Freezing Leftover Spaghetti

I’m the worst at overestimating how much spaghetti to make. We’ve been eating this stuff for like three days now, and I still have leftover spaghetti!

Not wanting to toss it (or eat it for another day!), I slipped it into a Ziploc bag today and stuck it in the freezer.

frozen spaghetti in Zipper bag
frozen spaghetti in Zipper bag

Freezing leftover spaghetti is a great way to save your extras for a future ready-made meal. Just be sure to let it cool before placing in a freezer bag for storage.

It’s best to squeeze out as much air from the bag as possible to help prevent freezer burn. Be sure to label your bag with the date, and try to use your leftover spaghetti within six months or so, for best quality.

When you’re ready to eat it, let it thaw in the fridge overnight. We don’t have a microwave, so when it’s time to reheat mine I either dump it into a casserole dish and bake ’til heated through in the oven.

You don’t need to overcook the pasta. Just let it cook until it’s warm or it will become mushy.

Another way I do it is I put it in a saucepan over med. heat, and add a little water to the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching. Then stir until heated through. You can also use a microwave, if you have one, or a slow cooker to warm up your leftover spaghetti.

Reasons to Freeze Leftover Spaghetti

As I already told you, it can be really tough to guess-timate how much pasta you need! While using a food scale or measuring cups can help, I still never seem to get it right.

If you accidentally make too much pasta, freezing it is a great way to preserve the bounty for later. It’s also a good option if you prefer to cook in batches. You can make extras now so that you can use the pasta later on for other recipes (or just a second meal). It’s a great option for busy cooks in particular!

Tips for Freezing Leftover Spaghetti

Luckily, freezing leftover spaghetti is pretty easy – as long as you follow a few simple tips.

You can cook spaghetti as well as just about any type of cooked pasta, but how you do it is important and can make a big difference. For example, think about how you cook the noodles.

There’s not really any point in freezing uncooked pasta, since it will last up to two years in the pantry.

However, try to avoid overcooking your pasta if you know you’ll eventually end up freezing it. Pasta that is overcooked will be even softer and mushier when you thaw it.

If you want, you can add some olive oil to your noodles when you cook them. This will prevent them from clumping together in storage.

Another tip is to rinse your pasta under cold water after you’ve boiled it. This will stop the cooking process and essentially “blanch it for storage.

If you haven’t added sauce to your leftover spaghetti when it comes time to freeze it, you can place it on a baking sheet first to flash freeze it.

Spread it out on a single sheet, ideally not touching, so that it won’t clump together as it freezes. This will let you store large amounts of pasta without taking up a ton of space or causing unpalatable lumps.

Flash freeze on the cookie sheet for a few hours, then transfer into your freezer-safe container.

Freeze your leftover spaghetti in multiple containers instead of one jam-packed one. This will give the ingredients more room to expand as they freeze and thaw.

I also don’t recommend using gluten-free pasta. In my experience, it doesn’t freeze all that well.

Finally, I recommend freezing the sauce and the pasta separately. Not only will the noodles thaw more quickly when they aren’t inside the sauce, but they won’t get soggy, either.

Alternatives to Freezing It

If freezing your leftover spaghetti doesn’t sound that palatable to you, don’t worry! There are plenty of other ways you can use up your leftovers.

If you haven’t combined the sauce and noodles yet, why not toss the plain noodles with some butter, cheese, or olive oil, and add some herbs? You can have a simple vegetarian pasta or even add some bacon or chicken for added flavor.

Another family favorite is spaghetti casserole. Basically, it’s spaghetti – but with extra cheese! You’ll layer ingredients like ricotta and mozzarella cheese with your noodles and sauce and then bake it. It’s kind of like lasagna, actually!

I haven’t tried this, but I’ve even heard of people making leftover spaghetti pizza. All you need are a few eggs and some parmesan cheese to make a pie-like meal that’s absolutely to die for. Here’s a recipe.

There are also recipes out there for things like leftover spaghetti frittatas, fritters, and even muffins, too.

Get creative! You shouldn’t have to get sick of eating leftover spaghetti ten nights in a row when there are plenty of other options out there for you to try.

What’s your favorite thing to do with leftover spaghetti?

20 thoughts on “Freezing Leftover Spaghetti”

  1. I’m gonna take 1 step further. I’ll freeze my pasta and sauce separately then put it in a vacuum sealer bag and vacuum the air out and seal it.

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  2. Okay I get it you can freeze spaghetti but can you freeze spaghetti that has sauce on it already. We make spaghetti but I mix it with the sauce and eat it as a left over. But we get tired of it and can’t eat it all so I’d like to freeze it. Can I freeze it and still have it taste okay?

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  3. I am a terrible judge when it comes to estimating pasta portions therefore have plenty of left overs. I absolutely love Kendra’s idea of reusing cereal and cracker bags to separate servings….. brilliant!!! I do prepare and freeze most any over ripe fruits on a cookie sheet then store in zip lock bags until I need a handful for shakes or sauces. I’m a huge fan of minimal waste and recycling. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Just out of curiosity, since it’s already in a ziploc bag, could you just put it right out of the freezer into a large pot of boiling water and thaw/heat it that way? Would the noodles cook more? If you remember enough ahead of time to actually get it out of the freezer the night before, you are truly amazing. I rarely remember things like that in time. 🙂

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    • Laura,

      Yeah, that would work; though maybe not quite boiling water. As long as the bag doesn’t touch the hot sides of the pot and melt to it. Yuck 😉 What I would do (if I forgot to thaw it) is fill the sink with really hot water, and let it thaw in the ziploc in the sink water. I do that with meat sometimes, and it works really well. You might have to drain and refill with hot water again before it’s completely thawed… but it works 🙂

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  5. Cool idea 🙂 I mostly freeze stuff like pre-portioned bags of ground beef, produce that’s gonna go bad, etc. Oh, something related – I keep gallon freezer bags in the freezer and when I make a whole chicken or even chicken parts, I save the bones and when I have enough I make a huge huge batch of chicken stock/bone broth.

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  6. I had no idea you could freeze pasta? I figured it would come out yukky. Nice to know! I freeze half used containers of pasta sauce, milk or juice if we are going out of town and pretty much anything else that looks like we might not get to it before it goes bad.

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  7. I also am a big over-estimator when it comes to making spaghetti, but not so much as the pasta noodles, but the sauce! I always make a full crock pot of home made sauce, then have leftovers for ages! This is definitely a regular staple in my freezer. I love using the crockpot, so making spaghetti is super easy when I use the frozen leftover sauce. Thank goodness for freezers, otherwise I’d be so wasteful!

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    • I love what you posted on here but how do you freeze your left over homemade spaghetti sauce? I use a crock pot also and need some ideas on what to do with my left overs.
      Thanks so much.

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  8. Ooohhh good idea Kendra and Pam…I have started saving cereal bags but didn’t have that many uses for them yet…I’ll have to add that one for freezing pancakes…

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  9. We always freeze leftover spaghetti, too. Sometimes I freeze it in one-person size portions so that someone can pull out a small bag and heat the contents up for lunch. If you don’t want to use a lot of small bags for that, you can freeze it in small “clumps” on a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet, then transfer all the clumps into one gallon size freezer bag. I also make big batches of pancakes and freeze the extra. Again, you can either freeze them individually (so they don’t freeze into a big clump) and then put them together in one bag, or cut parchment paper into small squares to put between them, then just stack them with the paper between them and put them into a bag to freeze.

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    • Great tips, Pam! I like to freeze extra pancakes, too 😉 I save the waxed bags from cereal and cracker boxes, cut them into squares, and use them to put between the pancakes so they don’t all freeze together. Saves me from having to buy parchment or wax paper 🙂

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  10. I do this all the time, when I ewheat it, I put it in a pan and add more sauce and put shredded cheese on top and bake it in the oven and its good like that.

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