Ahh, pasta, the most beloved food in the whole world. Pasta noodles are just one step short of being the perfect meal, cheese! Well, you can still make your pasta perfect by tossing it in cheesy sauce or making alfredo pasta.
In any case, the real pasta craving starts the next day. Luckily, you still have some leftover pasta in your fridge from last night. In this article, I will discuss some of the best ways of reheating leftover pasta without making it dry.
Most of the time, perfect pasta is often ruined if you don’t use an appropriate method of reheating cooked pasta. There is a great danger that your noodles will either become mushy or rubbery if you don’t know how to reheat pasta. However, experts have come up with some very effective ways to save your delicious pasta from being doomed.
Table of Contents
A Well Stored Pasta Lasts Longer:
Before you begin thinking about reheating the best way to heat up pasta, make sure that you stored it properly. It is because improperly stored pasta dries out within the first couple of hours and becomes bad within 12 hours. Moreover, cold pasta shrinks instantly when in contact with intense heat. Therefore, it is best that you know how to store pasta to extend its life.
The most convenient way to store cooked pasta is to place it in the fridge. The fridge environment provides the pasta with optimum temperature to keep it from going bad. However, it is recommended to use only airtight containers or zip-lock bags to store pasta. Otherwise, air will enter the food, and the moisture of both fridge and noodles provide the best breeding ground for bacteria and mold.
To Store Plain Pasta:
- Boiled pasta without sauce in it is known as plain pasta.
- This type of pasta is slightly complex to store because there is not enough grease to prevent it from sticking together or drying out.
- Wash pasta with cold water to provide adequate moisture and cool it down. Make sure to drain all the water before putting the pasta in an airtight container.
- Place the pasta in the container or zip-lock bag and again drain any excess water from it.
- Add 2-3 tbsp of olive oil or butter to the pasta and mix it well.
- In the case of a zip-lock bag, use a straw to remove as much air as possible.
- Refrigerate the pasta by keeping it on the topmost shelf and use it within three days of storage.
- If you also prepared some sauce, store the sauce in another airtight container separately.
- You can later combine both these ingredients when reheating boiled pasta.
In the Case of Pasta in the Sauce:
- Pasta already mixed with sauce is very easy to store because it contains enough moisture and grease to keep it good for at least five days in the fridge.
- Cool the pasta to room temperature by leaving it on the shelf for about 30 minutes.
- Place the pasta in an airtight container and remove as much air as possible.
- Place the sauced pasta inside the fridge on the upper shelves and eat within 4 to 5 days of storing.
- Moreover, it is best to smell pasta for any signs of contamination before reheating pasta with sauce.
The best way to preserve cooked pasta regardless of with or without sauce is to freeze it. Freezing pasta locks all the moisture inside and makes it taste fresh when you reheat frozen pasta. The only thing you need to ensure is not to freeze pasta in the presence of air, or else it will get contaminated quickly.
- Cool the pasta to room temperature by placing it on the kitchen shelf for 30 minutes.
- Put the cooked pasta in an airtight container or freezing bag and remove as much as possible using a straw.
- Slightly splash few drops of olive oil or butter on the pasta and mix it well using a spoon or shaking the container.
- Place the pasta anywhere in the freezer and try to consume it within one month because that’s when the pasta will still taste fresh.
- After one month, the pasta starts to become freezer-burnt, which is complex to reheat.
- However, you should know that frozen pasta stays good for up to two months.
Best Way to Reheat Pasta with Sauce:
Pasta and spaghetti noodles lose moisture very easily. As a result, you may end up with rubbery food if you are not careful enough. Therefore, it is best to have the perfect setup to reheat cooked pasta with the sauce without losing any moisture.
According to restaurant chefs, the most suitable way of reheating pasta noodles is to steam over a stovetop. This allows you to slowly reheat the whole food without losing the great taste and texture. Moreover, it is also the best way to reheat spaghetti and meatballs.
How to Reheat Pasta by Sautéing on the Stove:
Sautéing pasta in a pan is the most efficient way to reheat it and make your pasta fresh again. Moreover, some chefs have even admitted that they cook pasta and spaghetti noodles in large batches and reheat whenever they get an order. Therefore, it is safe to say that the best way to reheat pasta is to sauté it in a skillet or a pan.
- Take out pasta from the refrigerator 10 minutes before reheating. This allows the food to warm to room temperature.
- Place a skillet or a non-stick pan on the stovetop and light it up at medium-high temperature.
- Put 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil or butter in the pan and heat it for 3 minutes.
- Slowly pour the pasta along with sauce in the pan but don’t stir yet.
- Splash a few drops of water over the pasta to make it moist.
- Stir-well using a spatula or a spoon and cover the skillet with the lid.
- Cook for 5 to 7 minutes on medium heat, remove the lid, and again stir for 1 minute.
- Take out the pasta in the dish and serve while it is still sizzling hot.
- This method is suitable for reheating pasta in tomato sauce and plain pasta or noodles.
- The pasta with tomato sauce doesn’t become dry in the skillet method.
- Creamy sauce or alfredo pasta becomes dry in the skillet
Related Post: How to Reheat Lasagna in 4 Different Ways?
How to Reheat Alfredo Pasta or Pasta in the Cream Sauce: Oven Method
The creamy sauce becomes dry very easily. Moreover, there is a great risk that you overcook the pasta in cream on the stovetop. Therefore, the most suitable method to reheat alfredo pasta or mac n cheese is to use a conventional oven. However, the oven becomes too hot too quickly, so keep an eye on the internal temperature of the oven.
- Take out stored pasta at least 10 minutes before starting the reheating process.
- Preheat the oven till it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that you don’t overheat the oven as you may end up with overcooked, dry pasta.
- Place the pasta in a baking pan, add 2-3 tsp of olive oil or butter to the pan and mix thoroughly.
- Cover the pan with the lid or aluminum foil and place it in the oven.
- Cook for 15 minutes and check for any signs of dryness.
- Take out the reheated pasta from the oven and serve while the cheese is still melted.
- Make sure not to let the food sit for too long because it is not advisable to reheat pasta twice as it becomes rubbery or hard.
- Widely used by chefs
- Best way to reheat mac n cheese
- The creamy sauce doesn’t dry out in this method
- The pasta tastes slightly different from the fresh.
How to Reheat Pasta By Boiling: The Best Way to Reheat Plain Pasta
Many restaurants boil large batches of pasta noodles to save their time. This pasta is then frozen to make it last longer. Whenever an order is placed, the chef takes out preserved pasta and boils it again to make it moist. Moreover, this is also how to reheat frozen pasta. However, make sure that you don’t let it sit in the boiling water for an extensive period of time, or else it will become mushy.
- Take out the frozen pasta for at least 20 minutes before starting to reheat.
- Take a non-stick saucepan and fill it completely with water.
- Put a pinch of salt and 1 tbsp olive oil in the water and bring it to a boil.
- Toss the pasta noodles in the boiling water and let it settle for 30 seconds to 1 minute without stirring or mixing.
- Take out the pasta and drain any extra water, put it on a dish with some sauce toppings, and serve smoking hot.
- Boiling makes frozen pasta fresh again
- The pasta retains moisture in this method.
- Preferred by restaurants.
- Pasta dipped in the sauce cannot be boiled
How to Reheat Pasta in Microwave: The Fastest Way to Reheat Pasta
Although the microwave is not recommended for reheating pasta or any other food because it makes the food dry quickly, however, if you are in a hurry, the microwave seems the most suitable way. Basically, microwaves blast heat rays on the visible portion of the food. Therefore, if you keep it inside for longer, the pasta becomes dry while being cold from the inside.
- Leave the paste for 10 minutes on the shelf to warm it to room temperature.
- Place pasta or spaghetti on the microwave dish and put a few drops of water on it.
- Microwave at 50% power for 1 minute. Pause the timer at 30 seconds, mix it using a spoon and resume the heating.
- The fastest way to reheat pasta noodles
- Universal method for all pasta foods.
- It makes the food dry very quickly
- The pasta will not taste fresh.
How Can You Keep the Pasta From Drying Out?
Pasta is a very delicate food, and it dries out very quickly. Moreover, dry pasta doesn’t taste good, and you may end up hating the fresh dish as well. Therefore, it is best to use only the suitable method according to the pasta dish that you are heating.
For instance, plain pasta should be sautéed, creamy pasta to be baked, and frozen pasta should be boiled or microwaved. This way, your pasta will be adequately heated without becoming dry at all.
Frequently Asked Question:
How to reheat pasta in the microwave?
The microwave makes the pasta dry very quickly. Therefore, you should make it moist using a few drops of water and heat at 50% power for two intervals of 30 seconds each.
How to reheat frozen pasta?
Frozen pasta can become rubbery if not heated appropriately. Therefore, you should boil the frozen pasta for 30 seconds and then microwave it for 30 seconds before serving.
How to reheat pasta with cream sauce?
Creamy pasta gets overcooked when sautéed in a skillet. Therefore, you should only use the oven method at 350 degrees Fahrenheit to bake the pasta when reheating.
To sum it up, everyone eats pasta at least once a week. Therefore, people are left with some leftover pasta in their fridge. However, without proper knowledge, you can ruin a perfectly cooked pasta. This article has included all the methods in detail to help you reheat pasta without drying it out.