Wondering how to store zucchini noodles and how long they’ll last in the fridge? I love to make a huge batch of zoodles and keep them in the fridge for a few days to use whenever the zoodle fancy strikes me. It makes it so much easier to eat healthy when you have something ready to go. When I’m tired, the last thing I want to do is spend a lot of time in the kitchen. It’s tempting to order takeout on these occasions but if I’ve got zoodles ready it’s really easy to pull some out of the fridge, whip up an easy sauce, and chow down. I’ve even been known to mix them with cold tomato sauce from a jar and eat them as is – no heating or warming up. It tastes like leftover spaghetti straight from the fridge – one of my favorite ways to eat pasta … cold!
How Long Do Zucchini Noodles Last in the Fridge?
Zucchini noodles will last in the fridge for about three days. They probably won’t be as fresh after three days and you run the risk of them spoiling at the four day mark so aim for using them within three days.
Remove Excess Moisture
Before you store your zoodles, you’re going to want to get the excess moisture out of them. Here are a few methods for doing that.
THE NUT MILK BAG METHOD
To get the excess major moisture out of the zoodles, put them in a nut milk bag (or cheesecloth) and wring it. This will get a lot of moisture out. Keep wringing it until you aren’t getting much liquid out anymore.
THE COLANDER METHOD
You can use this method alone or in combination with wringing them out in the nut milk bag or cheesecloth. I recommend doing both for the perfect level of moisture in your zoodles. Put them uncovered in a colander over a bowl in the fridge overnight or up to 24 hours. The excess moisture drips into the bowl (there won’t be much if you’ve wrung them out beforehand) and being uncovered in the fridge also helps to dry them out. By the next day, they’re usually just right and ready for your favorite recipe. So if you plan ahead and make your zoodles in advance you’ll have the best result.
THE SALT METHOD
The salt method of getting moisture out of zucchini noodles is a popular one. It’s not my preferred method because I honestly don’t think it works very well but a lot of people swear by it. After making your zoodles, put them in a colander and generously salt them. Mix the noodles up with your hands to make sure the salt covers all of them. Let them sit for about half an hour then rinse them with water to get the salt off. Put them in a clean dish towel, nut milk bag, or cheesecloth and wring all of the water out.
Why don’t I recommend this method? The zoodles invariable taste too salty even if they’ve been rinsed well. It also takes way too much time for a not very good result compared to the other methods.
STORING THE ZOODLES
Now that you’ve got the excess moisture out of your zucchini noodles, it’s time to store them.
A gallon Ziploc back is a great way to store zucchini noodles. After you’ve removed moisture from them using your preferred method, just place them in a gallon Ziploc bag with an unbleached paper towel. I like to use unbleached paper towels for things like this so the food doesn’t soak up any bleach or formaldehyde. When paper towels get wet, like they do when placing zucchini noodles on them, they release more of their toxins. (For more on the chemicals in paper towels and paper products, check out this article.)
AIRTIGHT GLASS or PLASTIC CONTAINER
If you’re avoiding plastic in your house, an airtight glass container will work well for storing zoodles. We love these Go GREEN glass containers with BPA-free plastic lids. Put your zoodles in the container lined with an unbleached paper towel. A plastic container will also work, of course!
I wanted to make sure that the method I use of storing the zucchini noodles uncovered for the first 24 hours is okay from a food safety perspective, so I asked the USDA.
Marianne H. Gravely of the USDA Food Safety Education staff told me, “We cover foods to keep them from drying out, spreading or absorbing odors, and to protect them from spills/being spilled on. So there’s no problem with storing the zucchini Noodles uncovered, but I would recommend storing them high in the refrigerator so nothing can spill on them.”
I recommend keeping them just 2 days covered after the initial 24 hours of uncovered storage for a total of three days for best results. The dryer they are, the longer they will stay fresh in the fridge but I think 3 days total is a good rule of thumb.