One thing y’all have to know about me…I love me some leftovers.
There is almost nothing better than knowing you don’t have to worry about what’s for lunch because you’ve got leftovers in the fridge! And because I would love to make your lives easier too, I’ve got some easy tips for reheating leftovers that I would love to share.
Sometimes lunch sneaks up on me and the little people are hungry, but there’s no food prepped. That’s why I cook extra food! I actually try to intentionally cook more than enough food at meal times so I know that I will have leftovers for lunch the next day. We can have leftovers at lunch here, and I also send some to work with Barry so he doesn’t have to eat out.
I’ve been asked often, “Stacy, how do you reheat leftovers so they actually taste good?”
Today, I’ll share just a few tips for reheating leftovers so you can no longer fear them. Instead you can embrace leftovers and actually plan your menu in advance to ensure that you have them.
For a long time, I didn’t use microwaves because I thought they were unhealthy and unhelpful.
But, I’ve done a lot of reading and research and we feel like for us, the microwave is ok. I do use the microwave quite regularly to reheat our food. One of the more helpful articles I found was published on the The Paleo Mom blog and I thought it had a lot of good info. I would encourage everyone do to do some research then determine if you feel comfortable using the microwave in your own home. Do your thing and don’t be hatin’ if somebody else does something different, m’kay?
I have a few rules that I follow for microwave use:
- Only use the microwave to reheat food, not too cook.
- Always reheat in glass, never plastic.
- Don’t microwave bread items; they just get too chewy.
One of my favorite meals to make a big batch of is Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole!
I like this recipe not just because it’s crazy delicious, but also because it’s a very filling, meatless meal. And when it comes to reheating leftovers, this one couldn’t be easier!
If I was going to reheat this spaghetti casserole in the microwave, I would scoop the servings for that meal out of the big dish and put on a smaller, glass plate or bowl. Cover the casserole with paper towel or paper plate (not styrofoam) – so your microwave doesn’t look like a spaghetti bomb went off! – and reheat for 1 minute. Then you’ll want to take it out stir before adding more time. I add time at 30 second or 1 minute intervals. Overcooking in the microwave can happen quickly, so always check your food as it cooks.
A few quick tips for reheating leftovers:
- Reheat pizza in a toaster oven at 350 degrees. Or if you don’t have a toaster oven, you can reheat in a dry, covered skillet until the cheese melts.
- Anything with lots of liquid like soups, chilis, or stews, I will just stick on stove top and reheat slowly, adding water if more liquid is needed.
- Macaroni and cheese reheats best if you just stick it back in a pot on the stove, adding a little milk to loosen it up. Stir it every so often until it’s warm.
- For really dense casseroles and meatloaf, I recommend you cut in smaller pieces first to ensure more even heating.
- If you’re worried something might dry out, I recommend the stove top over the toaster oven or microwave. The toaster oven in particular has a tendency to dry things out.
- For breads, rolls, bagels, cinnamon rolls, etc., I place the goodness in a toaster or regular oven at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes. They usually taste as good as when I pulled them out the first time!
- If something does get dried out somehow, what’s the easy solution? BUTTER. you can’t go wrong reheating your leftovers if you’ve got butter nearby!
And the best advice I can give you… PLAN IN ADVANCE for leftovers.
Use your leftovers to your advantage, y’all! Make a little extra at dinner or breakfast. Then review my tips from the Microwave Geek blog for reheating leftovers so you can save yourself some effort at a later meal. You’ll be so glad you did!
Do you love or hate leftovers? What’s your favorite tip for reheating leftovers?