How Long Will Pie Dough Last in the Refrigerator?

August 12, 2022
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Pie Dough Lasts Longer Frozen Otherwise Use it Relatively Quickly

Making pumpkin pie, a puff pastry, or other delicious desserts? Most stores carry frozen pie crust, but the refrigerated dough is fresher, with no need to thaw or defrost. While you won't run the risk of freezer burn, it is far more perishable than freezer varieties. How long will pie dough last in the refrigerator? Fresh pastry mix commonly lasts for three or four days or until the best-by date.

Here are tips for identifying whether unbaked pie dough is good or bad and how long it should sit in the refrigerator. The path to making great fruit pies and pastries begins with fresh crust.

How Long Can Pie Dough Be Refrigerated?

Whereas frozen pie dough can last several months in the freezer, refrigerated kinds should be used shortly after purchasing.

Photo of Homemade Pie Doug

Homemade or Store Bought Pie Dough Should Be Used Quickly

How long will pie dough last in the refrigerator? Each package should have a best-by date, typically three to four days past the current date. That is the standard lifetime of refrigerated pie dough even when you're making your own homemade pie crust made from scratch. After three or four days, the dough might begin to expire.

Making a Cherry Pie with Pilsbury Pie Crust

However, it is possible to use an unbaked pie crust beyond the best-by date. Those labels indicate when the product is no longer at the manufacturer’s quality standard. In other words, the pie crust may not be as tasty or easy to work with after that date, but it is still edible.

How Do You Know If Pie Dough Has Gone Bad?

The key symptoms of expired pastry dough are discoloration, poor taste, and an off-putting smell. Bacteria grow on improperly sealed pizza dough and pastry mix, but they will also populate on tightly-contained samples after several days in the fridge. Examine the dough for graying or smells like vinegar or alcohol caused by fermentation.

Photo of Pie Dough Crust with a Rolling Pin

If Your Pie Dough is Discolored or Tastes Bad - Don’t Eat It

Some people think dark black spots on pie dough and crust are signs of expiration. However, these marks are often because of bran oxidation, a process that occurs when the flour in the dough absorbs water. These dots are not harmful to ingest and typically go away after some time.

Spots in other colors may indicate mold growth, especially if the dough is kept somewhere humid. Look for other signs like off-putting smells and gray coloring. If necessary, sample a clean-looking part of the dough and assess whether the taste is normal or not. If not, it has probably gone bad.

How Do You Make Refrigerated Pie Dough Last Longer?

Some methods can extend the life of refrigerated pie dough.

Airtight Containers

Seal the pastry mix in an airtight container. The more air that contacts the dough, the more likely bacteria will begin to grow on it. Tightly-wrapped plastic wrap is a suitable substitute for Tupperware in a pinch.

Additionally, the shape of make-ahead pie dough affects its freshness. Try curling the mixture into a ball or flattening it before wrapping it in plastic. The reduced surface area of these shapes exposes them to less air, keeping them fresher for slightly longer.


Another method to extend the life of refrigerated pie crust dough is to freeze it. Keep in mind that pastry mix designed for the fridge will not last as long as freezer-made kinds, however. Here is how to adequately freeze the dough for use after a short period.

Photo of Pie Dough Crust on a Counter

Freezing Pie Dough Crust Will Extend Its Shelf Life

After making the dough, form it into a ball. That will help ensure that it freezes evenly and keep it from expanding too much. After that, place the ball of dough into a freezer bag or airtight container. A double layer of plastic wrap also works well. Stamping, marking, or labeling the bag is an easy way to keep track of the date.

Fresh pie dough will last an additional two to three months in the freezer. To use it, let it thaw overnight and then even out the texture with a rolling pin. Remember, if the dough is discolored, smells like vinegar, or has unexpected colored spots, it may have expired.

What Can I Do To Use Up Refrigerated Pie Dough Quickly?

Since refrigerated pie dough doesn’t last long without freezing, it’s crucial to use it quickly. Fill a pie plate with your rolled pastry mix, then try your favorite filling. Pie weights are great for weighing down the mixture so that it hardens properly.

Pie dough and pizza dough are interchangeable in many recipes. When the ingredients for apple pie and other treats aren’t available, pizza makes a great second option.

If the fridge is missing the right ingredients, there are many pastries anyone can make with leftover pie dough. Cookies and pop-tarts are sweet treats that require pie dough, but pizza rolls are a favorite savory option. Just fill rolled-up pieces of dough with sauce and cheese.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!

About Me
Frank Salvatore
I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!
Learn More About Me
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