Every family gathering for likely centuries, if not longer, has included the casserole. The casserole was born, undoubtedly, from the need to just put a bunch of ingredients in a single pan, pop the pan in the oven, and serve a nourishing, filling meal in an hour or so.
And thank goodness for that because there are some amazing casseroles out there, which means you have probably found yourself with casserole leftovers.
The good news is reheated casserole leftovers can be just as good as fresh, if not even more tasty thanks to sauces, creams, herbs, and spices all sitting together and commingling for even longer.
When it comes to leftovers, it’s all about taking the right approach to warming up this delightful dish.
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Can You Reheat Casserole?
Yes! Of course you can reheat casserole. Look, in almost every case, if you can heat it, you can reheat it. Anything sitting in your fridge or freezer can be reheated.
The question is rarely if you can but rather how to do it best. After all, no one wants dried out, rubbery, or mushy leftovers.
In general, foods that have been grilled or baked reheat better in the oven or back on the grill. Foods that have been breaded and fried often do well in the oven or in an air fryer.
We’ll run through each of our reheating options for casserole to see which is the best, but chances are, as an oven dish, this will likely be best reheated in the oven.
Should You Reheat Casserole?
Before you pop that casserole back in the oven, however, make sure you do your due diligence in terms of food safety.
Meats, fish, dairy – all foods, really – have their own specifications for how they should be properly handled to avoid any foodborne illness issues. Casserole is no exception.
Make sure you do your own research on safe ways to reheat casserole.
To get you started, I have linked to this article from the USDA on food safety and reheating leftovers.
How to Reheat Casserole in the Oven
The biggest issue with reheating a casserole is going to be not drying it out.
When reheating casserole in the oven, you run the risk of both drying out your casserole and ruining your cookware by burning ingredients into the pan.
Your best bet is going to be to take your casserole out of the refrigerator and allow it to sit on the counter, covered, for about an hour to allow it to come up to room temperature. This step will encourage the casserole to heat thoroughly and more quickly in the oven.
After your casserole is at room temperature, simply follow these steps to reheat your casserole in the oven:
- While your casserole is coming up to room temp, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Ensure the dish your casserole sits in is oven safe, and tightly cover the dish with foil to create steam and trap in moisture.
- Place the covered dish in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Check the temperature for 165 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the standard safety zone for food.
- If your casserole has not reached that temp yet, put it back in the oven and check on it every 5 minutes.
- As an option, for the last 5 minutes, you can uncover the dish and allow the top of the casserole to get crispy.
How to Reheat Casserole in the Microwave
If you’re working with just a slice or wedge of your casserole rather than a whole dish, you might want to stick with the microwave.
A casserole is so dense and thick that it is unlikely to suffer too much damage in the microwave in terms of becoming dry or rubbery as long as you take precautions.
- Place your casserole slice on a microwave-safe plate and cover with either another plate or a microwave-safe cover.
- Place the dish inside the microwave and heat on full power for 1 minute before checking to see if it is heated to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Continue to heat for 30 seconds at a time until it reaches the appropriate temperature.
How to Reheat Casserole in an Air Fryer
Reheating casserole in an air fryer can actually be quick, easy, and provide amazing results. Just follow these directions to reheat casserole in an air fryer:
Allow your leftovers to come up to room temperature.
- Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bring the temperature down to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and place the casserole leftovers in your air fryer basket.
- Heat for 3 to 5 minutes, checking the temperature to meet the 165 degrees Fahrenheit requirement. Your casserole should be heated through, and your toppings should be crispy!
- Serve and enjoy!
How to Reheat Casserole on a Grill
The grill is probably the last place you want to reheat casserole, but sometimes we have to work with what we’ve got, and if you’ve brought leftovers to a camping trip or you’re stuck outside in front of the grill, we can certainly make do.
With the grill, your best bet is to treat it like a stovetop.
- Place your casserole leftovers in a cast iron skillet and add a bit of olive oil or broth to bring moisture to the dish.
- Cook the casserole in the skillet over medium heat, turning the ingredients to make sure they are cooked through.
- Continue to toss for a few minutes then check your temperature for the 165-degree-Fahrenheit mark.
How to Reheat Casserole in a Toaster Oven
The toaster oven has been the go-to appliance for college students and new apartment dwellers for many decades, and for good reason.
It’s like a mini oven!
With a casserole, that’s exactly how we’ll use it.
- Preheat your toaster oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bring your casserole up to room temperature by letting it sit on the countertop for about an hour.
- Place your casserole leftovers in an oven-safe pan and drizzle a bit of olive oil on top to add moisture.
- Cover the dish tightly with foil.
- Bake for 30 minutes and check the internal temperature for 165 degrees. You can continue to heat for 5-minute increments until it’s heated through.
How to Reheat Casserole in a Pan on the Stove
The stovetop can actually be a great way to reheat your casserole as it creates a kind of new dish that ends up crispy all around. Just follow these steps:
- Heat a skillet on the stove to medium-high heat.
- Add a drizzle of olive oil to the skillet.
- Add your casserole leftovers to the skillet.
- Toss the dish around the skillet to heat all the ingredients thoroughly. It should not take more than 5 minutes.
- Check your internal temperature for 165 degrees Fahrenheit, serve, and enjoy!
Winner! – The Best Way to Reheat Casserole Is Using the Stovetop
The reality is, the stovetop is quick, easy, and you get the crispy bits we all love in a casserole. Why wait 30 minutes, or more, for the oven. And why take the chance your ingredients will fall through your air fryer basket.
A skillet on the stove it is!
What are your thoughts on reheating this dish? Do you have any tips for reheating casserole? Let me know in the comments below. I love to hear from my readers.