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How Long Does Tomato Paste Last? Can It Go Bad?

How Long Does Tomato Paste Last? Can It Go Bad?

Pasta, meatloaf, stews, tacos, and sauces! They just taste better when you have tomato paste in the mix, right? This pantry staple is a concentrated version of tomato sauce minus some added flavorings. It serves as a base ingredient for cooking the most delicious recipe you can imagine with it.

How many times did it happen to you that you always end up having leftover tomato paste in your fridge? After all, not a lot of recipes will require you to use a whole can of tomato paste, especially when you are just cooking for a few people. Well, that is indeed the sad part because when you open a can of tomato paste, you will only need a tablespoon or two, but there is so much left in the can. It’s still the same story even if you have bought the smallest can or pouch in the market. So, what do you do with the rest?

You may even agree that you will only remember it again when it is time for you to clean the insides of the fridge, only to find it at the farthest part that there is an old leftover tomato paste that has already turned black because of molds. Don’t feel guilty, though. We all have experienced that. It just happens that we just sometimes forget about them.

In this post, you will explore the storage, shelf life, and spoilage of tomato paste. And, we will give you extra solutions on what to do with the leftover tomato paste that you have left after cooking. Just read on and enjoy!

How to store tomato paste?

Tomato paste comes in cans, jars, tubes, or glass for most, and other countries have tomato paste in pouches too. Earlier, we have acknowledged that tomato paste is a staple ingredient for most recipes and that most of these recipes only require a minimal amount of it. Yep, that is the worst thing about this red puree paste. Either of the kind, it can be more problematic for you to store it as you have to find a suitable food container to preserve the leftover tomato paste for future use.

Whatever kind of package of tomato paste you bought from the store, the storage application is basically the same.

1.For an unopened container of tomato paste, make sure to keep it in a cool and dry place where sources of heat like from the oven, stove, or other appliances. Ensure that no heat can find its way there so that it will not ruin your tomato paste’s quality. So, your home’s pantry or kitchen cabinet would be the ideal place for storing your tomato paste.
2.Keep it away from sunlight exposure if your tomato paste is stored in a transparent container or jar.
3.When the time comes for you to open your tomato paste, make sure to close the container properly and keep it in the refrigerator for storage.
4.If you have opened a can of tomato paste, you have to transfer the leftovers to a new container that can be closed tightly and place it inside the fridge this time. Not in the pantry or kitchen cabinet anymore, got it?
5.For extra care, seal the jar or tube of tomato paste with a plastic bag or cling wrap and use a rubber band to hold it all together.
6.For leftover tomato paste, you have to store it in an airtight food container. To prolong the shelf life of your leftover tomato paste, you can transfer it to a freezer bag or shape them into portions of cubes. Do this especially when you want to keep it for a few months.

How to freeze tomato paste?

Yes! It is great news that you can actually freeze tomato paste. It is an option you can choose, especially if you see that you are not going to use the leftover tomato paste anytime soon. So, you can have them frozen for a few more months! At last! We got a solution! Now, you do not have to “punish” yourself for forcing your meals to be tomato-based for the next few days just because you have opened a pack of tomato paste.

However, the only disadvantage of freezing tomato paste is that its quality will slightly weaken once you have it thawed. But that’s just it. Anyway, you are going to use tomato paste to cook your dishes. You can do some cooking tricks to achieve a good-tasting quality of your dish. Such a slight change in the taste of your tomato paste will hardly be noticeable in your cooked dish.

Okay! As mentioned earlier, you may transfer the tomato paste inside a freezer-safe container or a freezer bag and then toss it into the freezer. To be a little more creative, grab your ice cube trays!

Freezing your tomato paste in the ice cube trays is easy, and it does not require you to make so much effort. Here’sHere’s how to do it:

1.Spoon the leftover tomato paste into the ice cube trays.
2.Place your ice cube trays filled with tomato paste into the freezer and leave it to freeze for a few hours.
3.Once they are frozen, take it out of the freezer and transfer your tomato paste cubes into a freezer bag.
4.You may then write a label with its name and date if you feel the need to do it.
5.Lastly, toss the freezer bag into your freezer.

It is so easy, right? Don’tDon’t forget to wash your ice cube trays after using it!

And oh! If you do not have some ice cube trays or they just happened to be in use at the moment, you can use a muffin or cupcake pan to mold and freeze it. This way, you’ll have a bigger portion or serving compared to the small cubes of your ice cube tray.

Still got no muffin or cupcake pan? There is still a way! Grab a tablespoon and do it this way:

1.Measure the leftover tomato paste into a tablespoon and lay them on a tray or baking sheet lined with baking paper or plastic wrap. The underliner will keep your tomato paste from sticking directly into the pan. Make sure your dollops of tomato paste are not touching each other so that they will freeze individually and not stick with each other. Then, have them frozen in the freezer for several hours.
2.Once they are all entirely frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag or in an airtight container. Since your dollops of tomato paste are frozen, you wouldn’t have to worry about them sticking together.
3.Remove excess air out of the freezer bag before sealing it. Then, toss your tomato paste back in the freezer.

The advantage of freezing your tomato paste is that it would be easier for you to just get what you need for a recipe out of your freezer. You do not even have to thaw it if your recipe requires cooking soups, sauces, and the like.

Of course, as you already know, tomato paste doesn’t last that long. Fortunately, with only a bit of extra work, we can prolong its shelf life for months.

Can tomato paste go bad?

Yes, it goes bad. It spoils faster once you have already opened a pack of tomato paste. As mentioned earlier, all the time, we don’t get to consume all of the tomato paste in a container, and we end up tossing it in the fridge and forget about it. Storing it in unfavorable conditions will spoil your tomato paste faster.

How long does tomato paste last?

Let’s say your tomato paste’s shelf life relies mainly on the storage conditions it is in.

Any commercially produced tomato paste that is packed and distributed to the markets typically comes with a “Best-By” day, “Best if Used By,” date, “Best Before” date, or “Best When Used By” date. However, that does not imply a safety date. That is only the manufacturer’s estimate on how long their tomato paste product can hold its peak quality.

Under ideal room temperature storage or in the pantry, an unopened pack of tomato paste can generally retain its best quality for about a year and a half to two years.

Tomato paste in tubs has a shelf life that can extend up to 45 days even after you have opened it.

An opened jar of tomato paste can last 7 to 10 days in the refrigerator.

For canned tomato paste, you can still have it stored beyond its “best by” date for another six months. Ensure that it is away from the sun’s exposure, and it should always be placed in a cool place. Once it is opened, it can last in the fridge for three to seven days.

Any refrigerated leftover tomato paste that is stored or transferred in an airtight food container can last for three to seven days.

If you wonder whether or not it is still safe to consume an already expired unopened can or a pack of tomato paste, provided that you have kept it stored adequately with no signs of damages, yes, you can still open that for use. After some time, your tomato paste’s quality in terms of color, texture, or flavor may change a little bit, but it can still be useful for consumption.

How to tell if your tomato paste has gone bad?

1.Moldy surface. Tomato paste spoils since it is naturally moist. This makes a habitable environment for molds to survive. Mold growth is the most apparent signs of tomato paste spoilage. If you see a hub of green to yellowish stuff growing on your tomato taste, you should throw it away immediately! As a general rule, any signs of food discoloration may indicate that molds have already flourished. Never use it at any cost.
2.Off-odor. If you smell something pungent and sour, or simply if your lungs cannot even tolerate such odor from that tomato paste, never try to salvage it and just dispose of it.
3.Texture change. A watery texture in your tomato paste may still be safe for consumption, but the quality must have already been changed to a less desirable taste.
4.Never use the tomato paste from cans or packages with leaks, rusts, bulged, or severe dents.
5.If your gut feeling is dictating you to throw that old-stored tomato paste for who knows how long it has been sitting there, and the labels are already unreadable, it would be best to never use it at all and just buy a new pack of tomato paste for your safety. Like the saying goes, “when in doubt, throw it out.


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