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Exactly How To Reheat Spaghetti Bolognese – I Test 3 Methods [Pics]

Spaghetti bolognese is a firm favorite in households the world over.

And what’s not to love about this delicious, meaty, tomatoey dish?

Well, to be honest, it can be tricky to reheat. 

Particularly as reheated pasta has a penchant for turning mushy.

But the good news is, that after a little experimentation, I’ve settled on three ways to reheat spaghetti bolognese without sacrificing its quality.

A note on my experiment

I made a big batch of spaghetti bolognese the other night, intending to keep some leftovers for my reheating tests.

After storing it in the fridge overnight, I tried a few different warming methods before settling on my favorites.  

The methods I had the most success with include:

  • On the stove (best for reinvigorating flavor)
  • In the microwave (convenient, with decent results)
  • In the oven (good for large portions)

I am a big fan of the stove method because, while a little time-consuming, you can add to, and enrich, your pasta’s flavors.

The microwave is perfectly suitable for reheating single portions in a hurry.

And as for the oven method, I was happy with the results, but it takes longer and can make your pasta a little dry.

Note: If you’re cooking up a storm and foresee that you’ll end up with leftovers, store your pasta and sauce separately.

But don’t fear if these components are already combined. You can still reheat your spaghetti using any of the methods below.

Reheating spaghetti bolognese on the stove

Warm a bit of butter in a pot or pan on medium-low heat on the stove. Add your bolognese and a tablespoon or two of liquid (milk/water/stock) to thin out the sauce. Stir occasionally as the pasta warms to ensure even heating. Once hot, remove from the stove and serve.

If you’re reheating your sauce and pasta separately, first warm the sauce until it’s hot and then remove it from the heat.

Add your pasta and allow the mixture to stand for a minute or two before serving. The residual warmth from the sauce will warm your pasta.

How to reheat spaghetti bolognese on the stove:

  1. Melt some butter in a pot or pan on medium-low heat.
  2. Add your bolognese with a tablespoon or two of liquid like milk, water, or stock.
  3. As your pasta warms up, stir it occasionally to ensure even heat distribution.
  4. Remove it from the stove once warm and serve.

Warming your leftover spaghetti bolognese on medium-low heat will prevent it from overcooking and turning your noodles soft and soggy.

Add more liquid as needed if you notice your spaghetti sauce is drying out.

Before serving up your meal, you can add some cheese, garlic, or herbs for an extra pop of flavor.

My verdict

This technique works exceptionally well, even though you need to monitor and stir your dish while reheating it.

What I liked most was that I could easily add extra flavors (herbs, garlic) to make my spaghetti bolognese taste fresh.

If you have the time and want to reheat a sizeable portion, I’d recommend using this method.

Reheating spaghetti bolognese in the microwave

Place a portion of spaghetti bolognese in a microwave-safe dish and add a tablespoon of water, milk, or stock. Cover the dish with a damp paper towel, plastic wrap, or a lid. Heat on medium (50% power) in 30-second intervals. Stir at each stop. Once warm, rest for a minute before serving.  

If your sauce and pasta are separate, you can reheat the sauce by itself.

Once it’s warm, add in the pasta and zap it in the microwave for 3-5 seconds before serving.

As with the stovetop method, residual heat from the pasta sauce will warm the spaghetti.

How to reheat spaghetti bolognese in the microwave:

  1. Place the bolognese in a microwave-safe dish.
  2. Sprinkle over a small amount of water/milk/stock to add moisture.
  3. Cover the dish with a damp paper towel, a lid, or a piece of plastic wrap with holes.
  4. Heat your pasta in 30-second increments on medium heat (50% power).
  5. Stir the bolognese at each interval.
  6. Once warm, rest for a minute before serving.

Covering the dish traps in steam and prevents too much moisture from escaping.

Stirring your leftovers at each interval will ensure even heating.

If it starts to dry out, feel free to add more liquid until your sauce reaches the right consistency.

My verdict

This method delivers good results, and I can’t fault its speed and convenience.

It would be my go-to method if I were just reheating a quick portion for myself.

That being said, it does turn the sauce a bit watery.

If I were warming up spaghetti for a few people, I’d rather choose a method where I could add extra flavor (like the stove method).

Reheating spaghetti bolognese in the oven

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Spread out your leftover spaghetti bolognese on a baking tray. Add a tablespoon or two of liquid (water/milk/stock) and stir through. Cover the dish with foil and warm for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

If your pasta and sauce are separate, follow the above method to heat the sauce only.

Once hot, add your pasta and allow to stand for a minute or two to warm up before serving.

How to reheat spaghetti bolognese in the oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Spread leftover spaghetti out on a baking tray.
  3. Mix in a tablespoon or two of milk, water, or stock.
  4. Cover the tray with foil.
  5. Warm in the oven for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove and serve immediately.

Covering the baking tray with foil locks in steam and prevents your spaghetti from drying out too much.

To add a pop of flavor, try adding some grated cheese for the last few minutes of the reheating process.

You may also need to add in a bit of extra liquid if it starts to look dry.

My verdict

This method is a little on the slow side but delivers good results.

There is a chance of drying out the pasta sauce, but this can be prevented by adding extra liquid.

I’d recommend using the oven to reheat larger portions of spaghetti bolognese.

How to reheat plain spaghetti

To reheat plain spaghetti, you can sauté it over medium heat in a little water on the stove. Stir the pasta in the pan for 2 to 3 minutes or until warm to your liking. For less direct heat, simply dunk your leftover pasta in hot water for a few minutes until it’s warm.

Alternatively, place some leftover spaghetti in a microwave-safe bowl with a sprinkle of olive oil.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (poked with holes) and warm on medium heat for 30 to 60 seconds, stirring halfway.

Olive oil prevents clumping.   

Either of these methods will work great if you’ve stored your spaghetti bolognese components separately and you’re worried that your leftover sauce won’t be enough to warm your pasta.

How to store spaghetti bolognese

To store spaghetti bolognese in the fridge, first cool it to room temperature. Then, transfer your leftovers into an airtight container. Use a glass container, if possible, to prevent staining. Seal the container and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days.

If you’re cooking spaghetti bolognese ahead of time or preempting leftovers, store your sauce and pasta separately.

Tossing a bit of olive oil with your leftover plain spaghetti will prevent it from sticking.

It’s essential that you allow your spaghetti to cool before storing, as this prevents condensation build-up in the container that can turn your pasta soggy.

Can you freeze spaghetti bolognese?

Leftover spaghetti bolognese can be frozen for up to three months (to retain the best quality). Transfer your cooled leftovers into an airtight container or portion them into zip-lock freezer bags. If using the latter, remove excess air from the bags before sealing and flatten for easy storage.

When it comes to spaghetti bolognese, it’s best to freeze the sauce and cook fresh pasta when reheating.

However, this is not a must, and your leftover spaghetti bolognese will reheat just fine.

How to freeze spaghetti bolognese:

  1. Allow your spaghetti bolognese to cool to room temperature.
  2. Transfer your leftovers into an airtight container or zip-lock freezer bags.
  3. Mark each portion with the date.
  4. Store in the freezer and use within three months.

To remove the excess air from freezer bags, dunk them into a jug of water (two-thirds deep) while sealing. This forces air out.

Alternatively, use a vacuum sealer or straw.

It’s also possible to freeze plain spaghetti if your components are separate.

Just toss your noodles in olive oil before transferring them into a bag to prevent them from sticking.

How to thaw and reheat frozen spaghetti bolognese

If frozen, you will need to thaw your leftover spaghetti bolognese before reheating it. Ideally, you want to let it defrost overnight in the fridge. But, if you’re in a hurry, you can run the freezer container under warm water or thaw it in the microwave on the defrost setting for 1 to 2 minutes.

Once thawed, you can reheat your leftovers using the stove, microwave, or oven method detailed above.

To reinvigorate your flavors, I recommend using the stovetop method and adding some garlic, herbs, or cheese for extra flavor.

Exactly How To Reheat Spaghetti Bolognese

In this short recipe, I show you the best way to reheat your leftover spaghetti bolognese.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 0 mins
Cook Time 2 mins
Total Time 2 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 person
Calories 113 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 portion spaghetti bolognese
  • 1 tbsp water milk or stock also work

Instructions
 

  • Melt some butter in a pot or pan on medium-low heat.
  • Add your bolognese with a tablespoon or two of liquid like milk, water, or stock.
  • As your pasta warms up, stir it occasionally to ensure even heat distribution.
  • Remove it from the stove once warm and serve.

Notes

Warming your leftover spaghetti bolognese on medium-low heat will prevent it from overcooking and turning your noodles soft and soggy.
Add more liquid as needed if you notice your spaghetti sauce is drying out.
Before serving up your meal, you can add some cheese, garlic, or herbs for an extra pop of flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 100gCalories: 113kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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