If you are anything like me, you probably have pasta for dinner every other night! With so many different pasta dishes, ending up with different pasta leftovers is not unusual. What to do?
Freezing pasta with sauce is perfectly normal; you save a lot of time on cooking and enjoy a quick delicious meal. In this article, I will tell you everything there is to know about freezing cooked pasta with sauce.
Is It Okay To Freeze Cooked Pasta With Sauce?
Freezing cooked pasta is perfectly safe! If you freeze cooked pasta, you can save yourself the trouble of preparing another meal. Whether you make the pasta with meat sauce, tomato sauce, pesto, or any other sauce, you can put it together in a bag or container and freeze the cooked pasta almost indefinitely.
Whether the pasta is frozen with sauce or without, it will taste fresh for up to 60 days. After that, the pasta will be safe for consumption but lose quality over time.
Cooked pasta freezes well and is a great way to eliminate food waste.
How To Freeze Cooked Pasta With Sauce?
To properly freeze cooked pasta, you need to follow a few simple steps:
- For best results, you must cook pasta al dente, meaning you must undercook it slightly. If the package says you should cook for 9 or 10 minutes, take the pasta out when the timer shows 7 or 8 minutes;
- Once the pasta is done, rinse it under cold water;
- Let the pasta cool down completely and add some olive oil to it; This way, the pasta will not stick together once it is frozen;
- Put the pasta on a baking or cookie sheet in separate portions, which will be easy to thaw later;
- If you are freezing pasta like spaghetti, angel hair, or fettuccine, you should make little nests, divide into serving proportions, and freeze pasta either with or separately from the sauce;
- Once you lay down the pasta, put the baking sheet in the freezer until it is frozen solid (a couple of hours);
- After the leftover pasta freezes, transfer it to freezer bags or another airtight container;
- If you are using plastic freezer bags, make sure to push the air out before sealing the bag to prevent freezer burn;
- Put the container back in your freezer.
How Long Does Frozen Pasta Last?
People say that frozen food can last forever. While that is mostly true, it is not recommended to eat pasta that has been frozen for more than three months.
The three-month mark recommendation, however, is just for the best quality. If you freeze pasta and it looks and smells good after more than three months in the freezer, it should still be quite safe to eat.
But, if you notice that the pasta has freezer burn, or there is some change in the texture, maybe the freezer bag is ripped, or you cannot remember when you froze it, eating it is a bad idea.
How To Freeze Cooked Spaghetti With Sauce?
First, let it cool off if you plan on freezing cooked spaghetti with sauce. If you can separate the sauce from the pasta, that would be great!
Storing the spaghetti and the sauce together isn’t a big issue but keeping the pasta separate from the sauce is always better.
For more details, see also: You Can Easily Freeze Spaghetti (What You Need to Know)
How To Freeze Fresh Homemade Pasta?
Fresh homemade pasta should be stored a bit differently than cooked pasta. First, you must cut the pasta into small pieces while it is still fresh.
Then, spread the pasta and let it dry for a few hours. If you intend to use it soon, you can put the pasta in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for 72 hours.
If you do not plan on using it within that timeframe, you can dry it and put it in a freezer bag. Homemade fresh pasta can be stored in the freezer for 8 to 9 months.
How To Thaw Frozen Pasta?
There are many ways to thaw frozen pasta. Yet, if you have frozen pasta with meat sauce, the best thawing method is to leave it overnight in the fridge.
Refreezing cooked noodles is never a good idea, so ensure you thaw only the amount you plan to eat.
If you want to use the frozen pasta sooner, you can put the bag of pasta in a bowl of cool water and let it sit until it reaches room temperature.
Another way to defrost already cooked but frozen pasta is to put it into boiling water and cook the noodles for only a minute or two. This, or a microwave, is the quickest way to thaw frozen pasta.
How To Reheat Frozen Pasta With Sauce?
If you choose one of the slow methods of defrosting, such as putting the frozen pasta in the refrigerator, it will be ready to reheat the following day.
Reheating the cooked pasta in the oven is the best method. Preheat the oven to 350°F and cook the pasta with the sauce for about 15 minutes.
This is where the need for “al dente” pasta comes into play. If you slightly undercooked your pasta previously, you would avoid it getting all mushy and watery once it is defrosted and cooked a little more.
Can I Freeze Cooked Pasta With Bolognese Sauce?
It is perfectly safe to freeze spaghetti with Bolognese sauce. Putting the spaghetti together with the sauce or freezing them separately does not make a difference. Frozen Spaghetti with Bolognese sauce will last for 90 days in the freezer without a problem.
How Long Can I Leave Cooked Pasta In The Fridge?
It is not safe to leave cooked pasta in the fridge for longer than five days. This applies to all pasta, whether it has sauce or not.
Should I Thaw The Pasta Before Cooking It?
If you have frozen fresh pasta, you should not defrost it before cooking. Just use an additional cup of water than called for and put the frozen pasta to boil directly in the pot.