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How many times can food be reheated and what is the best way to do it?

How many times can food be reheated and what is the best way to do it?

It usually happens with pasta, rice, vegetable side dishes … You’ve cooked too much and you have too much food. Of course, you can reheat a meal the next day. But can you overheat more than once?

Whether it’s the remaining portion of pasta or pizza, many dishes are not finished and are left for the next day. If you cook, you know the problem, the quantities are not always calculated correctly nor is it in our hands to know the appetite of the diners.

How many times can food be reheated and what is the best way to do it

In addition, precooking is very practical, you can prepare meals from today to tomorrow. But when it comes to reheating, a few questions arise: Is it easy to reheat any dish? How often can food be reheated? And which method is better?

It’s important to know the answers to these questions because if food is reheated incorrectly, leftovers can cause food poisoning.


The vast majority of foods and preparations can be easily reheated. Some foods, such as pasta, potatoes or rice, are even healthier when they are reheated after having passed through the fridge, because the proportion of digestible carbohydrates is reduced and the proportion of resistant starch is increased, which works in the intestine as the beneficial fiber for the intestinal microbiota.

With the following basic tips, heated food will taste delicious and retain most of its properties:

  • Cool leftovers as quickly as possible (within two hours of cooking). Store them in the refrigerator and consume them within 3 to 4 days.
  • The rule of thumb is to always heat above 70°C for at least two minutes to kill most germs.
  • Reheat the paste in hot water so that it peels off.
  • Frozen leftovers should be properly thawed in the refrigerator. Once thawed, prepare and eat within 4 days maximum. Leftovers that have thawed are not re-frozen.
  • Pizza stays crispy if heated in a fat-free pan for a minute or two.
  • Soups and stews often improve when reheated because the flavor is fully developed. Put it on medium-high heat, stirring regularly. You can reheat them up to three times.


  • Mushrooms: The myth persists that mushrooms should never be reheated. But if you have prepared the mushrooms and quickly put the dish in the fridge after cooking it, you can heat it the next day without problems. However, you should heat the mushroom dish over high heat and not reheat it more than once.
  • Spinach: Many people do not reheat spinach because it is rich in nitrates that when heated can become carcinogenic nitrites, but this only happens if the spinach has not been kept refrigerated. If you put spinach in the fridge quickly after preparing it, you can hear it in a saucepan and eat it the next day. You should only be careful with younger children because they are more sensitive to nitrites than adults.
  • Rice: Raw rice can contain the bacteria Bacillus cereus, which can cause food poisoning. These spores are surprisingly heat-resistant and often survive cooking. After cooking, be sure to put it in the fridge quickly, do not let it stay long at room temperature. Otherwise, bacteria can develop that do not die when reheated.


  • In the pan: If the rice is glued, separate it with a fork. Add a splash of water, which you think will be able to absorb the rice. Cover the pan and cook with the heat to a minimum. Stir regularly.
  • Baked: Put the rice in a baking dish along with some water. Separate it if it is stuck. Add a little olive oil to prevent it from sticking and enhance the flavor. Cover the tray with a lid or baking paper. Cook at 150 °C for 15-20 minutes.


In general, plant foods have less risk of food poisoning. Special precautions should be taken with meat and fish. People who eat animal products can consider the following recommendations: Heat meat and fish: they can be reheated if they had been cooked completely before and stored quickly in the refrigerator. On the other hand, when heating them you have to check that it heats up well on all sides. Don’t reheat them more than once.


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