Do Pistachios Go Bad? Read Before You Eat Again

Let me guess—you have a bag of pistachios that has been sitting in your cupboard for a long time. Now you’re wondering “do pistachios go bad?”

The answer is yes. Pistachios are nuts, and nuts go bad. However, it takes a long time for pistachios to spoil. They keep well at room temperature and you can store them in the refrigerator or freezer to increase their shelf life.

This article discusses what pistachios are, whether or not they go bad, how to preserve them, and more. Keep reading to find out.

What Are Pistachios?

Pistachios are the edible seeds of the pistachio tree, which is native to Asia and the Middle East. They belong to the same family of trees as cashews and mangoes.

Pistachios are a tasty treat that you can eat raw or roasted, salted or unsalted. They’re also versatile and can be used as an ingredient in recipes, from appetizers to entrees and desserts.

Although they aren’t as common as other nuts (like almonds or cashews), you can find them in most grocery stores. They’re available shelled (so you don’t have to work too hard to eat them) and unshelled (which makes for a fun experience). You can also find them pre-roasted or raw.

SEE: Learn If Onions Go Bad

Do Pistachios Go Bad?

Yes, they do. The reason is that pistachios have a high oil content, which contributes to their rich, buttery flavor but also makes them susceptible to going bad.

The good news, however, is that pistachios don’t spoil quickly. Unopened packages can last for several months on the counter or in the pantry. Once opened, it’s best to store them in an airtight container after removing any excess air from the bag.

What Is the Shelf Life of Pistachios?

Unshelled pistachios will last for up to 6 months at room temperature and more than 1 year when stored in the freezer. Shelled pistachios, on the other hand, will last for up to 5 months at room temperature and up to 1 year when stored in the freezer.

The shelf life of these nuts also depends on how they were processed and packaged before being sold at grocery stores and farmers’ markets. If they were roasted before being sold, then they will last longer than if they were packaged raw.

SEE: TalkToGiantFoods Give You a Chance to Win a $500 Gift Card At Giant Foods

Can You Eat Expired Pistachios?

Yes, you can. As long as there’s no mold or obvious signs of spoilage, pistachios are safe to consume even after their expiration date.

They might not taste as good as they did when they were fresh, but there’s no reason to throw them away. Pistachios generally last for one to two months after the “best by” date on the package if left unopened.

However, if you’re making something that uses a lot of pistachios like ice cream or cookies, then you should be careful about how many expired nuts you add to your recipe. But otherwise, feel free to eat them.

How to Tell If Pistachios Are Bad

There are four major ways to tell if these nuts have gone bad: smell, color, touch, and taste.

Smell: The first thing you should do is smell the pistachios in question. If they smell rancid or like they’ve gone bad, they probably have. As a rule of thumb, if the nut tastes, or looks fine but smells odd, don’t consume it.

Color: If the shells have turned brown, they’ve gone bad. The more you expose these types of nuts to air, the more likely it is that they’ll turn brown.

Touch: This is all about texture. Pistachios should be firm and dry. If they’re sticky or mushy, or if their skins feel loose or wrinkled, discard them immediately. This means the nuts have gone bad and you should not eat them.

Taste: The final test is taste — a test you should only perform on a single nut. If the flavor is off in any way, discard the whole pack.

SEE: Food Poisoning Signs You Need To Know

How to Preserve Pistachios

Keep them in a cool, dry place

The best way to preserve these nuts is by keeping them in a sealed container, such as a glass jar, or a plastic food storage bag with the air pressed out. Keep the container in a cool, dark place, such as your kitchen cupboard or pantry.

Store them away from other foods

Pistachios are high-fat nuts and can easily absorb odors around them. Store them away from other foods with strong odors (like onions) so that they don’t take on the aroma of other foods and get bad.

SEE: Do Marshmallows Go Bad?

Refrigerate them in an airtight container

To make your nuts last longer, put them into an airtight container and keep them in the refrigerator. They’ll stay fresh for about six months and will continue to be edible after that time.

Freeze them for longer storage

If you want to keep your nuts fresh for up to one year, put them in an airtight bag and freeze them at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius).

SEE: Food Storage Mistakes You Should Avoid


How many pistachios should you eat in a day?

The recommended daily intake is about 1-2 handfuls of nuts. But if you’re trying to gain weight or training for a marathon or other athletic event, you might need to eat more than that.

What do rancid pistachios taste and smell like?

Rancid pistachios taste bitter and have a sharp, unpleasant smell. Rancidity in pistachios means that the fats and oils in the nut have decomposed due to exposure to oxygen.

Are pistachios healthy?

Yes, they are. Pistachios are a healthy snack with a ton of significant health benefits. They’re full of protein, fiber, and beneficial fatty acids — a combination that can help you feel full for hours after you eat them.

The only potential downside is that pistachios are high in calories. This means that although they are packed with nutrients, you should eat them in moderation.

How long do shelled pistachios last?

5 months to 1 year. If you store them in an airtight container at room temperature, pistachios should remain fresh for up to five months. And if you put them in a refrigerator or freezer, they will stay fresh for up to 1 year.

How do you know if pistachio is safe to eat?

To test whether pistachio is safe to eat or not, smell or taste it. If it still has a nice aroma and if it’s not bitter or soapy tasting, then it’s safe to eat.


Pistachios generally have a long shelf life and can last up to 1 year before going bad. If you’re not planning on eating these nuts right away, seal them tightly in a bag and keep the bag in a cool and dry place so they do not go stale.

If you want your pistachios to last for a very long time, put them in an airtight container, then put the container in a refrigerator or freezer. As long as you store them properly, pistachios can last for months beyond their sell-by date.

Thanks for reading.

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