How Long Can You Store Canned Soup After Opening?

When learning how to stock a pantry, one of the first pieces of advice many people get is to always keep a bit of canned soup on hand, but they never tell you what to do after you opening it. There are many reasons one wouldn't finish a can of soup; you may be eating it slowly in order to gradually nurse an upset stomach back to health, or you may be trying to stretch your dollar by bulking up smaller portions with things like frozen veggies and dried grains. Regardless, saving your leftovers is only useful if you are able to keep them fresh. 

It should not surprise you that, once opened, canned soup loses its shelf-stability. As a result, open cans of soup should be placed in the refrigerator soon after opening. While it is safe to leave it in the can it came in, provided you have placed a lid or other covering over the top, we recommend transferring it to another airtight container in order keep it tasting as fresh as possible. In the fridge, soup will last up to four days before starting to turn. For longer term storage, transfer the soup into a freezer-safe container and stick it into the freezer. There, it will last for up to three months.

How to tell if canned soup has gone bad

Like any other perishable food, canned soup will eventually expire at some point after opening, so it is important to keep a sharp eye out for signs of spoilage to prevent yourself from accidentally consuming harmful pathogens that could make you sick. Carefully examine leftover soup for things like an unexpectedly slimy or chunky texture, an unpleasant odor, or visible mold growth. If any of these traits are present, it is best to assume that the soup has most likely gone bad. In these cases, it is best to throw it away rather than eat it.

If you need to use up leftover canned soup quickly but can't or do not want to serve yourself another bowl of it as is, you can always use the soup as a creative ingredient in other dishes. For example, you can make pasta sauce from canned soup by letting it simmer on the stove until it has thickened. This is a great option for soups like tomato basil or a hearty veggie soup. Alternatively, you can also transform canned soup into a creamy dip with the help of some cream cheese and shredded cheese. This option is perfect for cans of cream of potato or chicken tortilla soup.