Can I preserve pasta salad in bottles that can last for months?

The ingredients are cooked pasta shells, diced onion, diced green and red pepper. The dressing is: boiled together: vinegar, sugar, tomato sauce, curry powder, salt.

Can this recipe be done and bottled to last for months, keeping in mind it will be kept in the fridge?

  • 2
    No, you can't. To explain exactly why is better left for...well...someone other than me. What you probably can do is make your dressing in advance, and use it on freshly cooked pasta.
    – Jolenealaska
    Jan 11, 2014 at 15:11
  • You might be able to bottle the dressing and preserve it (depending on sugar and acidity levels, of course), but the pasta just isn't going to happen. Even if you could keep it safe, the pasta would get really disgusting.
    – SourDoh
    Jan 11, 2014 at 15:14
  • Except for the bell peppers (which would probably turn to mush) you could freeze this. You'd probably want to freeze the dressing separately.
    – derobert
    Jan 12, 2014 at 2:53

2 Answers 2


With industrial testing and equipment, it might be possible.

As a practical matter, for a home cook, no this is not possible.

The reason is safety: long term canning requires ensuring that the product is shelf stable and safe for longer term storage, which means killing or preventing the growth of all pathogens that might be in the food. Possibly the most difficult and dangerous to manage is botulism, whose spores are fairly ubiquitous, and which can grow in low-acid, low oxygen conditions—the exact conditions that prevail inside a canned product like this.

Even though your dressing may be acidic, the entire volume inside the jar including the pasta and other ingredients will almost certainly be insufficiently acidic to inhibit botulism growth.

The only way to know for sure that a recipe (and the associated canning methodology) is safe is with expensive industrial testing (the kind food companies use when bringing new products to market), or to exactly follow a recipe designed by a reputable source such as a University Extension program.

Unless you can find such a recipe (I failed to do so in a quick check, but it is hard to search for), you should not proceed; but even if you do, you would have to follow that recipe, and not use your own.


No, not really. In order to prevent food borne illnesses you would have to either have to make your sauce so salty and/or acidic as to be unpalatable. The only other option is to use a pressure canner to raise the temperature of the pasta and sauce high enough to kill off any nasties, and that would destroy your pasta.

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