Tuna pasta bake is a great midweek meal. It is rich and creamy and is a favorite with families. Tuna is mixed with pasta, cheddar cheese, a white sauce, onions, sweetcorn, and peas making it a rich and nutritious meal.
However, it is easy to make too much as it can be difficult to decide how much pasta to cook. So, what do you do with the leftovers? Tuna pasta bake will keep in the fridge for a couple of days but you may not want to eat it again so soon. The simple solution is to freeze it, and it does, in fact, freeze very well. In this article, we will tell you how to freeze tuna pasta bake and how to defrost it.
How To Freeze Tuna Pasta Bake
1. Cool down the pasta bake.
Transfer the pasta bake into a cold bowl to speed up the process. You don’t want to keep it out at room temperature for longer than two hours, as after this time, bacteria can start to develop. You also don’t want to put it in the freezer while it is still warm. If you do, it could bring up the temperature in the freezer and other food could start to defrost. When it refreezes, it could spoil.
2. Divide the tuna pasta bake into meal-size portions.
This is a good idea because you will then only defrost as much as you need without the need of throwing some away. Put the portions into airtight containers and put on labels with the date you put them in the freezer. This is important as you don’t want to keep it in the freezer for longer than its use-by date.
Tips For Freezing Tuna Pasta Bake
- Freeze in meal-size portions so that you only defrost as much as you need for one meal.
- If you are making the tuna pasta bake solely for freezing, you can freeze the tuna, pasta, and sauce separately. This helps to stop the dish from going mushy.
- Be careful when you are defrosting your tuna pasta bake. Fish, like meat, can spoil easily. Don’t leave your pasta bake out at room temperature as this can cause bacteria to form. This can lead to food poisoning.
- You can reheat your tuna pasta bake in the microwave. It is very quick to do but it can lead to the bake becoming mushy. It is far better to reheat it in the oven as it will retain its texture. Heat it at 350 F for twenty minutes. About halfway through, sprinkle extra cheese and breadcrumbs on top of the bake. This will give it a delicious crispy topping.
For How Long Can You Freeze Tuna Pasta Bake?
Tuna pasta bake will last for four months in the freezer although the sooner you eat it, the better it will taste. Try and get it in the freezer as soon as possible so that bacteria doesn’t form. It isn’t a good idea to keep it in the fridge for a couple of days and then decide to freeze it.
If you freeze the components separately, you can keep them in the freezer for an extra month or so.
How Do You Defrost Tuna Pasta Bake?
The best way to defrost tuna pasta bake is slowly and steadily in the fridge. Take it out of the freezer the night before you want to eat it and put it in the fridge. Don’t ever defrost it at room temperature as that can cause bacteria to form and you could become sick when you come to eat it. Reheat it in the oven for the best results. You can defrost it in the microwave but we don’t advise it as it will ruin the texture of the bake.
Can You Refreeze Tuna Pasta Bake?
We don’t recommend refreezing tuna pasta bake. Every time food is frozen, ice crystals are formed which can alter the texture of the bake. If you freeze for a second time, more ice crystals will be formed and will make your tuna pasta bake mushy. However, if you freeze the bake in meal-size portions, you won’t have this dilemma.
Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Tuna Pasta Bake?
Yes, it is a good idea to freeze tuna pasta bake if you have leftovers. It lasts for four months in the freezer, so you will be able to have a quick and delicious meal when you don’t have time to cook from scratch.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing tuna pasta bake but in case you are still curious, we have answered a few questions here.
What sort of pasta should I use in a tuna pasta bake?
The best shapes are rigatoni, pipe rigate, large shells, and wagon wheels. They all hold sauce well.
Can you freeze tuna lasagna?
Beef is the traditional filling for lasagna but there is nothing stopping you from making a tuna lasagna if you prefer fish. Just like a tuna pasta bake, you can freeze it and keep it in the freezer for up to four months.
Can you freeze spaghetti with a tuna sauce?
Yes, you can freeze spaghetti with tuna sauce and it will keep in the freezer for up to four months.
Can you freeze vegetable pasta bake?
If you prefer to make your pasta bake with vegetables, you can freeze it using the same method as a tuna pasta bake. The good news is that it will last in the freezer for longer than tuna pasta bake. This is because vegetables can be kept in the freezer for longer than tuna. You can keep it in the freezer for up to eight months. A tasty vegetable bake would be with roasted vegetables, such as eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, and onions.
Can you freeze chicken pasta bake?
Yes, you can, but chicken will only keep in the freezer for three months. After this time, it will start to spoil and you could become sick if you eat it.