How To Reheat a Casserole Without Drying it Out

Casseroles are an essential dish in American cuisine. You can prepare them with different ingredients and for various occasions.

Casseroles usually combine some types of proteins, vegetables, and other ingredients. Mac and cheese, lasagna, tuna noodle, and shepherd pies are some of the most well-known casseroles. 

What makes casseroles a special dish is that you can make them from whatever you have on hand. And while making them, you can stick to specific recipes, or you can improvise and add your favorite spices, herbs or even vegetables.

Then you can store and enjoy the delicious leftovers for future meals. However, many people end up drying out the casserole when reheating it.

But we have good news:

You can enjoy a perfectly reheated moist slice of your delicious casserole if you follow these steps!


1. Use the Right Dish 

The first step in avoiding dry reheated casseroles is to use the right dish. 

To reheat the casserole without drying it out, it is crucial to have the right cookware. Otherwise, you are going to end up with dry food that sticks to the bottom of the dish, or even worse, a casserole that is warm on the outside yet cold on the inside.

Ceramic and cast-iron casseroles are your best options. They usually have thicker bases which prevent the casserole from sticking out. You also want to use a dish with a lid to preserve the quality and freshness of the food in the fridge. 


2. Let the Casserole Come to Room Temperature

Casseroles, and most dishes, are better kept in the fridge. 

However, before reheating it in the oven or the microwave, you should keep the dish out for a minimum of 30 minutes. At the end, we want the casserole to spend as little time as possible inside the oven.

Although it is tempting to keep leftovers in the fridge for a long time, casseroles shouldn't spend more than three days in your fridge.  

For your safety and health, casseroles are best eaten fresh.


3.  Preheat Your Oven

The best tip to prevent dry casseroles is to preheat your oven. When it reaches the right temperature, the casserole will reheat evenly and you won’t find yourself taking a cold bite. 

The right temperature for a casserole is around 350°F. 

Love cooking but don’t care as much for the cleanup? Read: The 7 Best Dishwasher Safe Cookware Sets [Shopping Guide 2021]


4. Cover the Dish With Foil

Image is of a young woman in the kitchen measuring out aluminum foil to cover a dish with.

Covering your dish with aluminum foil is key to keep it from drying out. A well-sealed foil cover will keep the moisture in and will protect the top crust from over-browning or burning.

You should keep the dish in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes depending on your personal preferences. 


5. Let the Casserole Sit 

After you take it out of the oven (make sure you use oven mitts), let the casserole sit for a little bit before you eat it. 

You don’t want to serve flaming hot leftovers to your loved ones!


Conclusion

Casseroles are delicious and come in a wide variety of flavors. They appear on dinner tables in most homes in the United States (and other countries, too). 

To some people, a casserole means a family dinner with everyone around the table. To others, it is the perfect comfort food on a rainy day. Whether you are planning to eat your casserole during the day or at night, alone or with friends and family, it is crucial to reheat it properly to prevent it from drying out.

Not only to enjoy warm delicious food but also for the casserole to be safe for consumption after sitting in the fridge or the freezer for a few days. 

The steps above provide you with an easy way to reheat your casserole while preserving its freshness and moisture.

To recap:

  • If the oven is not preheated or the dish is uncovered, you may end up with a dry casserole
  • After taking your leftovers out of the fridge, you should let the casserole come to room temperature before putting it in the oven
  • Make sure that you preheat your oven to the right temperature (a cold oven can result in dry food)
  • It is also best to cover your food with aluminum foil to maintain its softness and freshness
  • Last, take your casserole out of the oven, let it sit for a few minutes

And, voilà, your casserole is perfectly reheated and ready for you to enjoy!

Image is of a pasta casserole with tomatoes.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I Freeze my Casserole? 

As you may know, freezing food slows down the molecules which means less active microbes. It makes food safer and healthier to consume. 

You can freeze casseroles before or after baking. If your dish contains meat, chicken, fish, or seafood, it should be completely baked before you put it in the freezer. If it is a vegetarian dish, you have the option to freeze it as you wish. 

Related: Can You Freeze Smoked Salmon?


Can I Reheat my Casserole in the Microwave? 

You can reheat your casserole both in the oven and the microwave, depending on the quantity. If you are reheating a slice or two, you can use the microwave. 

If cooking from frozen, press the defrosting setting and let it defrost for at least three minutes. Then, you need to press the automatic reheat setting and let your casserole heat up for a few minutes.

If your casserole doesn’t fit inside your microwave, you can always use a skillet instead. 

In the market for a new skillet? Check out our article: Tramontina VS Cuisinart: How to Buy The Best Cookware for Your Family.


Can I Reheat my Casserole on the Stove? 

If you don’t have an oven in your kitchen, or you don’t want to wait for it to preheat, you can always use the stove. 

First, you need a skillet or a pan that is the right size for the amount of food you have. Also, your leftovers should be at room temperature. 

Add a little cooking spray, butter, or some type of oil. After it starts sizzling, distribute your leftovers evenly in the pan. 

Use a spatula to move around the pieces to keep the food from sticking to the bottom. 

 

Last update on 2021-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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