Can You Freeze Cooked Pasta? The Best Way to Store Leftover Pasta Dishes

Most people don’t think about pasta as something that shouldn’t be frozen. But really, why not freeze pasta. When you’ve made too much, freezing might be a better option than trying to eat all of the leftover pasta over the next couple of days if you don’t really feel like it.

So, can one freeze cooked pasta? Well, yes, you definitely can. And if you follow some simple tricks, your pasta will taste quite good after thawing as well. Truth be told, pasta is not the best dish for freezing, though you can make Mac and Cheese last quite well in the freezer. We do not recommend making large batches in advance in order to freeze on purpose. However, freezing pasta is certainly doable (see also Can You Freeze Polenta) and definitely better than throwing leftovers away. 

How to Store Cooked Pasta in the Freezer 

If you have too much cooked pasta on your hands and you know you don’t want to use it within the next couple of days, freezing is definitely the best option. 

The best way to freeze pasta is to do it separately from the sauce (see also Can You Freeze Pasta Bake). However, you can also freeze pasta that’s already mixed with sauce such as Ziti pasta. We’ll talk about that below, but for now let’s talk about freezing plain cooked pasta. There is a simple trick that will prevent the pasta from sticking together after thawing: simply coat it in a bit of olive oil. As a plus, your pasta will taste divine when thawed. Then, simply store the pasta in an air-tight container and place in the fridge.

When defrosting pasta, you can put it into a pot of boiling water straight from the freezer and cook for a minute or two. Alternatively, you can put the frozen pasta straight into the pan with hot sauce and let it defrost there. 

If you’ve already mixed your pasta with the sauce (or for whatever reason prefer to freeze it that way) you can still freeze it. Freezing pasta this way works best with light sauces like pesto. You can freeze pasta mixed with a meat sauce too, but it might get a bit soggy when thawed. To do this, simply let the pasta cool and place it into an air-tight freezer-safe container. Label the container and toss in the freezer. 

How to Store Cooked Pasta in the Fridge 

The best and easiest way to preserve cooked pasta is in the fridge – but you have to use it within the next three days. To do this, use the same trick with olive oil and place your pasta into an air-tight container. 

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