A classic casserole is a wonderful dish consisting of a mix of meat, carbs, vegetables, and sauces. It is not only tasty but also easy to make. This hearty meal is also easy to customize, including a vegetarian version.
Casserole also makes excellent freezer meals. Thus, it is common to make a large portion and store it for future meals.
Whether having a pile of leftovers from a holiday dinner or making a big batch in advance, you will need to reheat the baked dish. Hence, it tastes as wonderful as freshly baked.
So, what is the best way to reheat leftover casserole, so it stays delicious?
Well, we got you covered! Keep reading to learn the proper ways to reheat leftover casserole (frozen and refrigerated) for a fantastic warm meal!
Reheating Frozen Casserole
To reheat frozen casserole, you can start by thawing it in advance with one of these methods.
1. In a refrigerator
Refrigerator thawing is by far the safest and most straightforward method. You can simply leave frozen casserole to slowly thaw in the fridge for a few hours. Defrosting a large portion takes a lot of time. So, it is best to do it overnight to have it ready the next day.
2. In a microwave, using defrost settings
This method is the fastest option and great to defrost a small portion. But, it is only recommended if you want to serve the meal immediately.
3. In cold water
Place frozen casserole in a leak-proof bag. Immerse the bag in a large bowl of cold water. This method is much faster than the refrigerator, but thawed food must be reheated and served immediately.
Next, you can reheat the thawed casserole in an oven, microwave, or skillet.
How To Reheat Casserole In The Oven
In general, reheating baked dishes in an oven is usually a preferred option. This technique is effective in heating up leftover casserole from refrigerator evenly without drying them out.
Here is how to warm up a refrigerated casserole in the oven:
1. Set your oven to 350 °F (or 176 °C).
2. Bring the casserole to room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Place it in an oven-safe dish and cover it with aluminum foil.
4. Bake for 15 to 30 minutes until the center reaches a safe temperature of 165 °F.
5. Once ready, remove from the oven. Be careful when unwrapping the foil.
6. Rest for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.
The cooking time depends on the thickness and portion; the bigger, the longer it takes. A small, thinner piece usually takes 15 minutes, while the bigger ones can take up to 20 to 30 minutes.
It is also advised to check every 5 to 10 minutes if you’re not sure. Be careful not to go too far because the fat from the cheese and sauce might separate and make the dish look oily.
How To Warm Up Casserole In A Microwave
If you’re a fan of microwaving leftovers, luckily, this kitchen appliance works pretty well for reheating breakfast casserole.
Keep in mind to cut leftovers into smaller pieces. Otherwise, they won’t reheat evenly, resulting in an overheated exterior and cold interior.
To avoid such a mess, follow our instructions below.
1. Let the casserole rest at room temperature for about 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Cut it into smaller pieces. Don’t cut it too thick because the interior might not be evenly reheated.
3. Place in a plate or microwave-safe dish and cover it. That means no aluminum foil plate.
4. Microwave for 2 to 3 minutes.
5. After the 2-minute mark, check if it is thoroughly reheated. If not, pop it back and continue reheating for 20 to 30 seconds.
6. Once ready, take it out and serve immediately!
How To Reheat Casserole In A Skillet
If you need to reheat a medium portion that’s too big for a microwave but too small for your oven, reheating in a skillet might be your best bet. This reheating option is also perfect for other similar dishes, like lasagna and moussaka.
Here is how to reheat a casserole in a skillet.
1. Bring the casserole to room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Cut into smaller pieces to fit the skillet.
3. Add a little bit of oil or cooking spray to the skillet and set the stove on medium heat. Add a little bit of water to ensure the dish stays moist as it reheats.
4. Place the pieces in the pan, cover with the lid, and reheat for a few minutes. Let the steam heat the dish.
5. If the water has evaporated while the casserole is not thoroughly reheated, simply add a splash of water and continue reheating. Keep a watchful eye, and don’t overcook it.
The Bottom Line
Whether you have refrigerated or frozen leftovers, there is no doubt to reheat leftover casserole for a tasty warm meal. They might not taste as perfect as freshly baked, but they make quick, delicious meals.
Keep leftovers refrigerated for 3 to 4 days and reheat as needed. For long-term storage, try freezing them. Shortly before serving, you can reheat them quickly in the oven, microwave, or skillet.
Check our step-to-step guide above on how to reheat leftover casserole, so it stays delicious until the last bite!