How To Reheat Baked Ziti The Safe Way

baked ziti

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If you love baked ziti as our family does, you should make baked ziti part of your menu rotation and keep all the ingredients on hand in your well-stocked pantry (food stockpile). Add is a tossed salad and some bread for a delicious, comforting meal that’ll get your family’s bellies full.

Part of maintaining a cost-effective kitchen is to reduce food waste by consuming everything you buy and cook.

This principle also applies to baked ziti because whether your baked ziti has been stored in the refrigerator or previously frozen, it can be reheated successfully.

What Is Baked Ziti?

Well, if you haven’t had this dish yet, you’re missing out. Traditional baked ziti is a pasta dish made with ziti shaped pasta, a tomato-based sauce (think marinara or Pomodoro sauce here), and cheese. Lots of glorious cheese! Many people also add in ground beef, sausage, or even vegetables.

The term baked ziti can also refer to any type of baked dish using ziti shaped pasta. These dishes could contain a white sauce instead of the traditional tomato-based sauce. And they could also include such variations as this chicken parmesan baked ziti shown below.

Regardless of which type of sauce you have, here are your instructions on reheating baked ziti.

How To Reheat Baked Ziti

Reheating baked ziti in the oven or toaster oven will yield the best results. To reheat baked ziti in the oven (or toaster oven), preheat it to 350°F. You should always cover baked ziti with aluminum foil when reheating. Then, place the covered ziti onto a baking sheet before placing it into the preheated oven. Reheat your baked ziti until the internal temperature reaches 165° as recommended by the USDA.

How To Reheat Baked Ziti In The Oven

Items You Will Need:

Steps To Successfully Reheating Baked Ziti Safely

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350.

Step 2: Remove your baked ziti from the refrigerator and cover tightly with aluminum foil. **Tightly covering your ziti when in the oven helps trap in moisture during reheating and keeps your ziti from drying out.**

Step 3: Place the probe of your oven thermometer about halfway down in the center of your baked ziti and set it to 165° F.

Step 4: Placed baked ziti on the baking sheet. This is to catch any spills and to make it easier to transfer your ziti out of the oven, especially if you have used a disposable aluminum pan.

Step 5: Reheat until the internal temperature reached 165° F.

Step 6: Using oven mitts, carefully remove the ziti from the oven.

Keep in mind that if you are using an instant-read thermometer, test the internal temperature of your reheated baked ziti about 30 to 45 minutes after it has been in the oven. Continue to do so reheat until the internal thermometer reached 165° F (74°C).

When temping your dish, do it quickly and remember every time you open your oven door, the temperature drops and it will take longer to finish cooking.

Always temp your dish from the center and go half way down. Once it is close to 165° F, you can remove the foil and let it crisp up a bit. This is a good time to add some extra cheese also!

How Long Will It Take To Reheat Baked Ziti In The Oven?

When reheating ziti, there are a lot of variables that determine the length of time it takes to reheat. First, the size of your baked ziti dish matters. Second, the depth of your ziti matters. Is it in a smaller, deeper dish or a larger, more shallow dish? Lastly, the reheating time is greatly affected by whether your ziti is being reheated from a thawed or frozen state.

Generally speaking, you need to cook (reheat) baked ziti that was refrigerated 30 to 45 minutes in the oven. And up to an hour or so if frozen or partially frozen.

Keep in mind, many people will tell you that your ziti is reheated when it is bubbly but you should not rely on that fact.

Instead, safely reheat your baked ziti to an internal temperature of 165° F (74°C) as recommended by the USDA.

Can You Freeze Baked Ziti?

Yes, you can freeze baked ziti. For best quality, freeze in a freezer-safe container and eat within 3 months.

Can You Reheat Frozen Baked Ziti?

It depends. If you made your ziti in a disposable aluminum pan, your baked ziti can go directly from the freezer to the hot oven with no problem.

However, you should never put glass or ceramic containers from the freezer directly into a hot oven even if your container says it is freezer and oven safe.

Just because your dish is freezer safe and oven safe does not mean it can withstand the rapid changes in temperature that occur from your freezer to a hot oven.

Don’t do it or you risk injury from exploding glass. It is always best (and takes less time) to reheat your lasagna after it has thawed (or partially thawed) in the refrigerator.

Steps To Reheat Frozen Baked Ziti In The Oven

Reheating frozen baked ziti in the oven is similar to reheating a thawed baked ziti. The main difference is in how you check the temperature to see when it has reached the recommended 165° F and the type of pan being used.

As we discussed before, I do NOT recommend taking a glass baking dish directly from the freezer and putting it into the hot oven because it could shatter.

Instead, I recommend only reheating baked ziti straight from the freezer when you use disposable aluminum pans. Here are the directions.

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350.

Step 2: Remove your baked ziti from the refrigerator or freezer and cover tightly with aluminum foil. **Tightly covering your ziti when in the oven helps trap in moisture during reheating and keeps your ziti from drying out.**

Step 3: Placed baked ziti on the baking sheet. This is to catch any spills and to make it easier to transfer your ziti out of the oven, especially when using a disposable aluminum pan.

Step 4: Check the internal temperature of your ziti after around 45 minutes. By this time, it should be thawed in the center so you should place your oven thermometer through the foil and in the center of the ziti, about halfway down. Set the thermometer to 165° F.

Step 5: Continue reheating your ziti until the internal temperature reaches 165° F.

Step 6: Using your oven mitts, carefully remove the ziti from the oven.

How To Reheat Baked Ziti In The Microwave

We live in an instant gratification society and that goes for our food as well. Many people will use the microwave to reheat their food quickly and sacrifice quality in doing so. And they don’t care. We’ve all been there, right? Reheating ziti in the microwave is no exception.

So, yes, you can reheat baked ziti in the microwave but you may sacrifice some quality in doing so.

Items You Will Need:

Step by Step Instructions For Reheating Baked Ziti In The Microwave

Step 1: Place your ziti in a microwave-safe dish.

Step 2: Wet a paper towel and place it over your dish or cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap.

Step 3: Heat on 50% power (or medium setting) for about 90 seconds.

Step 4: Stick the probe of your instant-read thermometer into the middle of your ziti, about halfway down. When it reads 165°F, you’re done. If not, proceed to step 5.

Step 5: Recover your ziti and continue heating in 15 to 30-second increments at 50% power (medium) until it temps at 165°F.

Step 6: Carefully remove dish from microwave with oven mitts and enjoy.

Other Related Questions

How Do You Store Baked Ziti?

Store baked ziti covered in the refrigerator or in the freezer in a freezer safe container.

How Do You Thaw Baked Ziti?

The best way to thaw baked ziti is in the refrigerator for 24 hours before reheating.

If your ziti was frozen in a microwave-safe container, theoretically you could reheat it in the microwave.

However, be careful when reheating in the microwave. Just because a dish says it is microwave safe, doesn’t mean it is. The odds are you will need to reheat your ziti for a long time. This could result in your container getting extremely hot, cracking, or shattering.

Remember, when a dish explodes in the microwave, it could damage the microwave itself. So you may end up replacing the broken dish and your microwave.

Because of this, I never reheat ziti in the microwave unless I am reheating a single serving! Even then, I am careful about the dishes I use and make sure they are microwave-safe.

What Cheeses Are used To Make Baked Ziti?

The most popular cheeses used to make ziti are ricotta, mozzarella, and paremsan. You could also use mascarpone or a parmesan-reggiano blend.

In a pinch, you could also substitute cream cheese, cottage cheese, or provolone.

How Do You Keep Baked ziti From Drying Out?

If you’ve ever asked the question why is my baked ziti dry, you’re not alone. To reheat pasta without drying it out, the best thing to do is add some extra sauce and cheese on the top then cover before reheating.

Is Reheating Pasta Safe?

Baked ziti, whether you are cooking it the first time or reheating leftovers, should always be at an internal temperature of 165°F.

How Long Is Leftover Baked Ziti Good For In The Fridge?

When stored properly, your leftover baked ziti should be good for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. Be sure to cover your ziti tightly to keep it from drying out.

Why Do You Put An Egg Into Baked Ziti?

Not all baked ziti recipes have eggs. With that said, many people always add an egg in baked ziti if they are using ricota. They do this to help bind the dish.

How Do You Improve Leftover Baked Pasta that Has Been reheated?

As mentioned previously, adding extra sauce and cheese can help improve reheated leftover baked pasta.

Can I Make Ziti Ahead Of Time And Store It Unbaked?

Yes, you can assemble your ziti ahead of time and save the baking for later. Uncooked baked ziti can stay in the fridge for up to 3 days before baking.

TIP: When storing unbaked ziti, you need to toss the noodles with one or two tablespoons of oil to keep them from sticking together.

you are storing your ziti unbaked, you need to take an extra step to keep your noodles from sticking together. Before assembling the ingredients, toss the cooked noodles with one to two tablespoons should be sufficient.

What Shape Of Pasta Can I Substitute For Ziti?

In the event you are out of ziti shaped pasta, you can substitute rigatoni, penne, or even mostaccioli.

What to Do If You Don’t Like reheated Ziti?

Some people feel reheated pasta noodles are gummy and therefore, won’t eat reheated pasta dishes like ziti.

If this is your family and you are trying to maintain a cost-effective kitchen, you must not waste any ziti.

In a case like this, you should make just enough ziti for everyone to have a serving to ensure there are no leftovers. Then, add a side salad and some bread to ensure no one goes hungry!

Related Informational Guides:

Final Thoughts

Pasta dishes are a great way to reduce the overall cost of a meal. They allow you to stretch the meat and get your family’s bellies full.

Remember, when reheating ziti, it’s always best to add a little extra sauce so plan ahead if you intend on having leftover ziti.

Until next time…


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