How Long Can You Store Fresh Noodles In The Fridge?

Whether you prefer curling up on the couch with some late-night butter noodles or digging into a steamy bowl of chicken lo mein, few can deny the extra decadent pull of fresh noodles over their boxed counterparts. Though there are situations when dry noodles are preferable, fresh noodles have a deeper flavor and a more tender texture. But like many things in life, there's a tradeoff. 

Dried noodles can last seemingly forever in your cupboard. recommends no more than two years for unopened dry pasta, one year for open eggless pasta, and one to two months for open egg noodles. Fresh noodles are a totally different story. Their overall moisture content and the fact that they often contain eggs make them much more susceptible to contamination and subsequently the potential for foodborne illness for anyone who eats improperly stored or handled fresh pasta.

So, how long can you safely keep fresh noodles keep in your fridge?

Storing fresh store-bought noodles

If you don't have the time or inclination to make pasta from scratch at home, you can still enjoy the next best thing — fresh store-bought noodles. But before you run out to the supermarket, you may want to do a little research on which brands rate well and which ones should be avoided. 

According to Paesana, the main difference between fresh store-bought pasta and dried is that the former contains egg, while the latter does not. The presence of egg and the added moisture it brings is what makes it perishable, but according to Pasta Evangelists, fresh store-bought pasta has been semi-cooked in order to extend its shelf-life a bit, allowing it to be stored in its unopened container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days before going bad. But the general rule of thumb when it comes to preserving the toothsomeness of your fresh pasta is to cook it sooner rather than later, allowing for optimum flavor and texture.   

Storing fresh homemade noodles

Homemade noodles rank supreme but that fresh taste comes at a price — a much shorter shelf life. While these noodles can be stored in the fridge for a day, ideally they are best consumed within the first 18 hours. After that, they begin to oxidize, discoloring from that lovely yellowy-white to an unappetizing greenish-gray.

The head pasta chef of Pasta Evangelists, Roberta D'Elia, breaks down how best to store your homemade pasta saying, "If you have to eat in a couple of hours, then I will simply leave [it] on a wooden board . . . to dry..." If you find yourself with leftover uncooked noodles or are planning on making fresh pasta ahead of time, D'Elia recommends freezing it, by laying it out " . . . on a flat tray straight into the freezer," for a "couple of hours." Cook's Illustrated concurs, noting that "freezing slows the chemical reactions . . " and will allow you to keep your homemade pasta fresh for up to 4 weeks. A few words of caution though, D'Elia advises not to thaw your frozen noodles before cooking. Otherwise, you run the risk of them dissolving into a mushy mess.

Homemade or store-bought, when it comes to fresh noodles be sure to follow storage rules implicitly to keep mold, fungus, and bacteria at bay and toss anything over its limits or that looks slimy, gooey, or smells bad, before cooking your noodles to al dente perfection.