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How to reheat a casserole

A casserole is an easy dish to make and doesn’t require too many steps. It also comprises many great ingredients like cheese, meat, sauces, and pasta, which ultimately makes it a family favorite. 

If you’ve ever made a casserole and had some leftovers, you’re not alone! It’s quite possible to reheat leftover casserole—and still make sure it tastes good. 

If you’re trying to figure out how to reheat a casserole without drying it out or overcooking it, you’re in luck! 

There are a few easy ways to heat a casserole and let it retain its original taste as well. Here’s what you need to know. 

Reheating casserole 

Whether you need to reheat the whole casserole or just the leftovers, the first thing to do is allow it to settle down to room temperature (or until it thaws if it was frozen) before proceeding to reheat it. 

Subsequently, you can employ any of the following methods for reheating leftover casserole. 

1. Heating a casserole in the oven

If you want to reheat a leftover casserole in the oven, keep in mind that your aim is to warm it up only. You won’t be able to recreate the original appearance or texture from when it was freshly made, but you will be able to retain its taste.

  • If you have a little casserole left (around two servings), you can warm it in the oven after it has been preheated at 400 to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover it with tinfoil to keep it moist and leave it in the oven for around 10 to 15 minutes at most.
  • If you have a slightly larger amount of casserole left, you can put it in the oven for about 20 minutes at most, at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember to keep it covered with foil so that the casserole can retain its moisture and doesn’t dry out. You can use these temperatures and times for both meat-based and vegetable casseroles.
  • When you feel that the casserole is already heated effectively, you can use a thermometer to check whether the temperature towards the casserole’s centre is around 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If not, you can place it in the oven for a maximum of five minutes more but be careful not to let the edges burn.
  • Using the oven is the best way to reheat a whole casserole. If you’ve just taken it out of the freezer, transfer it to the fridge to thaw and then place it in the preheated oven for the best results.

2. Reheating a casserole in the microwave

Like reheating a casserole in the oven, you’ll need an oven-friendly or microwave-safe dish to reheat a casserole in the microwave.

  • Heat it for around two to five minutes at high heat if your microwave doesn’t have an automatic reheating option. Keep it at two if you have fewer servings, and aim for five if you have a larger portion leftover. Keep checking the temperature and ensuring the casserole isn’t drying out or losing its shape from excessive heat.
  • When heating the casserole in the microwave, it’s better not to cover it with tinfoil if you overheat or ruin the texture.
  • Most people prefer reheating leftover servings of a casserole in the microwave because it’s more convenient and doesn’t require additional time waiting for the microwave to preheat. Of course, this works best with leftover casserole from the night before that it was kept in the fridge and hasn’t been frozen. Frozen casserole must be thawed and heated up better in an oven.

How to defrost a frozen casserole 

When you’re defrosting a frozen casserole, you should thaw it out until the ice melts away before proceeding to reheat it. 

Don’t leave it out to defrost for too long, or it will become soggy. Instead, you can use the defrost setting of your microwave and cover the casserole with wax paper before placing it inside. 

Tips from the pros

  • If you’re worried about the heat not thoroughly distributing throughout the casserole when you’re warming it up, you can also cut it into smaller pieces or serving sizes to allow heat to reach the innermost parts of the casserole. You can also move it into a more appropriately sized, oven-friendly dish.
  • When you’re storing leftover casserole in the refrigerator, be sure to consume it within two days. Leaving it in the fridge for longer will cause the casserole to go bad. If you’ve kept it in the freezer, don’t freeze it again after taking it out. Instead, it’s better to finish it within a day of defrosting it.
  • When your casserole has a topping such as breadcrumbs or crackers, you will want to set it in the oven for a minute or two without tinfoil so that topping can become crispy again—even if you’ve heated it in the microwave. This is just an added measure if you want to recover some of the topping’s original crispiness but be careful that you don’t burn it.
  • Always make sure your casserole reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that it’s safe to eat.
  • If you’re heating your casserole in the oven, rotate the dish every few minutes to allow an equal amount of time in each position so that the casserole heats more evenly.
  • People often like to use one trick to prevent the casserole from drying out in the oven – that is placing an oven-safe dish of water in the empty part of the casserole dish. You might need to transfer the casserole to a bigger dish for this step. It would also help if you then covered the whole thing with tin foil again. This comes in handy when you have pasta, noodles, or vegetables in your casserole and are afraid that they’ll dry out. 

The bottom line

Hopefully, you now have a clearer idea of how to reheat a casserole, whether whole or just a few leftover servings. 

Remember to keep checking that it reheats thoroughly and keep an eye on it for burned edges or the signs of drying out. If you’re vigilant, you’ll have a great reheated casserole that’s ready to serve in no time.

How to reheat a casserole

How to reheat a casserole

CookingChew tallies only the best ways to reheat a casserole. Here’s one of them.

Ingredients

  • Oven
  • Thermometer
  • Casserole

Instructions

  1. Choose the oven method.
  2. If you have a little casserole left (around two servings), you can warm it in the oven after it has been preheated at 400 to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover it with tinfoil to keep it moist and leave it in the oven for around 10 to 15 minutes at most.
  3. If you have a slightly larger amount of casserole left, you can put it in the oven for about 20 minutes at most, at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember to keep it covered with foil so that the casserole can retain its moisture and doesn’t dry out. You can use these temperatures and times for both meat-based and vegetable casseroles. 
  4. When you feel that the casserole is already heated effectively, you can use a thermometer to check whether the temperature towards the casserole's centre is around 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If not, you can place it in the oven for a maximum of five minutes more but be careful not to let the edges burn.
  5. Using the oven is the best way to reheat a whole casserole. If you’ve just taken it out of the freezer, transfer it to the fridge to thaw and then place it in the preheated oven for the best results.

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