How can I reuse or recycle leftover cooked pasta?

SpaghettiWe covered leftover cooked rice about an eon ago but for some reason haven’t covered the other thing I usually over-estimate when cooking: pasta.

The obvious answer is, of course, lunch the next day and we usually go down the quick’n'easy route of it microwaved with a bit of pesto or fried up into a frittata.

And what about reusing it in other fun ways? I’m guessing like with cooked rice, pasta shapes work great as a filler in soups – just not added *too* early in the cooking process. Spaghetti/tagliatelle might be a bit too stringy for soups as they are but a little chopping up never hurt anyone.

Any other ingenious places you use it up? Or any crazy ways to use it in non-culinary situations?

(Photo by TouTouke)

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12 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle leftover cooked pasta?”


  1. Bobbie says:

    It is delicious for breakfast. Just scramble it with a couple of eggs, some salt and pepper and voila breakfast!

  2. We feed ours to our hens, and they love it.

  3. Peg says:

    I’ve saved leftover pasta in the freezer until I have enough to make a “pasta pudding.” I cut the spaghetti, lasagne noodles, etc. into smaller, bite sized pieces. I make the custard base for bread pudding, but use the precooked, thawed pasta, instead of bread.

  4. Peg says:

    This is a reply about using dog/cat feces. Great in a reply about pastas, Huh??

    From Mother Earth News: Place the dog/cat feces ALL around the outer edge of your garden to keep rabbits, and other veggie eating critters out of your garden. According to Mother, the wild critters won’t cross over the scent of dogs/cats. Good Luck

  5. Karmae says:

    We used to make suncatchers that were kind of like stained glass with leftover cooked spaghetti when we were kids. You mix up some white glue with food colouring or paint. Dip each piece of pasta into the mix to coat and then swirl it or coil it into a flat shape. Add more with different colours making sure that all bits touch another bit at one point. Use as many colours as you want. work on top of a piece of foil, plastic or waxed paper.
    Let dry. Then you hang the item in the window. We used to make Christmas and other holiday type ornaments like this. It really does give a sense of stained glass.

  6. Emma says:

    I work in a childcare center and we’ve used leftover speghetti as a sensory project. Basically, we fill a bin (or our sensory tables) with the speghetti, maybe add some food coloring, put little toys, cups, silverware, anything in with it and let the kids play! They learn all kinds of things…and they can eat it too!

  7. Sandi says:

    Make a salad. Add chopped vegetables, meat, fruit, nuts, cheese and your choice of dressing….yummy with Thai, Greek or Italian

  8. Madlyn says:

    Left over pasta, Italian style!

    Using olive oil and minced garlic in a fry pan, add the cooked pasta, salt and pepper to taste and a good Friday ( no meat) meal!

  9. Molly says:

    This happened to me after a recent family dinner after I made WAYYY too much spaghetti! Half of it got added at the end of stir-frying beef and vegetables with a bunch of teriyaki and soy sauce. Make sure the beef and veggies are almost totally cooked by the time you add the spaghetti to the stir fry, because you just want to heat it and give it a chance to absorb a little soy sauce.

    The other half of the leftovers got chopped into slightly-longer-than-bite-sized pieces and used in a pasta bake. It’s like baked ziti, only with whatever leftover pasta you happen to have on hand. I even topped it with a couple lasagna noodles for smooth finish.

  10. Vicky says:

    Make greek Pastitsio (sp?) or lasagna. Just make layers of the pasta and some meat and red sauce, and whatever kinds of bits you have laying around that would go.

  11. Ina says:

    Tuoni e lampo – got that from an Italian cookbook: heat pasta shape and cooked chickpeas in olive oil with lots of garlic; add chopped parsley. Parmesan optional. Nice eaten with salad.

    I always cook more pasta than I need, to save time and energy – lots of stuff you can do with the leftovers.



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