Paella is a tasty Spanish dish made with rice, seafood, and veggies. A gorgeous presentation usually cooked and served in a pan.
Because it’s so delicious a dish, there’s a very likely possibility that you’ve made far too much – and as great as paella maybe there’s only so much a family or a single person can eat in one night.
Pella lends itself to cooking in bulk, but there’s still the matter of later. How do you reheat paella so it’s as tasty as the first day?
There are several ways to reheat your leftover paella, but the best way will always be the way the food was originally cooked. So, in this instance is slapping that dish in a pan with some extra water, oil, or broth for 10 minutes or so.
Is reheating paella safe?
Yes, you definitely can reheat your paella and it’s totally safe to do so.
So long as your food’s temperature reaches 320 degrees Fahrenheit, you’re good to go.
That temperature will allow the moisture in the paella to stay and keep everything moist and fresh.
Go too far over this and you run the risk of drying out your dish.
Does storage method matter?
Yes, the storage method matters quite a lot with paella – and most other foods.
If there are shells or anything like that inside, remove them and let the paella cool to room temperature.
After it’s cooled, store your dish in an air-tight container, preferably made of glass – but plastic will work for shorter storage.
When stored this way, paella will last up to 4 days in the fridge, and up to 3 months in the freezer.
What if it’s frozen?
If you froze your paella, you’re gonna want to defrost it before reheating.
If you leave it at room temperature for too long, such as letting it thaw on the counter, you run the risk of exposure to harmful bacteria forming on the rice.
Once you’ve got it thawed out, stir in about a tablespoon of olive or vegetable oil to help break up the rice that’s likely stuck together. This will loosen the whole dish and make it easier – and faster – to reheat.
Believe it or not, the microwave isn’t a horrible option to go for paella.
The texture will most likely change a little bit, there’s not much you can do to avoid this when going the microwave route – however, it’s a fast and incredibly convenient method so it’s understandable to want to use it.
- Add your paella to a microwave-safe dish or container
- Add a tablespoon of oil to your paella and stir it in all the way
- Be sure to break up any clumps, especially of rice
- Heat for 60 seconds
- Remove and check the temperature in the center. If it’s warm enough, serve
- If it’s still cold, stir the paella again and reheat further in 30-second increments
- Stir after every 30 seconds
- Optional note: don’t use this method for seafood paella, as the texture of your seafood will become rubbery and unpalatable
While the microwave isn’t the worst option out there, it’s definitely not the best. Unless absolutely pressed for time, consider another option.
The oven is an easy method, but it’s definitely not quick.
Thankfully, the effort required with reheating food in the oven is very minimal. And, the best part – food reheated in the oven will almost never lose its original taste or texture.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Grab an oven-safe casserole dish or baking pan
- Spread your paella on the bottom in a thin layer
- Note, not too thin or you’ll end up with your paella coming out crunchy
- Add some water, around 1/2 cup per two cups of paella
- Cover with foil or the dish cover
- Heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring around the 10-minute mark
- Once fully heated, remove and serve immediately
If you’ve got a steamer lying around, this is an amazing option to use for your paella. This will keep your dish super moist and on top of it flavor-wise.
- Preheat the steamer to medium-heat
- Grease your steamer basket with oil or cooking spray
- Place the paella in the basket
- Warm paella until thoroughly warmed, stirring occasionally
- Remove after about 10 minutes
- Serve immediately
Last, but most certainly not least, is reheating your paella in a frying pan on the stove. Since this method was most likely the way your paella was originally cooked, this will give you the best outcome in taste and texture after reheating.
- Begin by removing your paella from the fridge and let it sit for AT MOST 30 minutes on the counter to thaw a bit
- Turn on your stove burner to medium heat
- Place your pan on the heat and splash with olive oil, no more than a tablespoon
- Let the oil heat up for 10 seconds, then add your paella to the pan and stir
- Smooth your paella out and flatten into a single even layer, so it doesn’t end up chunky and half hot half cold
- Heat for several minutes, until thoroughly warmed
Paella is a delicious and beautiful dish that has many varieties and types of ingredients.
If you find yourself in a position of needing to reheat your paella, this guide will serve you well.