Can you freeze spaghetti and meatballs? Yes! Read on to get a step-by-step process and how to freeze AND reheat.
Can you ever make just a small serving of pasta? I feel like I have to use the entire box and then end up with way too much pasta.
But did you know that you can actually freeze pasta AND the sauce? I do this sometimes in meal prep sessions because I LOVE having quick lunches handy!
Freezer meals are also my jam, and I love making individual containers of pasta for those busy weeknights.
You do have to follow a few simple steps to freeze everything properly and still have it taste amazing. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to freeze spaghetti (Or another type of pasta) and meatballs.
Best way to freeze spaghetti and meatballs
Step 1: Cook the pasta al dente
When the pasta is al dente, it still has a little bite to it. It’s chewy and not all the way cooked. The idea behind this is to keep the pasta fresh-tasting and not mushy once it’s reheated.
During this time, you should also be cooking the sauce and meatballs. I used a homemade spaghetti sauce, but you can easily use store-bought spaghetti sauce to save time.
You can also use your favorite homemade meatball recipe. But I decided to save time by using a bag of frozen meatballs.
Step 2: Let the pasta cool completely
Before you freeze anything, you have to let the food come to room temperature. If you put hot food in the freezer, you could accidentally thaw some of the other frozen food and make it unsafe.
In addition, the safety and quality of your pasta could be compromised if it’s cooled too quickly.
Step 3: Divide into containers
What do you want to do with the pasta? Do you want to freeze the entire recipe in one container, or divide it into individual portions?
I like turning them into individual meals. It’s just easier to pull one out if we need a quick lunch. I put a serving of pasta on the bottom, then a large spoonful of the pasta sauce and place meatballs on top.
Step 4: Freeze
Make sure there’s little to no air circulating in your container. Maybe it’s squeezing the excess air out of the freezer-safe bag, or tightly placing the lid on your airtight container.
Set the containers in the freezer, where your food will freeze within a few hours.
Can you freeze spaghetti by itself?
Yes! You can save time by freezing leftover pasta.
One way is to divide cooked spaghetti noodles in quart-sized freezer bags. You can choose how many servings you want in each bag.
Another way is to flash freeze the pasta: lay the noodles in a single layer, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once the pasta is frozen, you can transfer it to a freezer-safe container or freezer bag.
How to cook frozen spaghetti
All you have to do is drop the bundle of spaghetti noodles in a small pot of boiling water, or reheat in the microwave. Frozen pasta might be a bit dry, so I recommend using some extra sauce or add a little bit of olive oil.
The shorter cooking time really makes for a quick dinner! And as a busy mom, I seriously need this.
Best containers to use
You’ll want to look for containers that say “Freezer friendly”. Not all containers can be frozen! Here are some recommendations:
- Bags: Ziploc bags, gallon-sized. I haven’t used these, but reuseable and resealable freezer bags would be good for reducing waste!
- Plastic containers:
- Glass containers: Glass jars, like mason jars, can work really well for soup! For best results, leave an inch or two of empty space when putting on the lid. This will prevent the soup from expanding so much that it cracks the jar.
How to prevent freezer burn
One of the best ways to prevent freezer burn is to keep your meals tucked back into your freezer. When you constantly open the freezer door, you’re letting in warm air. And that can effect the frozen state of whatever’s up front.
I also recommend using up your meals within 3 months of freezing. They’re still safe to eat after the 3-month shelf life; but the longer they stay in the freezer, the larger risk they have of getting freezer burn.
How to thaw
The best way to thaw out any meal is to place it in the fridge overnight. This will give your food time to thaw safely in a cold temperature.
How to reheat
The way to reheat spaghetti and meatballs depends on how much you froze at once.
- A whole recipe’s worth: Reheat the entire recipe on the stovetop, on low heat. Or divide into individual servings and reheat in the microwave.
- Single-serve containers: The easiest way is to reheat in the microwave, in 1-minute increments, until it’s fully heated.