The Easy Way To Meal Prep Pasta To Last You All Week

Spaghetti is already easy to make, but why not make it even easier and meal prep ahead of time? To expedite your next spaghetti night, cook your pasta in bulk. Yes, that means you can go ahead and throw the entire pound – and package — right in the pot. It's simple enough to bring that spaghetti to a boil, though preserving it is where meal-prepping can get a little challenging. Once in the fridge, pasta of any shape tends to get mushy and soggy. So, to combat your preserved pasta's texture, you'll want to store your noodles carefully, inside a sealed container. 

In particular, the best way to refrigerate meal-prepped pasta is in an airtight plastic bag or a compact Tupperware container. You don't want any air to get to your pasta and inhibit its texture. When exposed to air in the refrigerator, pasta runs the risk of growing bacteria or mold. So, you'll want to get all of the air out of your bag and keep your noodles contained until you're ready to eat. Before you store them away, however, add a little bit of olive oil. You may also want to keep some of that original, boiled pasta water for making a pasta sauce. Hello, spaghetti carbonara that tastes like it was just made. Sealing and storing pasta, however, is only half of the meal-prepping equation. It's also important that you cook your pasta methodically — and keep its texture al dente. 

Undercook your pasta to keep its texture intact

Nobody wants mushy pasta, so even if you don't like your pasta al dente, it's best to eer on the side of undercooking. In fact, some recipes suggest cooking your noodles for as little as half the time suggested on the box. While your linguini will be too hard to eat in the moment, it will soften up in the fridge. Once stored, that pasta will last for about five days. 

Later, when it comes time to reheat (and re-eat) your pasta, there are a few ways you can go about it. While the microwave does the trick quickly, the stovetop may be your best bet. Cook your pasta in boiling water for just thirty seconds, and you'll breathe new life into your noodles. Be careful not to cook it for longer, however; you'll end up with an ill-fated, mushy texture. While there's a lot to remember in meal-prepping pasta, it's a good trick to have in your cooking arsenal. After all, there's so many pasta dishes you can make, from Rome-inspired gricia to Italian-American stuffed shells. No matter what recipe you go for, all those dishes begin with some noodles — and a little preparation goes a long way.