It’s the end of a long workday, and you have just come home to an empty house. You are hungry but don’t want to spend time cooking dinner. Luckily, there is a perfect solution for this dilemma: re-heating casserole in the oven.
Opinions are divided on how to reheat casserole in the oven. Some people insist the best way is to put it back in the pan and bake it for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, while others say that leaving it untouched will do just fine.
This guide will show you how to reheat casserole in the oven to taste as good as or better than when it was first cooked. The instructions are easy to follow for any skill level cook. Whichever method you choose, the key is to reheat casserole in the microwave oven slowly so that it comes back up to temperature without overcooking.
What Is Casserole?
A casserole is a one-dish meal made by layering ingredients, usually in a deep dish, and baking it. They can be savory or sweet but are always easy to put together. The most popular casseroles are tuna casserole, broccoli casserole, chicken casserole, and ham and cheese casserole.
These meals become even easier to prepare when you know how to reheat soup in the oven.
How To Heat Casserole Without Drying It Out
There are two methods for reheating casserole to ensure it’s cooked through but doesn’t dry out. One plan calls for cooking the soup in an ovenproof dish at 350°F for about 25-30 minutes, while another involves placing the casserole on a wire rack over a baking sheet and reheating it in an even heat at 325°F for 45 minutes.
The best method is to put the casserole in a baking dish, cover it with foil and bake it in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Start checking its temperature after 25 minutes by inserting a thermometer into the thickest part of the casserole.
The internal temperature of your casserole should be about 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If not, leave the casserole in the oven and check its temperature every five minutes until it reaches that level.
If you want more even reheating of your casserole, place the dish on a wire rack over a baking sheet and set it to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the casserole in the oven and only check it every 10 minutes to make sure that it is not getting too hot; you can also use a meat thermometer for this purpose.
How to Heat a Casserole in a Microwave
One of the quickest ways to reheat casserole is in a microwave. You can use either a ceramic or glass container for this method, as microwaves tends to dry out food more than conventional ovens.
To heat your casserole using a microwave, cover it with a paper towel and set it on high power. Cooking time will vary based on the strength of your microwave, but it should take about 30 seconds or a minute.
How Long Does it Take to Reheat a Casserole
The amount of time it takes to reheat casserole in the oven will depend on how hot your oven is and the thickness of the dish. Medium or large-sized dishes will take longer than small oven. You should also make sure that you don’t open the door too many times while you’re cooking because this could lower the overall temperature of your oven.
Instead of guessing how long to reheat the casserole, you can estimate the temperature difference between the casserole and oven, about 25 degrees Fahrenheit per minute. Also, remember that it takes longer for a large casserole dish to heat up than a small one. If you’re cooking more than one dish, be sure to switch the racks in your oven for even heating.
Tips For Reheating Left-over Casserole
Casseroles are more likely to dry out when you reheat them, so it’s best to follow some tips whenever you need to make more of the dish.
1. Reheat Casserole in the Oven at 350 Degrees Fahrenheit for at Least 20 Minutes
Suppose you don’t have time to cook another meal, plan and prepare a casserole the night before. Casseroles reheat well in the oven because they are enclosed, so your soup may dry out if you don’t use the correct method.
To avoid this problem, heat your casserole in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 20 minutes. Covering it with foil can help you avoid drying out your food. If you like your casseroles to be extra hot, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and turn it down when you put them inside; this will allow you to enjoy a hot casserole again.
2. Use Aluminum Foil to Prevent Drying Out
One of the best ways to reheat casseroles is by using aluminum foil because it prevents your food from drying out. Before putting your dish in an oven, line the inside of a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Then place the casserole dish on top of the foil, ensuring it’s entirely covered with another layer. This method works best when reheating a dish that needs to be cooked thoroughly, like lasagna or macaroni and cheese.
Once the food is hot, remove the foil and serve. You may want to make sure that your preheated oven is at 325 degrees Fahrenheit when you are reheating day-old casserole because high temperatures can cause it to dry out.
3. Preheat the Dish Before You Put in the Casserole
One of the best tips for reheating casseroles is preheating the container before you put your dish inside. To ensure that your soup heats evenly throughout, add about an inch of water or broth into a cold casserole dish. Place the casserole in the oven for about five minutes, then take it out and add your leftovers.
This method is fundamental if you cook a dish that requires more than 30 minutes of baking time because cold spots occur in undercooked areas. Keep this tip in mind when you plan to reheat baked goods like lasagna and casseroles.
4. Reheating Casserole in the Microwave is a No-no
While it’s true that you can reheat these dishes in the microwave, it’s best to avoid doing this because microwaves tend to penetrate more deeply into food than ovens do. This means that some parts of the dish could potentially overheat.
The proper way to reheat casserole in the microwave is by using a large shallow container filled with water. Cover your dish for about five minutes, then uncover it and stir until well mixed. Then you can enjoy another serving of piping hot pasta casserole or chicken pot pie.
5. Cover with a Lid for Faster Cooking Time
Some casseroles don’t need more than a few minutes in the oven; you can save some time by covering them while they’re cooking. Use aluminum foil or an oven-safe lid to protect your food while it reheats in the oven. Doing so will prevent overcooking, which leaves your dish tasting dry and bland.
6. Reheat Cheesecake in a Water Bath
Cheesecakes are notorious for being hard to reheat because they crack easily. To prevent your cheesecake from cracking, place it in a water bath before you put it in the oven. Use two pans that fit inside each other; fill one pan with boiling water while placing the other on top.
Then you can place your cheesecake into the water bath and put it in a preheated oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Take it out of the water after 10 minutes, then set the timer for another five minutes.
If you have a frozen casserole or dessert that contains eggs, you will need to heat the dishes longer because of bacteria. In this case, you will need to heat your food at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes or even longer.
Avoid this step if you’re baking a crestless quiche because the underneath part of the quiche can become dry and tough by reheating it in an oven.
7. Use a Food Thermometer to Check Your Dish
Before you put your casserole in the oven, make sure to let it sit for about 30 minutes before you check it. This will give plenty of time for the oil or liquid ingredients to redistribute throughout the food.
You can also use a thermometer to make sure your dish is hot enough after reheating. The FDA recommends that leftovers be heated up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit before they are served again.
8. Reheat Foods in the Microwave Using Plastic Wrap
Another excellent method for reheating leftovers is by using plastic wrap. Place your casserole in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a layer of plastic wrap. Please make sure the layer of the plastic wrap doesn’t touch the food because it will stick to the top when you remove it from the microwave.
Then put another piece of plastic directly on top of the dish and cover the plastic with a paper towel. Fold over the edges of the plastic wrap to prevent steam from escaping.
This post is a quick and easy way to reheat casseroles. Some simple steps will help you make sure your food tastes better than it did before, even if the leftovers were initially being heated in an oven or microwave.
Also Read: How to Boil the Eggs Properly