Does Tofu Go Bad? How Long Does Tofu Last?

Tofu is a staple in many meals. Like most foods, it has an expiration date! Knowing how to tell if your tofu has gone bad is crucial in preventing illnesses. That is why it is important to know how to store and properly thaw your tofu.

Quick Answer

Tofu’s shelf life depends on the method of storage used.

  • Tofu can go bad within 3-5 days if the package was opened.
  • unopened tofu can last from 2-3 months.
  • frozen tofu can last up to 4 months!
  • Tofu must be thawed for a minimum of 5 hours prior to cooking for best results.
  • Tofu has gone bad if there is mold, it’s an odd color, way past the expiration date, or smells.


Knowing how to check tofu for its freshness is simple! Learning methods to store tofu will ensure you get the best flavor while guaranteeing the tofu is safe to eat.

Does Tofu Go Bad?

Understanding the signs of tofu going bad is important. Knowing how to store tofu can minimize these concerns. Long term storage, like freezing, will keep tofu from spoiling quickly.

How to Tell if Tofu Has Gone Bad

Checking if tofu has gone bad can be as basic as looking for mold or strange colors. Tofu will oftentimes give off odd smells too if it is past its prime. Knowing how to tell can be very easy. When in doubt, check the expiration date.

Check for color or mold: Most food can be determined inedible by the presence of mold. Before tofu becomes moldy you can also determine the product has gone bad by looking for changes in colors. The main colors to look out for are yellow or brown. Don’t eat if you see these signs!

Tofu may be bad if it smells: Like other foods, we can check for freshness based on the smell. Therefore, if your tofu is giving off a smell that is rotten you know the product has gone bad. However, Tofu is normally scent free. If you can smell something strange, even if it may be odors from other food in your fridge, don’t risk eating it.

The expiration date can tell us it’s bad: While it is safe to eat tofu a few days past the expiration date, don’t go too far past it. Manufacturers put these dates on the packaging thinking we will open the product soon after purchase. Therefore, if you do open it, keep in mind when the product expires and be how long it has been opened. After a week, it may be time to consider tossing it!

How to Store Tofu

Storing tofu can expand the life of your tofu from a week to several months. There are several ways to store tofu and keep the product fresh. Many people refrain from opening the package until they are ready to use it. You can also freeze it or store it in an airtight container with water.

Keep it sealed: It can be tempting to dive into opening your tofu and create tasty meals. However, If you are not ready to cook the tofu yet, keep it sealed! If you open the package, the tofu can expire in just 2 days! Keeping the packaging sealed can expand the life of the tofu to 2-3 months! Just remember to either; cook all the tofu or store the remaining correctly for longer shelf life.

Water and airtight container: After opening tofu, keep it in fresh water to retain its texture for the next use. Keeping the tofu in an airtight container is also recommended as it keeps contaminated air out. Replace the water everyday and your tofu can last up to 5 days.

Freeze: You can freeze tofu if it is sealed or opened. Opened tofu will last up to three months in the freezer. Sealed tofu can last three months past the expiration date! When storing opened tofu in the freezer, make sure to remove excess moisture to prevent loss of flavor and texture.

Storing your tofu correctly can prevent it from expiring. Tofu lasts anywhere from 2 days to 3+ months! Remember the signs of bad tofu such as mold, discoloration and smell.

How to Thaw Tofu

There are multiple ways to safely thaw tofu that has been frozen. From storing in the fridge overnight to using the microwave. Here are the steps to safely thaw your frozen tofu:

  • The most effective and safest way to thaw tofu is to let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
  • To do this, remove the tofu from the freezer the day before you plan to use it.
  • Set the tofu in a sealed container inside the refrigerator overnight to thaw out.
  • Use the Tofu the next day for best results.
  • Make sure to remove excess water.
  • If you wish to speed this process up you may also place the tofu in a pot of warm water until thawed.
  • Check every 5 minutes for proper texture.
  • When the tofu is completed defrosted, remove it from the pot and gently squeeze out the excess water from the tofu before cooking.
  • You may need to reheat the water as you defrost and this can be time consuming.
  • Finally, you may also thaw the tofu by defrosting it in the microwave in 15-30 second intervals until fully thawed. Remove excess water before using.
  • Microwaving the tofu may result in cooking the tofu. Make sure to monitor the tofu as you defrost.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tofu’s Shelf-Life & Storage

Tofu, although delicious and easy to cook, can be hard to store and check for freshness. As a result there are frequently asked questions on how to determine tofu’s shelf-life and best storage practices. Here are some of those questions and the answers to them.

What is the best way to store tofu? The best way to store tofu is by freezing it while still sealed. This gives the tofu the longest shelf-life of 3+ months past the expiration date. This method is the safest for consumption and provides a unique texture to the tofu.

How can I store tofu once I open it? Tofu will expire in 2days if it is not properly stored in the fridge. Instead, store tofu in the refrigerator by placing it in an airtight container with fresh water. Replace the water daily to store the tofu for up to 5 days.

What is the shelf-life of tofu if I open it but freeze it afterwards? If you are freezing tofu after it is already open the tofu will have a shelf-life of maximum 3 months. This is slightly shorter than if you kept it sealed. Remember to drain excess water before freezing your tofu.

How long can I store unopened tofu in the fridge? If you are keeping the tofu in the fridge and you leave it sealed your tofu will last 2-3 months versus 2-5 days. Therefore, keep your tofu sealed until you are ready to cook it.

Wrap Up

Understanding what the signs are of bad tofu is important for your health. Make sure you store it correctly in order to cook with confidence! Leave a comment below on your best storage tips for tofu or if you would like further information on tofu shelf-life and storage tips.

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