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Too Much Pasta: 5 Things to Do with Leftover Noodles

A bowl of fettuccine.
Leelaic NJ/Shutterstock

Leftover pasta can be tough to repurpose. It tends to tangle and clump, creating a terrible texture. However, that doesn’t mean you should throw out your extra spaghetti! Use those leftover noodles the right way, and you’ll never have too much pasta.

Reheated leftover pasta doesn’t always go over too well. Yes, you can drop it in some boiling water for a few seconds to give it a bit more life. If you’re not careful, though, you’ll end up with mushy, overcooked noodles. Plus, it’s much more fun to repurpose leftovers into something else entirely rather than eating the same thing two nights in a row.

Turning your pasta leftovers into a fresh dish for dinner isn’t that difficult. From fritters to pasta salad, you have lots of options.

So, pull last night’s pasta out of the fridge, and turn it into one of these five meals:

  • Pasta fritters: You can use any type of leftover pasta mixed with any sauce for this recipe. These fritters make great appetizers or snacks, and you can freeze them for later.

Get the Recipe: Recipe Tin Eats

Six pasta fritters on a white cloth next to a cheese grater.
  • Leftover pasta frittata: This works best with spaghetti. Your pasta leftovers can be sauced or not, and there’s no limit to the extras you can incorporate. While the original recipe only requires eggs, cheese, and extra pasta, adding veggies, like spinach, tomatoes, or onion, can make this a balanced meal.

Get the Recipe: Leites Culinaria

  • Asian garlic noodles: While this recipe includes cooking the pasta in its instructions, leftover spaghetti will work just as well. If you can’t find sambal oelek at your local supermarket, you can substitute sriracha.

Get the Recipe: Damn Delicious

  • Spicy peanut pasta salad: Not only is this a great way to repurpose pasta, but it’s also vegan. The peanut sauce works with any type of cooked noodle, and it goes great with any vegetables you have on hand. That makes this recipe a great one for cleaning out the fridge on a Friday night.

Get the Recipe: Food Meanderings

Two wooden salad spoons holding some peanut vegan pasta salad over a wooden bowl filled with it.
Food Meanderings
  • Ramen burgers: While this recipe calls for cooked ramen noodles, macaroni or spaghetti will do the job, too! Feel free to use any seasonings you like instead of the ramen seasoning packet.

Get the Recipe: Serious Eats

Lauren Sakiyama Lauren Sakiyama
Lauren Sakiyama is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry. She has managed restaurants, country clubs, and large-scale event operations, but her passion has always been about the food. Read Full Bio »
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