If I cook a pan full of pasta and then put it in the fridge, is it safe to eat it cold over the space of several days?

I'm all about the convenience and don't want to have to rely on putting boiling water back over it when it's already cooked.

  • 3
    Note that if you don't cover cooked pasta, it can dry out and become hard again. It may also stick together. See cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/66998/…
    – pjc50
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 12:18
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    I don't think there's any fully cooked food which can't be safely eaten cold, is there? (Apart from food which has spoiled, but my understanding is that that's still not safe even after reheating.) Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 17:24
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    You shouldn't re-heat pasta by putting it in boiling water like you do when you cook it the first time: it will become mushy very quickly. Put it in the fridge with sauce/dressing on it, then re-heat it quickly in a pan (without water) or even in a microwave oven. Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 17:49
  • @TannerSwett, I'm sorry, I did misread! I don't know what I was thinking! My bad. I'm glad I didn't read you the whole riot act I stuffed! I have deleted my shame. (I owe you one) (+1 )
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 17:52

1 Answer 1


According to Still Tasty, a site that utilizes FDA, CDC and USDA data, cooked pasta should be fine for 3-5 days in the refrigerator.

Use a shallow container or a Ziplock bag to store the pasta, and get it in the fridge within 2 hours of cooking. To keep it from sticking, toss it with a bit of oil. You can reheat it or eat it cold.

You can freeze pasta too, which Still Tasty claims will maintain quality for 1-2 months. Pasta with sauce is somewhat better for freezing than plain. As always, freezing for longer may affect quality, but not safety. Food that is continually kept frozen at normal freezer temperatures will stay safe indefinitely.

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    Let's speak about taste. It's safe for the taste to eat it cold (in a pasta salad). If you really want to eat it hot, you may do a cheesy pasta gratin, it's quick, easy and tasty.
    – Pierre
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 10:16
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    The key is, 3-5 days might mean a week, but 2 hours don't mean half a day. Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 10:17
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    So long as you follow the general safe food-handling principles (not letting it sit in the temperature danger zone for too long, etc) it is perfectly safe and healthy to eat pasta in such a way. In fact, you may be interested in looking up recipes for "pasta salad", which is usually intended to be kept and eaten cold in the way you describe.
    – BrianH
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 19:57

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