The Best Ways to Reheat Leftovers

Give those second helpings a second chance.

We love leftovers. In many cases, an extra day or two allows flavors to mingle and actually improve. The only snag, though, is that sometimes the reheating method can leave something to be desired. It's always easy to zap something in the microwave for a couple of minutes, but this often results in molten exteriors, chilly interiors, and weird rubbery textures. Many leftovers are best reheated using the original cooking method: soups, stews, and braised dishes in a pot over medium-low heat; casseroles, lasagnas, baked chicken, and turkey in the oven.

However, the original method is not always convenient— or even possible. With that in mind, we've taken a look at some of our most popular recipes and uncovered the best ways to reheat them so they'll return to their original glory.

How to reheat a burrito:

  • Oven or Toaster Oven: Wrap your leftover burrito in foil and bake in the oven at 350 degrees F.
  • Skillet: Turn your burrito into a pseudo-chimichanga by heating it in a heavy skillet with a little vegetable oil, loosely covered with foil.
a square white plate holding a burrito topped with red sauce and chopped cilantro
My Hot Southern Mess

Check out our collection of Burrito Recipes.

How to reheat roast chicken:

  • Oven: Loosely wrap the leftover chicken in aluminum foil and cook at a low temperature, about 325 degrees F. If there are juices, drizzle them over the chicken to help keep the meat moist.
  • Stovetop: A quick sear on the stovetop will keep the chicken breast meat moist.

For more ideas explore 7 Easy Ways To Turn Leftover Chicken Into Brand-New Dinners.

Feta Roast Chicken
Chef John

Check out our collection of Roast Chicken Recipes.

How to reheat ham:

  • Oven: Wrap leftover ham in foil and bake it in the oven over low temperature, about 275 to 300 degrees F.
  • Skillet: Cut into slices, fry the ham in the skillet, and serve with red-eye gravy.

For more ideas, explore these 12 Tasty Ideas to Use Up Leftover Ham.

Spiral-sliced ham topped with pineapple rings on a platter
Photo by TTV78. TTV78

Check out our collection of Ham Recipes.

How to reheat lasagna:

  • Oven or Toaster Oven: Cover your leftover lasagna with aluminum foil and bake at about 325 to 350 degrees F.
  • Microwave. Place a piece of lasagna on a plate and cover with a paper towel to avoid splatters.
a super close up view of a perfect slice of world's best lasagna

Check out our collection of Lasagna Recipes.

How to reheat pizza:

  • Skillet: Check out Chef John's amazing stovetop method.
  • Oven or Toaster oven: Place your leftover pizza on the toaster tray and bake at 400 degrees F for about 10 to 12 minutes.
No-Yeast Pizza Crust
No-Yeast Pizza Crust.

Check out our collection of Pizza Recipes.

How to reheat pork chops:

  • Skillet: Bring your leftover pork chop to room temperature and quickly sear it in a hot skillet with a splash of vegetable oil. We recommend a heavy, seasoned cast-iron pan for this operation.
overhead shot of pan of pork chops with a plate beside of pork chops, mashed potatoes, and green beans
Meredith Food Studios

Check out our collection of Pork Chop Recipes.

How to reheat prime rib:

  • Oven: The key is keeping the meat moist and preventing it from becoming too well done. Check out a couple of methods to reheat leftover prime rib.
slice of Chef John's Prime Rib plated with arugula salad, dressing, and bread

Check out our collection of Prime Rib Recipes.

How to reheat quesadillas:

  • Skillet: To reheat leftover quesadillas, try Chef John's stovetop pizza method. It keeps the tortilla crispy and the cheesy insides nice and melty.
  • Oven or Toaster oven: Put the quesadilla on the tray and bake at about 325 to 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. If you cover with aluminum foil, keep it loose so the tortillas stay crispy.
black bean quesadilla on turquoise platter

Check out our collection of Quesadilla Recipes.

How to reheat ribs:

  • Oven: Add leftover ribs to a baking dish, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake at about 325 degrees F until hot. Brush some sauce on the ribs or spray with a little water vapor to add moisture.
  • Grill: This method is easier if you have a gas grill. Fire up the flames (medium-low) on one side of the grill. Brush the leftover ribs with sauce and wrap them tightly in foil. Place the ribs on the other, flame-free side of the grill. Close the lid. Once the ribs are heated through, remove them from the foil and place them directly over the flames momentarily to create tasty grill marks.
an overhead view of baked BBQ baby back ribs partially sliced on a cutting board with a ramekin of BBQ sauce nearby.
Dotdash Meredith Food Studio

Check out our collection of Rib Recipes.

How to reheat rice:

  • Stovetop, method 1: Add the leftover rice to a pan, separating the stuck-together rice with your fingers or with a fork. Add a little water to the pan, just enough to create a steamy environment. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and heat over low heat.
  • Stovetop, method 2: Leftover rice tends to dry out in the fridge. That's actually the good news because dry, leftover rice makes exceptional fried rice! Here's how to make amazing fried rice.
  • Microwave: Separate the rice with a fork or fingers, sprinkle a little water over the top, and zap it with 30-second blasts, stirring between rounds until heated.
plate of Fried Rice Restaurant Style
Meredith Food Studios

Check out our collection of Fried Rice Recipes.

How to reheat seafood:

  • Oven: Wrap leftover seafood in aluminum foil to keep it moist and reheat at about 300 degrees F in the oven.
salmon with broccoli and feta and lemons on a sheet pan
Allrecipes Magazine

Check out our collection of Seafood Recipes.

How to reheat spaghetti and other pasta:

  • Oven: Put the leftover pasta and sauce in a covered baking dish and bake in the oven at about 350 degrees F.
  • Skillet: Add pasta and sauce to a skillet and slowly heat over medium-low heat.
  • Microwave: Cover the plate with a paper towel to avoid splatters and give it 30-second jolts until it's ready.

No Sauce? If your pasta is plain noodles, try submerging them in boiling water for less than a minute. It doesn't take long to spring back into shape.

linguine, cherry tomatoes, and a pistachio pesto in a white pasta bowl
Lynne's Linguine con Pesto di Pistacchi. Allrecipes

Check out our collection of Spaghetti Recipes.

How to reheat steak:

  • Stovetop: Bringyour leftover steak down to room temperature and then quickly sear it in a hot skillet. We like a heavy, seasoned cast-iron pan for this operation.
  • Oven: The trouble with reheating steak is that it tends to dry out. Wrap it in foil and pop it in the oven at low temperature.
  • Serve Cold: Slice it into thin strips and serve it cold on a salad.

For more ideas, explore these 12 Delicious Ways to Use up Leftover Steak.

Caprese salad with lettuce, tomatoes, mozzarella and slices of flank steak in a white bowl
Caprese Salad with Grilled Flank Steak. Allrecipes

Check out our collection of Steak Recipes.

How to reheat tamales:

  • Steamer: Arrange the leftover tamales in their husks in a steamer basket and set the basket over simmering water.
  • Microwave: Heat them for 30 seconds at a time in the husk, turn them over, and heat again until done.
An overhead view of 3 plated tamales. Two have been unwrapped and one dressed with the red pepper sauce.
Meredith Food Studios

Check out our collection of Tamale Recipes.

How to reheat turkey:

  • Oven: Turkey breast meat, in particular, tends to dry out. So if you have leftover gravy, too, try cutting the turkey into slices, combining it with the gravy in a casserole dish, and heating it in the oven with the lid on, about 325 degrees F. You can also heat leg, thigh, wing portions in the oven, loosely wrapped in aluminum foil.
  • Microwave: Slice the turkey and combine with gravy in a microwave-safe dish, and heat for 30-second, stirring and reheating until done.
overhead view of Roast Spatchcock Turkey recipe carved and presented on a serving platter and garnished with fresh herbs
Brie Passano

Check out our collection of Turkey Recipes.

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