Do Chia Seeds Go Bad? How Long Do Chia Seeds Last?

Chia seeds are a healthy snack option that’s becoming more and more popular. You might be wondering how long your chia seeds are going to last; read on to find out!

Quick Answer

Chia seeds don’t necessarily enjoy an infinite shelf life, like the majority of foods.

  • The best method for storing your chia seeds is in a pantry or in a cabinet. They will last for around two years past the best-by date.
  • Chia seeds don’t need to be refrigerated or frozen, but doing so can extend their shelf life. Refrigerated or frozen chia seeds will last for around a year if stored properly.


Chia seeds have a pretty impressive storage life when stored properly, lasting for as long as multiple years! Where you store your chia seeds can affect this, so let’s explore that.

How Long Do Chia Seeds Last?

Chia seeds can last for anywhere from one year to multiple years past the best-by date. You may choose to keep your chia seeds in one of the following ways.

How Long Do Chia Seeds Last Outside?

If you want to, you can store chia seeds outside without too much risk. They’ll last for quite a long time if stored properly. When stored properly, they will enjoy a shelf life of two years past their best-by date.

If you want to keep your chia seeds inside but not refrigerated or frozen, they can last at room temperature for around three months. If kept in a cool place and stored in a sealed, airtight container or bag, they can last for around two years past the best-by date.

To get the best results, try to avoid exposing your chia seeds to drastic temperature changes or direct sunlight. In addition, store them in a location that stays dark, dry, and cool.

How Long Do Chia Seeds Last in the Fridge?

Refrigerating chia seeds is not a requirement to help them enjoy a good shelf life, but it can certainly help under some circumstances.

Refrigerating your chia seeds can extend their shelf life. If you don’t have room in the pantry or in a cabinet to store your chia seeds, refrigerating them will give them a longer shelf life than keeping them at room temperature. Refrigerated chia seeds will last for around a year.

If you have a place to store your chia seeds in a pantry or cabinet, there’s no need to refrigerate them; doing so might actually hinder rather than help.

How Long Do Chia Seeds Last in the Freezer?

Like with refrigeration, freezing chia seeds isn’t necessary. You can freeze them, however, and if you choose to do so, you can expect a certain shelf life out of it.

If stored correctly, chia seeds will last for around a year in the freezer. It might ultimately be simpler to just keep them in the fridge due to the similar shelf life, but if you are interested in freezing chia seeds, we provide instructions down below.

In comparison to keeping your chia seeds in the pantry or in a cabinet, freezing them will actually shorten their shelf life rather than lengthen it. Keep this in mind when deciding whether or not to freeze them.

How to Tell if Your Chia Seeds Have Gone Bad?

Unfortunately, even if you store your chia seeds properly, they can eventually go bad. As always, when in doubt, throw it out.

Smell: If you open your container of chia seeds and notice an off or rancid smell, then they’ve gone bad. They should have a mild nutty smell to them when they’re still good.

Bugs: If you don’t store your chia seeds in a tightly sealed container, there’s a decent chance that you could get bugs in them. Don’t just flick the bugs out and assume everything is fine; throw the seeds out.

Consume anyways?: Chia seeds are unique among a lot of other foods in that they won’t necessarily make you sick when they’ve started to go bad, but will just have lower nutritional value. The only instance where you should throw out your chia seeds 100% of the time is if you find bugs or other animals in your chia seeds.

How to Store Chia Seeds?

You know all of the different ways that you can keep your chia seeds, and how long they’ll last for in each place. Now, let’s talk about some tips for storage.

Avoid extreme temperatures: Exposing your chia seeds to drastic changes in temperature will certainly shorten their shelf life. Try to avoid this as much as possible by keeping them in a place where the temperature stays consistent and only ever changes by a few degrees.

A sealed container or bag is a must: In order to allow your chia seeds to enjoy their maximum shelf life and to prevent bugs from getting inside, it’s important to keep your chia seeds in a tightly sealed container or bag.

How to Freeze Chia Seeds?

You know that you can freeze chia seeds, but you might be wondering how exactly to do that. We’ve put together a helpful little guide below for you to learn how.

Keep them sealed: Before freezing your chia seeds, grab a freezer-safe container or bag. Once your chia seeds are inside, seal the container or bag up real tight. This will ensure they freeze properly and enjoy the proper frozen shelf life.

Label the container: Write the date of freezing somewhere on the container or bag that you store your chia seeds in, or somewhere else where you’ll remember it. This way, when you take your chia seeds out of freezing in several months, you’ll remember exactly how long they’ve been frozen for.

How to Thaw Chia Seeds?

So you’ve taken out that package of frozen chia seeds and you’re wondering- how should they be thawed? Worry not- we’ve got the answer right here.

While there isn’t one universally recommended way to thaw out chia seeds, we think the best method would be to refrigerate them overnight. By doing this, the chia seeds will be able to thaw slowly, preserving quality.

If you don’t manage to consume all of your thawed chia seeds in one sitting, then you can certainly keep them in the fridge for up to a year. We don’t recommend re-freezing, as this can negatively impact your chia seeds’ quality.

Frequently Asked Questions About Chia Seeds’ Shelf Life

There’s still just a bit more information we can give you about chia seeds’ shelf life. Take a look at these two commonly asked questions to learn even more about this tiny seed’s storage situation.

Can I store chia seeds in the same container as other seeds? While chia seeds won’t necessarily go bad just from being stored in the same container as other seeds, it probably isn’t the best idea to do so. Other types of seeds have different shelf lives than chia seeds, so you might find that part of your container goes bad earlier. It’s going to be pretty tough to separate out the bad seeds if you have them all mixed together, so we recommend keeping your chia seeds on their own.

What’s the deal with chia seeds still being “safe” when they’ve gone bad? It might seem a bit contradictory, but chia seeds that have gone bad aren’t always going to make you sick. That doesn’t mean you should be planning on eating sour chia seeds! Bad chia seeds won’t have any significant health benefits due to the decline in quality, so they’re pretty useless. They’re also going to taste pretty unappetizing. Keep in mind that the information in this article is not professional health advice; we are not responsible if you choose to eat rancid chia seeds and end up getting sick.

Wrap Up

Chia seeds can certainly last a long time, with a wonderful shelf life of all the way up to two years past their best-by date! Remember to always keep your seeds dry, cool, and in a dark place. Did we leave something out? Leave a comment down below with your tips for storing chia seeds!

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