How To Reheat a Casserole Without Drying It Out

Take a step into the world of meal prepping, and you’ll likely find a recipe for a casserole. Simply get the ingredients together, bake it, and freeze it. When you’re ready to dive In, the proper reheating method is crucial.

Incorrectly reheating your casserole could lead to a dry disaster. With ingredients like meats, vegetables, noodles, and sauce, there’s a lot of moisture that needs to be retained. Drying out your casserole will leave it difficult to enjoy.

The best way to reheat a casserole without drying it out is to reheat it in the oven. Cooking slowly and allowing it to come to room temperature first  will ensure that the casserole does not become dehydrated. 

How To Reheat Casserole Without Drying It Out 

How To Reheat Frozen Casserole In The Oven 

Step One: Let It Rest 

To reheat a casserole without drying it out, your first step should be to bring it to room temperature. This is going to set the stage for a slow cooking. If it is allowed to heat slowly, and isn’t being shocked from icy cold and frozen to piping hot, you will retain more of the moisture. 

Remove it from the refrigerator or freezer for 20 to 30 minutes before heating. This allows it to temper. 

Step Two: Preheat The Oven 

Next, while you are waiting for your casserole to temper, preheat the oven. Preheat your oven to 350°F. It’s recommended that you don’t climb too steeply above this temperature. You want to keep the heat slow in this procedure. Blasting it with harsh heat will only serve to dry out the dish.

Step Three: Divide Your Casserole 

If you have a casserole that is particularly large, or one that is very thick, divide the dish into 2 to 4 even parts. How many parts you need will depend on the total size. Without dividing the casserole, you are risking the core of the dish staying cold.

Step Four: Place In The Oven 

Place your casserole, or casserole pieces, on a baking tray or dish. Cover your tray or dish with aluminum foil. 

This foil is essential in reheating a casserole without drying it out. It will help retain the juiciness of the dish, and it will keep the edges of the casserole from burning. Those burned edges will contribute to the texture of a dried out dish.

Once you have all of your pieces covered in foil, place it in the oven. Allow the dish to cook for 20 minutes. Thicker casseroles may need more time to allow the heat to penetrate every layer. 

Alternatively, smaller, thinner portions may only need 15 minutes. As you cook, monitor the interior heat of the casserole. If you see cheeses begin to melt, you know that you are almost there. 

Step Five: Remove From The Oven 

Once your casserole is fully cooked, remove it from the oven. It is essential that you remove the dish from the oven as soon as it is ready to eat. Overcooking it will result in a dried up casserole that is a shell of its former self. 

Before you dive in, allow the casseroles to rest for 2 to 5 minutes. This will allow all of the cheeses or other liquid components to settle. Doing so makes it much easier to cut through when you are finally ready to take that first delicious bite. 

After it has been given ample time to sit, you’re all set to dig in. If you have done it correctly, you will reap the rewards of a casserole that has not burned on the edges and is perfectly melty and delicious inside.

Reheating Leftover Casserole In The Microwave Without Drying It Out

While the oven can reheat a casserole to its former, gooey glory, there is no denying the convenience of a microwave. Using a microwave to reheat a casserole is fast and easy. But can you reheat a casserole in the microwave without drying it out?

Just as above, the trick will come in adding moisture and breaking down your pieces. Slow heat will also come into play.

How To Reheat Casserole In The Microwave

  1. If you have a large amount of casserole, section it into individual portions. Just as with above, this will allow you to avoid a frozen core. 
  2. Place your casserole into a microwave safe dish. If possible, spread your casserole out. This will ensure that it heats evenly. 
  3. Cover the microwave safe container with a damp paper towel. Do not seal it completely; you want to allow steam to be created, but also to escape. 
  4. Heat the casserole in 30 second intervals. Check for doneness, and continue to reheat until it is entirely warm. The reheating time will usually come up to about 2 to 3 minutes. 
  5. Halfway through, flip your pieces as needed to ensure full, even heating. 
  6. Serve your leftover casserole and enjoy. 

Adding the additional moisture will help ensure that your casserole does not dry out when it is reheated. 

Tip

If you are reheating frozen casserole, do not freeze it again if you do not finish it in one go. Doing so will drastically ruin the quality, and can even lead to foodborne illnesses. If you do not finish your portion, store it in the fridge and aim to get it eaten within the next 2 days. 

Conclusion 

To reheat a casserole without drying it out, the tricks here are slow heating and reincorporated moisture. Reincorporating moisture is essential, because over cooking can easily sap all the liquids from your dish. 

Make sure that you are not overcooking the dish. Leaving it on the heat for too long will easily result in an unpalatable reheated leftover casserole.