I’m a very busy single parent so I often stay late at work. Because of that, I’m always worried about my kids’ dinner at home. I usually have fast food delivered but I want to have them eat healthy home cooked meals. Can I cook pasta salad at the start of the week and have my kids reheat it for their dinner throughout the week?
A bowl of pasta salad is a healthy and refreshing meal, especially in the summer. Because of its fresh ingredients, pasta salads are a popular choice for health buffs. Another good thing about this meal is that they are quick and easy to prepare.
To store the pasta salad, it’s a good idea to toss them in the freezer for storage. Freezing is a good way to preserve food including pasta salads. You can choose to either freeze the pasta separate from the other ingredients and dressings, or you can also choose to freeze it all mixed up in a single container. Your pasta salad can last about a week in your freezer.
Can You Freeze Pasta Salads
There are pasta salad recipes that are best eaten cold. For this case, all you have to do is to transfer the container from the freezer into your refrigerator. Placing it in the refrigerator overnight may be just enough to thaw your pasta salad for the next morning. The flavors and texture will more or less be still the same.
However, if your pasta salad is meant to be eaten warm, there are different ways to reheating. The best way to reheat the pasta salad you just popped out of your freezer is to steam it. Just place your container into a steamer or on a rack on top of a boiling pot of water for about five to ten minutes. The great thing about this steaming process is that it brings back the moisture into your pasta salad, and the flavors are intact.
Using a microwave oven is also a good option but the heat may dry up the salad. So make sure to switch your microwave’s settings to a defrost option to keep your pasta salad moist and creamy.
If you decide to heat it using a stove top, be ready with a small amount of sauce to go with it. This sauce will keep the pasta salad from drying up in the high heat.
The key to keeping your pasta salad’s firm texture after reheating is to not overcook the pasta from the very start. If your pasta is soggy and mushy right before you freeze it, then the texture will not be as desirable after freezing and reheating it. Pasta that is cooked al dente will be firm and perfect for freezing.
Your frozen pasta salad can last about a week in your freezer. Freezing reduces the probability of your pasta salad getting spoiled. However, it is best practice to always check for unusual smell before reheating. Once you decide to thaw and reheat the pasta salad, consume it right away. It’s not advisable to reheat the same batch then put it back in the freezer more than once.
How to Freeze Pasta Salad
Freezing your bowl of pasta salad is quick and easy. In freezing your pasta salad, you can either separate the pasta from the dressing and other ingredients into separate containers or you can also freeze them all mixed up together in one container.
- If you decide to freeze them separately, place the cooked pasta into a freezer bag or container.
- For the vegetables, you can place them into a different container. Lettuce and cucumbers are not exactly good for freezing. On the other hand, broccoli, peas, and carrots are okay to pop into the freezer.
- For the pasta salad dressing, a tip is to freeze Italian dressing or soy sauce in ice cube trays to go with your salad.
- If you, however, decide to freeze the pasta salad all mixed up together, you can simply place it in an airtight container and pop it in the freezer. This can last you for a week.
Pasta Salad Recipes
Pasta salads are great quick meals for your family. Why don’t you try spicing up your pasta salads with these recipes? Here is a recipe for a healthy tuna pasta salad with fresh peas and Greek yogurt:
Add some scrumptious deviled eggs with your pasta salad with this video recipe. A sprinkle of smoked paprika adds more flavor too:
Treat your family to a classic Italian pasta salad with this recipe. It takes less than 30 minutes to prepare: