Can Cholula Go Bad or Expire? How Long Does It Last?

image of Cholula sauce go bad

If you’re a fan of hot sauce, you are probably very familiar with Cholula.

Cholula is a hot sauce brand from Mexico with a wide range of hot sauces made from different peppers that vary in flavor and heat.

A true hot sauce fan tends to have a few hot sauces in their collection. Cholula is one that we think needs to be in that lineup.

Hot sauce has a reputation for lasting a long time but does Cholula go bad?

Short Answer:

Eventually, yes, it will, but it takes a whi

le!Although some foods, like hot sauce, might not make you sick when they are off, it is still essential to know if it has gone bad. 

The old sauce can contain mold spores and bacteria, especially if not stored correctly, so you want to avoid that as much as possible.

We’re going to give you a little insight into Cholula and give you some storage tips to keep your hot sauce fresher for longer.

So without further ado, let’s dive into this delicious hot sauce:

What is Cholula made of?

The base of Cholula is obviously chilis, but in their signature sauce are two chilis in particular: arbol and piquin. 

Even though Cholula is a bottled sauce, it isn’t full of a bunch of preservatives and additives like many other hot sauces. 

The only ingredients in Cholula are:

  • Water
  • Arbol and piquin peppers
  • Salt
  • Vinegar
  • Garlic powder
  • Spices
  • Xanthum gum (thickener)

Choosing a hot sauce made from natural ingredients is much healthier for you. Cholula is an excellent choice of hot sauce if you want to avoid nasty additives.

What Does Cholula Taste Like?

image of Cholula sauce

Cholula has a manageable medium heat even if you are sensitive to heat.

The flavor is a blend of the spicy arbol and piquin peppers with a regional spice blend from Mexico. The specific spices are kept secret by Cholula.

It is a very versatile sauce that can be drizzled over anything from fries to tacos and even breakfast eggs.

How Hot is Cholula?

Hot sauce, like chilis, is measured on the Scoville scale to determine how hot they are.

Cholula’s Original sauce is 1000-2000 on the Scoville scale. This makes it a medium heat hot sauce that is great for any of you that are new to hot sauce.[*]

Want more?!? Watch this interesting fact video from mamah

Does Cholula Hot Sauce Go Bad? How Can You Tell?

So yes, Cholula can go bad, but it will last you a good while if you store it right.

While it won’t make you sick, we think it’s important to know when your hot sauce has gone bad.

Luckily hot sauce makes it quite obvious when it’s gone bad, so you can avoid tasting it to check. 

Here are a few things to look out for in bad Cholula:

1. Mold on the surface

This will start from the edges, especially if there is old sauce crusted on the sides of the bottle.

It will appear as tiny speckles of grey mold on the surface of the sauce. The longer you leave it, the more intense the mold will get until os covers the whole surface and begins to float in the sauce.

Due to this, we recommend that it is vital to check your hot sauce regularly.

2. Unpleasant odor

The second best way to tell if your Cholula has gone off is by smelling it.

Good hot sauce will have a bright, fresh fragrance of chilis.

If you open the sauce and smell an unusual, unpleasant odor, your Cholula has probably gone off.

3. The sauce will begin to discolor

When you first buy hot sauce, it will be bright red or green, depending on the chili.

When it gets, old Cholula will begin to discolor and go brown. This will make the sauce lose its bright flavor and potency.

How Long Does Cholula Last?

Cholula is shelf-stable. This means that it can be left out of the fridge.

It can last up to 6 months after opening if stored in a room temperature pantry.

Many hot sauces will boast a longer shelf life, but Cholula has chosen to go with more natural ingredients over a longer life span.

If unopened, it can be left in the pantry for many years, but to be safe, check the best before label before opening a new jar.

does cholula need to be refrigerated?

There is a lot of debate online about whether or not you need to refrigerate Cholula and hot sauces like it. 

Cholula doesn’t require any of its sauces to be refrigerated, but putting it in the fridge can prolong its shelf life for a few years.

Learn more: Does Cholula Need to Be Refrigerated?

Interesting Facts:

Is Cholula a healthy sauce?

We wondered the same thing, and the answer might surprise you! Cholula is actually 0 calories!

This means you can indulge in your favorite hot sauce to your heart’s content without any guilt.[*] It also has 0 cholesterol and 0 sugar. The only thing to take note of is that it contains 4% sodium.

Is Cholula gluten-free?

Yes, Cholula is 100% gluten-free, so any of you with allergies are in the clear.
Apart from that, Cholula is also kosher and MSG-free.

What does Cholula mean in Spanish?

The word ‘Cholula’ comes from the Nahuatl word meaning ‘place of retreat.’[*
The sauce was named after the city of Cholula in Pueblo, which is the oldest inhabited city in Mexico.

Learn more:


Does Cholula hot sauce go bad? So yes, it appears that Cholula does go bad, but it will last you a long time if you store it correctly.

Once you know what to look out for, it will be easy for you to tell if your Cholula has gone bad from now on.

If you want to prolong the life of your hot sauce, pop it in the fridge, and it should keep you spicy for at least a few years. That’s a good investment if you ask us!

Up Next: The Shelf Life Of Canned Foods

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