Do you ever have any leftover pasta in your fridge that you would like to utilize, but don’t quite know where to start?
With these quick and creative recipes, you are bound to find many ways that you can take advantage of your leftovers!
Not only does it lessen food waste, but it is a fantastic way to try out new recipes!
Most of the recipes use leftover spaghetti, but there are some that use leftover macaroni and cheese.
The list also includes several recipes that incorporate plain cooked noodles!
- Baked Leftover Pasta
- Italian Leftover Pasta
- Vegetarian Pasta Recipes
- Pasta Salad Recipes
- Skillet Recipes
- Mexican-American Recipes
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
Baked Leftover Pasta
1.Leftover Spaghetti Bake
If you have leftover spaghetti that is already mixed with sauce, this recipe is the perfect idea for you!
You can jazz it up by adding different things like meat or vegetables!
First, add stabilizing ingredients including eggs and seasonings, then combine the rest of the ingredients. Pop it in the oven for half an hour, and you are good to go!
If you already have your sauce mixed in to your leftover pasta, you’re off to a great start with this recipe.
Simply mix eggs and seasoned breadcrumbs with your leftover pasta, then bake for 40 minutes!
Once it has 10 minutes remaining, top with some fresh mozzarella and sliced mushrooms before putting it back in the oven to finish baking.
Did someone say spaghetti, in pie form? Yep, that’s right. This “pie” has three scrumptious layers; your extra noodles, a rich meat sauce, and ooey-gooey cheese finishes it off.
With your noodles ready to go, all you need to do is cook your meat sauce and layer it accordingly.
A pie tin is best used. Both 8×8 or 9×9 work best for this recipe. Bake about 20 minutes, until it is hot and the cheese is browned!
4.Scottish Macaroni Pie
Macaroni pie is a pasta filling baked inside of a flaky pastry pie crust. Therefore, it is the perfect way to make use of your leftovers!
Since you already have macaroni for the filling, you can just add some extra cheese and spices to freshen it up.
To create a flaky pie crust, mix all three ingredients that it calls for. Once the dough is formed, roll it over in a pie tin. Add the filling and then bake for about 40 minutes!
5.Cheesy Ham Casserole
Since cooking pasta is the first step to this yummy casserole, you’re already ahead of the game with your leftover pasta in hand!
Next, you’ll make a fantastic cheese sauce from scratch.
Once the sauce is done, mix your pasta into the sauce with some chopped ham, and bake for 30 minutes, until golden and bubbly!
6.Braided Spaghetti Garlic Bread
This recipe is incredibly fun, especially for someone who is not in a rush and wants to try something different!
Homemade garlic bread, filled with spaghetti? Yes, that’s right. You won’t regret making this.
Roll the dough flat, fill it with spaghetti and cubed or shredded cheese, and braid the bread over the top of the filling.
On top, you can add garlic powder, onion powder, and even some parmesan cheese! Bake for approximately 35 minutes.
7.Baked Penne and Cheese
This baked pasta stands out from the rest because it includes heart broth in the filling, and a drizzle of olive oil on top.
The smell of it baking in the oven will have your mouth watering.
All you must do is combine all the ingredients together and pour them into a baking pan.
The oven will do the work for you, by marrying all the flavors together and perfectly browning the top layer!
Like a frittata, this dish has similar components, such as eggs, cheese, and meat.
Historically, maccheroni pizza was created to reduce food waste, and it is not a standard “pizza” by any means!
Simply combine the ingredients to create a custard base and pour over your cooked pasta, then throw it in the oven and bake it until it has a similar consistency to an omelet.
9.Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti
Although the recipe calls for spaghetti noodles, feel free to use any kind of leftover pasta that you have on hand!
Mix the cheesy sauce with onions, bell peppers, and chicken. Lastly, combine with the pasta and then bake in the oven.
Sprinkling the casserole with cheese before it gets baked will give you a delectable top layer!
10.Noodles and Sauerkraut Casserole
Here is one for the sauerkraut lovers! This recipe is full of comforting flavors, including onion soup and sliced mushrooms.
Sauté the fresh onions, then add in the mushroom soup and the remaining ingredients.
Top the casserole with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, yum! It takes approximately one hour to bake!
Italian Leftover Pasta
Have you ever had a spaghetti frittata? This recipe takes about 30 minutes! With two diverse kinds of cheese and freshly cooked bacon, there is no way you can go wrong!
Simply make the frittata base while cooking off your bacon, then toss to combine with your spaghetti.
Throw it in the oven, after cooking it just enough to form a crust on the stovetop.
Is it pizza, or is it pasta? In a way, this meal is both! Here is a unique way to take advantage of all those extra noodles in your refrigerator.
Mix the spaghetti with some basil, an egg, and mozzarella cheese. Then, press the pasta mixture down into the pan to form a “crust.”
Bake the crust for about 5 minutes, until it is golden and crisp, before adding on the remaining sauce and cheese, and whatever toppings you would like to put on!
Just like that, you’ve got a delicious pizza made from pasta!
For a change, leftover pasta is not the main component to this recipe; however, this dish would not be complete without it!
Start by dredging your chicken and shallow-frying both sides to brown it.
Then, set the chicken aside while you use the same pan to cook a beautiful sauce that includes pancetta, garlic, onion, and cream.
Finish off the chicken in your sauce, and finally, top over your leftover pasta! Absolutely divine!
Better known as pizza spaghetti casserole, this dish is another perfect delectable; a combination of pizza and spaghetti. This casserole will be a huge hit for the whole family.
Create the casserole by layering spaghetti, pepperoni, cheese, and sauce in a baking dish. You can even switch it up by adding other ingredients like olives or ground beef!
Another twist on a classic frittata, this Mediterranean goodness is too tasty to resist!
You only need about 2 cups of cooked pasta for the recipe, and it will make enough servings for 8 people!
Mix the frittata egg-base with sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, and spinach before baking in the oven. You are only 45 minutes away from pure bliss!
Vegetarian Pasta Recipes
16.Baked Mac and Cheese Bites
Just when you thought macaroni couldn’t get any better, this recipe comes around.
By mixing your pasta with loads of extra cheese and adding a crispy breadcrumb topping, these baked mac and cheese bites will be a crowd pleaser!
You have the freedom to add any extra spices or ingredients to change it up! Some paprika, or even diced jalapeño!
17.Grilled Mac and Cheese
Looking for a fun recipe that you’ve never tried before? This sandwich combines two American classics; mac and cheese and grilled cheese!
Although the recipe calls for sourdough, you can use whatever bread you have on hand.
The trick to making this sandwich perfect is all in the layering.
Toast the bread on the outside, line it with some cheese slices, and add in some leftover mac and cheese for the filling. Yum!
18.Spaghetti Grilled Cheese
If you thought the grilled mac and cheese was adventurous, just wait until you try this one!
Making a sandwich with garlic bread is the key to an ultra-tasty experience.
Pile basil, fresh parmesan, and spaghetti onto the garlic bread to build the sandwich.
Grill the sandwich over medium heat to allow the cheese to melt and the garlic bread to become the perfect level of crispy!
19.Leftover Pasta Fritters
Who doesn’t love fritters? The good news is that you can use any type of pasta to make these, and it is not time-consuming in the slightest.
Rough chop your noodles and mix them with binding ingredients; Pack the mixture into patties and then fry them until they’re nice and crunchy.
This is a fritter you will surely enjoy!
Have you ever heard of a pasta nest? If you love fresh mozzarella, this recipe will have you in cheesy heaven.
After mixing the pasta with some binding agents, put the noodles into muffin tins and shape into little nests.
The “egg” of the nest is a fresh ball of mozzarella! Put the cheese in the center of the nest, and bake until the edges are crispy. This is the perfect side dish for a gathering!
21.Spaghetti Bread Boat
These bread boats filled with cheesy pasta are a fun and effortless way to enjoy your leftovers!
Spaghetti and garlic bread are commonly served together, so why not combine them into one item? Utterly superb!
Using hoagie rolls, cut out the top part of the loaf and turn the rolls into garlic bread once it is hollowed out.
Bake the bread until it is partially crispy, fill with the spaghetti, and bake off once more!
22.Air fryer Mac and Cheese Bites
This recipe is perfect for someone who already has leftover macaroni and cheese on hand.
You’ll want to ball up the mac and cheese into similar sized “nuggets,” and freeze for about an hour until they firm up!
Simply dip them into an egg mixture, toss in the breadcrumbs, and air fry the spheres for 15 minutes!
They will turn out beautifully crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside.
23.Baked Mac and Cheese bites
Similar to the air fryer mac and cheese balls, here is another way to make a similar snack while using a standard oven.
Mix the mac and cheese with spices and binding agents including breadcrumbs, then scoop into muffin tins.
Bake the delicious bites until they form a golden-brown crust, then let them sit for 10 minutes before dipping them into a sauce of your choice.
Buffalo sauce or even marinara would be perfect!
Pasta Salad Recipes
24.Ranch BLT Pasta Salad
If you have extra noodles that are not mixed with any type of sauce, this recipe is perfect for you! Bursting with natural flavors from fresh veggies, it is a great recipe to make for a picnic!
It really is like a BLT. Mix bacon, romaine, grape tomatoes, pasta, and a perfect combination of ranch and Dijon to make up this dish.
The onion and crispy bacon complement each other so well, it will have you coming back for more!
25.Turkey Cranberry Pasta Salad
This recipe brings nostalgic flavors together to make a refreshing salad that anyone will love.
Although these ingredients are usually enjoyed together around the holidays, you can make this recipe any time.
Combine dried cranberries, pecans, turkey, and green onion with a lovely dressing to liven up your leftover pasta in no time.
Don’t forget to add salt and pepper to bring out the natural flavors of this dish!
26.Greek Pasta Salad
Greek pasta salad is a terrific opportunity to make use of extra pasta!
Although the feta cheese, cucumbers, and tomatoes are a great part of the dish, the fresh dill and parsley really make it top-notch.
This recipe is incredibly easy if your pasta is already cooled. The only thing left to do is chop your veggies and combine all the ingredients with some Greek dressing!
27.Summer Spaghetti Salad
Who could resist a lively pasta salad with Italian dressing and fresh veggies?
You are already half way done with this recipe if you have some leftover pasta on hand!
Chop the vegetables of your choice (Cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and onions are called for, but don’t let it stop you from adding more).
Toss your pasta with the ingredients, then cover and chill until you are ready to serve!
28.Leftover Fried Spaghetti
If your leftover pasta has become soft, this is a perfect way to bring it back to life.
After heating up some oil in a pan, fry the pasta with some eggs to create a texture slightly resembling fried rice!
This dish is a perfect base, because you can add cabbage or any type of vegetable you’d like!
It can be vegetarian, or be served with chicken or any kind of meat. So easy and delightful!
29.Mac and Cheese Patties
Here is another creative way to take advantage of your leftover macaroni! Best served with BBQ sauce on the side, these crunchy patties are perfect for dipping.
Mash your leftovers with just a few ingredients; fry the patties in a skillet over medium heat until you reach the level of crunch that you are looking for.
30.Thai Peanut Noodles
Are you looking for some Thai influences for your dish? We’ve got you covered! All you need for this meal is some cooked noodles, preferably fettuccine or lo mein!
Create a scratch-made sauce for your noodles by using authentic ingredients, including soy sauce, peanut butter, ginger, and sesame oil. Top with scallions to garnish your meal!
31.Beef and Noodles
Here is a hearty dish that will satisfy your hunger instantly! Use butter and onions with a rich broth to cook the stew meat.
Once your meat and gravy are cooked, this is where your leftover pasta comes in!
Serve the beef and sauce on top of a bed of noodles to create a fabulous meal the whole family will love.
32.Lemony Tuna and Pasta
This entrée receives the award for having the most unique flavors!
Since the first part of the recipe requires the cooking of pasta, all you will need to do is create the sauce and add the canned tuna.
Cook your butter sauce using hints of lemon and red chili pepper, then add in the tuna to finish it off.
Serve topped with parmigiana cheese for the ultimate experience!
Are you the type of person who loves the crispy edges of lasagna? If so, this recipe will bring a lot of familiarity to you!
It will turn out best if you have pasta on hand that has already absorbed its sauce.
All you need is some extra-virgin olive oil and a good non-stick frying pan! Fry the pasta and leave it without stirring it too often.
Patience is key here! Once it has browned, flip it over and repeat for the other side.
34.Mac and Cheese Makeover
After creating this dish, your family will not even be able to tell they are eating leftovers!
This meal is fun because it has a lot of similar toppings to what you would put on nachos, except it is more filling!
Incorporate ground beef, chili seasoning, cheese, and tomatoes with your pasta to bring this dish to the next level.
It only takes about half an hour to bake, so give it a shot, you will not be disappointed!
35.Taco Stuffed Shells
Having trouble finding a purpose for your leftover pasta shells, or even cooked manicotti shells?
There are other fun ways to use these types of pasta that you wouldn’t expect!
Since the recipe calls for cooking the pasta first, all you must worry about is filling the shells!
Gather some seasonings, salsa, and cooked ground beef to make the filling. Top with cheese and bake for 15 minutes. Talk about easy!
36.Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet
Skillet dinners are the best, and this one will surely not let you down! Make use of your leftover noodles by creating a delicious sauce for them to bathe in.
In a skillet, cook your ground beef then make the sauce by adding tomato paste and olive oil.
Mix in seasonings including chili flakes and parsley. Once the sauce is done, toss in your pasta and finish it off with shredded cheese.
Adding diced tomatoes and onions will bring it to the next level!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Freeze Leftover Pasta?
Yes, absolutely! Whether you have plain cooked pasta or already-sauced pasta, you can freeze it.
What is an Easy Way to Freeze It?
The easiest way to freeze cooked pasta that has not been sauced is to lightly toss it in olive oil, then put it on a parchment-lined pan in a single layer.
Once it has set up for a bit in the freezer, you can transfer it to a freezer bag!
For already-sauced pasta, it is easiest to freeze it by portion size, so that you can go back and only thaw the amount that you need at the moment!
How Long is Leftover Pasta Good For?
In general, it is best to eat your leftovers within 3-4 days, and the same goes for cooked pasta! The sooner you find out a way to utilize it, the fresher it will taste!
What Can I Make With Small Amounts of Leftover Pasta?
There are a few things you can do with lesser amounts of cooked pasta! A nice side dish to accompany an entrée or a bite-sized snack are just two options.
You can always cook some chicken or fish and serve it on a bed of pasta if you want it to be incorporated in a more direct way.
There are so many ways that you can make clever use of your leftover pasta, and even turn it into something completely different.
Minimizing food waste while creating exceptional meals is a win-win!
So, next time you find yourself with leftover cooked noodles, give one of these astounding recipes a chance.
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