Do Pine Nuts Go Bad? How Long Do Pine Nuts Last?

If you like to make homemade pesto, you probably have a pine nuts bag around and wonder if pine nuts can go bad? Pine nuts can be used in various ways to keep you using the bag for a while to come.

Quick Answer

Pine nuts can go bad. These costly nuts come with a sell-by date and should be used up within a couple of weeks. If they are left past their expiration date, their quality will degrade and be unusable. When storing pine nuts, it is best to keep them in the fridge or freezer to prolong their expiration date.


Read on to determine how to store pine nuts and how you can identify if they have gone bad and are on the verge of being bad.

Do Pine Nuts Go Bad? How Long Do Pine Nuts Last?

Compared to other nuts, pine nuts have a relatively short shelf life. Due to their high oil content, they go bad quite quickly, depending on when and how you store them.

How Long Do Pine Nuts Last Outside?

Pine nuts should only be stored in the pantry if they are unopen. Unopened packaging will eliminate the oxidization process and keep the nuts going rancid for up to two months past the sell-by date.

An opened container of pine nuts should not be stored at room temperature. The oxidization and the oil will cause the nuts to spoil in a much quicker period.

It is important to note that unshelled pine nuts will help protect the oil and keep the nuts from spoiling. Unshelled nuts are more susceptible to ruin due to lack of protective coating and should be stored cold instead of cool.

How Long Do Pine Nuts Last in the Fridge?

Pine nuts, when unshelled, should be stored in the fridge. The cold will help keep the oil from spoiling and keep them useable for a couple of months.

An unopened pine nuts package can be stored in the fridge due to the cold oxidation process and will help extend its shelf life. The pine nuts should only be kept in their packaging until they are opened due to the higher possibility of oxidation and bacteria getting to them.

An opened package should be poured into an airtight container or bag when stored in the fridge to keep them from spoiling. When stored correctly, all pine nuts can be kept for one month past their expiration date.

How Long Do Pine Nuts Last in the Freezer?

To prolong the lifespan of pine nuts, you can place them in the freezer. The freezer will keep the nuts cold enough and the oil from spoiling by freezing them.

The shelf life of pine nuts in the freezer is brought up to three months past their expiration date. It is best to keep them in a resealable freezer bag to keep moisture from contaminating your nuts.

Shelled and unshelled pine nuts can be frozen, but it is important to thaw them before using them due to their ability to become completely frozen and unusable.


The best place to store pine nuts is in a cold fridge or freezer. This will keep the oil from degrading and ensure that the pine nuts have an as long shelf life as possible.

How To Tell If Pine Nuts Have Gone Bad / How To Know Pine Nuts are Fresh?

There are a couple of signs you can look for to know if your pine nuts have gone bad.

Appearance: If you notice white and green mold growing on your pine nuts, this is a clear sign that they have gone rancid. The nut should not have anything growing on it after it is deshelled.

Smell: They should smell nutty, but if they have gone bad, they may have a sour, rancid smell. This smell is a sharp indicator that the pine nuts have gone bad and should not be eaten.

Taste: If they taste sour or anything not nutty, the pine nuts have gone bad. The nuts should not have any bitter taste and, if used, will cause your pesto to be bitter.

How to Store Pine Nuts?

If you need to store pine nuts, there are a few steps to follow to keep them from spoiling.

Container: When storing pine nuts, it is essential to store them in an airtight container. You can use a bag or a container, but it needs to have a tight seal to keep the oxygen and moisture away from the nuts.

Storage Area: Once you have placed them in the right container, you can either place them in the fridge or the freezer. Both will help keep them cold and allow them to stay fresh for a more extended time.

Time: If you are placing them in the fridge, they will be used up to one month past their expiration date. When placed in the freezer, they can be there for up to three months!

Can You Freeze Pine Nuts? How?

To freeze pine nuts is a straightforward process.

Airtight Freezer Bag: Place any pine nuts you want to freeze into an airtight freezer bag. The bag will keep moisture out and allow them to avoid spoiling. Nothing special needs to be done to the nuts, and they should be okay to freeze.

Place in Freezer: Place the nuts in the freezer, and they should freeze quite quickly. The oil will limit some of the freezing, but it will help them remain fresh for up to three months past their expiration date.

How to Thaw Pine Nuts?

It is simple to thaw pine nuts. There are two different ways to do it, either in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Refrigerator: If you have frozen your pine nuts, you can thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. Place them on a plate in the fridge and allow them time overnight to thaw. The fridge will slowly warm them and keep the moisture away.

Room Temperature: You can thaw pine nuts at room temperature too. Place them in a bowl outside on the counter, and they will be slowly warmed to the right temperature.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pine Nut’s Shelf Life

Can old pine nuts make you sick? Pine nuts cannot make you sick if they are aging. They will only taste sour, which can cause you to spit them out or make your stomach terrible. Pine nuts should be used close to their expiration date.

Can you eat pine nuts without cooking? Pine nuts can be eaten raw, but their flavor will come out better if they are roasted or toasted. The natural nut will have a nutty flavor, but heating them will bring out the oil’s taste and make the nut buttery.

Wrap Up

Pine nuts can be a delicious addition to many recipes. Since they are quite a costly nut, now that you know how to store them properly, you will get to use them for a more extended period of time.

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