A noodle-based dish is quick and easy to prepare so it’s always a good idea to stock up on noodles when you can. But what about leftover noodles? Can you freeze noodles for later use?

From pasta noodles to egg noodles, most types of noodles freeze well. This goes especially for uncooked noodles, there will be little to no changes in taste or texture after uncooked noodles have been defrosted.

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Cooked noodles are a different story, especially for leftovers. Once the noodles are frozen and reheated, there’s a good chance that the noodles will turn soggy. One way to prevent texture changes is to cook the noodles al dente prior to freezing. This way, the noodles will stay firm when it’s reheated.

Cooked noodles, particularly when drenched in sauces, have a short shelf life. That’s because the sauces tend to go bad faster than the noodles. When kept in the fridge, cooked noodles will keep for only 5 to 7 days. But when kept in the freezer, noodles will stay fresh for 2 months maybe more as long as the temperature is kept at a steady 0 degrees. Now let’s take a look at how can you freeze noodles:

How to Freeze Noodles?

Freezing Cooked Noodles

If you’re anticipating a lot of leftovers as you’re cooking the noodles, separate the noodles that you want to freeze and do not add the sauce. You can freeze the sauce and the noodles separately then incorporate both ingredients after reheating. Always lay the noodles flat during storage so ice won’t form in the middle of it and the edges won’t be overcooked during reheating.

Image used under Creative Commons from Stefan van Bremen

Use an airtight plastic container to store the cooked noodles for freezing. Start by tossing the noodles in olive oil so they won’t clump together. Place the noodles into the container, making sure not to overfill it with the product. Close the lid, write the storage date with a marker then stick in the freezer.

You can also use a resealable plastic bag to divide the noodles into single serving portions. Again, just spoon the noodles into each plastic bag, seal, write the storage date and stick in the freezer.

Freezing Uncooked Noodles

For uncooked noodles, you can freeze the product using a resealable plastic bag or an airtight container. Since the noodles are not cooked, they will stay fresh far longer than their cooked counterparts. You can use a resealable plastic bag to freeze uncooked noodles. If you have a vacuum sealer, the better. Vacuum seal the bag prior to sealing then stick in the freezer.

Freezing Leftovers

For leftover noodles, just use an airtight plastic container. Pour the leftovers into the plastic container, seal, and write the storage date. Stick in the freezer and you’re done.

Image used under Creative Commons from Jun Seita

How to Defrost and Reheat Frozen Noodles?

To defrost frozen cooked noodles, just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the noodles to thaw overnight. Once the noodles have thawed completely, it’s ready to use. As for frozen uncooked noodles, the product will thaw quickly in the fridge, about two hours or so.

When it comes to reheating thawed cooked noodles, there are different ways to do it.

Reheating in the Oven

To reheat cooked noodles (cooked al dente without the sauce), pour the noodles in a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread the noodles all over the baking sheet then stick in the oven. Bake at 350° Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Reheating in the Microwave

To reheat in the microwave, spread the thawed noodles on a microwave-safe plate then stick in the microwave. Place a cup of water in the microwave before reheating so the noodles won’t dry out. Nuke over high at 20 seconds interval until heated through.

Summary

Freezing noodles as a make-ahead dish is a smart way to enjoy your favorite noodle-based dishes minus the extra prep. This is a useful method to try if you’ve got a special event coming up. Now that you know how can you freeze noodles, whip up different types of make-ahead noodle dishes so you’ll always have quick and easy meals anytime.