Does Cocktail Sauce Go Bad?

Does cocktail sauce go bad or not? How do you tell if cocktail sauce has gone bad? How should you store cocktail sauce? Here's a short guide.

You planned on making a delicious seafood dish, so you bought a bunch of cocktail sauce.

Unfortunately, you never got to it, and now you’re worried your cocktail sauce may have spoiled. You’re probably wondering: Has my cocktail sauce gone bad? How long does it last?

When it comes to unopened cocktail sauce, it will last 1-3 months past the best-by date.

Open cocktail sauce can keep fresh for a month at room temperature and up to six months in the fridge. Homemade cocktail sauce lasts 1-2 weeks in the fridge.

Signs Cocktail Sauce Has Spoiled

cocktail sauce in bowl and shrimp

Look out for these signs if you suspect that your cocktail sauce may have gone bad.

Any mold, white pecks or fuzz on the surface, an off smell, or a bad taste are signs of a spoiled cocktail sauce. Be sure to get rid of the sauce if you find any of these.

If your cocktail sauce has lost its flavor and taste, you can get rid of it for quality purposes.

Note that a gel-like consistency does not mean that your cocktail sauce has gone bad. This is a natural reaction between horseradish roots and pectin in tomatoes. Giving it a good stir will fix it right up. 

Storing Cocktail Sauce

Like most sauces, store cocktail sauce in the pantry or kitchen cupboard when unopened. Keep it away from direct sunlight as well.

Once the bottle is open, there are two storage options. One option is to refrigerate your cocktail sauce for a longer period. The other is to store it at room temperature if you plan on using it up in a short time. Whichever option you choose, be sure to seal the bottle tightly.

Homemade cocktail sauce should always be stored in the fridge.

Can You Freeze Cocktail Sauce?

bowl of cocktail sauce

Cocktail sauce freezes well but avoid freezing it in a glass jar as it can expand and explode in the freezer. Rather transfer your cocktail sauce to a freezer-safe airtight container or resealable bag.

How Long Does Cocktail Sauce Last?

With store-bought cocktail sauce, it will last 1-3 months past the best-by date if unopened. Once the bottle is open, it can keep fresh for one month in the pantry and six months in the fridge. Cocktail sauce also lasts six months in the freezer.

Homemade cocktail sauce lasts about 1-2 weeks in the fridge. This is dependent on the ingredients used, but generally, this is how long it can be stored for the best quality.

Leftover Uses For Cocktail Sauce

fried shrimp and cocktail sauce

If you have some leftover cocktail sauce, you don’t have to throw it out. You can mix it in with Bloody Marys, with some tomato juice and seasoning. Make a cheese and ham omelet but top it with some cocktail sauce.

Use it as a dipping sauce for any deep-friend dish. Or top your burgers and hotdogs with some cocktail sauce. You can even mix it into your meatloaf, drizzle it on avocado toast, or top deviled eggs.        

In Summary: Cocktail Sauce

Try your hand at this yummy homemade cocktail sauce recipe that will be sure to make you a pro.

Cocktail sauce can last pretty long if stored correctly. The fridge or freezer is the ideal spot for an opened bottle of cocktail sauce.

If you suspect that your cocktail sauce has gone bad, lookout for any signs of mold or a change in appearance, smell, or taste. If all is normal, you can safely enjoy your cocktail sauce.

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Alisa Shimoyama

Alisa eats her way around the world on her travels and likes to have good food ready and waiting for her when she gets back.