How Long Do Pine Nuts Last?

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Did you purchase pine nuts to make some recipes but are not left with more than half a packet? I’m sure you must be wondering how to finish it and how long it will last.

pine nuts

If you have a packet of pine nuts lying around, use it as soon as possible, as pine nuts have a short shelf life. An opened packet of pine nuts lasts for only about a month in the refrigerator and up to 4 months in the freezer. 

Pine nuts are commonly used in baked goods, salads, and pesto-making. So, if you are left with a lot of pine nuts, you can use them effectively to consume them.

If you are still unable to finish them, this article will help you find the correct storage methods for pine nuts to increase their shelf life. So, let’s find out all this information.

How Long Do Pine Nuts Last?

pine nuts
Unopened package3 months4 – 9 months
Opened package1 month4 months

Pine nuts come with a best-by date considerably shorter than other nuts. Therefore, you should always buy the freshest packet. 

An opened packet of pine nuts can be refrigerated for a month and 4-9 months in the freezer. At the same time, an unopened packet of pine nuts lasts for three months in the refrigerator and four months in the freezer.

However, pine nuts’ shelf life also depends on how it’s stored. So, let’s look at how to store pine nuts correctly and the signs that indicate spoilage.

Do Pine Nuts Go Bad Easily? 

pine nuts

All nuts contain oil which makes them go bad. However, in comparison to other nuts, pine nuts have a significantly high oil content that makes them prone to getting spoilt much early. Thus, the shelf life of pine nuts depends on how they are stored. Let’s look at the signs indicating spoilage in pine nuts.

How To Tell If Pine Nuts Have Gone Bad?

If you are unsure about the quality of pine nuts at hand, you can take a look at a few signs that indicate if pine nuts have gone bad:

  1. Smell: Pine nuts have a nutty aroma in their freshest states. However, if your pine nuts smell rancid, sour, musty, or off, it’s best to discard them.
  2. Appearance: Pine nuts are elongated, ivory-colored seeds with smooth texture. But when they go bad, they change their color, and you may find spots on them. You must discard pine nuts with visible mold, discoloration, or infestation signs.
  3. Taste: Pine nuts have a nutty and sweet taste. However, the taste of rancid pine nuts turns bitter. If your pine nuts taste off, it’s best not to eat them.
  4. Texture: Fresh pine nuts are crisp and crunchy, whereas stale or rancid pine nuts may be softer or rubbery.

Can We Eat Expired Pine Nuts?

Pine nuts have a short shelf life and can go rancid quickly. However, if stored properly, they can be eaten past expiration.

Check for all signs of spoilage to be sure of the quality of pine nuts after they have crossed their best-by date. 

They are safe to consume if you find no change in their appearance, texture, smell, or taste. You can toast such pine nuts to refreshen them. If you’re unsure about the quality or safety of your pine nuts, it’s best to discard them. 

How To Store Pine Nuts?

pine nuts

To ensure that pine nuts last as long as possible, it’s storing them properly is essential. Here are some tips for storing pine nuts:

  1. Store in an airtight container: Like other nuts, pine nuts should be stored in an airtight container, such as a glass jar or a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. This will prevent exposure to air and moisture and keep pests out.
  2. Store in a cool, dark place: Pine nuts should be stored in a dark, cool place away from heat, light, and humidity. The ideal temperature for storing pine nuts is between 32-40°F (0-4°C).
  3. Refrigerate or freeze: To extend the shelf life of pine nuts, it’s best to store them in the refrigerator or freezer. 
  4. Label and date: It’s a good idea to label the container with the date of purchase or storage of pine nuts to keep track of its shelf life.

Can We Freeze Pine Nuts?

Yes, you can freeze pine nuts to extend their shelf life. Freezing pine nuts can help to slow down the oxidation process and prevent them from going rancid.

To freeze pine nuts, place them in a freezer bag or airtight container and remove as much air as possible before sealing the bag or container.

When you’re ready to use the frozen pine nuts, remove them from the freezer and allow them to thaw at room temperature for a few hours before using them.

Tips To Extend The Shelf Life Of Pine Nuts

pine nuts
  1. Always purchase fresh pine nuts from a reputable source. Fresh pine nuts will have a sweet, nutty aroma and a light color.
  2. Storing pine nuts the correct way extends their shelf life. Therefore, store pine nuts in an airtight container to keep them safe from exposure to air and moisture. This will help to prevent the nuts from going rancid or getting contaminated.
  3. Pine nuts should be stored in a cool, dark place to help preserve their freshness. Keep them away from heat, light, and humidity. 
  4. To extend the shelf life of pine nuts, store them in the refrigerator or freezer. This can help to slow down the oxidation process and prevent rancidity.
  5. If you buy raw pine nuts, consider roasting them before storing them. Roasting can help to enhance the flavor and aroma of the nuts, and it can also help to kill any bacteria or mold that may be present.


Pine nuts are great nuts to consume. But just because they have a short shelf life, don’t toss them out of your pantry. You can store them the right way to extend their shelf life. 

It’s always a good idea to buy pine nuts as required. This will not only save them from going to waste, but you can also have them fresh each time. If you have any more questions regarding pine nuts, please ask me in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to store pine nuts?

Pine nuts can be stored in an airtight container in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer.

Can we use expired pine nuts?

Expired pine nuts can be consumed if they show no signs of spoilage.

How long do pine nuts last?

Pine nuts last for up to three months in the fridge and for up to nine months in the freezer.

What can I do with stale pine nuts?

If your pine nuts show no signs of spoilage, you can toast them in a pan and use them.

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