How Long Does Tomato Paste Last in the Fridge?

How long does tomato paste last in the fridge

Tomato paste is produced by simmering fresh tomatoes for several hours until they become a thick and slightly sweet paste. Since it is made of fruit, you need to store it in the fridge so that it doesn’t go bad. But even then, tomato paste has a lifespan when being refrigerated. So how long does tomato paste last in the fridge?

Tomato paste is used in so many different types of food. They can be considered as the basic ingredient for food like pasta, taco, French fries, meatloaf, and many more.

It is relatively cheap to buy as well as to make at home (homemade tomato paste is often more delicious than the store-bought one).

Essentially, tomato paste is concentrated with some preservatives. You can also often find some herbs or spices in the paste for additional flavor.

What are the benefits of tomato paste to your health?

Tomato paste has the same nutritional value as fresh tomatoes, as it is simply the essence of tomatoes. It brings some benefits to your health as it can provide the followings:

Containing basic minerals

A tablespoon of tomato paste contains 3 to 6 percent of your recommended daily value of iron, potassium and B vitamins that your body needs.

 Supplying Vitamin C

Moreover, tomato paste is a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant which is beneficial to your skin and ligaments. A tablespoon of tomato paste contains 3.5 milligrams of vitamin C. For adult, the recommended daily amount for vitamin C is 70 to 90 milligrams per day.

Providing Lycopene

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that is in the vitamin A family. It can prevent prostate cancer and reduce the risk of strokes in men. It is recommended for consuming about 4 to 8 milligrams of lycopene every day. For each tablespoon of tomato paste, it contains 4.6 milligrams of lycopene.

Why do you need to refrigerate tomato paste?

For store-bought

The store-bought tomato pastes are very shelf stable, so you can place them in the pantry for a long time if they are unopened. But you need to store the canned tomato paste away from the sun and ideally in a cool place.

After opening, they need to be stored in the fridge to maintain color, flavor and freshness.

Most store-bought tomato pastes come in cans, tubes or small bottles. With the small bottles or tubes, you can store the paste in an airtight condition easily. For the cans, you’ll need an airtight container to achieve the same result.

Store-bought tomato pastes
Store-bought tomato pastes

For the homemade

If you put the homemade tomato paste outside or at room temperature, the paste can remain good for a couple of hours. As the bacteria quickly grows and negatively affects the flavor or consistency of your tomato paste.

Therefore, storing the paste in refrigerator is the best way to keep it fresh for later use. You should use a jar, plastic tube or can as they are good containers for your tomato paste.

How long can you keep tomato paste in the fridge?

As mentioned, tomato paste can be considered as the basic ingredient for food or just act as a flavoring substance. You often don’t need to use a lot of them, just the right amount. Storing it in the fridge, here is what you should know.

If it is unopened

The best-by-date of the canned tomato paste is often not as long as many other types of food. But the fridge is your best friend since it can extend that threshold.

A normal canned tomato paste, providing that it is still sealed away, can be stored beyond its best-by-date for up to 4- 6 months.

After opening

Once you open the package, the shelf-life of tomato paste will be shorter. The opened canned tomato paste will last for 5-7 days in the fridge. If it is in a tube, you can keep it in 45 days.

Further reading:  How Long Can You Freeze Bell Peppers?

Tomato paste in a glass jar will last about 7-10 days in the fridge.

How long can you store tomato paste in the freezer?

Frozen tomato paste benefit

With the leftover tomato paste, you can save money compared to just buying or making new tomato paste.

Also, if done properly, you can preserve the rich flavor and the thickening texture of the tomato paste relatively well.

Tomato paste’s lifespan in the freezer

As mentioned, frozen tomato paste can last for a very long time. If it is frozen and stored properly, the tomato paste can be kept for up to 2 to 3 months, but will remain safe beyond that time. You should label and write the date before putting it in freezer.

And when you need to reuse it at its best flavor, you can put the frozen tomato paste directly into the food.

You may also like: How Long Does Alfredo Sauce Last in the Fridge?

How to know if tomato paste goes bad?

As scientific facts, tomato paste is mostly moist, so naturally, the moist is a perfect environment for mold if left outside for too long. Here are signs that you know tomato paste has spoiled.

By color

When the tomato paste goes bad, you will notice a moldy surface that looks greenish or yellowish, depending on how long it has been left outside of the fridge or at room temperature. At this point, you should throw away the tomato paste immediately.

By smell

If the color doesn’t give away the state of the tomato paste right away, you can count on the smell.

When tomato paste spoils, it will also give out an off odor that would be sour-smelling and pungent. In general, it will not smell like tomato paste at all. With a smell like that, the tomato paste must be discarded.

By taste or flavor

When checking the tomato paste and you taste something strange, it is properly that it is spoiled and should not be eaten.

Forgotten in fridge

If you left the tomato paste in the fridge for so long that you even forget that it’s there; then it’s likely that you should throw away the tomato paste.

Moreover, you should discard all tomatoes paste from cans or other containers that have the following signs: leaking, bulging, rusting, or dented.


How do you freeze tomato paste?

First, use a small cookie scoop or a measuring spoon to measure tomato paste into 1 tablespoon portions.

Then, put all the portions on a baking sheet and place them in freezer for few hours until solid.

Finally, transfer the frozen portions into a freezer bag. Add a label with name and date prior to putting the bag back to freezer.

How to thaw tomato paste?

When you need to use the frozen tomato paste, you can simply place it at room temperature. This is the best way because all the flavor and texture of your tomato paste will remain.

A faster way is to put the frozen bag of tomato paste in cool water.

Tomato paste and ketchup – Are they the same or different?

They are different. While tomato paste is a form of concentrated tomatoes, ketchup is made from tomatoes added with sugar and some other ingredients.

Besides, people use ripe or mature tomatoes for tomato paste and more raw tomatoes for ketchup.

Store-bought and homemade tomato paste – Which one last longer?

Store-bought tomato paste lasts longer because it often has preservatives. While making tomato paste at home, people prefer using fresh tomatoes, salt and olive oil.

Final words

Overall, there is a big difference in the lifespan between the opened and unopened tomato paste when being refrigerated. For unopened canned tomato paste, it can last up to 6 months in the fridges. For the opened tomato paste, it can last for 4 to 5 days in fridges and 2 to 3 months in freezers.


1. How long does tomato paste last? 

2. Does Tomato Paste Go Bad? Marcin Skrzypiec, May 17, 2021

Jenny Brown
Hi, I’m Jenny. On my blog, you will find helpful advice about using and organizing the kitchen appliances. You will also receive the recommendations on choosing a compact refrigerator or freezer that best fits your demands. Besides, frozen meals from the freezer bring many incredible benefits because they ensure freshness, deliciousness, and full nutrients. Many helpful tips from experts on frozen meals will also be found.