How Long Store-Bought Chicken Broth Lasts, Open Or Sealed

As we all turn to our favorite comforting recipes this winter season to stay warm, whether it's chicken noodle soup, ramen, or pot pie, the star ingredient that makes these recipes so great is the broth. We've all definitely encountered this dilemma: your recipe calls for a cup of chicken broth and you open that 32-ounce carton of store-bought broth, only to be left with more than half of it unused. Oh no! So, how long can you save it?


Chicken broth is a cooking liquid made by simmering chicken meat and bones, along with vegetables and seasonings, in water. Boxed store-bought chicken broths often include added sodium, preservatives, and other additives to extend shelf life and enhance flavor. They are a convenient and budget-friendly way to add richness and umami flavors to your food. And thanks to that extended shelf life, they last quite a while, making them a staple in any kitchen. When sealed, your broth can last up to two years, depending on its expiration date. However, once you've opened the broth, it will only last for a few more days when properly stored in your refrigerator.

How long opened broth will last

If you tightly seal your leftover broth in its original packaging and put it in the refrigerator, it will last a few days. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), opened broth can be refrigerated for three to four days. If you don't plan to use the entire container within the recommended few days, consider freezing the remaining broth in smaller portions for longer storage. The USDA states that broth can be frozen for two to three months for best quality. Longer storage may reduce the broth's quality, but it will still be fine to use for a couple more months. You can use sealable ice cube trays for convenient broth portions to drop into dishes like easy spiced lentils or risotto.


Before using refrigerated leftover broth, always check for signs of spoilage, such as an off smell, unusual color, excessive cloudiness, or the presence of mold. If something looks or smells off, it likely is. It's best to discard it rather than take any chances.

How long unopened broth will last

The shelf life of store-bought chicken broth can vary depending on factors such as packaging, preservatives used, and storage conditions. In general, store-bought chicken broth in cartons or cans can have a shelf life of about one to two years if stored in a cool, dry place. Be sure to check the expiration date on the packaging. Most chicken broths will last a year beyond their printed sell-by date, but it's best to use your broth by the "Best Used by Date" on the packaging. Home-canned broth should be used within a year.


The USDA warns against using packaged and canned containers that show signs like "leaking, bulging, or badly dented cans; cracked jars or jars with loose or bulging lids; canned food with a foul odor; or any container that spurts liquid when opening." Your chicken broth should smell like, well, chicken. If it checks out and is within the recommended date range, you can use it.

Store-bought chicken broth is a pantry staple for good reason. It lasts a long time, can be frozen and refrigerated, and adds plentiful flavor to many dishes. Now that you know you have years to use packaged broth, you can buy it in bulk.