Can You Reheat Carbonara?

If you’ve perfected the art of making carbonara at home, then you know that the texture is everything. Carbonara should be smooth, with al dente pasta and a rich sauce made from eggs and cheese. There shouldn’t be any lumps or gooiness to speak of. 

Making it fresh is one thing, but can you maintain that delectable texture when reheating the dish? Is your rich Italian meal doomed to become gloppy and soggy when it’s tomorrow’s leftovers? In short: can you reheat carbonara? 

Yes, you can reheat carbonara. The key is heat management and timing; letting it come to room temperature first before you heat it is a vital step. A saucepan heated over the stove is the best way to go about it. If you do it correctly, you can end up with a pasta that is as tasty as it was fresh. 

Can You Reheat Carbonara? 

Pasta carbonara is typically made from eggs and egg yolks, and a salty pork that’s been finely diced. Typically, you’re looking at guanciale, pancetta, or bacon. No matter what meat you prefer, as everyone swears by their favorites, you can easily reheat carbonara. 

If you store the sauce and the noodles separately, it makes reheating that much easier. However, you can still reheat carbonara if you mixed each component together first. 

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How Do You Reheat Carbonara? 

When you’re ready to tuck in to your leftovers from the previous evening’s Italian feast, the best way to heat it up is on the stove. You can reheat carbonara in the microwave, but it won’t do the texture any favors. 

How To Reheat Carbonara On The Stove 

To reheat pasta carbonara, the first step is to let it get closer to room temperature first. This will keep the sauce from lumping and curdling up, preserving that creamy texture. It’ll be easier to manipulate your noodles later, and ensure that they reheat evenly. 

Then, heat up a small amount of olive oil in a pan and set the stove to medium heat. Only use a drizzle to start with; you can add more if your noodles seem dry. If you have a nonstick pan, this will keep the noodles from burning. 

Introduce the pasta into the pan and heat it for about five minutes. Stir the noodles well to ensure that the rich sauce is distributed on all sides. Keep an eye on the heat. If the pan seems too hot, turn it down a bit. High heat will cause lumps in your sauce to form. 

How To Reheat Carbonara In The Microwave 

You can reheat carbonara in the microwave, and many reach for this method first. It’s hard to deny how convenient a microwave is when it comes to reheating. However, when you want to make your carbonara taste just as good as it once did, you need to do so carefully. 

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As with the stovetop method, you want to focus on mitigating the heat. 

How you reheat the dish will depend on if you have the noodles separate or all together. Either way, you’re going to want to take advantage of the microwave’s lower heat settings. 

With Pasta And Sauce Separate 
  1. Heat the pasta first, placing it in a microwave safe bowl along with a teaspoon or two of water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. 
  2. If you can adjust the power levels in your microwave, lower it to medium. You might also have a designated reheat setting you can use. Heat the noodles for one minute. 
  3. After the first minute, give the pasta a stir. Then, continue to warm it in one minute increments. Stir after each minute until the noodles are heated through. 
  4. Strain any leftover liquid from the pasta. 
  5. To heat the sauce, empty it into a microwave safe dish and keep the microwave on the lowest heat possible. 
  6. Microwave it for 30 seconds before stirring the sauce. Work in 30 second intervals, stirring between each one. Repeat until the sauce is warm. 
  7. Once everything is heated, mix up the sauce and the pasta. Your carbonara is reheated and ready to enjoy. 
With Pasta And Sauce Together 

When you’re microwaving pasta and sauce together in the same bowl, much of the same principals apply. Use low heat, and work in short intervals. 

Keep your pasta uncovered and microwave it for one minute. Stir between as many one minute intervals as it takes to fully heat the dish and bring it up to perfection.

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Even with constant stirring, you might still end up with a less than perfect sauce. High heat might cook the eggs in your carbonara, changing the texture. 

To improve reheated carbonara, add some fresh cream or grated cheese. This will refresh the flavor and might smooth out the texture. A few sprigs of parsley will enhance the warm flavors. 

Be careful, as your meat (guanciale, pancetta, bacon, or otherwise) will likely be very hot. They’re smaller and higher in fat, meaning they’ll get hot faster than the rest of the sauce. 

Conclusion 

As you pack away your leftover carbonara the next day, you’ll wonder if you can reheat it without sacrificing flavor and texture. Thankfully, you can reheat carbonara without much fuss. 


Minding the temperature and keeping an ongoing motion will ensure the best results. Using the stovetop is the best method. You might also be able to in the microwave, as long as you’re attentive with it. 

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