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How to Reheat Leftover Pasta

Simple Tip: Heat Leftover Pasta Over the Stove

For the majority of my life, I heated up leftover pasta in the microwave. The result is hot, slightly crusty, not-as-good-as-the-night-it-was-made pasta. Recently, I started practicing a new technique that I think is much better. I slowly heat the pasta over the stove and the noodles end up being soft, the sauce is warmed through, and the dish tastes (almost) exactly like it did the night before! Here's how I do it:

  1. Depending on what kind of sauce the pasta was made with, start by heating a little butter or olive oil in a large saute pan over low to medium heat.
  2. When the butter is melted or the oil hot, add the cold pasta.
  3. Now add a couple of tablespoons to 1/4 cup of liquid like water, broth, milk, or wine. Use the kind of liquid you employed when first making the sauce. For example, if reheating leftover macaroni and cheese, add milk. If reheating bolognese, add red wine, etc.
  4. Stir the pasta with the liquid until the pasta is heated and soft, and the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Do you eat leftover pasta? What's your method for reheating?


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RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 7 years
I don't like the idea of reheating pasta. I'll save the sauce and heat it up in the microwave (if it's one serving) or on the stove top (if it's a bigger portion and therefore worth doing more dishes :p) and then I make fresh pasta. It's so quick after all.
CoconutPie CoconutPie 7 years
This is what I always do. It makes the pasta taste so much better! I got rid of my microwave a while ago (because I didn't like the kind of heat it gave to foods and for health reasons too) so I don't really have a choice anyway.
kia kia 7 years
I do stove top of convection toaster oven (I don't own a microwave)
zeze zeze 7 years
I don't like reheated pasta, but my sister eats it cold, straight out the fridge! I like the stove top, I can't imagine why I never thought to do that - I've put it back in the oven before without adding anything and it never comes out right.
wolfjinx25 wolfjinx25 7 years
Good to know. I was wondering why the spaghetti I reheated in the microwave was so-so at work last week. Next time I have to add water.
AbbyHintz AbbyHintz 7 years
Yup. Love that refried pasta. Spaghetti, mac and cheese, it's all good re-heat in pan.
Community-Manager Community-Manager 7 years
I will have to give this a try! There is nothing I hate more than reheated mac and cheese!
courtneyd courtneyd 7 years
When heating up mac n cheese in the microwave, I've always added a little milk and stirred every 30 seconds or so, and I add water to rice dishes. Still, the best is to reheat on the stove, and I will do that if I'm at home and not in a rush to eat.
aphart6 aphart6 7 years
For pasta, or anything for that matter, when you microwave, add a bit of water (this applies to other foods like chicken, steaks, potatoes, even pizza, which doesn't really nuke very well in my opinion). Since the microwave heats the food quickly, the water adds moisture that the micro zaps out of it. If you are doing a cream or oil based pasta sauce, this can work, or the stove method mentioned above are better to avoid it separating.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I've always done it in the microwave, but I'll add a little of the sauce/liquid first (like marinara sauce or milk if it's mac and cheese) and a bit of butter. After it's warm, I'll stir it up and let it sit for a good 10 minutes and it's almost as good as it was the night before. I think the drying-out thing is more of a problem if you microwave with no liquid in it.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 7 years
I do it on the stove, but add water instead of extra oil or butter to keep the calorie count down. I live in a dry climate so the pasta is usually dried out when it needs to be reheated anyway.
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