Does Pizza Sauce Need to Be Refrigerated? | 2 Steps to Store Pizza Sauce Safely

Whether you use homemade pizza sauce or sauce you purchased from the store, the leftover sauce always has to be refrigerated – preferably immediately. Tomato sauces such as pizza sauce usually last a bit longer than cheese-based sauces, but they still need proper care if you want them to be safe the next time you eat them.

Fortunately, this is a very simple thing to do. This article will explore how to store pizza sauce safely and some easy steps to store it in your fridge.

How to Store Homemade Pizza Sauce

Homemade pizza sauce is typically filled with fresh ingredients, including tomatoes and even many spices and seasonings. Most recipes for homemade pizza sauce make a large amount, which means you’ll very likely have some leftovers.

There’s no need to panic because there are some simple things you can do to make sure you don’t end up accidentally eating pizza sauce that is bad for you. One of the first things you want to do is decide whether to refrigerate or freeze the pizza sauce.

1. Store Homemade Pizza Sauce in the Fridge

Refrigerate pizza sauce by placing it in a container that is airtight, and try to eat it within 3 days. If you haven’t eaten it by that point, you should go ahead and throw it away.

2. Store Homemade Pizza Sauce in the Freezer

Place the leftover sauce in an airtight bag or container that is freezer safe. Keep frozen pizza sauce for up to three months.

Avoid leaving your homemade pizza sauce sit out on your kitchen counter for more than 2 hours. Decide whether you’re going to refrigerate it or freeze it, then get to work.

Does Pizza Sauce Go Bad if Not Refrigerated?

The longer you keep leftover pizza sauce at room temperature, the more likely it is that bacteria will grow and therefore contaminate the food.

After you have cooked pizza sauce allow it to cool and place it in your refrigerator or freezer as soon as it has stopped steaming. Avoid leaving the pizza sauce out on your bench at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.

Homemade pizza sauce doesn’t have the preservatives that store-bought pizza has, so it tends not to last as long. While some articles may tell you that pizza sauce can be refrigerated for a week, sticking to the three day limit is much safer and smarter in most cases.

Where to Store Pizza Sauce

Pizza sauce must be stored either in the refrigerator or the freezer. You have to place the sauce in an airtight container first, and it’s best if you let your sauce cool down a little before placing it in one of those containers.

Pizza sauce that is too hot can affect the container it is in and make it expand, which sometimes affects the taste of the food in the future.

If your sauce is store-bought, it’s best to remove it from the jar or can that you bought it in before storing it in the fridge.

What Happens if You Don’t Refrigerate Tomato-Based Sauce?

While tomato-based sauces last longer than many other types, they don’t last forever, and by no means should you ever let your pizza or tomato sauce sit out overnight.

The longer these sauces are at room temperature, the more likely bacteria will grow. Even a tiny bit of bacteria can make you sick, so it’s best not to take a chance.

To know if there is bacteria or mold growing in your tomato or pizza sauce look for green, black, or white mold on the lid or in the jar or can. Also look out for a smell that is unpleasant, or anything else that looks “off” when you smell or look at the sauce.

If there is any doubt whatsoever, you’d be best to throw out the sauce. Naturally, if you’ve already let the sauce sit out overnight, it’s best if you throw it out because it is practically a guarantee that bacteria and mold have already started growing there.

How Long Does Tomato Sauce Last at Room Temperature?

You may read different things in other articles, but most food experts agree that tomato sauce should not be left out at room temperature for more than one to two hours.

When you place it either in the refrigerator or in the freezer after one to two hours, the odds of it remaining safe to eat are a lot higher.

Anything with tomatoes in it is going to be difficult to digest if you get sick on it, and besides, when it comes to food safety, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.


Whether you choose homemade or store-bought pizza sauce, it should never be left out more than an hour or two before you either freeze it or place it in the fridge.

Knowing how to properly store pizza sauce is important if you are a big fan of pizza. While we’ve all heard the stories about people who leave pizza out on the kitchen counter until the next day, this is really never a good idea.

In short, proper handling and storage of pizza sauce is similar to the handling of most other types of food. Use some common sense and know the few basic rules that apply, and if you do all of these things, you should be fine.