13 Leftover Pasta Recipes for Oodles of Noodle Ideas

That uncooked pasta serving seems to double once it's cooked. But you're not worried because you know exactly what to do with the leftovers.

Published January 8, 2024

If you have a bit of pasta leftover from a meal, you have the base for your next favorite recipe. With these ideas, you'll know exactly what to do with leftover pasta when you make too much or just want to change things up a bit. From the sweet to the savory, a few extra noodles could inspire your next signature dish.

Give It a Fry


For the pastas full of cheese and meats, like ravioli or tortellini, a quick dunk in bubbling oil will give them new life. If you just have a small serving of pasta leftover, fry it up and serve it with marinara or alfredo sauce for an exciting appetizer. 

Related: 10 Pasta & Wine Pairings for Flavor Perfection

Add Texture to a Salad


Your average salad with greens and vegetables could use an upgrade. Toss in some of your leftover pasta, and your lunch will be more flavorful and filling. Plus, you get to enjoy a new texture in your salad mix.

Quick Tip

You can also use your leftover pasta for a refreshing and traditional pasta salad.

Make a Pasta Pizza


Your kids may not have loved the pasta the first time around, but they won't be able to resist if you transform the leftovers into pizza. Kitchen at Hoskins shows you how to make a pasta pizza the whole family will devour. If you have leftover vegetables or items from a charcuterie board, use them for your toppings.

Jazz Up a Casserole


If you want to stretch a classic casserole, just add pasta. The noodles take on the flavor of your casserole and make the meal even heartier. You can mix it in, use it as the base, or add it to the top.

Fast Fact

If you're tossing pasta into a casserole, slightly undercooked pasta works best.

Try Churro Pasta Chips


Your savory dinner from last night can be your sweet treat for tonight. Leftover pasta, like bow tie noodles and rigatoni are perfect for transforming into delicious churro chips. Weelicious has this simple air fryer recipe for making your ordinary pasta a churro delight. 

Whip Up an Easy Stir Fry


If you have just a few leftover spaghetti noodles or a small serving of angel hair pasta, you can make a simple stir-fry noodle dish. Sautee your noodles with your protein of choice, a mix of vegetables, and stir-fry sauce for the easiest weeknight meal with minimum prep.

Make Pasta Fritters


If you have leftover pasta already swimming in sauce, a pasta fritter will breathe new life into your day-old meal. All you need is a bit of grated cheese and some breadcrumbs to bring this dish together. Recipe Tin Eats makes this leftover pasta fritter recipe unbelievably easy with just a few ingredients. 

Have Fun With Baked Pasta Cups


Sometimes transforming leftovers is less about altering the taste and more about changing the experience. Add your leftover sauced pasta to a greased muffin tin with some extra cheese and bake up a crispy bite-sized pasta dish for your family. 

Use Your Waffle Iron to Give Pasta New Life


Waffle irons make more than fluffy waffles for your Saturday morning breakfast. They can also add crispy texture to your soggy leftover pasta. Just add your leftovers, sauce and all, to the waffle iron and press until crispy and golden. Pour extra sauce on top and sprinkle with cheese for a brand new pasta experience. 

Try a Dessert Pasta


Dessert pasta might sound a bit strange at first, but don't write off the dish just yet. Tender pasta in a sweet and creamy sauce might be the sweet treat you've been longing for. Try this cinnamon and brown sugar pasta from Christina's Kitchen and treat yourself to an unexpected way to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Swap the Crust in Your Chicken Pot Pie


Your famous chicken pot pie recipe gets a texture upgrade with leftover pasta. Swap your usual crust for leftover noodles of any kind and serve your family a filling and comforting dish. 

Replace Rice With Pasta


Jambalaya, taco bowls, and your best chicken fried rice can be just as delicious with a bed of pasta. Swap your rice grains for leftover pasta and save some serious time in the kitchen. Your meal will still be filling and balanced while you make some extra room in your refrigerator. 

Spaghetti Pie Is a Twist on a Classic


It may not be the pie you picture on a windowsill, but this pie is definitely worth trying. A traditional spaghetti pie is a genius way to use your leftover pasta and stretch your noodles for a whole new meal. Mel's Kitchen Cafe has a spaghetti pie recipe so easy to follow you might make extra pasta on purpose from now on. 

Store Your Leftover Pasta Correctly


While you're thinking on that leftover pasta recipe, make sure you store your extra noodles correctly. Properly stored pasta is the first step to taking your leftovers from a "have to eat" to a "can't wait to devour" sort of dish. 

  • Store leftover pasta with sauce in an airtight container in your refrigerator.
  • Add olive oil or butter to leftover noodles to keep them from sticking together.
  • Store pastas with tomato-based sauces in glass containers to prevent staining.
  • Use your leftover pasta within three days for best results.

There's So Much to Do With Those Oodles of Noodles


You don't have to worry about making more pasta than you need. You have plenty of options for making use of all those leftover noodles. The hardest part is deciding what creative pasta transformation you want to try first.

13 Leftover Pasta Recipes for Oodles of Noodle Ideas