In summary: There are three ways to reheat leftover pasta: reheating plain pasta in boiling water, warming up pasta with sauce on the stove, and heating pasta in the oven or air fryer.
Pasta or spaghetti is super simple and an excellent dish for any occasion, especially if you don’t have a lot of time to prepare.
Of all the recipes in this world, I could live on pasta every day. Change the sauce, and you have a brand new lunch. And there are probably as many types of sauce as people on this planet—everyone has their own special pasta sauce.
The only not-so-good thing about pasta dish is when it cools down. I never like to store pasta in the fridge for the next day. Somehow, I love it when it’s freshly cooked and al dente. So, if I have excess leftover sauce, then I’d rather just store the sauce in the fridge and prepare new pasta for tomorrow.
But it happens that you have cooked too much, and you have leftover pasta. It’s a shame to throw it away if you can store it in the fridge for later use. The key is to know how to properly reheat the pasta dishes so that you have a fresh and tasty meal as if it was its first day.
Reheating Plain Pasta
Plain pasta means that you put cooked pasta in the fridge without adding sauce to it. In fact, it’s the easiest to reheat, so we suggest that you always put pasta and sauce in the fridge separately whenever you have the opportunity and heat them separately the next day.
You will heat this kind of pasta in almost the same way as you cooked it, only it will last much shorter.
Step 1: Prepare Boiling Water
First, heat the water until it boils. It’s the same as when you first cooked the pasta. However, you don’t need as much water as then. Commonly, when cooking pasta, it is good to have a larger bowl with more water so that the pasta can be cooked freely instead of the noodles sticking together.
Step 2: Add Pasta and Cook for 30 Seconds
When the water has boiled, you can put noodles in it. Cook them for about 30 to 45 seconds to heat up well. Do not leave the noodles to cook for too long, as you will end up with soft, sticky noodles. The pasta must be al dente to have the right taste.
Step 3: Strain the Pasta
When the pasta is thoroughly heated, strain the water, and your noodles will be ready. Serve them immediately with the alfredo sauce and enjoy a delicious lunch.
Warming Up Spaghetti With Sauce
When learning how to reheat pasta with sauce, you might find that you can put cooked noodles a microwave safe plate and cook it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes.
However, when it comes to reheating leftover pasta that already has the sauce on it, then it is best to use either a stove or an oven. Of course, you can’t put it in boiling water because the sauce will be washed out, and you will have some bland, tasteless crowd of noodles.
And in this case of reheating, you have to be very careful not to overcook the spaghetti to make it taste as it did initially. Reheating on the stove will be slightly faster than heating in the oven only because it doesn’t take that long to heat the furnace.
Reheating The Pasta On The Stove
Step 1: Put a Pan with a Little Oil to Heat
First, put a teaspoon of your favorite cooking oil to warm up. Do not put on the highest heat but medium heat instead. You want to heat the pasta nicely and gradually, not ignite it. Since the temperature is not the highest, you are free to use olive oil.
Step 2: Add the Pasta Mixed with Sauce
Add the pasta with the sauce to the saucepan and start mixing immediately. You want to heat the pasta nicely and combine it with the sauce and olive oil without burning it. Stir the pasta frequently.
Step 3: Reheat until Warm
Reheat until well heated. You will probably need a few minutes for this. If you notice that the sauce is dehydrated and that the pasta is not nicely juicy, feel free to add more liquid to it. Whether you add a little water or more sauce, it’s up to you. You want to achieve a delicious and tasty pasta, not dry noodles with lumps.
Heating The Pasta In The Oven
Similar to reheating baked ziti, here’s how to reheat pasta using an oven.
Step 1: Preheat the Oven to 325 °F
The first step is to prepare the oven to the right temperature. It is best to set at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the oven to heat up thoroughly before inserting the pasta into it.
Step 2: Prepare the Pasta
While the oven is heating up, you have enough time to prepare the leftover pasta. Place the noodles in a oven safe baking dish and arrange them well not to be stuck. If the pasta seems too dry, again, you can add more liquid to make everything tastier. Then cover the pan with aluminum foil so that the steam inside can heat the pasta.
Step 3: Bake for Approximately 20 Minutes
Put the pasta leftovers in the oven and let it heat up for about 20 minutes. This should be enough time for the baked pasta to heat up thoroughly. However, when you take it out and it seems to you that it is not fully heated yet, feel free to put it back in the oven for an additional 5 or 10 minutes.
Warming Pasta In The Air Fryer
As more and more people use the air fryer as the main kitchen appliance, we will add this reheating method. Although we wouldn’t have decided that this helper would be the first choice, if you are in a hurry and don’t feel like getting dirty dishes for heating on the stove, an air fryer will do as well. The problem is how to correctly put the pasta with the sauce in the fryer basket without it leaking everywhere. Don’t worry. There are solutions even if you don’t have a suitable fireproof bowl that would fit in the air fryer. Here’s what to do.
Step 1: Preheat the Air Fryer and the Pasta
As the air fryer will heat up very quickly, and preparing the pasta doesn’t take long either, you can do everything simultaneously. So first, turn on the air fryer to 360 F to heat it up. During this time, take the fryer basket and line the inside with aluminum foil. This will create a bowl in which you can heat the food. Place the pasta inside to which you have added liquids as needed. If the pasta is dry, add water, favorite pasta sauce, or cooking cream. If you have pasta juicy enough, adding extra sauce is not necessary.
Step 2: Heat up for 5 to 7 Minutes
How long the heating cycle will take depends on the amount of pasta you have. The minimum warm-up will probably be five minutes. If you have a larger quantity, it will take an additional two to three minutes. Judge for yourself when the pasta is heated enough. We definitely recommend that you stir the pasta in the middle so that all parts and the interior are heated equally. Serve your hot dish right away.
Pasta is a great meal for any occasion, and you have thousands of options on what kind of sauce to prepare with it. Meat, vegetables, only tomatoes, cheese, and so on versions of pasta are available. If you run out of pasta, there are other replacements for pasta you can try.
Italians love this food and use every opportunity to enjoy good pasta. And when you love it so much, it happens that you inevitably have leftover noodles from lunch sometimes. Do not hesitate, store it in the refrigerator, feel free to reheat the next day, and the pasta will be equally delicious and tasty.
Image by depositphotos/kritchanut