Can Walnuts Go Bad? – How Long Do Walnuts Last Out of the Shell?

Can Walnuts Go Bad?: Want a homemade banana walnut cake? Bought a bulk of fresh walnuts for the recipe and wondered can walnuts go bad.

If yes, then how to store walnuts fresh for the long term? All such questions are answered by our team in this guide and make this an informative page.

You can use this most popular walnut as a snack, in a salad, or in baking goods. Have you got a query like how long are walnuts good for? Check the below modules and gain information on walnut shelf life, storage practices, freezing process, spoilage signs, etc. in just seconds.

Can Walnuts Go Bad

Do Walnuts Go Bad? | Walnuts Shelf Life and Spoilage

Yes, Walnuts go bad due to the poor storage conditions and they also include high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids and healthy oils which are best for us, yet they do the oxidation method less in the walnuts. Usually, walnuts go rancid and they are unsafe to eat and taste terrible. So, tossing those rancid walnuts is the fair option for your health.

An amazing fact is that walnuts’ shelf life is quite longer than other nuts. Also, you can find a huge variation in the shelf life of unshelled and shelled walnuts. So, maintain the shelled walnuts till you wish to use them and extend their lifespan. You may also find some other spoilage signs along with rancid. Let’s check them too.

Also Read: Can Pistachios Go Bad

Can Walnuts Go Bad

How to Tell if Walnuts Are Bad?

How you can tell walnuts are bad? is the most common question that is asked by people to learn and toss them immediately. If you want to know the signs of spoilage of walnuts just follow the below points:

  • When you find the unshelled walnuts shrunk and dried out should be tossed.
  • Also, they look unhealthy and such walnuts are bad to eat.
  • When the shell is fine, crack the nut and open it to check if everything looks inside is fine or not.
  • Do verify in case any net formed on it or any mold growth happened. If yes, then throw it away.
  • One more test to do is take a look at the nut and decide if it is healthy or not. If it looks dry, shriveled, or has any off signs then discard them immediately.
  • Later on, do the sniff test. If it smells like rancid oil or cooking oil then they go rancid and it is a sign of bad walnuts.
  • However, some nuts may look super fine outside and inside but they taste kind of stale. Sometimes the stale walnuts can be reused in other ways.

Ways For Dealing With Stale Walnuts

These stale walnuts can save you in some situations and at last minute rushing while cooking. You can use these stale nuts in many ways, such as:

  • Utilizing the nuts in salads.
  • Can add walnuts as a topping in desserts.
  • Toast walnuts & eat.
  • Add chopped stale walnuts to baked goods.

Must Read: Can Macadamia Nuts Go Bad

Can Walnuts Go Bad

Can Walnuts Go Bad 1


Nutritional Information (Approx. Values)

Nutrients Per 100 g Per Serving 28 g %RDA (Per Serving)
Energy (kcal) 671.05 187.89 9.39 %
Protein (g) 16.94 4.74
Carbohydrates (g) 20.21 5.65
Total Sugar (g) 0 0
Added Sugar (g) 0 0 0
Total Fat (g) 58.05 16.25 24.25%
Saturated Fatty Acid (g) 5.1 1.42 6.45%
Mono Unsaturated Fatty Acid (g) 11.3 3.16
Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acid (g) 41.65 11.66
Trans Fat (g) 0 0 0%
Cholesterol (mg) 0 0 0%

An average adult requires 2,000 kcal energy per day, However, calorie needs may vary.

How Long Do Walnuts Last | What is the Shelf Life of Walnuts

As per the trusted sources’ reports, the shelf life of walnuts is estimated and explained here in detail. The University of California guided that shelled nuts stay good for 3 months on the counter. One more source called FoodKeeper stated both shelled and unshelled walnuts can last for 2 to 4 weeks of storage time.

Below we have curated the how long do walnuts last at room temperature, unshelled walnuts shelf life, shelled walnuts shelflife,

Shelled Walnuts

As you mentioned every time that nuts are shelled can last a bit less storage time than unshelled ones and it goes rancid so easily. But if you store them properly with tight sealing in a bag or container in the refrigerator then you can prevent shelled nuts from spoilage at a faster pace.

Unshelled Walnuts

In-shell walnuts protect from temperature changes, light, and air. Also, these three elements are responsible for rancidity so leave the unshelled walnuts in proper conditions compare to shelled ones.

In-shell walnuts can leave on the counter at room temperature for more than 6 months or even a year. Later on, you will find some of the walnuts go rancid and some important walnut kernels may be fine. Also, know how to check the bad walnuts when unshelled. Just crack it to open them, if you find any spoilage signs after sitting for a long storage time, discard them.

Conditions Pantry Fridge Freezer
Whole walnuts 12 months 12 months 12 months
Shelled walnuts 3 weeks 6 months 12 months
Chopped or ground walnuts 1 day 1 month 6 months


How Long Do Walnuts Last

How to Store Walnuts In The Shell | Tips for Storing Walnuts At Room Temperature & In The Fridge

Storage tips for walnuts are a bit the same as other nuts like hazelnuts, pecans, or pine nuts. You can also have a look at the storage practices of hazelnuts by tapping on Can hazelnut go bad article. You can buy walnuts in two ways with a shell and without a shell. The unshelled walnuts are best at storing and they can last for a longer time on the counter or in the fridge. Basically, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated but if you opt for any reason then that’s fine.

If it is shelled walnuts, they go rancid pretty easily when it sits on the counter for a longer time. Thus, shelled nuts should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer with proper sealing. If you seal it tightly it won’t pick up nearby strong food odors presented in the fridge. You can keep the store-bought packet as it is in the fridge with no extra wrapping. If it is opened then freezer bags or airtight containers work best to store and prolong the shelf life.

Do Refer: Can Cashews Go Bad

Can You Freeze Walnuts?

Yes, the walnut freezing method is the perfect one to store and prolong the shelf life of nuts. Especially, freezing is the best storage practice for shelled walnuts so that they can last as long as they can work out. That doesn’t mean unshelled walnuts are not necessary for freezing. You can even freeze unshelled nuts if you have enough space in the freezer but there is no point in storage time compared to nuts at room temperature.

Hence, shelled walnuts are the best option for freezing than unshelled ones. Here are the simple steps to freeze your walnuts:

  • Set the walnuts in a freezer bag.
  • Remove the excess air from the bag after filling the nuts.
  • Seal it tightly to avoid bad conditions.
  • Freeze the walnuts safely.

If you want to use the frozen walnuts then take a scoop or quantity that you require from the freezer bag, and leave them on the counter to warm up. At least half an hour is pretty much enough to get ready for cooking or snacking.

Also Read: Can Chia Seeds Go Bad

FAQs on Can Walnuts Go Bad or Expire?

1. Do walnuts really expire?

Yes, walnuts get expired after the shelf life and when they go rancid. If you apply the proper storage practices and stored them in safe places can stay good for extra time plus the expiration date on the label.

2. What happens if you eat expired walnuts?

By eating expired or old walnuts, you may not sick immediately but causes harmful side effects in the long term.

3. How long do walnuts last once opened?

The shelf life of opened walnuts is about 1 year in the fridge after following the proper storage guidelines.

4. How can you tell if walnuts are bad?

Generally, walnuts have a mild nutty aroma. When they go bad, the smell of walnuts is like cooking oil or rancid oil. Also, when you find the whitest spots on the surface of the nuts, they are bad and unsafe to eat.

Key Points

We feel that shared data on Can walnuts go bad, and how long do unshelled walnuts last assisted you in many ways like storing, freezing, checking the spoilage signs, shelf life, etc. If you want to find all other nuts and seeds articles like Can Peanuts Go Bad, Can Brazil Nuts Go Bad, etc. visit or bookmark it for sending notification alerts when we publish important news about walnuts and other foods.

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