The Pasta Dish You Should Never Reheat

Certain recipes are ideal for meal prep: liquid curries, chilis, stews, and anything with moisture that can go from cold to piping hot in a matter of seconds. Or, better yet, cold sandwiches and salads that require no reheating at all. No matter what you choose, any meal prep hack wizard knows that pasta is probably one of the trickiest things to make in advance and reheat later. It gets cold, dry, clumpy, and looks nothing like the saucy, often cheesy deliciousness that it should be.

If you do know how to reheat pasta correctly (as illustrated by The Manual and Allrecipes), however, it's not an unsolvable problem. Storing and reheating your pasta and sauce separately will make your week-old pasta pass off as freshly cooked, ditching the microwave for a slow cook in the oven will keep the pasta from drying out, and reheating pasta on the stove will make even the toughest leftovers come to life.

While it may seem like there's a solution to all pasta reheating problems, Reddit finds that there's one pasta dish that is best left alone. A Redditor asked fellow users how a recipe that they were making with eggs would fare when reheated in a microwave, wondering whether "the egg [would] begin to solidify making it sauceless and hard." Reddit, it turns out, thinks that this is one dish you should stay away from if you intend on reheating your meal later.

Reddit thinks that carbonara is best eaten fresh

Some Redditors think that carbonara shouldn't be reheated and that it's best when eaten fresh. One user points out that reheating the carbonara will make the eggs in it scramble: "Carbonara is cooked and eaten à La Minute, and there's no such thing as 'leftover' carbonara. There's no way to re-heat it without turning the sauce into scrambled eggs." Another comment offers some explanation and says that "even gentle reheating can coagulate the proteins from the cheese and egg, giving a dry tasting, gritty, and greasy sauce."

Others, however, find that while reheated carbonara will never match up to carbonara that is fresh off the pan, it's certainly not inedible. Some even go so far as to call reheated carbonara delicious. The trick, it seems, is to preplan for any leftovers before you begin to start your carbonara recipe and then reheat it "gently."

A comment on a separate Reddit discussion suggests pan-frying leftover carbonara in some olive oil until the cheese caramelizes into crusty brown bits and it becomes a carbonara casserole of sorts. Another thread says that it's worth undercooking the pasta if you plan on reheating it later and then adding a little water to it before you pop it in the microwave. No matter what you do, Redditors seem to agree that fresh carbonara tops any reheated leftovers and suggest that it may be worth taking the extra effort if you do plan on reheating it at all.