Food & Drink

Does Ramen Expire?

Last Updated on February 22, 2024 | 0 Comments
Many people ask the question does ramen expire

If you’re looking for a late-night snack, but all you have on hand is an old package of ramen noodles, you might find yourself wondering: “Does ramen expire?” These savory noodle packages are delicious, easy to store and transport as well as being simple to prepare, making them a staple in kitchens and dorm rooms everywhere.

Because ramen noodles can be such an easy, cheap kitchen staple, you might forget a package or two in the back of the pantry until you’re out of ideas. If you’ve ever been left staring at the expiration date and wondering if your cup of noodles is still safe to eat, this guide is for you. Keep reading for some helpful tips on expiration dates and the best ways to store your instant noodles for the best, most flavorful results.


 Jump to Section

Book a Gourmet Cooking Class Now
Kick-start your culinary confidence with help from a world-class chef. See what's cooking in your city today.
Book Now

Do Ramen Noodles Expire?

Can ramen noodles go bad? The short answer to this question is yes. Like most foods, ramen noodles don’t last forever. Although packaged ramen does contain preservatives that give it a longer shelf life, ultimately the noodles will go bad and lose their flavor. 

The good news is that the shelf life of ramen noodles is quite long. That’s one reason why ramen is so popular with college students and even preppers; with a longer shelf life, there’s less need to worry about whether or not the food on your shelves is still edible. 

Ramen noodles being eaten from a cup
via Canva

How Long Do Ramen Noodles Last?

When diving into the shelf lives of different types of ramen noodles and answering the question: “Does ramen expire?” it’s important to distinguish between fresh ramen and dried ramen.

Fresh Ramen Noodle Shelf-Life

Fresh ramen noodles are made from scratch and aren’t dried (these are the noodles that will generally be used in an authentic bowl of ramen). This kind of noodle will last for between one to two weeks in the refrigerator. You can store fresh ramen noodles in the freezer for up to one month. Fresh ramen noodles expire quicker than dried ramen noodles as they are made with fresher ingredients and don’t undergo a drying and preserving process. 

A person picking up plain noodles from a bowl with chopsticks
via Canva

Prepared Ramen Shelf-Life

When asking: “Does ramen expire?” you may also be interested in knowing if freshly prepared ramen expires. Fresh ramen, like meat or seafood ramen, made with fresh broth, vegetables and other ingredients, is a delicious dinner option. However, the fresh ingredients mean that it will go bad more quickly than instant ramen varieties. In the fridge, prepared ramen will expire within two to three days and will need to be discarded if not eaten within that time window. 

Dried Ramen Noodle Shelf-Life

When it comes to dried ramen noodles, there are several different varieties, each with slightly different time limits when it comes to shelf life. The two most common types are instant ramen, which is often sold in a bag or plastic wrapper, and Cup Noodles, which are sold in a styrofoam cup, ready to add seasoning and water. Both generally have a long shelf-life but will eventually expire. Let’s explore a little bit more about these two types of instant noodles and their respective shelf lives. 

Book an Online Cooking Class Today
Five-star chefs. Step-by-step coaching. Flexible menus. Come see what's cooking in a live online cooking class.
Book Now

Does Instant Ramen Expire?

Instant ramen or bagged ramen does have an expiration date. After production, instant ramen will typically have a shelf life of about eight to 12 months. Of course, it is always best to check the packaging for “best by” dates to ensure freshness. The shelf life will also depend on the condition of the packaging. Be sure to check your instant ramen packages for tears or holes because these can cause the noodles to go stale and become inedible more quickly. 

A person holding instant ramen packages
via Pexels

Do Cup Noodles Expire?

Like all other forms of ramen, cup noodles also have an expiration date. You should always check the date on your Cup Noodles, but generally, the shelf life of Cup Noodles is about six to eight months after the date of production. The slightly shorter time frame could be due to the type of packaging and the amount of air that can affect the noodles. 

Does ramen expire is a question many people ask
via Canva

Can You Eat Expired Ramen?

While it’s certainly safest to abide by the “best by” dates on your packaged foods, many people claim that eating ramen noodles after the expiration date isn’t that dangerous. Some people have reported stomach aches from eating ramen after its expiration date, but most people say that the biggest impact is in the flavor of the noodles.

While you may be able to eat packaged ramen several months after the expiration date without issue, we don’t recommend it. Of course, when in doubt, follow the guidelines on the package, and to be safe, dispose of ramen noodles if the expiration date has passed. 

Shop Like a Chef in the Cozymeal Shop
Update your kitchen with top-rated cookware. Beloved brands, easy returns and guaranteed price-matching.
Shop Now

How To Store Ramen Noodles

Now that you have the answer to the question: "Does ramen expire?" you may be interested to know how to best store ramen. As with the shelf-life of ramen noodles, how to store ramen will depend on the kind you have: fresh, dried or prepared.

Storing Fresh Ramen Noodles

Fresh ramen noodles can be stored in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for one to two weeks. If you’ve purchased the fresh ramen noodles in-store, they’ll likely come in a sealed or vacuum-sealed bag; you can store them in the refrigerator in this packaging without needing to transfer them to a different container. The same storage methods can be used for freezing. 

Storing Dried Ramen Noodles

To store instant or packaged ramen noodles, all you need to do is keep them in a cool, dry place. Your pantry or kitchen cabinet will work great for this. Because the noodles are dried and pre-packaged, refrigeration isn’t necessary. Just be sure that your noodles are placed somewhere where the wrappers and packaging won’t be damaged. Ripped, torn or punctured packages are the quickest way for your ramen noodles to go bad. 

If you want to be extra sure that your ramen packages aren’t going to be damaged, you can also pack the individual packages in vacuum bags and seal them shut. This is a perfect way to store packages of food that you don’t want to be damaged if it's in storage for a long time. Try doing this if you plan to add ramen to an emergency food stockpile in your basement or garage; it will keep the packages safe from water, bugs and more.

Storing Prepared Ramen

To store freshly prepared ramen, keep your soup in an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze until needed. Keep in mind that the fresh ingredients in your soup will make it go bad quite quickly. Be sure to consume when the flavors and freshness are at their peak. If stored in the refrigerator, eat the ramen within one to two days of making or purchasing. When frozen, prepared ramen is good for about two months. 

A person picking up noodles with chopsticks from a bowl of ramen
via Canva

This guide to ramen expiration dates should have been helpful for you if you’ve been wanting to answer the question: “Does ramen expire?” While it’s always safest not to gamble with the “best by” dates on your food, instant noodles do have a long shelf life, making them perfect for emergency meals, low-budget college dinners or a cheap and delicious late-night snack. 

For even more ways to explore your favorite foods, check out other experiences happening on Cozymeal.