How to Freeze Your Leftover Spaghetti (and Other Cooked Pasta)

Here's a question: Can you freeze spaghetti noodles?

Let’s say you have leftover pasta after a spaghetti dinner. (I like to make extra so no one goes hungry, and of course, I have mountains of leftovers.) You don’t want to toss it away—but can you freeze spaghetti noodles?

Yes! You can keep cooked pasta in the freezer for last-minute suppers. Here’s what to do.

How to Freeze Pasta

You can freeze just about any cooked pasta but how you cook the noodles can make a big difference when you’re ready to thaw. (There’s really no need to freeze uncooked pasta, because it typically has a shelf life of one to two years. It likely won’t grow any mold or bacteria in your pantry.)

Step 1: Cook Your Pasta Al Dente

You can definitely freeze spaghetti. Aim to cook your pasta al dente. If the noodles are too soft or mushy, they might not survive reheating. We recommend adding a little bit of olive oil to your long noodles while they’re hot, so they don’t clump together.

Did you know you can also freeze these other foods?

Step 2: Transfer to Freezer

Let the pasta cool completely before placing into freezer-safe bags or containers. You can also place cooked pasta in a single layer on a baking sheet, freeze and then transfer to a reusable container.

How to Thaw and Use Pasta

In the freezer, cooked pasta will last up to three months. When you’re ready to defrost the pasta, transfer it to the fridge to thaw.

Then, dump the pasta into boiling water (or pop it in the microwave) to reheat. You can also add the pasta to a brothy soup (psst…here’s how to freeze soup!) or slow cooker dish when it’s nearly done cooking. You want to make sure the pasta is heated through but not mushy—it doesn’t take long!

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Aly Prouty
Aly is a writer for one of her favorite publications, Taste of Home. When she isn't delving into delicious recipes she's most likely tap dancing, snapping photos or planning her next Girl Scout troop meeting.