How Long Does Alfredo Sauce Last in the Fridge?

Alfredo sauce is a delicious creamy sauce that can be used for pasta and other dishes. Knowing about proper storage and how long alfredo sauce can last in the fridge is important to reduce food waste and prevent foodborne illness. This post will explain how long alfredo lasts in the fridge, with recipes and tips on proper storage! 

A fork holding a bite of fettuccine alfredo.

What is alfredo sauce?

Alfredo sauce is a creamy white sauce, usually served with fettuccine. 

The version of Alfredo sauce we know in the US is a decadent and rich sauce usually made with heavy cream. However, the traditional alfredo sauce that originated in Italy is a very simple pasta dish with only butter, Parmigiano Reggiano, and fettuccine (no heavy cream!). 

Most American alfredo sauce recipes will contain heavy cream, parmesan cheese, and butter. This sauce is typically served with fettuccine noodles, but can be served over any type of pasta. Sometimes they are made with half and half or milk to lighten up the sauce. 

Making creamy alfredo sauce at home is fairly simple, but you can also buy it ready to go in a jar at the grocery store for an easy meal.  

For some delicious homemade alfredo sauce recipes, try Cajun Alfredo Sauce or Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce.

How long does alfredo sauce last in the fridge?

As a general rule, use refrigerated Alfredo sauce within 3-4 days.

Knowing how to properly store food and when it is safe to eat is important in not only preventing food-borne illness, but reducing food waste. 

Determining how long creamy sauces like alfredo sauce will last depends on a few factors. Is the alfredo sauce store bought or homemade? What types of ingredients were used? How long has it sat out for? Was it stored properly?

Store bought alfredo sauce usually lasts longer than homemade sauce.

This is because it contains more preservatives. Unopened jarred alfredo sauce can have an expiration date up to 18 months when stored in the pantry! Of course, that time goes down once the jar is opened. 

Leftover fettuccine alfredo from a restaurant should last about the same amount of time as homemade sauce, but I tend to eat restaurant leftovers the next day for best results. 

Ingredients can affect expiration dates too.

In general, the higher fat content in milk products, the longer they will last. This is why skim milk usually goes bad faster than whole milk, and heavy cream lasts a lot longer than both of them. 

Since cream sauces like alfredo sauce are usually made with heavy cream (which has a high fat content) as the main ingredient, they can last longer than a sauce made with lower fat milk. 

The addition of meat products will affect the shelf life of alfredo sauce as well. The shelf life of chicken alfredo will be less than regular leftover alfredo sauce depending on how the chicken was prepared, and how long it was refrigerated before cooking. 

How long food sits out at room temperature has a huge impact on food safety.

According to the USDA’s two hour rule, food left out of the refrigerator at room temperature for more than 2 hours should be thrown out to reduce the risk of food poisoning. 

This is because of the temperature “danger zone”, 40°F to 140°F (4°C to 60°C), where bacteria multiply most rapidly. For more information about leftovers and food safety, visit the USDA website

Proper storage conditions also affect the longevity of a food product.

Always store leftover sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and don’t forget to label and date it!

Type of alfredo sauceHow long will it last?
Homemade alfredo sauce, refrigerated3-4 days
Store bought jar, unopened, refrigeratedGo by expiration date (can be up to 6-18 months)
Store bought jar, unopened, not refrigeratedGo by expiration date (can be up to 6-18 months)
Store bought jar, opened, refrigerated3-14 days (best to check the label!)
Store bought jar, opened, not refrigeratedUse within 2 hours
Restaurant leftovers, refrigerated3-4 days, but usually taste better eaten the next day

When it comes down to determining how long an opened jar of store-bought alfredo sauce will last in the refrigerator, always check the label!

The shelf life of an opened alfredo sauce jar will vary. I bought several jars of alfredo sauce from different brands, and was surprised about what I found on the labels. Most of them had a warning “use within X days after opening”, but the days were really varied. The shortest time span said to use within 3 days after opening, and the longest said use within 14 days after opening. 

The ingredients and different preservatives used can have a big effect on how long an opened jar of alfredo sauce can last in the refrigerator. You should always store an unopened jar of pasta sauce in a cool dry place. 

Bottom line: Always check the label and printed date first. If the label doesn’t say, use the opened refrigerated jar of alfredo sauce within 3-4 days.  

Alfredo sauce will last a lot longer in the freezer if stored properly. Frozen sauce can last up to 3-4 months in the freezer, but I prefer not to freeze it. Dairy products like milk and cream will often separate in the freezer or once defrosted, changing its texture. For this reason, I prefer not to freeze alfredo sauce. 

Sign up for the newsletter, its juicy.

Up close cajun alfredo pasta with cajun seasoning.
Cajun Alfredo Sauce

How can you tell if alfredo sauce is still good?

Going by how long the alfredo sauce has been kept in or out of the refrigerator is the best way to determine if it’s safe to eat or not. 

If you’re not sure how long your delicious sauce has been refrigerated, or have some concerns about its safety, it’s probably best to throw it out. 

There are some signs of spoilage to tell if food has gone bad though. 

  • Look at it. If the sauce has visible mold, or the texture or color looks off, throw it out. 
  • Smell it. If the alfredo sauce has a bad or sour smell, throw it out. 
  • Taste it. Finally, if everything else seems normal about the sauce, do a taste test. If it has a funky taste, definitely throw it out!

Alfredo sauce storage tips

Storing your delicious leftovers properly will affect how long they are good for. Here are some simple tips on storing alfredo sauce. 

  • Use the proper container. Add leftovers to an airtight container for storage. 
  • Label and date. It’s a good idea to label and date your storage containers so you know how long they will be good for. 
  • Refrigerate immediately. The sooner the food is out of the danger zone, the better, so refrigerate your leftovers as soon as you can. 
  • Break it up. If storing a large amount of hot leftovers, it is best to separate them into smaller containers so they can cool quicker. 
  • Use within 3-4 days. To reduce the risk of foodborne illness, use your alfredo sauce leftovers within 3-4 days. 
  • Reheat properly. For the best tasting leftovers, follow the tips and steps in How to Reheat Alfredo Sauce so your leftovers can be just as delicious as when they were fresh!
  • Know when to throw. If your alfredo sauce looks off or smells, throw it away. 
Up close of a large serving bowl of Cajun Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo topped with parsley and parmesan.
One Pot Cajun Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you tell if Alfredo sauce is still good?

Alfredo sauce should be good for 3-4 days if properly stored in the refrigerator, but always examine it before eating. If it has visible mold, change in color or texture, a bad smell or taste, throw it out. 

How long does Alfredo sauce last in the freezer?

Alfredo sauce can last 3-4 months in the freezer, but frozen alfredo sauce may have an unpleasant change in texture once thawed, so I usually don’t freeze it. 

How long can you keep Alfredo sauce in the fridge?

In general, Alfredo sauce will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator, but this can be affected by many factors like ingredients, proper storage, type of sauce, and how long it was out at room temperature. 

What is the best way to store leftover Alfredo sauce?

The best way to store leftover Alfredo sauce is in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure to label and date the container, and use it within 3-4 days. 

Let’s hang out! Follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or sign up for the newsletter.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *