How to Store Pasta So You Don’t Get Bugs

Keep your pasta fresh and ready for weeknight dinner.

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Pasta is a pantry staple, and the basis of many of our favorite weeknight dinner recipes. Whether you load it up with vegetables like this Roasted Broccoli Pesto variation, or stick to a classic combination like Carbonara, you’ll reliably be left with a crowd-pleasing main course. It’s a good idea to keep some pasta lying around; whenever you’re in a pinch, you’ll have a strong place to start. That said, it’s important to store pasta properly to extend its shelf life and avoid those pesky, grain-feeding bugs. Keep reading for our best tips on how to store pasta.

How to Store Dry Pasta

Tight, secure seals will prevent bugs from infesting dry pasta. Once you’ve opened the original box or container of pasta, it’s important to transfer any leftover dry pasta to a fresh, airtight storage container. Keep airtight pasta containers in a cool, dark, dry place, like a cupboard. Stored in this way, dry pasta lasts indefinitely. 

How to Store Fresh Pasta

Fresh pasta hasn’t been dehydrated, so it doesn’t last as long as dry pasta does. It’s best to eat fresh pasta the day it’s made, but if kept in the refrigerator, it’ll stay good for another day. Alternatively, fresh pasta can be frozen. Fresh pasta dough, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in a freezer-safe plastic bag, lasts for about a month in the freezer. Just thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before rolling it out.

You can also freeze fresh pasta noodles; just make sure to take the necessary steps so they don’t stick together. To begin, toss them in flour, then lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Let the noodles air dry for about an hour, then store them in a freezer-safe plastic bag and put them in the freezer.

How to Store Cooked Pasta

If possible, store cooked pasta and sauce separately—both in airtight containers in the fridge. To reheat the pasta, place it in a metal strainer and dip it in a pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds, or until warmed through. Heat the sauce in a separate saucepan before adding it to the pasta. 

Reheat sauced pasta in a shallow, foil-covered, oven-proof dish. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until heated through.

Can You Freeze Pasta?

If you’re running out of space in your pantry, you can absolutely freeze dry pasta, but the purpose shouldn’t be to extend its shelf life. When pasta is stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place, it lasts for a long time—no need for freezing. 

On the other hand, we recommend freezing fresh pasta if you don’t plan on eating it within a day or two. See above for our advice on freezing fresh pasta for best results.

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