Marinara sauce is a staple in many households, and for good reason. It’s versatile, delicious, and can be used in a variety of dishes.
But what happens when you make too much and can’t use it all up in time? Freezing it is a great option, but how long will it actually last in the freezer?
In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of freezing marinara sauce, including how to properly store it, how long it will last, and what signs to look for when determining if it’s still safe to eat.
So grab a bowl of pasta and let’s dive in!
How Long Will Marinara Sauce Keep In The Freezer?
The good news is that marinara sauce can be frozen for up to six months. However, it’s important to properly store it to ensure it stays fresh and safe to eat.
First, allow the sauce to cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container. Airtight containers or freezer bags work well for this purpose. Be sure to label the container with the date so you can keep track of how long it’s been in the freezer.
When it comes time to use the sauce, simply remove it from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, you can reheat it on the stove or in the microwave.
Properly Storing Marinara Sauce In The Freezer
Properly storing marinara sauce in the freezer is crucial to maintain its quality and flavor. The first step is to safely cool the sauce down before freezing it. If the sauce is still hot or warm, you should not put it directly into the freezer. Doing so can raise the overall temperature of your freezer and affect the quality of other frozen foods.
To cool down the sauce, you can leave it out at room temperature for up to two hours, then refrigerate it until it’s cool. Alternatively, you can place the sauce in a container and put it in a large bowl filled with ice water. Stir the sauce occasionally to expedite the cooling process. Once cool, you can then properly store and freeze your sauces.
It’s important to choose the appropriate type and size of container for storing marinara sauce in the freezer. Avoid storing sauces or any food products in glass containers as they could shatter if the food inside expands as it freezes. Instead, use Tupperware, plastic containers, or freezer bags.
When freezing marinara sauce, consider how you plan to use it upon thawing and portion it accordingly. Spoon sauce into an ice cube tray or snack-size freezer bags if you plan to use small amounts. This will not only save space in your freezer and minimize waste but also make reheating individual portions much easier.
To prevent freezer burn, squeeze out as much excess air as possible or use a small enough container that there’s minimal room for air to circulate. Freezer bags are an inexpensive alternative to plastic containers and take up less space when not being used. They also stretch a little bit which is a plus when you accidentally fill one up too far.
Lastly, label your containers with dates so you can keep track of how long each container of sauce will last. Properly stored marinara sauce in the freezer can last up to six months but beyond that, freezer burn can set in which makes your tasty sauce less flavorful.
Signs Of Spoilage To Look For
While frozen marinara sauce can last up to six months, it’s important to check for signs of spoilage before using it. One of the first things to look for is ice crystals on the surface or inside the container. This can be an indication that the sauce has been thawed and refrozen, which can affect its quality and safety.
Another sign of spoilage is a change in color or texture. If the sauce appears darker or has a grainy texture, it may have started to break down and should be discarded. Additionally, if the sauce has an off odor or taste, it’s best to err on the side of caution and not consume it.
It’s important to note that while frozen marinara sauce can last up to six months, its quality may start to deteriorate after three months. For the best flavor and texture, it’s recommended to use frozen marinara sauce within three months of freezing.
Tips For Using Frozen Marinara Sauce In Recipes
Frozen marinara sauce is a convenient and versatile ingredient to have on hand for quick and easy meals. Here are some tips for using frozen marinara sauce in recipes:
1. Pasta dishes: Thaw the marinara sauce in the refrigerator overnight, then heat it up on the stove while you cook your pasta. Once the pasta is cooked, toss it with the heated marinara sauce and serve.
2. Pizza: Thaw the marinara sauce in the refrigerator overnight, then spread it over your pizza crust and add your favorite toppings. Bake in the oven according to your pizza crust instructions.
3. Meatballs: Thaw the marinara sauce in the refrigerator overnight, then heat it up on the stove. Add cooked meatballs to the sauce and let them simmer for a few minutes to absorb the flavors.
4. Soups and stews: Thaw the marinara sauce in the refrigerator overnight, then add it to your soup or stew for extra flavor and depth.
5. Casseroles: Thaw the marinara sauce in the refrigerator overnight, then use it as a base for your casserole dish. Layer cooked pasta, vegetables, and cheese on top of the sauce before baking in the oven.
Remember to always follow safe food handling practices when using frozen marinara sauce. Do not refreeze thawed marinara sauce, and discard any leftover sauce that has been sitting at room temperature for more than two hours.