How to Reheat Pasta Carbonara

Pasta carbonara – truly a delicacy from Italy. While your local restaurant may not be the pasta hub of the world like Italy, you can still get some tasty pasta wherever you are in the world.

And with such a delicious meal like carbonara, you’re bound to overdo it every now and then. Order more than you can handle. Improper portioning of dry pasta, leading to a massive pot.

So, if you’re finding yourself in this situation – too much carbonara and not enough room in the belly – you’re probably wondering if you can even reheat it at all? Much less maintain the same high quality as it had when fresh.

Well, yes! You absolutely can reheat your pasta carbonara. Simply reheat your sauce and pasta noodles separately on the stove. Boil a pot of water and place the noodles in a strainer to steam, while heating the sauce in a saucepan on low heat until warmed.

Now that you know the best and most convenient method, let’s get into some other options – just in case stovetop isn’t really your thing.

Microwave

The microwave truly has a bad rep in the world of reheating. There are quite a lot of foods you should never warm in a microwave, because it will negatively affect the taste and texture – and may end up even ruining it depending on what the dish is. 

If you have one of those fancy, high-tech microwaves then you’re gonna have a super easy time with this.

Reheat button

  • Put your pasta and sauce in separate microwave-safe containers
  • Add 3 tbsp of water to your noodles
  • Heat them on low for up to 60 seconds
  • Stir the pasta to distribute the heat and return for an additional 30 seconds
  • For the sauce, use the “keep warm” setting
  • If your microwave lacks this option, simply heat on low-medium for 30 seconds
  • If not warmed yet, stir the sauce and heat for an additional 30 seconds, continuing like this until the desired temperature is reached
  • Pour your sauce over the noodles and serve hot

Regular method

If you don’t have a super fancy high-tech microwave with lots of settings, you can still make good use of it to heat up your carbonara.

  • Put your sauce and pasta in separate microwave-safe containers
  • Add a small bit of water to the noodles
  • Heat on medium power for up to 60 seconds, stirring at 30 seconds
  • If still cold, continue to heat and stir in 30-second intervals
  • Once the pasta is hot, add the sauce 
  • Heat the sauce the same as the pasta, starting at 30 seconds and stirring every 30-second interval til heated
  • Pour the hot sauce on the noodles and serve

While using a microwave for pasta carbonara is a little more involved of a process than other foods where you just pop it in and go, it’s definitely worth it to follow these directions to get the most out of your leftovers. 

These methods will ensure you don’t lose too much flavor, or change that delicious creamy texture.

Stove

While this method may not be the easiest, it’s more convenient than the microwave because you can actually just heat it all together. But, this is very important, do NOT add water while using the stove because it will change the consistency of the sauce and may even minimize the flavor.

With careful monitoring of cooking temperature, you can get a nice even heat in a saucepan. 

While adding water is not recommended, you may need to add a small bit of oil or cream to the sauce to ensure it doesn’t dry up or lose that creamy texture.

  • Grab a non-stick pan
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil
  • Heat the oil on medium
  • Once thoroughly heated, add the pasta and slowly stir
  • After 5 minutes, add a splash of cream or oil for the rich and creamy texture
  • Stir in the cream (or oil) and continue heating on medium until hot
  • Remove from heat and serve immediately 

The most important part of reheating pasta on the stove is to keep stirring. If you let it sit for too long, it will absolutely burn and ruin your dish.

Top with some shredded cheese and enjoy.

Final Thoughts

Whether you decide the microwave or the stovetop is the way to go for you, so long as you follow these directions carefully you will end up with some tasty like-fresh pasta. 

The microwave is quick, the stovetop is efficient. You can’t go wrong with either choice.