how to reheat cooked pasta

How To Reheat Plain Pasta Without It Sticking Together

how to reheat cooked pasta

Like most foods, pasta tastes best when it’s freshly cooked, piping hot, straight from the pot.  If you tried reheating plain pasta and found it all stuck together, you are not alone.  I’ve had that problem for years until I finally found a way to reheat plain pasta successfully in the microwave without it sticking together!

To keep reheated pasta from sticking together, you need to do two things:

1) Rinse the pasta right after cooking

2) Rinse the pasta AGAIN before reheating

Most people get the #1 right, but they never do the second rinsing, which is even more important. Rinsing the pasta before reheating coats the pasta strands with water and keeps them from drying out in the microwave and from sticking together.

Right after you first cook your pasta, when its is done boiling, drain it into the colander and then thoroughly rinse it under cold running water.  When rinsing the pasta, toss it with your hands under the running water so the water rinses off the sticky stuff in all the pasta (not just the one on top).

After you cooked and rinse the pasta, put it in a container and refrigerate until ready to reheat.

When you are ready to reheat the pasta, take it out of the refrigerator and put it in a colander.  Rinse it again the same way – run the cold water over the pasta and toss the pasta with your hands, separating the strands and coating all pasta with water.  If the pasta got stuck together while it was refrigerator, make sure you get it unstuck now with water.

When you are done rinsing and pasta is nice, moist and separated, drain excess water and put the pasta in a microwave-safe dish.  Put the pasta in the microwave, cover and heat on High for several minutes until the pasta is hot all the way through.  Now you’ll have re-heated pasta that still tastes great and doesn’t stick together.  Enjoy!

My favorite way to eating re-heated plain pasta is by tossing it with homemade basil pesto.  Yum!




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1 reply
  1. speedwell
    speedwell says:

    Dunk the cold pasta back into a pot of boiling water for a few seconds. Drain. Done.

    We used to cook pasta ahead in the Italian restaurant I worked in when I was in college, and it turned out perfectly fine. We actually would put the pasta in a wire strainer, and hold the wire strainer in the stockpot of boiling water always kept ready. I’ve refreshed pasta just by putting it in a strainer inside a bowl, and pouring a kettleful of boiling water over it.

    The basic principle is that it’s always best to reheat a dish the same way you cooked it. Reheat bread and casseroles in the oven, sauteed food in a pan, stewed food in a pot, deep-fried food in the deep fryer, and boiled food (including rice) for a few moments in boiling water. The exception is when you want to go another step and make something out of the cooked food, such as fried rice.


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