Tips & How-to

How long does cooked sausage last in the fridge?

A guide to storage and leftover prep.
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Humble snags are an essential ingredient to any successful barbecue. So much so that it’s not uncommon to have tons of leftover sausages the next day. But how long can you keep cooked sausages in the fridge?

Turns out sausages can last up to three to four days in the refrigerator. Cooked sausages that are stored in the freezer, however, will keep for up to two to three months.

There are plenty of quick and easy recipes you can make with leftover sausages, including a sausage and spinach pasta or even curried sausages.

Learn more about about safely storing and reusing your leftover sausages.

Cooked sausages on a plate
(Credit: Getty)

What are the different kinds of sausage?

Though sausages are commonly associated with European cuisine – think wursts from Germany, kielbasa from Poland, and salami from Italy – they’re also found in many other cuisines around the world. In South Africa, they have boerewors, which are spiced with coriander leaves and cloves. In Japan, they have kamaboko or fish sausage. And in the Philippines, they have a sweet and garlicky longganisa.

Despite there being different kinds of sausages worldwide, they all fall under four main categories – fresh, smoked, cured, and cooked. 

Fresh sausages

Breakfast sausage links, loukanika, and sausage patties are your basic unsmoked, uncooked sausages. You’ll often find these packed in plastic in freezers at the supermarket. These types of sausages must be boiled, grilled, or cooked in a pan before consumption.

Smoked sausages

Smoked sausages like kielbasa, saveloy, and andouille are slow-cooked in a smokehouse and can be eaten straight from the pack.

Cured sausages

Cured sausages like salami and chorizo are salted and fermented, and usually don’t need to be cooked. These dry, hard sausages can also be stored in the pantry with no refrigeration. 

Cooked sausages

Cooked sausages like bratwurst, blood sausage, hotdogs, and frankfurters are pre-cooked then frozen. Though they’re pre-cooked, we still recommend either grilling or boiling these snags before serving. 

How long does cooked sausage last in the fridge?

According to USDA, pre-cooked sausages last up to two weeks in the fridge if unopened and one week after opening. When stored in a freezer, pre-cooked sausage can last one to two months. Look out for a use-by date on the packaging too.

Leftover sausages can be stored in the refrigerator for three to four days, and in the freezer for two to three months. When you’re ready to use frozen sausages, just place them in a bowl or plate on the lowest shelf in your fridge and wait for them to thaw out. Fully thawed sausages will be soft and easy to pull apart.  

How can you tell if a sausage has gone bad?

There are three things to watch out for when checking if a sausage has gone bad. First, a funky acidic aroma. Second, an odd texture – either too slippery or too hard. And third, a change in colour – if a sausage looks greyish or has grown brown, green, or black spots, get rid of it right away!

What can you do with leftover sausage?

If you have any leftover sausage that you don’t want to go to waste, here are five ways you can cook the leftover sausage.

1. Easy step-by-step fried rice

Fried rice is an easy-to-cook and comforting meal that can be made entirely out of leftover rice, mixed veggies, and sausages. If you have any leftover Chinese sausage, try whipping up this easy, Chinese-style fried rice.

2. Italian beef sausage macaroni

While there are many ways to incorporate leftover sausage into pasta or stew, we love this hearty Italian beef sausage macaroni recipe.

3. Sausage and red capsicum frittata

A frittata is a dish similar to an open-faced omelette. You can put pretty much whatever ingredient you want in a frittata, from veggies like potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, and spinach, to meats like chicken, beef, and sausages. Try this sausage and capsicum frittata recipe.

4. Roast chicken sausages and capsicum tray bake 

If you’ve got any leftover chicken sausages, put together this healthy recipe of roast chicken snags, capsicum, cherry tomatoes, oregano, balsamic vinegar, and onions.

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