How Long Does Pesto Last – (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 days

Pesto can be purchased, prepared as well as stored in different ways using various ingredients. The shelf life of pesto is affected by the typed of ingredient used in its preparation. Just like most food products, pesto features best by date and not expiry date.

Simply because of this difference, when the best before date has elapsed, you might consider using pesto to compliment some of your favorite meals. In connection to that, we shall be discussing how long does pesto last and why in this article.

How Long Does Pesto Last

How long does pesto last?

Pesto TypeLifespan
Homemade (Room Temperature)2 days
Homemade (Refrigerator)1 week
Homemade (Freezer)4 months
Canned (Room Temperature)7 days
Canned (Refrigerator)2 weeks
Canned (Freezer)8 months

When refrigerated, pesto will have a shelf life of approximately one to three weeks.

pesto, parsely, hazelnut

Furthermore, you might consider freezing it for an extended shelf life. Usually, the shelf life of pesto is determined by various factors such as best by date, the method of preparation, and the method of storage

Often you can purchase pesto canned, fresh or bottled. You can as well design a homemade pesto with the use of a blender or food processor. The best way of increasing your pesto’s shelf life is by storing it in the refrigerator.

bottled Pesto

Chilly temperature helps in inhibiting the growth of microbes and delaying the degradation of your food. Furthermore, the cold temperature will help prevent your oil from going rancid.

Usually, homemade pesto has a shelf life of a week when refrigerated and a maximum of two weeks for opened pesto source kept in the fridge. For unopened pesto stored in the refrigerator, its shelf life is approximately three weeks.

Frozen homemade pesto has a shelf life of approximately four months, whereas a store-bought pesto has eight months shelf life when frozen.

Why does pesto have a short shelf life?

Pesto is prepared using highly perishable products such as pine nuts, fresh basil, and Olive oil. Since these products are highly perishable, they reduce the shelf life of pesto sauce. Furthermore, the method used in preserving pesto sauce will affect its shelf life as well.

When not refrigerated, the opened pesto shelf life is five to seven days. Therefore, refrigerating your pesto will help increase its shelf life significantly.

How to tell a spoilt pesto?

Telling a pesto that has gone rancid is very easy. Usually, fresh pesto features a shade of green; however, after some time, the sauce will oxidize. The oxidation process starts from the top since it is not well submerged in the oil.

Usually, the olive oil helps in preventing oxidation by blocking out oxygen. This will help in preventing the source from turning brown after a while.

A rancid pesto turns from green shade to an odd shade of brown. You may as well consider checking on the armor when rotten it will produce unpleasant odor which resembles old oil. Such a pesto is not safe for consumption. When there is a change in the pesto’s taste, it is advisable to get rid of it since it might be rancid.


When not taken good care of, pesto sauce will go rancid quickly. Therefore, you should consider storing it in a freezer or refrigerator to help with increasing its shelf life.

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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


  1. Great article! Very useful information on how to properly store and preserve pesto. I’ll be sure to keep this in mind next time I make some.

    1. I completely agree, Levans. This article provides valuable insights into the shelf life and preservation of pesto.

  2. This article does a great job of outlining the proper storage methods to prevent pesto from spoiling. Very helpful!

    1. I agree, Phoebe81. It’s essential to know how to maintain the quality of pesto, and this article explains it well.

    1. Fascinating, indeed. I appreciate the details provided in this article about how to preserve and maintain the quality of pesto.

    2. Yes, it’s amazing how different storage methods can greatly extend the shelf life of pesto. Thanks for the info!

  3. The explanation on why pesto has a short shelf life is quite insightful. It’s no surprise given the inclusion of perishable ingredients.

    1. Definitely, Rogers Cameron. This article certainly provides a better understanding of the factors affecting pesto’s shelf life.

  4. This article was a pleasant surprise! I didn’t realize there was so much to know about the shelf life and proper storage of pesto.

  5. I found this article to be quite informative and enlightening. It’s always important to understand how to properly store and recognize spoiled food items.

  6. The details about why pesto has a short shelf life were quite enlightening. It’s interesting to learn about the factors affecting its longevity.

    1. Definitely, Oliver34. It’s always beneficial to understand the science behind food preservation, and this article does a great job of explaining it.

    2. I couldn’t agree more, Oliver34. This article certainly sheds light on the reasons behind pesto’s limited shelf life.

  7. The explanation of how to tell if pesto has gone bad was very informative. It’s good to be aware of these signs.

    1. Absolutely, Daisy48. Knowing when pesto has spoiled is crucial, and this article provides great insights into that.

  8. The details about the shelf life of pesto and the signs of spoilage are very helpful. I appreciate the comprehensive nature of this article.

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Imogen25. The article does a great job of covering everything you need to know about pesto preservation.

  9. I found the section about the methods of storage for pesto to be quite useful. It’s great to have a guide for preserving pesto properly.

    1. Absolutely, Faye Hughes. Proper storage is key to extending the shelf life of pesto, and this article offers valuable tips for achieving that.

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