Why Is Leftover Alfredo So Oily (And How To Fix It)

When you're craving Italian pasta, a creamy pot of fettuccine Alfredo will hit the spot every time. Alfredo pasta is an easy-to-make dish that requires just a few simple ingredients — butter, Parmesan, heavy cream, and fettuccine noodles.

Although this beginner-friendly pasta is easy to prepare and delicious when enjoyed fresh out of the pot, fettuccine Alfredo doesn't always make for the best leftovers.

If you've ever left Alfredo pasta in Tupperware for late-night snacking or tomorrow's lunch, then you're probably familiar with how oily it is once it's been reheated. Frankly, it's not a particularly appetizing sight to see, and it doesn't taste great either. Who wants a mouth of hot oil? This greasy situation happens as a result of the heavy cream and butter separating when heated up too quickly — a common occurrence when using a microwave to heat up leftovers. This separation also causes the parmesan to curdle and clump up into small balls of cheese instead of creamy, velvety sauce. And just like that, your famous fettuccine Alfredo is ruined!

There are solutions for oily leftover Alfredo

Fear not! It's a bummer to have oily pasta for lunch, but there are ways to preserve the integrity of your Alfredo recipe. One of the simplest ways to avoid greasy, separated Alfredo sauce is to heat it slowly over the stove instead in the microwave. Microwaves heat up food much faster than a stove does, and the faster you reheat your leftover sauce, the more likely it is to separate. Next time you're reheating your Alfredo pasta, put it on the stove over medium heat and turn the noodles until they're warm.

You can also add a spot of heavy cream to the pasta before reheating the leftovers to ensure that it comes out just as creamy as it originally was.

If you weren't able to prevent the separation from happening in the first place, you can use flour or cornstarch to add thickness to a dull, oily sauce. If you don't have those ingredients on hand, you can put the messy pasta over low heat and turn the noodles until they're brought back to life — easy as pie! Or ... easy as pasta?

Happy eating!