freeze spaghetti

Can You Freeze Spaghetti Noodles?

Spaghetti dinners are a family favorite, but often, there are loads of leftover cooked noodles and the last thing you want to do is let it go to waste.

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Since cooked spaghetti will only last for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator, freezing it is a great way to extend its shelf life. This way you can enjoy the spaghetti on demand for dinner in soups, bakes, with sauce, and even as a cold salad.

Here is everything you need to know to successfully freeze cooked spaghetti.

Types of Spaghetti

Traditionally an Italian dish, spaghetti is a long, thin, noodle pasta made from wheat flour and water.

Fresh Italian spaghetti is typically an off-white color as it is made from refined durum wheat semolina, but whole wheat flour may be added giving it a slightly darker color. Spaghettoni is a thicker type of spaghetti, while capellini is a thinner variety.

Spaghetti can be made fresh or dried and is cooked in salted boiling water until soft but still slightly firm. It is then drained through a colander.

Although spaghetti is often served with a tomato-based sauce and meat, it is also popular served with cream sauces, chicken, vegetables, and seafood.


Can Spaghetti Be Frozen?

Yes, spaghetti can be frozen and makes for a fast and convenient meal when you don’t have time to cook.

It is important to keep the spaghetti protected from contact with air and moisture on freezing as this will cause freezer burn and ultimately damage the quality and texture of the spaghetti.

When planning to freeze spaghetti, it is best to slightly undercook it. This way, reheating after thawing will complete the cooking process without causing the spaghetti to become mushy.


How To Freeze Cooked Spaghetti

Method 1: Individual Portions

Step 1: Cool

Once cooked, cool the spaghetti completely. Freezing spaghetti that is still warm will cause large ice crystals to form causing textural damage to the noodles once thawed.

Step 2: Flash Freeze

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Create small nests of spaghetti about a cup size each and place them onto the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the spaghetti is frozen and the spaghetti nests can be removed without falling apart.

Using this method allows you to remove one or 2 portions at a time without having to defrost the entire batch.

Step 3: Pack

Remove the baking sheet from the freezer. Pack the frozen spaghetti nests into resealable freezer bags. Carefully press out all the remaining air before sealing the packet.

Step 4: Label and Freeze

Label the bag with the date of freezing so that you can keep track of how long the cooked spaghetti has been stored.


Method 2: Pack and Freeze

Step 1: Strain and Drizzle with Oil

Once cooked to al dente, strain the noodles in a colander or pasta strainer and shake off any excess water. Drizzle and lightly toss the spaghetti in olive oil to prevent it from sticking together. Leave the spaghetti to cool completely.

Step 2: Pack

Pack the spaghetti into resealable freezer bags in the desired portion sizes keeping in mind that you will have to thaw and use the entire contents of the freezer bag. Press out any remaining air before sealing the packet.

Step 3: Label and Freeze

Label the bag with the date of freezing so that you can keep track of how long the cooked spaghetti has been stored.


How To Thaw Frozen Spaghetti

For the best results, remove the spaghetti from the freezer and place it into the refrigerator to defrost for a few hours or overnight. To speed up the thawing process, place the sealed freezer bag in a pot of cold water.

To reheat pasta or spaghetti that has not been tossed with sauce, start by boiling a pot of water. Place the thawed spaghetti in a strainer and dip it into the boiling water until completely warmed through.

Spaghetti that has already been mixed with sauce can be reheated in the microwave, on the stove-top, stirring occasionally to spread the heat evenly, or covered in the oven. 


FAQs

Conclusion

Having a ready-made spaghetti meal in the freezer can be a lifesaver at the end of a long day. Three important factors to consider when planning to freeze spaghetti is the doneness of the noodles, the temperature before freezing, and the spaghetti clumping together. 

Slightly undercook the spaghetti to prevent it from turning mushy once thawed and reheated. Drizzle olive oil over the spaghetti and lightly toss to prevent the strands from sticking together. Also, make sure the spaghetti is completely cool before packaging to freeze.

Freezing spaghetti with, or without sauce is really easy and will save you time and money in the long run.

See more: How To Reheat Carbonara

*image by depositphotos.com/borjomi88

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