Follow These Tips to Store Leftover Cooked Pasta
When cooking pasta, it is simple to overcook the amount called for in the recipe unless the recipe specifically states otherwise. The longer un-sauced pasta is left to rest, the more it becomes sticky and clumps together. Fortunately, there are several alternative techniques for preserving cooked pasta so that it may be used in other meals at a later date. The same method may be used with any form of pasta, including spaghetti, penne, and tiny shells; lasagna noodles and big shells for stuffing can also be preserved, although they don’t work quite as well as the smaller varieties of pasta.
Illustration courtesy of The Spruce (2018, 2018).
Storing Plain Pasta in the Fridge
When storing leftover cooked pasta, one of the most essential things to remember is to package it as quickly as possible after it is prepared. Cooked pasta should not be left out for more than two hours at a time to prevent the noodles from turning bad before their expiration date. The rest of the ingredients are as simple as a container with a tight-fitting cover or a zip-top bag, as well as a little oil or butter. Place the remaining pasta in a container or bag and sprinkle with a little quantity of olive oil or combine with a tiny amount of butter, tossing well to ensure that the spaghetti does not clump together and is lightly coated with the oil or butter.
- If you know that olive oil will enhance the flavor of the food you are cooking, use it; if you aren’t sure what you will be using the pasta for, a more neutral oil such as canola or vegetable is a decent alternative.
- The objective here is to keep the noodles from clinging to one another.
- Even if the spaghetti is still warm, be certain that it has completely cooled before sealing the container tightly.
- Squeeze out as much air as you can from a storage bag before shutting it up tightly.
- After that, the flavor will be diminished, and the likelihood of mold growth will increase.
Storing Plain Pasta in the Freezer
Alternatively, if you need to preserve the pasta for a longer amount of time, you may freeze plain cooked spaghetti. Freezer bags are ideal for this strategy because their thin substance is superior to the thicker walls of storage containers, which makes them more effective. In a manner similar to the refrigerating procedure, you must mix the pasta with a little oil or butter and squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing the bag. Frozen pasta may be kept for up to three months in the freezer, but for maximum freshness, it’s best to use the noodles within two months.
When thawing frozen pasta, it is recommended to do it in the refrigerator, which will take a few hours. Margot Cavin’s The Spruce is a novel about a woman who grows up on a spruce grove.
Storing Pasta With Sauce
You have the option of storing the sauce separately from the cooked pasta or combining the two before putting it in the fridge or freezer. By keeping them separately, you will have greater flexibility in the future and will be able to utilize the pasta for another meal. In addition, while the pasta rests in the sauce for a few days, it may become mushy and mushy again. If you are planning to use the pasta within a day or two, mixing the sauce and pasta together will allow the flavors to enter the noodles and result in a more delectable dish overall.
Using Leftover Pasta
If a recipe asks for chilly or cold pasta, such as in a casserole, pasta salad, or pasta frittata, use pasta that has been refrigerated overnight instead of fresh from the market. In order to keep the noodles warm, you may place them in a saucepan of quickly boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds, or until they are barely hot to the touch. Make sure not to keep the pasta in the water for more than one minute at a time, or it will get overcooked. reheat the sauce separately and then combine it with the hot pasta as if you were making it from scratch, like in the original recipe Cooking sauced pasta in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes with aluminum foil on top helps to keep the moisture in and prevents the pasta from drying out during reheating.
Although a microwave is handy, it might heat unevenly, resulting in a meal that is lacking in flavor.
Tips for Storing and Freezing Cooked Pasta So it Always Tastes Fresh
If possible, use freshly boiled pasta; nevertheless, cooked pasta can be stored for later use. If you know how to keep cooked pasta properly, you’ll be able to put up a quick dinner on those times when you’re pressed for time. We have some helpful ideas on how to store cooked pasta in the fridge or freezer, whether you produced too much or just want to get a jump start on meal prep for the week ahead of time. Each product that we showcase has been picked and vetted by our editorial staff after being thoroughly researched and tested.
We’ve all prepared more spaghetti than we could ever consume in a single sitting, and it can be difficult to part with the leftovers.
You are under no obligation to do so.
The finest ways to preserve cooked pasta in the fridge or freezer (without them becoming mushy or sticking together) so that you can reheat it for a fast supper are demonstrated.
How to Store Cooked Pasta
To store leftover pasta successfully, place the sauce and noodles in separate storage containers. Please keep this in mind when combining the sauce and pasta in the pot or when freezing leftovers (because, yes, you can freeze cooked pasta if you don’t plan on eating it for several days or even weeks after cooking it).
You’ll want to freeze the sauce separately from the pasta because the pasta and sauce will need to defrost or reheat at various times. If you have any leftover noodles, follow these instructions.
Storing Cooked Pasta in the Refrigerator
Allow for a brief cooling period after cooking, after which the pasta may be kept in airtight containers ($8.49, The Container Store) in the refrigerator for 3–5 days. If at all possible, keep the pasta and sauce apart from one another. To reheat the pasta, place it in boiling water for only a few seconds before draining.
Storing Cooked Pasta in the Freezer
When compared to refrigerating pasta, freezing pasta involves only one more step. Remove from heat and mix gently with a little olive oil or cooking oil (about 1 tablespoon oil for 8 ounces of cooked pasta) until the pasta is lightly coated. When the spaghetti is frozen, this helps to keep it from sticking together.) Fill airtight containers or freezer bags with the mixture. You can keep it for up to 2 months. If you have frozen spaghetti, throw it in a colander ($10.49, Target) in the sink and pour cool water over it to thaw it completely.
The length of time it takes to thaw and reheat pasta varies depending on the amount of pasta you’re using, but 1 to 2 minutes is generally sufficient to get pasta to the right temperature.
a bowl of handmade noodles on the counter
How to Store Fresh Pasta
You should keep fresh pasta in a different manner than dry spaghetti if you enjoy making your own at home. Purchased dry pasta may normally be stored in your cupboard for up to a year or longer after purchase. Because handmade pasta is created from scratch, it is more delicate. Uncooked handmade pasta may be stored up to 8 months if it is done correctly. If you’ve already prepared more fresh pasta than you can possibly consume, there’s no need to throw it out. It is also possible to store cooked fresh pasta in the same manner as we have shown earlier.
Then all you have to do is reheat the noodles for your subsequent meal.
How to Store Leftover Pasta
Documentation Download Documentation Download Documentation After preparing a delicious Italian supper for your family, you may find yourself perplexed as to what to do with the leftovers. Because of the perishable elements in plain cooked pasta and pasta recipes, it is critical that they are properly stored and kept. If not, they will rapidly lose their freshness and wetness, and may even begin to grow mold as a result. Keep leftover pasta refrigerated within two hours after serving it, and freeze any leftovers that you aren’t intending on eating right away to avoid this from happening.
- 1 Place the cooked pasta in an airtight container to keep the pasta fresh. The container you choose should have a tight-fitting lid or other sort of secure closing to prevent air from leaking out. When cooked pasta is exposed to the air, the wetness can provide a breeding ground for bacteria and mold, which can lead to food poisoning. Before putting the pasta away, double-check that the container is well sealed.
- Squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible before sealing and storing your pasta
- If you’re putting it in an airtight container, make sure the bag is airtight. Refrigerate leftover pasta within two hours after preparation to avoid it going bad too soon.
- 2 Toss the spaghetti with a little butter or olive oil. A small amount of oil or butter can help to prevent the cooked pasta from clumping and sticking together as it dries. Then, using a fork, gently coat the pasta with the oil or butter until it is equally covered. Reheating the dish will be considerably simpler as a result of this.
- For an average serving size, 1-2 tablespoons should be plenty. The spaghetti simply need a little coating of oil
- Nothing more. Just before you put your newly produced pasta in the refrigerator, toss it with flour.
- 3 Place the pasta in the refrigerator. Pasta that has been cooked but not yet sauced will normally keep for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. After that, the pasta will begin to lose its flavor and, if left unattended for an extended period of time, it may even mold. Keeping the pasta away from other meals that might impart undesirable scents is recommended.
- Look for an accessible location on the top or middle shelf where your leftovers will be visible to everyone. As a result, it is possible that you may forget about them
- You can reheat refrigerated pasta by immersing it in a pot of hot water for 20-30 seconds
- 4 Keep the spaghetti sauce in a separate container. If you’ve prepared a sauce to accompany the pasta, it should be stored in a separate container. When properly wrapped and refrigerated, most pasta sauces will last for approximately a week in the refrigerator. On the other hand, because of their acidity, tomato-based sauces tend to survive longer than cream-based sauces.
- In doubt about whether the sauce is still edible after 6-7 days, take a smell and apply your best judgment
- Otherwise, discard it. When serving leftover spaghetti sauce a second time, reheat it on the stovetop. Cream sauces may be difficult to reheat on their own since the fat and dairy components have a propensity to separate when refrigerated after cooking
- However, if you use a food processor, you can reheat cream sauces in minutes.
- 1 Place the leftovers in an airtight container to keep them fresh. Pasta that has previously been blended with sauce will keep perfectly well for several days. Using a Tupperware container or a big Ziploc bag, transfer the sauced pasta to a storage container. Before closing the container, make sure there is as little air as possible in it since pollution can accelerate the growth of mold.
- Wait until the hot pasta has cooled just above room temperature before transferring it to a separate storage container
- If you don’t have a lot of storage space, storing the pasta and sauce together might make your life a lot easier when it comes to meal preparation.
- 2 Put the pasta in the refrigerator to chill. Allow for the spaghetti to be stored on one of the top shelves. Because of the chilly weather, it will remain fresh for a few days. If you hide your leftovers beneath other goods, you risk forgetting about them until they spoil.
- It may be beneficial to identify your leftover pasta with the item name and the date it was prepared.
- 3 Make use of it within 2-3 days. Most sauced pastas may keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, but it is best if consumed within a day or two of preparation. The longer the pasta is allowed to rest, the more flavor it will absorb from the sauce. The pasta may get mushy and its more subtle flavors may be overwhelmed as a result of this.
- In the event that you are unsure whether or not you will be reheating the refrigerated pasta within this time range, it may be preferable to freeze it instead. It is possible that leftover pasta may taste even better the next day since the flavors will have had more time to combine.
- 4 Place the sauced pasta in the oven to reheat. Leftover pasta might be cooked unevenly in the microwave, resulting in a bland flavor. In order to achieve better results, scrape the chilled spaghetti onto a baking dish and bake it for approximately 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees C). Check to be that the pasta is well heated throughout, then take it from the oven and set it aside to cool before serving.
- Covering the baking dish with aluminum foil will assist to keep the moisture in the pasta while it cooks, preventing it from becoming too dry. Reheating sauced pasta on the stovetop over low heat while stirring regularly is an option as well.
- 1 Place the spaghetti that hasn’t been eaten in a big freezer bag. When it comes to pasta, one advantage is that it freezes well, regardless of whether it has been paired with a sauce or not. Before closing the bag, make sure to push out all of the excess air from the bag.
- Because plastic freezer bags are made of a thin material, they are more effective at freezing than bulkier containers. Before freezing the pastry, drizzle it with oil or butter to prevent it from sticking. The extra fat will come in helpful during the warming process, as it will help to break up any frozen clumps that have formed.
- 2 Place the pasta in the freezer for later use. Once frozen, the remaining pasta will keep for three months or longer in the freezer. However, to ensure that the leftover pasta retains its freshness and flavor, it should be consumed within one to two months of preparation.
- The flavor of high water content meals such as cooked pasta can be ruined if they are frozen for an extended period of time. It is also difficult to reheat correctly when frozen for an extended period of time. Make a note of the date on any frozen leftovers so you’ll remember to eat them up before they expire.
- 3 Thaw the pasta in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before reheating in a skillet. In lieu of making an attempt to defrost the frozen pasta at room temperature, place it in the refrigerator overnight. This will allow it to achieve a moderate temperature much more gradually, keeping the flavor and texture along the way. This may be accomplished by boiling the pasta and mixing it with the sauce, or it can be accomplished by baking a sauced spaghetti in the oven.
- It is possible that the spaghetti will need to be thawed thoroughly in the refrigerator for a few hours. Freshly thawed pasta that has been refrigerated for 3-4 days will normally be acceptable for another 3-4 days.
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- Leftover pasta is best warmed in the oven or on the stovetop over low heat for a more fresh flavor and consistency. Because of their high fat content, cream sauces should be refrigerated for a shorter amount of time and used sooner than tomato-based sauces. It’s best to use plastic wrap or aluminum foil to wrap a substantial part of leftover pasta before putting the full serving dish in the refrigerator. Refrigerating or freezing fresh handmade noodles is an excellent method to keep them fresh until you’re ready to use them in a recipe.
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- Leftover pasta should not be refrigerated or frozen for a second time after it has been thawed. If the pasta or sauce has an unpleasant odor or displays symptoms of mold or freezer burn, it should be discarded immediately. If certain foods have begun to produce germs, it is possible that they are dangerous to ingest.
Things You’ll Need
- Container for storing items in an airtight environment
- A refrigerator or a freezer is required. Using olive oil or butter is preferable. Reheat in the oven, on the stovetop, or in the microwave.
About This Article
To preserve leftover pasta that has already been blended with sauce, place it in a Tupperware container or a big Ziploc bag and seal it tightly. After that, store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 to 3 days before using. Adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter or olive oil to plain pasta before storing it can help to keep it from clumping or drying out during storage. Make sure to use airtight containers so that the pasta may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Continue reading for detailed instructions on how to freeze leftover pasta for up to many months. Did you find this overview to be helpful? Thank you to all writers for contributing to this page, which has been read 43,469 times so far.
Did this article help you?
Whether you prefer Italian or Asian cuisine, you should never be without noodles in your pantry. The best way to store uncooked noodles is to keep them in their unopened box in a cold, dry area until you’re ready to use them. The situation is quite different when it comes to preserving cooked noodles, which are prone to going bad very rapidly if not stored properly. Noodles that have been cooked can be kept in the refrigerator for up to five days, depending on the type of noodles. Many of them may also be stored in the freezer for up to two months, depending on how long they are kept there.
Because cooked noodles have a high concentration of moisture, it is essential to preserve them correctly after preparation.
Even cooked noodles can get sticky and moldy, which can make them unappealing to eat and make you want to throw up.
How to Store Cooked Egg Noodles
Once the cooked egg noodles have reached room temperature, they should be refrigerated in the refrigerator. To prevent them from absorbing moisture and becoming soggy, they should first be stored in an airtight plastic container or Ziploc bag. Cooked egg noodles may be kept for three to five days in the refrigerator if they are refrigerated properly.
How to Store Cooked Lasagna Noodles
Allowing the cooked lasagna noodles to cool to room temperature before placing them in an airtight plastic container such as a ziploc bag and storing them in the refrigerator is recommended. Taking these precautions helps to protect them from becoming moldy and rotten. Cooked lasagna noodles may be kept fresh for up to five days if they are refrigerated properly.
How to Store Cooked Pasta Noodles
Pasta noodles should be stored in the refrigerator since they contain a lot of moisture, which might stimulate mold growth. They will keep for three to five days in the refrigerator. Whenever possible, store the cooked pasta noodles and the sauce in different containers.
How to Store Cooked Spaghetti Noodles
Cooked spaghetti noodles should be allowed to cool fully before being stored in an airtight plastic container or ziploc bag and refrigerated for up to 3 days. The spaghetti noodles should be stored separately from the sauce in order to avoid them becoming mushy and swollen during storage and transportation. Because spaghetti noodles are among the most widely consumed forms of pasta on the globe, you may find yourself preparing them on a regular basis and so needing to address this important question:
How to store cooked spaghetti noodles warm
Spaghetti noodles that have been prepared should be kept warm on a counter top.
Putting them in a plastic container with a lid is not recommended since they will gather a lot of moisture and get mushy. Warm cooked spaghetti noodles can be kept in the oven or microwave to prevent them from becoming contaminated with dust and other debris.
How to Store Cooked Vermicelli Noodles
On a counter top, you should keep warm cooked spaghetti noodles. They should not be stored in a plastic container with a lid because they will absorb too much moisture and become mushy. Warm cooked spaghetti noodles can be kept in the oven or microwave to prevent them from becoming contaminated with dust and other particles.
How to Store Cooked Rice Noodles
Cooked rice noodles should be stored at room temperature in an airtight plastic container or a ziploc bag before being refrigerated. They may be kept fresh for three to four days if they are stored properly. Rice noodles, unlike certain other types of noodles, may be stored in the freezer for up to two months, depending on the temperature.
How to Store Cooked Cellophane Noodles
When finished cooking, cellophane noodles (also known as glass noodles) should be allowed to cool before being placed in an airtight plastic container or ziploc bag and stored in the refrigerator for three to five days. Instead of storing them in the refrigerator, they should be placed in the freezer for up to two months to maintain their outstanding condition.
How to Store Cooked Macaroni Noodles
When you have finished cooking your macaroni noodles, let them cool fully at room temperature before placing them in an airtight plastic container or ziploc bag to store in the refrigerator. Keeping them in the freezer can keep them fresh for up to two to three months. Refrigeration or freezing of cooked macaroni noodles without the sauce is recommended.
How to Store Cooked Pho Noodles
Once the pho noodles have cooled, put them to an airtight plastic container or a ziploc bag and store them in the refrigerator for up to three to five days. After that, put them in the refrigerator to keep them cool. Instead of storing cooked pho noodles in the refrigerator, they should be placed in the freezer to preserve their freshness for up to two months.
How to Store Cooked Ramen Noodles
Cooked ramen noodles can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days, especially if they are allowed to cool before being placed in an airtight plastic container or ziploc bag. Cooked ramen noodles can be stored in the refrigerator with the broth for up to five days, although the quality will deteriorate over time.
How to Store Cooked Shirataki Noodles
Cooked shirataki noodles, also known as miracle noodles or konjac noodles, should be stored refrigerated after being allowed to come to room temperature. They may be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week if they are placed in an airtight plastic container or ziploc bag. Shirataki noodles may be stored in the freezer for up to two months after they have been cooked.
How to Store Cooked Soba Noodles
Cooked soba noodles, like many other types of noodles, are best stored in the refrigerator, where they can last up to five days if properly preserved. They should be stored in an airtight plastic container or a ziploc bag to prevent bacterial growth. Prior to storing cooked soba noodles in the refrigerator, make sure they have been well drained to avoid them becoming soggy.
How to Store Cooked Somen Noodles
Cooked somen noodles should be stored in an airtight plastic container or a ziploc bag to prevent them from drying out.
Place the plastic container or bag in the coldest part of the refrigerator to preserve the fruits and vegetables in peak condition for up to five days. Somen noodles are particularly appealing since they may be eaten cold, which is particularly convenient during the warmer months.
How to Store Cooked Zucchini Noodles
Cooked somen noodles should be stored in an airtight plastic container or a ziploc bag to prevent them from being contaminated. For best results, store the plastic container or bag in the refrigerator’s coldest section for five days to ensure that they remain in peak condition. Somen noodles have the advantage of being able to be served cold, which is particularly convenient during the warmer months of the year.
How to Store Cooked Noodles With Olive Oil
For storage purposes, put the cooked noodles with olive oil to an airtight plastic container or ziploc bag and keep them in the refrigerator. One of the most appealing aspects of cooked noodles with olive oil is that the oil helps to protect the noodles from excessive moisture, which is why they may be stored for up to a week.
How to Store Cooked Noodles Overnight
Even if the noodles will be used the following day, it is advisable to keep them refrigerated once they have been prepared. Firstly, they must be allowed to cool to room temperature before being placed in an airtight plastic container or ziploc bag and then placed in the refrigerator. The following day, pour boiling water over them.
Just Before You Store Cooked Noodles
Noodles made from different components and for different purposes may be made and utilized in a variety of ways. However, when it comes to keeping them, particularly when they have been cooked, they all require essentially the same conditions. Because they contain a high concentration of moisture, they are susceptible to becoming soggy and moldy. This is why it is necessary to keep cooked noodles in an airtight plastic container or a Ziploc bag before placing them in the refrigerator. The bulk of them will remain edible for up to five days after being prepared.
Place cooked noodles in an airtight container or ziploc bag while they are still hot to prevent them from becoming soggy.
What is the shelf life of uncooked noodles? Uncooked noodles can be stored for up to two years beyond their best-by date if they are not opened and kept in a cool, dry environment. If the pasta packing has been opened, transfer the uncooked pasta to an airtight plastic container and keep it in the pantry or cabinet until needed. What are the symptoms that a batch of cooked noodles is no longer edible? Cooked noodles that have become slimy and mushy are no longer appropriate for human eating. Depending on how old they are, they may or may not have mold.
How Long Does Pasta Last in the Fridge?
Pasta is one of the most popular foods in the world. Pasta, which was traditionally manufactured from wheat, is now available in a variety of forms, including pea, lentil, bean, and other gluten-free alternatives. When it comes to dried pasta, it may remain for years in your pantry; but, after it has been cooked, you may question how long it will keep in the fridge. This article discusses how long different varieties of pasta survive in the refrigerator, as well as the recommended storage procedures to ensure that they stay as fresh as possible for the longest period of time.
This is due to the fact that cooked pasta includes moisture, which will eventually result in mold development, and that colder temperatures will slow the expiration process of the pasta ( 1 , 2 , 3 ).
Most of the predicted fridge life of different varieties of pasta is dictated by their principal ingredients, such as whether they are produced from lentils, wheat or include eggs. Listed below are the shelf lives of some of the most common varieties of pasta (4, 5, and 6) in the refrigerator:
- Fresh handmade wheat pasta should be consumed within 4–5 days
- Fresh store-bought wheat pasta should be consumed within 1–3 days
- Cooked wheat pasta should be consumed within 3–5 days. Gluten-free pasta takes 3–5 days to prepare
- Lentil, bean, or pea-based spaghetti takes 3–5 days. Tortellini or other packed pasta should be eaten within 3–5 days
- Lasagna or other cooked pasta with sauce should be eaten within 5 days.
Please keep in mind that these are general estimates, and that specific meals may differ, but you can expect that most cooked pasta will survive less than a week. It is still necessary to thoroughly inspect your pasta to ensure that there are no symptoms of deterioration before you consume it. SYNOPSIS: Cooked and freshly produced handmade pasta should be stored in the refrigerator to prevent mold growth and to keep its freshness for as long as possible after preparation. The majority of pastas will keep in the fridge for 3–5 days.
One of the most telltale indicators of outdated pasta is that it has turned slimy or sticky, which generally occurs just before visible mold begins to bloom on the surface.
Occasionally, you may even be able to smell when your pasta has begun to go bad and should be thrown out.
Risks of eating expired pasta
Eating old pasta might make you sick if hazardous bacteria are growing on it, and different individuals may be affected in various ways by doing so. You may develop food poisoning symptoms that range from mild to severe, depending on what was growing on the pasta you consumed. A foodborne illness’s most common symptoms are gastrointestinal in origin, resulting in a sour stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting, among other symptoms ( 7 ). B. cereus is one of the most frequent foodborne pathogens that may develop on old pasta, and it can cause cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting in susceptible individuals.
- It is more probable that if you consume old pasta that also contains other components, such as meat, eggs, or dairy products, that it will be exposed to other common bacteria such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium, or Listeriaas well as other pathogens ( 7 ).
- SUMMARYEating expired pasta increases the chance of contracting a variety of foodborne diseases, which can include stomach distress, diarrhea, and vomiting, among other symptoms.
- Once you have finished cooking the pasta, let any leftovers to cool completely before storing them in the refrigerator within 2 hours of cooking.
- Pasta should be kept in shallow, sealed containers or resealable plastic bags in the refrigerator.
In order to avoid the remaining cooked noodles from adhering together too much in the fridge, a small amount of olive oil may be drizzled over them. Last but not least, maintain your refrigerator at 40°F (4°C) or below to ensure that cold goods are preserved ( 3 ).
How to safely reheat leftover pasta
Leftover pasta may be eaten cold directly from the fridge or reheated using one of several techniques that have been proven to be effective over time. Plain pasta without sauce can be reheated in a colander in boiling water for around 30–60 seconds if you’re eating it on its own. Leftover pasta and sauce can be cooked in the oven for approximately 20 minutes at 350°F (176°C) if they are stored in a heat-safe dish. It may also be heated in a pan on the stovetop over medium heat, slowly swirling the mixture to ensure that it is properly heated.
- Simply use the reheat settings on your microwave and carefully toss the spaghetti until there are no cold spots remaining.
- It’s important to reheat food completely at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius) and consume it within 2 hours to avoid bacterial development ( 10 ).
- Leftovers can be eaten cold or warmed in a variety of ways, including boiling water, the stovetop, the microwave, or the oven.
- While dry pasta may be stored for a lengthy period of time in the cupboard, cooked and fresh handmade pasta should be used as soon as possible.
- It is possible to get foodborne disease after consuming outdated pasta, which is comparable to the hazards associated with eating other expired foods, such as meat.
How to Freeze Cooked Pasta (spaghetti, shells & other pasta)
What if I told you that you could freeze cooked pasta? Learn how to freeze shells, spaghettiegg noodles, and other pasta dishes — with or without sauce. The perfect solution for feeding the baby or preparing a quick meal for the family! If we could just click our fingers and dinner would prepare itself, wouldn’t that be wonderful? Of course, such a thing will never happen. Having a few pantry basics on hand, such asInstant Pot Beans orHomemade Chicken Stock, is the next best thing to having a fully stocked pantry.
I generally use a kitchen scale (I have this one) to measure out the precise amount of pasta we need, but when my husband said he’d eat leftovers, I cooked an entire box of spaghetti for the family.
We had a LOT of spaghetti leftover from the night before. Such that we couldn’t possibly finish it all without feeling sick to our stomachs. When I started thinking about what we might do to prevent the pasta from going to waste, I came up with the idea of freezing the cooked spaghetti.
Why would you consider freezing pasta?
Aside from following your husband’s advice and cooking too much pasta, there are a few good reasons to freeze pasta:
- Batch cooking is when you intentionally create more than you need in order to save time later on. Pasta leftovers: You accidently prepared too much and don’t want it to go to waste, so you freeze it. Preparing for Two Meals at the Same Time: Because you have pasta on your meal plan twice, you’re being efficient with your time and preparing for both meals at the same time.
How to Freeze Cooked Pasta
Using the following method, you may prevent your pasta from becoming mushy later:
- Cook the spaghetti just a tad too long. Cook the pasta until it is al dente, which means it is slightly undercooked. If the package specifies that the noodles should be cooked for 9-11 minutes, the timer for cooking the noodles should be set for 8 minutes. Rinse your pasta under cold running water to remove any excess starch. The cold water aids in the halting of the cooking process, which is the same reason we place hard cooked eggs in a water bath. Toss the cooked pasta with a little extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil will assist in preventing the pasta from sticking together while it is frozen, while it is stored, and while it is used in a dish later on. Tip: To save time and dishes, toss the pasta back into the pot it was originally cooked in. Prepare the spaghetti by freezing it. Place the pasta on a baking sheet (I have one like this) in a single layer and bake for 15 minutes. This is critical because if the spaghetti is not laid out in a single layer, it will clump together as it freezes, which is undesirable. When freezing long noodles (spaghetti, fettuccine, angel hair, and so on), form “nests” rather than freezing them in a single layer by twisting a fork through the tossed pasta before freezing it. As soon as you have approximately a 12 cup of spaghetti on your fork, carefully transfer the pasta to a baking sheet. Leave a few inches of space between each nest. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for at least one hour, and up to eight hours is recommended. Transfer the pasta to a container that can be frozen. The containers can be a set of glass storage containers (I have a set like these), glass jars (here’s how to freeze glass jars without shattering them), or freezer bags.
I recommend keeping the pasta in portions that are similar to those that would be used in a dish, such as 4 or 8 ounces. Take special care to ensure that all of the air has been removed from the bag to avoid freezer burn, and label your container!
How to Thaw Frozen Pasta
- Pour WARM (not HOT) water over the pasta and toss to combine. To bring the noodles to room temperature, gently toss in the frozen pasta directly into the dish
- Repeat with the remaining frozen pasta. This will cause the pasta to thaw and the dish to become somewhat cold, so make sure the pasta is well cooked before serving it. Also, avoid overstirring the noodles by placing them immediately into a pot of boiling water rather than in a colander. This will immediately defrost the noodles and cook them for one minute in the microwave
- Simply place the container in the microwave.
Do you need some sauce and/or dish suggestions for frozen pasta? Here are some of my personal favorites:
- Hearty Spaghetti Sauce (with 15-minute Italian meatballs! )
- 15-Minute Alfredo Sauce
- Creamy Cauliflower Sauce
- Weeknight Creamy Mushroom Pasta
- Savory Pasta with Onion, BaconGreens
- Creamy Squash Pasta Bake
- Slow Cooker Beef Ragu
- Slow Cooker Beef Macaroni and Cheese on the Stovetop
- Pumpkin Chili Macaroni
- Lentil Macaroni and Cheese
- And more.
Can you freeze cooked pasta with meat sauce (or with pesto)?
Yes! Alternatively, you may freeze the pasta in its whole with meat sauce, pesto, or whatever freezer-friendly sauce you happen to have on hand. In an oven-safe dish, you’ll want to reheat this meal before serving.
Can you freeze spaghetti?
Yes! When freezing long noodles, such as spaghetti, make sure to arrange them in “nests” rather than freezing them in a single layer. Simply use a fork to twist the tossed pasta into nests approximately 1/2 cup in size, and then gently transfer the pasta nest to a baking sheet to cool completely. Leave a few inches of space between each nest. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for at least one hour, and up to eight hours is recommended.
What about whole dishes – can you freeze pasta casserole or freeze pasta meals?
Yes! You should be able to freeze dishes such as jalapeño popper chicken or creamy squash pasta bake without any problems. Simply reheat in the oven until hot and ready to serve.
What else can you freeze, besides pasta?
The freezer is my go-to food preservation option for a wide variety of goods, including:
- Strawberry, yogurt, cauliflower rice, pizza dough, herbs, ginger, and tomato paste are some of the ingredients.
Freezing meals, especially leftovers, is one of the ways we are able to buy good food while staying within our financial means.
How about you – have you ever considered freezing cooked pasta before? I’d love to hear what you think about this. Leave your thoughts and comments below!
- In the refrigerator, how long does cooked pasta keep its freshness? The specific answer to that query is dependent on the storage circumstances – refrigerate pasta within two hours of cooking
- Store pasta in an airtight container. Refrigerate cooked pasta in shallow airtight containers or resealable plastic bags to extend the shelf life of the pasta while maintaining safety and quality. Unless refrigerated, cooked pasta can keep for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator if stored properly. What is the maximum amount of time cooked pasta may be kept at room temperature? Bacteria develop fast at temperatures ranging from 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit
- Cooked pasta should be thrown if it has been left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Prepare cooked pasta ahead of time and freeze it in closed airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags to extend its shelf life even more. It is recommended to freeze prepared pasta meals that incorporate sauce rather than cooked dry pasta, which may become too mushy when thawed. Can cooked pasta be stored in the freezer for a lengthy period of time? When properly stored, it will retain its finest quality for around 1 to 2 months, but will stay safe for an extended period of time after that. However, cooked pasta that has been frozen at 0°F for an extended period of time will remain safe permanently
- The freezer time indicated is solely for optimal quality. What is the shelf life of cooked pasta after it has been frozen and thawed? The pasta may be stored in the refrigerator for an additional 3 to 4 days after it has been cooked if it has been thawed in the refrigerator
- However, pasta that has been thawed in the microwave or cold water should be consumed immediately. What is the best way to know whether cooked pasta is bad? Immediately reject any cooked pasta that acquires an unpleasant odor, flavor, or look, or if mold forms. Do not taste the pasta before discarding it.
Sources: For more information on the data sources that were utilized to compile food storage information, please see this page.
Learn how to store pasta and reduce your food waste
Is it possible to freeze cooked pasta? The question may appear to be a joke at first glance, but it is actually rather serious. Since most of us prepare much too much pasta at times, understanding how to properly store cooked pasta is essential for avoiding excessive food waste. Because it’s quite simple (and safe) to do so, it applies to many forms of pasta, including spaghetti, fusilli and penne (to mention a few examples). It is preferable to store your cooked pasta separately from the sauce in order to achieve the best results.
More beneficial meal preparation advice may be found on our hub page.
How to freeze cooked pasta
If you aren’t planning on returning to your leftover spaghetti for a few days, freezing it is a terrific way to avoid wasting money on groceries. In order to avoid cooked pasta from sticking together when defrosting in the freezer, combine it with a tablespoon of olive oil before placing it in the freezer. It will keep for up to two weeks in this state if stored in an airtight container.
Likewise, there is no need to defrost your frozen pasta when you are ready to cook with or serve it. You may thaw it in a pan of boiling water for a couple of minutes, or you can defrost it in a pot with a sauce for three to five minutes (or until scalding hot).
How to store cooked pasta in the fridge
You may store the pasta in the fridge for up to three days if you plan to use it within the following couple of days. Simply transfer the pasta to an airtight food container or silicone bag and store it in the fridge for up to three days. The pasta may be heated in a saucepan of boiling water for a minute, or it can be mixed with your favorite sauce and heated in a saucepan for two to three minutes.
- Pasta primavera is a nutritious dish that is filled with vegetables. Veggie pasta bake with blue cheese and spinach is a delicious meal. Keeping potatoes in the refrigerator
Pasta is a dish that may be prepared quickly and easily. But, have you ever been stumped as to what to do with leftover cooked or boiled pasta? Does having to throw away leftovers because they have lost their freshness in a short period of time make you hate the thought of doing so? Throughout this post, we’ll show you three different techniques for preserving cooked pasta while maintaining its flavor, texture, and freshness. It’s worth a shot! Method 1: How to keep leftover cooked pasta fresh for a long time Cook the pasta according to package directions, making sure it is al dente.
- It should be rinsed with cold water and drained twice before being allowed to cool for approximately an hour.
- Make sure you don’t overcrowd the spaghetti in order to avoid it sticking together.
- It is important to ensure that the bag or container used to store the pasta is adequately sealed in order to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria as a result of the reaction between the moisture contained inside the pasta and the surrounding air.
- Method 2: Placing cooked pasta in the freezer for later use Place the cooked pasta in an airtight container and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil to prevent the pasta from sticking together and to make it simpler to reheat the spaghetti later in the day.
- You can reheat it whenever you want, and you can use any sauce you like.
- Method 3: Preserving pasta without sauce However, if you keep them individually, you will have a greater variety of alternatives when it comes time to consume them.
- In the event that you are unsure if you will be devouring the leftovers within that timeframe, it is best to keep the pasta and sauce separately in the freezer.
- It is possible to reheat the pasta by dipping it into hot water for 30-60 seconds, depending on how urgently you need it.
- If you want to reheat fried pasta, wrap it in tin foil to keep it wet and bake it for 10 minutes at 150 degrees for 10 minutes.
When it comes to keeping pasta and sauce, what is your preferred method? Use our social media channels to share your thoughts and questions with us. We have Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.
3 Tips for Freezing Cooked Pasta
Cooking spaghetti isn’t rocket science, and it doesn’t need a lot of effort or preparation time. When you’re pressed for time, even five to ten minutes might seem like an eternity when you’re on a tight schedule. It’s time to get out the frozen cooked spaghetti. As previously said, pre-cooked frozen spaghetti reheats rapidly, allowing you to have something warm and filling in your stomach before a pot of water can even come to boil. Would you like to create some in your own home? Here are a couple of pointers!
1. Cook until just less than al dente.
To prepare your pasta ahead of time, cook it until it is just under al dente. When pasta that has been cooked to a slightly softer texture is reheated, the texture becomes mushy. Firmer is preferable, but make sure it’s still edible before putting it into the freezer. Reheating it in sauce will allow you to cook it to the perfect texture and prevent the sad mushy results of boiling it on its own.
2. Opt for a few containers or one.
It is possible to freeze your pasta in tiny zip-top bags or freezer-safe containers, or you may use a baking sheet to freeze your spaghetti. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper and lightly tossing the noodles with olive oil. If you’re using short pasta, make sure it’s spread out in a single layer. Long noodles may be stacked in little nests to make freezing and storing them more convenient. Store them in this manner in the freezer until they are completely frozen, then move them to a big zip-top bag.
It’s a hat trick!
3. Reheat in the microwave or stovetop.
To reheat your pasta in the microwave, spread it out flat in your container before putting it in the microwave. It makes no difference whether the container is round or square; as long as the pasta is laid level in the container, the microwave will be able to reach all of the pieces at the same time and heat them equally. The pasta may be put into a pot of simmering sauce or into a skillet dish that has been pulled directly from the freezer if you prefer to cook on the stovetop. The defrosting and heating will take place rapidly in the warm sauce or hot pan.
Featured ContributorSarah Rae Smith has lived all throughout the Midwest and is presently a resident of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, which is known for its bratwurst.
Have Leftover Pasta? Don’t Toss It—Freeze It!
Consider the following scenario: you have leftover pasta from your spaghetti supper. In order to ensure that no one goes hungry, I prefer to cook extra, which results in mountains of leftovers.) You don’t want to throw it away, but can you freeze spaghetti noodles instead of throwing them away? Yes! Cooked spaghetti may be stored in the freezer for use as a last-minute dinner option. Here’s what you should do.
How to Freeze Pasta
Food may be frozen in a relatively easy manner. You can freeze almost any type of cooked pasta, but the way the noodles are cooked can make a significant difference when it comes time to defrost them.
(There is no need to freeze uncooked pasta because it has a shelf life of one to two years and may be stored in the refrigerator. It is unlikely that any mold or germs will grow in your pantry.)
Step 1: Cook Your PastaAl Dente
Spaghetti may absolutely be stored in the freezer. Cook your pasta until it is al dente. If the noodles are excessively soft or mushy, they may not be able to withstand the warming process. Add a small amount of olive oil to your long noodles while they’re still hot to prevent them from clumping together during preparation. Did you know that you may freeze a variety of other items as well?
Step 2: Transfer to Freezer
After allowing for complete cooling, place the pasta in airtight freezer-safe bags or containers. Alternatively, you may arrange cooked pasta in a single layer on a baking sheet, freeze it, and then move it to an airtight container.
How to Thaw and Use Pasta
Cooked pasta may be stored in the freezer for up to three months at room temperature. When you’re ready to defrost the pasta, place it in the refrigerator to allow it to thaw. Then, toss the pasta into a pot of boiling water (or reheat it in the microwave) to finish cooking. Additionally, you may add the pasta to a brothy soup (hint: learn how to freeze soup!) or a slow cooker meal when it is almost through cooking. You want to make sure the pasta is thoroughly cooked without becoming mushy—this will not take long!
It takes only minutes to prepare this classic Italian entrée, yet it tastes as if it has been cooking for hours. It’s quite yummy and simple to prepare. It is always a hit with my family. —Carolyn Henderson from Maple Plain, Minnesota
Almost too simple to be true, this creamy mac and cheese recipe is delicious. The creamy cheese flavor is usually a favorite with children, but I’ve never met an adult who didn’t enjoy it just as much. • Ann Bowers from Rockport, Texas
Chicken Pesto with Pasta
This warm chicken pesto pasta is complemented by a prepared sauce. Refrigerate or store pesto until you need it for a dish with leftover chicken. —Taste of Home Cooking Demonstration Kitchen
Three-Cheese Meatball Mostaccioli
When my husband has to travel for work, I prepare a special supper for my children to get their minds off of how much they miss their father. This delicious mostaccioli is a work of meatball wizardry. Brighton, Michigan resident Jennifer Gilbert contributed to this article.
Bucatini with SausageKale
I was pressed for time, but I still wanted to prepare a special supper for my husband and myself. Our dinner that night consisted of a simple spaghetti dish using spicy sausage and our own fresh greens. The following is from Angela Lemoine, of Howell, New Jersey:
Asparagus Ham Dinner
Since I started preparing this low-fat ham meal for my family, it has become a family tradition that we look forward to every week. With asparagus, tomato, pasta, and ham bits, this dish is a tantalizing combination of flavors and textures. • Rhonda Zavodny from David City, Nebraska
Traditional Italian Wedding Soup
Not only do you not have to be Italian to enjoy this simple soup made with little round noodles, but anybody can! Make your own meatballs, but use pre-made stock and rotisserie chicken instead of making your own. Mary Sheetz of Carmel, Indiana, sent in this message.
Olive and Red Pepper Linguine
With 16 grandchildren, I’ve discovered that there is always someone who wants something to eat.
When I’m pressed for time, this is the dish I turn to. I like to serve it with garlic bread for a quick and easy vegetarian supper on occasion. Barbara Carpenter of Hookstown, Pennsylvania, contributed to this article.
Decadent Spinach-Stuffed Shells
This delicious filled shells meal was originally developed for Christmas Eve dinner, but it is so delicious that we eat it all year long. It’s simple to construct and freeze for use at a later time, plus it’s delicious. Any remaining cheese mixture may be served as a dip, either cold or cooked in ramekins till lightly toasted if you have any left over. If you don’t care for roasted red peppers, feel free to use chopped sun-dried tomatoes in the filling and any other spaghetti sauce of your choice instead.
By fortifying the sauce with cream cheese, you can finish my version of an old-time traditional carbonara dish in less than 30 minutes, saving you valuable time. — Celeste Brantolino of Lenoir, North Carolina, has submitted this entry.
Southwest Pasta Bake
This delicious dish is made lower in fat and calories thanks to the use of fat-free cream cheese and reduced-fat cheddar. It’s a terrific approach to persuade our children to eat spinach while appearing to be eating something else. Carol Lepak of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, sent in this message.
Pretty Penne Ham Skillet
Because I’m a working nurse, I need meals that are quick and convenient. This pasta dish is a delicious change of pace from traditional potato-ham casseroles. – Kathy Stephan of West Seneca, New York —
Favorite Baked Spaghetti
My grandchildren’s favorite dish is this baked spaghetti, which I make every week. It has the atmosphere of a special supper and is especially warm and inviting in the winter. Elizabeth Miller of Westminster, Maryland, sent this in:
Mediterranean Pork and Orzo
This lunch in a bowl is one of my go-to options when I’m having a particularly hectic day. It’s simple to set together, which means you’ll have much more time to relax at the table. — Mary Relyea of Canastota, New York, is a writer.
Mexican Pasta Bake
When compared to traditional pasta casseroles, this dish is a delightful change of pace. What about the corkscrew noodles? They make it enjoyable! Bigfork, Minnesota resident Joy Smith shared her thoughts on the subject.
Artichoke Florentine Pasta
It’s everything a Sunday supper should be: rich, flavorful, and unforgettable. Pasta stuffed with artichokes and creamy cheese is a dish that everyone will remember. If you’d like, you may also include cooked chicken, shrimp, or crab. Nancy Beckman of Helena, Montana, contributed to this article.
Makeover Traditional Lasagna
In the past, I’ve been reluctant to share my particular recipes with others, but this one is so delicious that it’s now become a Christmas Eve tradition in our family! —Michelle Behan, a resident of Littleton, Colorado
Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup
After the birth of our baby, we were treated to this delicious, soothing, and creamy chicken noodle soup by a close friend. It was such a relief to know that supper would be taken care of until I could get back on my feet. This delectable dish is so simple to prepare that I now distribute a pot of it (along with the recipe) to other new moms who are in need of nourishment. • Joanna Sargent, from Sandy, Utah
Growing up, this was the dinner that I looked forward to on my birthday every year.
My mother created her own spaghetti sauce from scratch, but I save time by using store-bought spaghetti sauce. If you like a spicier dish, Italian sausage can be substituted for the ground beef. Deb Morrison of Skiatook, Oklahoma, contributed to this article.
Barbecue Pork and Penne Skillet
I’m the proud mother of two amazing and energetic children that I’m really proud of. Especially if I have leftover pulled pork, simple, delicious, and quick dinners like this BBQ pork skillet are excellent for us to share together after school activities. Mrs. Judy Armstrong, of Prairieville, Louisiana
Easy Stuffed Shells
I made this dish together on the spur of the moment when we had unexpected visitors. It was an instant smash, and it has since become a family favorite. Participate with your children while assembling this straightforward delicious recipe. Doris Betchner of Cudahy, Wisconsin, sent in this message:
Spinach-Beef Spaghetti Pie
When I serve this cheesy ground beef, tomato, and spinach pie, it is usually a success because of the angel hair pasta crust that it is made with. There are layers of pasta, cream cheese filling and spinach on top of each tidy piece of pie. Carol Hicks is credited with inventing the term “celebrity.” Located in the Florida city of Pensacola
Slow-Simmered Meat Ragu
It’s not your average spaghetti sauce after a day of boiling in the slow-cooker, but it’s still delicious. It’s almost like a stew, so you may omit the pasta if you choose. — Laurie LaClair of North Richland Hills, Texas, sent in this photo.
Mini MacCheese Bites
I needed something festive to serve to young cousins who were coming for a Christmas celebration. I wanted something that they would like. Instead, my tiny macaroni and cheese was consumed by the adults. Elizaville, New York resident Kate Mainiero shared her thoughts on the subject.
Lemon Chicken Pasta
My grandma used to make chicken wings and serve them over a bed of white rice. Cooking lemony chicken breasts and serving them over capellini pasta is a quick and easy way to get dinner on the table. —Aileen Rivera, from the Bronx, New York City
Spicy Veggie Pasta Bake
Because my father cooked using cast-iron skillets, whenever I use one, I am reminded of his incredible culinary abilities. With my vegetable spaghetti, I’m continuing the family heritage. — Sonya Goergen, of Moorhead, Minnesota, is a writer.
Parmesan Bow Tie Pasta with Chicken
Chicken and yellow squash mixed with bow tie pasta is something we like on lazy summer days. For a special Sunday touch, top with more freshly grated Parmesan. Bangor, Maine resident Sarah Smiley shared her thoughts on the subject.
Sausage Spaghetti Spirals
Featuring meaty pieces of sausage and green pepper, this savory dish is a favorite in my house. The recipe yields a large pan, which is ideal for serving at a potluck gathering. Carol Carolton of Wheaton, Illinois, sent in this message.
Creamy Paprika Pork
When I was younger, I would frequently request that my mother prepare “favorite meat.” She was well aware that I had requested this hearty pork meal. More than 30 years have passed since it was purchased by my family, and it continues to be a family favorite! Alexandria Barnett, of Forest, Virginia, sent the following response:
Contest-Winning Greek Pasta Bake
I’ve brought this hot meal to potlucks and it’s always gotten a lot of positive feedback.
There’s never a bite of food left over. Best of all, it’s a quick, nutritious, and filling meal that can be created using materials that are readily available. —Anne Taglienti, a resident of Kennett Square in Pennsylvania
Sea Scallops and Fettuccine
This beautiful and lemony pasta dish is so simple to prepare that it has quickly become one of our family’s weekly supper staples. However, it is also formal enough to be served to visitors. Do you want to be a part of something bigger than yourself?
Italian Sausage with Bow Ties
When we have visitors around, we frequently serve our favorite pasta, and I’ve shared this Italian sausage dish with them on multiple occasions. Many of my friends are now making it for their own families as well. — Janelle Moore, of Auburn, Washington, is a writer.
Potluck Antipasto Pasta Salad
I enjoy experimenting with different recipes, and this recipe for Italian pasta salad far outperforms any of the others I’ve tried. With beans, cheese, sausage, and veggies, it’s a filling side dish that goes well with any dinner. Barbara Nelson of Arcadia, California, contributed to this article.
Pasta Squiggles with Pumpkin Sauce
My family enjoys this spiral pasta dish with a delicious pumpkin sauce. It’s a great dish to make for Halloween and name Creepy-Crawly Noodles! Lawrenceville, Georgia resident Lilly Julow writes:
School-Night Sausage Stroganoff
It’s been around 25 years since I discovered this recipe in an old church cookbook and adapted it to suit the preferences of my family. It’s a flavorful, creamy dish that can be prepared quickly on a hectic school night. —Kristine Chayes from Smithtown, New York.
Creamy Chicken Fettuccine
The use of convenient canned soup and processed American cheese expedites the production of this creamy sauce, which is laden with delectable bits of chicken. —Melissa Cowser from Greenville, Texas.
White Cheddar MacCheese
My mac and cheese is straightforward, but it is packed with flavor thanks to the cheeses and ground chipotle pepper. I prefer to use conchiglie pasta since the form allows for more melted cheese to collect inside the pasta shells. —Colleen Delawder of Herndon, Virginia says, “Yum!”
Slow-Cooker Pizza Casserole
When you’re cooking for a large group of people, a hearty casserole with broad appeal is precisely what you need. It may also be kept heated in a slow cooker for increased convenience. Virginia Krites, of Cridersville, Ohio, sent this message:
Slow-Cooker Mac and Cheese
This traditional casserole is a delicious and cheesy vegetarian main meal that is sure to please. I’ve never met somebody who didn’t want a second serving of whatever they were eating. — Bernice Glascoe of Roxboro, North Carolina, is a writer.
Cashew-Chicken Rotini Salad
Over the years, I’ve experimented with a variety of chicken salad recipes, but this is my absolute favorite. With its fresh fruit flavor and crisp crunch from the cashews, this dish is sure to please. When I bring it to a party or a picnic, I always receive amazing reviews—and (always) come home with an empty bowl! —Kara Cook, Elk Ridge, Utah
Easy Swedish Meatballs
This dish is made up of things that we usually have in our pantry. To prepare this saucy dish in minutes, prepare your favorite noodles on the stovetop while your delicate handmade meatballs are cooking in the microwave. • Sheryl Ludeman from Kenosha, Wisconsin •
Garden Vegetable Primavera
Although I like this dish throughout the year, it is made much more special when I utilize veggies from my own garden to make the dish.
A splash of white wine and a sprinkling of fresh basil enhance the taste of this dish significantly. I’ve also roasted the veggies and added chicken breasts to the mix, and the results have been delicious. Caroline Curtin of Ellicott City, Maryland
Easy Chicken Tetrazzini
It’s simple to make this chicken tetrazzini, which uses leftover cooked chicken and canned soup. Because it’s so simple to put together, it’s the ideal recipe for hectic weeknights. Having time to accomplish other things will give you more time once the food is in the oven, which will give you more flexibility. Mrs. Martha Sue Stroud of Clarksville, Texas sent this message:
Triple Cheese Twists
The buttery crumb topping on our stovetop macaroni and cheese elevates it to a whole new level of deliciousness. —Taste of Home Cooking Demonstration Kitchen
Eggplant Sausage Casserole
If you want your children to eat their eggplant without complaining, offer it in this beautiful tiered dish. It is something that our entire family likes. It’s always a hit at potlucks, and it’s also a fantastic meal to serve to guests. Carol Mieske of Red Bluff, California, contributed to this article.
Hay and Straw
This dish is not only quick and simple to create, but it is also visually appealing. This vibrant pasta dish mixes julienned ham, Parmesan cheese, peas, and linguine to create a vibrant presentation. Hagerstown, Maryland resident Priscilla Weaver shared her thoughts.
Sweet Macaroni Salad
This macaroni salad is made extra remarkable with a sweet, out-of-the-ordinary dressing. The recipe was given to me by my aunt, and it has quickly become one of my favorites. I periodically omit the green pepper if I know that some people don’t care for it, and the dish still turns out delicious. Cocoa Beach, Florida resident Idalee Scholz contributed to this article.
Eggplant Zucchini Bolognese
I roast the vegetables as the spaghetti is cooking, which makes this a quick and easy recipe. Fresh tastes and rustic comfort come together in this meal-in-a-bowl. —Trisha Kruse of Eagle, Idaho, says
Grandma’s Cajun ChickenSpaghetti
I’m originally from Louisiana, where my grandmother taught me how to make spicy chicken spaghetti while speaking in Cajun French. —Brenda Melancon from McComb, Mississippi.
Lemon Mushroom Orzo
This side dish is sometimes served cold, and other times it is served hot, and we all appreciate it both ways. It has a wonderful hint of lemon flavor, as well as a delightful crunch from the pecans. Shirley Nelson of Akeley, Minnesota, contributed to this article.