Blue Apron meals are pre-portioned so you can avoid extra ingredients cluttering up your refrigerator, but sometimes you may be cooking for one or simply can’t finish your half of the Chicken, Baby Artichoke & Spinach Casserole.
Leftovers happen–but they don’t have to go to waste. Though simple microwave reheating can’t always get your dish back to its former just-cooked glory, our tips will help you reinvigorate almost anything that’s been left languishing in your fridge.
First things first: Be sure to tightly wrap your leftovers before storing them to prevent as much water loss as possible, and for safety’s sake, don’t let foods sit out for hours before you chill them. The USDA recommends refrigerating leftovers within two hours and eating them within three to four days.
HOW TO REHEAT…
That perfectly seared medium-rare hanger steak will never taste the same as it did hot off the grill, but America’s Test Kitchen has a simple tip for reheating steak: Reheat it like you cooked it, but in reverse. Warm the steak in the oven until its center reaches 110°F, then sear it on both sides on the stovetop over high heat.
Reheated rice can sometimes get crunchy or mushy. Avoid this by placing the rice in a microwave-safe bowl with an ice cube tucked into the middle. Cover with plastic wrap and poke a hole to let steam out. Zap it for a minute and a half and voilà your coconut rice is soft and fluffy again.
Try steaming scrambled eggs or a leftover frittata for 5 to 8 minutes to avoid the dry, rubbery texture that comes from microwaving eggs. If you’re heating up quiche, wrap it in foil and warm it in the oven at 300°F for 20 to 25 minutes.
According to Andrew Janjigian, associate editor at Cook’s Illustrated, the best tool for reheating pizza is a griddle, but a lidded skillet will also do. Place the slices on a cold griddle, cover, set the temperature to 200°F. You’ll get a crisp crust and gooey cheese after baking for 30 minutes.
Pasta with sauce can be reheated in the microwave. RecipeTips.com suggests you place the leftover pasta in a deep baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap (try not to let it touch the pasta) and leave one corner slightly open to allow steam to escape. Microwave on medium power for one and a half minutes. Check to see if it is warmed through. If it’s not, continue to cook in 15-second intervals until it is.
PopSugar has good tips for reheating pasta on the stove: Start off by melting a pat of butter or oil in a large saucepan. Add the pasta along with 2 to 4 tablespoons of liquid (whichever was used to make the sauce). Stir until the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is soft.
To reheat a dish of lasagna, preheat the oven to 350°F. Use a skewer to evenly poke holes all the way through the lasagna noodles. Fill these holes with a total of a couple tablespoons of milk or water. Cover the dish with foil, tightly sealing the edges, and bake for about 20 minutes.
Craig “Meathead” Goldwyn of amazingribs.com says to wrap the meat in two layers of foil along with 1/4 cup of water or stock. If you are using barbecue sauce, slather the meat all over. Place the foil-wrapped meat on a baking pan and heat in a preheated oven set to 225°F for about an hour. Unwrap the ribs and place under the broiler for 5 to 10 minutes with the door open until the sauce begins to bubble. Turn the ribs over and broil for a few more minutes until sauce is bubbly on that side, too.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place a dab of butter or a tablespoon of white wine on the leftover fish and seal it inside a tinfoil pocket. Place it directly on the oven rack for 10 to 15 minutes, until warmed through.
The guys at Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken say your best chance at a decent reprise meal is to throw leftover pieces on a baking sheet and bake uncovered at 250°F for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Heat up a little oil in a skillet and toss in the fries. Sauté for a few minutes until hot and crispy. Like anything fried, those taters might not every be the same.
The New York Times suggests you spread your turkey leftovers on a baking pan, cover it with foil, and bake at 325°F for 30 minutes. Crisp up any skin pieces under the broiler, uncovered.
A thick soup will splatter if you reheat it in a microwave. Instead, heat it up on your stovetop over medium heat and let it simmer slowly. Patience is key here, because high heat will quickly cause liquid to evaporate.
Food52 cofounder Amanda Hesser suggests you reheat that slice in the oven at 200°F for 20 minutes. “You want it warm, not hot,” she says. If the pie filling is gooey, use tinfoil to encase the cut sides to keep the filling from spilling out.
Pop yester-morning’s flapjacks into the toaster oven for 5 to 10 minutes at 350°F.
Place cold muffins on a baking tray and cover with tinfoil. Heat in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes to warm them through, then uncover and continue for another 3 to 5 minutes to crisp up the tops, which we can all agree is the most important part.
Risotto becomes very dry when kept in the refrigerator, which is why steaming is the best way to reheat it. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place a bowl of leftover risotto into the steamer basket. Cover and reduce heat to low. This technique takes some time, but it keeps your risotto fresh. Add a dab of butter or some wine to bring back its creaminess.