool, dark place.

Storing in plastic is dangerous as it can degrade and become unstable, which will cause the sauce to go off.  If the sauce is stored in plastic, you need to lower the shelf life to 25% less than what it says for glass.

Storing Times For Tomato Sauce In A Can

Canned tomato sauce will have plenty of preservatives already added to it so it can be kept for a longer time.

You can get a 3 – 4 years shelf life if the bottle is unopened and stored in the correct way. The use-by date is there for a guide, but it can last longer.

Just ensure you check it before eating if you have let it go over the expiry time.

Can I Freeze Tomato Sauce

If you have homemade sauce, you can actually freeze it. The stuff will freeze for up to 18 months if you use a freezer-safe bag or container.

Ensure the containers or bags are leak-proof. If the sauce leaks, it will cause a huge mess.

How Long Will Tomato Sauce Last Once It Has Been Opened?

Once you have opened the sauce, it will need to be stored in the fridge. You will need to keep an eye on it and don’t eat it past two weeks.

Don’t worry too much about color changes, as this can happen with the sudden change in temperature from the shelf to the cold fridge.

After a week, keep checking for signs of expiration. If this is your own homemade sauce, then it should only be kept in the fridge opened for a few days.

Again check for signs that it has spoiled before you consume it.

Best Way To Store Unopened Tomato Sauce

Leaving the sauce unopened in its packaging will maximize the shelf life.

The sauce needs to be stored in a dry and cool area that doesn’t get much light.

Either on the lid of the sauce or on the bottom of the jar or bottle will be a sell-by date.

This has been put there by the manufacturer and states just how long it will maintain the best quality.

If the sell-by date has gone past, the sauce might still be fine to eat, but you will need to check before consuming.

The sauce will smell different and emit a foul odor if it has gone past its date.  The taste will also be different, and avoiding is the safest option.

What Are The Signs Of Rancid Tomato Sauce

A sauce that is sealed and been stored can still go bad. Here are a few signs to be on the lookout for:

Color that is darker

A strong acidic smell or other strange odor

The sauce might have separated and look watery

The taste will be bitter or overall different than normal

If your sauce is showing these signs, it is best to throw it away.


Tomato sauce is enjoyed on French fries, meat pies, or whatever you like to add it to. It keeps for a good amount of time.

Stocking up is a great way to ensure you never run out. Storing properly and checking the sauce before eating will ensure that it is safe to eat and won’t cause any problems.

The bacteria that grow in the sauce can make you very sick, so don’t take any chances. If you think it is off, throw it away.

Frequently Asked Questions About Storing Tomato Sauce

How Long Does Unopened tomato sauce Last When At Room Temperature?

Unopened tomato sauce lasts between 18 to 24 months. It can still be eaten after that time, given it is safe to do so.

Can I Use Tomato Sauce After The Expiry Date?

Tomato sauce can be used after the expiry date. Most expired dates on items that are not meat or dairy are more of a guideline. Often such items can be eaten beyond this point, but they may not taste the best quality, and the texture can change. As long as the smell, taste, and sight test pass, go ahead and eat it.