Food Preservation

Do Walnuts Go Bad? How Long Do Walnuts Last?

In this article, you will know the answer to the query “Do Walnuts Go Bad? How Long Do Walnuts Last?“.

In accordance with Encyclopedia Britannica, walnuts are nuts that grow on walnut trees. Many parts of the world consume them because they are delicious.

The health benefits of these foods have also been noted by Healthline. A stale walnut, however, does not taste good and is not pleasant to eat.

There is nothing better than walnuts in the winter. Walking on icy cold pavements and popping walnuts into your mouth now and then is nothing like keeping a packet of walnuts in your coat pocket.

The more walnuts you swallow, the more you want. Your pockets are always bursting with walnuts, and you keep digging for more until none are left.

When walnuts are fresh and of high quality, all these things happen. There are times, however, when you might find walnuts to be a bit too bitter for your palate, causing you to wonder, do walnuts go bad?

How to Store Walnuts Properly?

The same procedure is followed for storing walnuts as you would for pine nuts or peanuts. There is a lot of oil in nuts, which goes rancid when exposed to heat and moisture.

In order to reduce the chances of their going stale, you will have to store them in a particular way.

The shelf life of shelled walnuts and unshelled walnuts differs, so you need to store them differently.

It is because the shell around unshelled walnuts gives them the protection that they last longer than shelled walnuts.

It is recommended that you freeze shelled walnuts in an airtight container in order to prolong their shelf life.

You can seal them in a plastic bag to give them the same protection as a shell.

You can keep the walnuts in the freezer for a long time by placing the bag in the freezer.

In case you have not opened the walnut package, you do not need to seal it in an airtight container. You can simply place it in the fridge or freezer. You won’t have to worry about them going bad.

Unshelled walnuts need not be refrigerated if you want to prevent them from turning rancid.

In the same way, that pine nuts and cashews are kept fresh, unshelled walnuts can be stored in a cool, dry place as well.

You can store them in a kitchen cabinet that isn’t exposed to sunlight.

Do Walnuts Go Bad? How Long Do Walnuts Last?

There is a possibility that walnuts will go bad. In walnuts, the oil turns rancid after a while, giving them a bitter taste, and making them unpalatable.

Even though walnuts remain fresh and edible for a long time, there comes a point when they no longer taste good.

It is important to know how to make them last as long as possible if you have already purchased some.

The first thing you should know about walnuts is how long they usually last.

There is a greater shelf life for walnuts with shells than for walnuts without shells. It is possible to keep unshelled walnuts for as long as a year, sometimes even longer.

Thus, you can expect quality walnuts to remaining fresh for at least 12 months if they are still in their shells.

The freshness of most walnuts degrades after the best by date on the packet, but some walnuts can still be stored properly after that date.

Therefore, you don’t need to discard them after their expiration date.

Walnuts that are shelled go bad faster than walnuts that are not shelled. It will take six months for them to turn rancid if you keep them in the fridge.

The whole year round, however, you can enjoy them if you freeze them.

How to Tell If Walnuts are Bad? Shelled & Unshelled Walnuts Shelf Life!

Looking at the shell of an unshelled walnut is the best way to tell if it has gone bad.

In the case of shelled walnuts, you will need to use some of your senses to determine whether they are stale.

You can tell if your walnuts have gone bad by checking the following methods.

It looks like the shell has shrunk and become shriveled. Walnuts with rancid shells are unhealthy.

An area with dark spots is visible on the layer. This is a sign of mold growing over the walnut, which causes them to rot.

They smell unpleasant. It smells like cooking oil because of the degrading oil.

The taste is bitter. Stale walnuts taste bitter due to rancid oil, not because walnuts themselves taste bitter.

This means your walnuts have gone bad. You should throw them away if you notice any of these signs.

Do Walnuts Go Bad? How Long Do Walnuts Last?


15 minutes


15 minutes


30 minutes


  • Walnuts
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  • Read the guide thoroughly to learn how long it lasts.
  • Label your container with the content and date and keep track of how much you’re using!
  • Make sure to store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place (pantry or fridge).

If you want to read more about food preservation, read here: FOOD PRESERVATION.

Ayub Khan

Ayub Khan is an accomplished culinary author with a passion for cooking and 6 years of experience. His creative ideas and valuable tips inspire readers to explore new flavors and take their culinary skills to the next level.

Rehmat Dietitian

Rehmat is a certified food dietitian having experience of 10 years in reviewing and practicing on foods different aspects.

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