* If you click a link on this page and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

Exactly How To Reheat Carbonara – I Try 6 Methods [Pics]

If you’re on a mission to retain your carbonara’s smooth, creamy texture while reheating it, I have excellent news.

I’ve personally tried and tested six methods of reheating carbonara to find out which ones give you fresh, hot, and creamy carbonara!

In a rush? Here’e the short answer:

The best way to reheat carbonara is in a ban marie. Rest a bowl of carbonara over a saucepan filled with water. Bring the water to a gentle simmer, stirring the carbonara as the water heats. The steam will gently warm the carbonara. Add a tablespoon of milk or stock to the pasta if it’s too dry.

I’ve also included tips for storing your carbonara to keep it as fresh as possible.

See Also: How To Reheat Fettuccine Alfredo

A note on my experiment

These are the carbonara reheating methods I tested and my quick verdicts:

  • In a bain-marie: great results with the lowest risk of ruined pasta
  • On the stove with low heat: also produces excellent results
  • In the microwave: convenient but makes the pasta slightly dry
  • By frying: crisps up the pasta and cooks the egg
  • In the oven: slow but okay for reheating large portions
  • Making a frittata: good if the carbonara is already overcooked

In terms of results, it’s a toss-up between the bain-marie method and the low-heat stove method for me.

While neither was particularly fast nor convenient, these reheating techniques’ steady pace delivered the most creamy results.

If you need the pasta quickly, go for the microwave but don’t expect anything amazing.

Related: What To Serve With Pasta Carbonara

The best way to reheat carbonara

A ban marie uses second-hand heat to warm the carbonara, making it easy to control the temperature so you’re less likely to overheat the sauce.

  1. Set up a bain-marie by placing some water in a pot and resting a bowl on its rim.
  2. Warm the water on medium heat on the stove.
  3. While the water warms, add your leftover carbonara to the bowl and start to stir it gently.
  4. Stir the pasta continuously until the water is steaming, and then turn down the heat.
  5. If the pasta is dry, add some moisture in the form of milk, cream, stock, or water.
  6. Once your pasta is evenly heated, remove it from the bain-marie and serve.

When the pasta is loose, and the sauce is warmed through, your meal is ready to be served.

Overheating your carbonara can result in curdled sauce and soggy noodles.

If you notice the eggs in the sauce start to cook, remove the bowl from the heat and let it cool down before resuming the reheating process.

And make sure the water in the saucepan doesn’t start to boil. This will be too hot for your pasta and ruin it.

Pro tip: always choose an appropriately-sized bowl. If the bowl is too small, it will be much harder to stir the pasta effectively and this will lead to uneven heating.

Pros: this was my favorite reheating technique when it comes to reviving my carbonara, the pasta tasted almost as good as new.
Cons: setting up the ban marie takes a few minutes!

How to reheat carbonara on the stove

  1. Set your stove to its lowest heat setting and add a small amount butter or oil.
  2. Place your leftover carbonara in the pan and separate the strands by gently pushing them apart in a circular motion.
  3. Mix in 1-2 tablespoons of cream, milk, water, or stock to add moisture.
  4. Continue to warm the pasta until it’s hot all the way through, tossing it continuously as it heats.
  5. Optional: cover the pan with a lid and steam it for 30 seconds if your pasta is extra dry.

With this method, it’s really important that you use the lowest heat setting on your stove, or you risk cooking the eggs in the sauce.

If the eggs do start to cook, remove the pan from the heat immediately. Let the pasta and pan cool down, then you can get back to reheating.

You will more than likely be dealing with a lump of cold, congealed pasta at first.

Pro tip: to avoid breaking all the strands trying to stir the pasta, very carefully push the strands in a circular motion. This (along with the gentle heat) will allow the strands to separate, and then you can start tossing the pasta instead of stirring.

Pros: the end result was a delicious, creamy, and hot carbonara.
Cons: it’s harder to control how how the pan gets (compared to using a ban marie), so there’s slightly more risk of overcooking your carbonara.

How to reheat carbonara in the microwave

  1. Place your leftover carbonara in a microwave-safe bowl and add a tablespoon of a liquid like milk, cream, water, or stock.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and pierce it with a few small holes.
  3. Set the microwave to low heat (30% power) and heat the carbonara in 20-second intervals, stirring at each stop.
  4. If you think it seems dry, add more liquid.
  5. Once evenly warmed, serve immediately.

The microwave is all about convenience, but that doesn’t mean you can just bung the carbonara in at full power at hope for the best!

That would be a guaranteed disaster.

You need to go slowly so you don’t get overcooked eggs and stodgy pasta. I used 30% power in my test, but if your microwave doesn’t have that option simply reduce the heating intervals to 10 seconds.

And always stir the pasta during the breaks to ensure even heating.

Pros: this method delivered great results in the sense that the pasta was hot and saucy. There’s also less washing up involved than with other methods.
Cons: the pasta was a little chewy compared stove and bain-marie methods, and it’s as fast as you’d expect the microwave to be because of the low power.

How to reheat carbonara by frying

This reheating method will give you an exciting twist on traditional carbonara.

  1. Set your stove to medium-high heat and add tablespoon of oil or butter to a pan.
  2. Separate your leftover carbonara (roughly or gently it doesn’t matter) and place it in the hot pan.
  3. Fry the pasta, stirring continuously until it starts to brown and the bacon crisps up.
  4. Remove from the heat and serve.

Frying carbonara changes the dish completely (in a good way!). The eggs will cook and the bacon bits will get deliciously crispy.

If you want to take this fried carbonara dish to a new level, you can fry some extras like bacon or veggies in the pan before adding the pasta.

Or go for extra seasoning like garlic or chili.

This method works best when you don’t have too much pasta, so the pan isn’t overcrowded and everything can crisp up nicely.

Pros: it’s quick and easy and you don’t have to worry about being gentle. The carbonara is tasty too and you can add extra flavors.
Cons: it won’t be like your original carbonara and some people may find it too greasy.

How to reheat carbonara in the oven

  1. Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C).
  2. Spread out your leftover carbonara evenly in a baking tray, adding 1-2 tablespoons of a liquid like milk, water, stock, or cream.
  3. Cover the carbonara with foil and bake it for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring once at the halfway mark.
  4. Optional: remove the foil cover and sprinkle your pasta with cheese for the last 2 minutes of heating time.

Spreading out the pasta as much as possible allows it to heat evenly. Lumping it all in the center of the tray will result in a luke-warm middle and overcooked outsides!

If your pasta is too congealed to spread out, heat it in the microwave for 5 seconds first to loosen it up.

Or if the pasta’s in a bag, you can hold the bag under warm water for a few seconds. This should make the strands easier to separate.

Pros: the oven is a really effective way of reheating big portions of leftover carbonara
Cons: it takes a long time and isn’t very convenient. there’s also quite a big risk that you’ll unintentionally baking the eggs in the sauce because it’s more difficult to monitor the heating process.

How to make a leftover carbonara frittata

If you aren’t feeling another bowl of carbonara, ot your carbonara is already overcooked and past the point of saving you can turn it into a frittata.

  1. Mix your leftover carbonara with one or two eggs per portion.
  2. Add any extras you want like cheese, seasoning, or vegetables.
  3. Warm some butter or oil on medium-high heat in a frying pan.
  4. Add your leftover carbonara and egg mixture to the pan and spread it out.
  5. Cook the frittata for 5 minutes on one side, or until the edges start to crisp, then flip it over.

Pro tip: microwave your carbonara for a few seconds to loosen it up before adding it to the egg. This way, it won’t be all congealed!

Carbonara frittata is delicious for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I love it with tomato sauce.

How to store carbonara

To store carbonara, allow it to cool to room temperature. Then transfer it to an airtight container and place it in the fridge. Carbonara will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Over time, the pasta itself will absorb the sauce causing it to become soggy and mushy. So the sooner you can eat your leftovers, the better!

It’s very important to let the carbonara cool before storing it. if the pasta is hot when you put it in an airtight container, you’ll get condensation build up and soggy pasta. Yuk.

Can you freeze carbonara?

Lots of sources online will tell you that you can freeze carbonara, and while this is technically true, I wouldn’t recommend it. Carbonara doesn’t do well in the freezer. The cooked pasta will become mushy, and the egg based sauce is very likely to split upon reheating.

Basically, it will be incredibly unappetizing!

If you still want to freeze it, place a portion in a freezer safe bag and squeeze out as much air as possible before freezing. Use within a month and thaw in the fridge before reheating.

How long does carbonara last?

If you want to know how long you can safely store your carbonara, you can use the following guidelines:

  • Room temperature: Carbonara shouldn’t be left at room temperature for more than two hours. Anything longer, and the meal will start to perish and become a possible hot zone for bacteria.
  • Refrigerated: You can keep leftover carbonara in the fridge for up to 4 days. However, the pasta will become increasingly mushy over time.
  • Frozen: If you are freezing your leftover carbonara, it will taste best if reheated within one month or less.

The Best Way To Reheat Carbonara

Need to revive your leftover carbonara? Here's the best way to reheat it.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: carbonara, reheat carbonara
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 191kcal


  • 1 portion carbonara
  • 1 portion milk cream, stock and water also work.


  • Set up a bain-marie by placing some water in a pot and resting a glass bowl on its rim.
  • Warm the water on medium heat on the stove.
  • While the water warms, add your leftover carbonara to the bowl and start to stir it gently.
  • Stir the pasta continuously until the water is steaming, and then turn down the heat.
  • If the pasta is dry, add some moisture in the form of milk, cream, stock, or water.
  • Once your pasta is evenly heated, remove it from the bain-marie and serve.


Overheating your carbonara can result in curdled sauce and soggy noodles.
If you notice the eggs in the sauce start to cook, remove the dish from the heat altogether.
When heating the water in your bain-marie’s base, make sure it doesn’t start to boil, as this will be too hot for your pasta and ruin it.
If you’re using this method to heat up your leftovers, always choose an appropriately sized bowl.
If not, you run the risk of not being able to stir your pasta or not heating it through thoroughly.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 191kcal

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating