With many of us who are starting to enjoy Tex-Mex food and specialties that are south of the border, you may be wondering about storing select sauces and dips that relate to enchiladas. So, for everyone worried about how long enchilada sauce last in the fridge, or if you can freeze enchilada sauce, this article will set the record straight. What you can learn from this article will also help you to understand- How does enchilada sauce go bad?
How long does enchilada sauce last in the fridge?
If you’ve ever bought any kind of enchilada sauce from the store, you’ll immediately notice that it shouldn’t be left out for very long. Even though it’s packed with preservatives that help it to last longer, canned enchilada sauce will last for about one week in your fridge within a container with the lid screwed on tight. If you are not using a clean spoon to scoop out the sauce each time, this sauce will last no more than 2-3 days despite the number of preservatives that are used.
When it comes to freshly made enchilada sauce, the rules on how long it can be stored in the fridge are very different. This sauce needs to be stored inside an airtight container such as Tupperware before going into your fridge. It can last up to 5 to 7 days compared to canned enchilada sauce. The reasoning behind this may surprise you as to why fresh enchilada sauce will ultimately last longer in the fridge.
Even canned sauces must be cooked first
Unlike canned sauces that are ready-to-eat, most enchilada sauces that come in a can must be warmed before you use them as a sauce. This means that the canned version is concentrated just like tomato paste. To make it saucier, you’ll need to add a bit of butter and flour in a saucepan followed by some fresh chicken stock. The contents of the enchilada paste are then added to the saucepan are then brought to a boil and then simmered.
Not only does this improve the flavor of canned sauces, but it can also help make store-bought brands have a restaurant level for flavor. The sauce itself needs to be stored in your fridge the same as any liquid and needs to be kept in a covered container. Any kind of bacteria can begin to spoil this sauce if it has come in contact with a spoon that you previously used or put in your mouth while serving the sauce at some point.
The fresh-made sauce is will last longer due to the lack of preservatives and is using natural enzymes in enchilada sauce to keep it fresher for slightly longer. This is mainly due to the primary ingredients that include Selenium and Tryptophan which are fatty acids and amino acids that act as a preservative. These enzymes can be corrupted by using tomato paste or tomato sauce that is old or close to its expiration date.
Never use tomato paste or tomato sauce that has already been opened before making fresh enchilada sauce. This will introduce potential bacteria into your sauce and will spread very quickly despite being boiled and simmered. It’s also very easy to tell if tomato sauce or paste has gone bad since it will have a bad smell or has mold growing on it.
Does enchilada sauce go bad?
Nearly any enchilada sauce will eventually go bad no matter if it comes in a can or is made fresh. The importance of sanitary cooking is playing a major role in keeping your sauce from going bad, so always use clean utensils and start with clean hands. This is the very same reason that pickles can go bad if you’re reaching into a pickle jar with your fingers instead of using a clean fork. Even the level of vinegar within the pickle brine can’t fight off bacteria for long.
If there is some extra sauce that is leftover, it needs to be stored inside a clean container and allowed to become room temperature before putting it inside your fridge. Reheating sauce that’s from your fridge is best by using a small saucepan and bringing it up to the temperature that is good for your enchiladas. A sauce that’s more than 5 days old that smells strange or has mold growing on the surface should be discarded and a new sauce needs to be used instead.
There is a risk of botulism if you decide to consume any enchilada sauce that has gone bad which will give you a terrible case of food poisoning. If you’ve ever experienced food poisoning, you’ll know that it’s a terrible ordeal.
Can you freeze enchilada sauce?
You can easily freeze enchilada sauce for up to 3 months with no worries. It’s best to use freezer-safe jars or freezer-safe bags that are meant for storing liquids. Some people have found that freezing your enchilada sauce in silicone ice cube trays is more convenient. These can then be placed into separate freezer bags afterward. If you have a vacuum sealer, this is best to remove air from your sealing bags aside from being an extra option.
One problem with freezing enchilada sauce is the formation of ice crystals that will obviously form inside jars or plastic containers. In plastic bags, this problem can be reduced by eliminating as much air from the bag as possible before sealing them. This is why a vacuum sealer would be better, but it’s not so hard if you have a Ziplock freezer bag that let air escape from one corner that allows the remaining air to escape.
Reheating frozen enchilada sauce
It’s best to allow a frozen sauce to defrost for a day in your fridge. After this, you place the contents into a saucepan and heat the sauce up on low heat. Use a small amount of water or chicken stock to thin out this sauce further. There is no need to bring the sauce up to a boil if it’s been frozen but always check for odd smells once the sauce is defrosted before using it. This is the best way can you freeze enchilada sauce, and enjoy it later.