I love pasta! So, naturally, meal prep pasta was one of the first things I aimed to master on my meal prep journey. Initially, I would only prepare pasta sauces in advance and then cook the pasta right before serving. I quickly learned that this was not necessary. Pasta is in fact very meal prep friendly if you do it right!
You can meal prep pasta if you prepare and store it correctly. And yes, you can also reheat it perfectly as if your pasta was cooked for the first time.
Keep reading to find out how to meal prep pasta successfully, as well as how to store and reheat it correctly. Last but not least, I’ll share some tasty pasta meal prep recipes.
This post is all about: Yes, You Can Meal Prep Pasta!
How To Meal Prep Pasta Successfully
Pasta is one of the world’s most popular dishes for good reason! It is easy to prepare, versatile, and delicious. Conveniently, it can also be cooked in large batches and prepped ahead of time. You can either prep fully prepared pasta dishes or you can prep plain-cooked pasta and then add the sauce just before serving.
Following are some key tricks that’ll help you when preparing pasta ahead of time:
- When boiling pasta that you will reheat later, make sure to undercook it slightly. If you skip this trick, your pasta will turn out mushy once you serve it.
- When cooking plain pasta for later use, allow it to cool down slightly and drizzle it with a tablespoon of olive oil. This will create a barrier, keeping the moisture in and the air out, keeping your pasta fresh and separated.
- For meal prep pasta salads, make sure to use an oil-based dressing or pesto. This will prevent the pasta from drying out or clumping.
- Store your pasta in the fridge once cooled down within two hours of preparation. This will ensure that the pasta has cooled down which will best guarantee its quality for future consumption, while still safe to eat.
Continue reading to find out how to store plain-cooked pasta and prepared pasta dishes, so both maintain their quality and freshness until you are ready to eat them.
How To Store Cooked Pasta For Meal Prep
Store your plain-cooked pasta in an airtight container or storage bag. According to the FDA, plain-cooked pasta lasts up to five days in the refrigerator.
For fully prepared pasta dishes, you can store them in airtight meal prep containers. According to the FDA, prepared pasta meals lasts up to four days in the refrigerator. Most pasta dishes are also freezer friendly, and last in the freezer for up to three months.
How To Reheat Pasta
You can reheat meal prep pasta in the microwave, on the stove, or in the oven or air-fryer. The reheating technique will slightly differ depending on whether you are reheating plain-cooked pasta or a fully prepared pasta meal.
How To Reheat Pasta In The Microwave
To reheat both plain-cooked pasta and fully prepared pasta meals, add 1-2 tablespoons of water into the microwave-safe dish with the pasta. Stir and cover with the container lid or a microwave food cover, before reheating.
How To Reheat Pasta On the Stove
To reheat plain-cooked pasta on the stove, bring a pasta pot filled with salted water to a boil. Since your pasta is already cooked, you simply want to shock the pasta in boiling water for 30 seconds or until deliciously al dente. This will reheat the pasta and remove most of the oil. Then, drain the pasta and continue to prepare your pasta dish as if your pasta was cooked for the first time.
A prepared pasta dish is also easy to reheat on the stove. Just place the pasta in a skillet over medium heat and stir in some extra sauce or water until you reach your desired consistency. Bring to a simmer until evenly heated through. Serve and enjoy.
How To Reheat Pasta In The Oven Or Airfryer
Baked pasta is my favorite kind of pasta for meal prep. The oven or air fryer work best for reheating baked pasta.
Preheat the oven or air fryer to 180°C (350°F) and make sure your pasta is in an oven-safe container. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until heated through. In the air fryer, this should take 5-8 minutes, while in the oven this should take 15-20 minutes.
How To Reheat Frozen Pasta
Always defrost pasta in the refrigerator. If you want to eat it for lunch, move it from the freezer to the fridge to thaw the night before. If you want to eat it for dinner, move it from the freezer to the fridge in the morning.
Once thawed, reheat it using one of the three methods above.
Tasty Pasta Meal Prep Recipes To Take To Work
Below are a few pasta recipes which were designed for meal prep. Prepare them and take them to work to spice up your lunchtime.
Recipe: Vegan Tuna Pasta Bake – GF!
Vegan Tuna Pasta Bake – vegan tuna with pasta, and mixed vegetables, in a lovely creamy, cheesy sauce. It’s an easy meal that everyone loves! Vegan and gluten free!
Recipe: Vegan Chickpea Pasta Salad In A Jar
This Vegan Chickpea Pasta Salad is the perfect to-go salad. Chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, olives, pasta, vegan feta, rocket and, balsamic vinaigrette.
Recipes: Chakalaka Mac and Cheese
Chakalaka Mac and Cheese delivering spicy and cheesy flavors with chakalaka, beans, bell peppers, and pasta! So much yum is achieved with only a handful of ingredients.
Did you find this post helpful? Don’t forget to let me know, by leaving a comment below.
This post is all about: Yes, You Can Meal Prep Pasta!