How to Reheat Paella (And Not Say Goodbye to Its Flavor and Texture)

how to reheat paella

If you’re like me, you tend to cook more paella than you can handle in one sitting (you know how heavy rice is in the tummy, right?). So, what do you do with the leftovers?

No need to dump out all those expensive ingredients! You can still enjoy your leftover paella by reheating it in more ways than one.

But as always with reheating, there’s a catch here. Some reheating methods can dry out your paella or ruin the crispiness that makes it so yummy. Others can overcook it and make it soggy.

To help your leftover paella look, act and taste fresh, here are a few easy tips on how to reheat paella in a pan, oven or microwave.

Related Post: How to Reheat Shrimp?

What’s the Best Way to Reheat Paella?

What's the Best Way to Reheat Paella?

The name says it all!

In Valencia, where the dish traces its roots, paella literally means “pan”.

It was previously known as Paella Valenciana. Since it would almost be considered a crime if you tried to cook it using any other pots.

So, the obvious answer is to reheat your paella in a pan

The rationale behind this is the very same reason why it is being cooked in a pan to begin with. Pans are made to maximize the flavor potential of every dish. Paella the dish is no different, especially because of the strong flavors of the ingredients.

… But First, You Need to Store It Correctly

If you don’t store it properly, it will either taste bad or become downright poisonous. Especially if you made it with seafood!

And by properly, I mean that you have to store it in a tight or sealed container and place it in the refrigerator. This is to seal in the freshness left in the dish and prevent the smell from leaking into the rest of the fridge.

After eating your fill, let it cool down completely. It shouldn’t sit outside the fridge for more than a couple hours.

Once you got that right, your reheating options are a pan over the stove, in a microwave, or an oven. 

Keep in mind, though, that you have to tone down your expectations if you opt for microwave or oven. As I’ll explain in the next section, with paella, the pan is the way to go!

How to Reheat Paella in a Pan?

Did you use your perfect pan when you cooked your paella? If yes, use the same pan to reheat it!

Here’s what to do:

  1. Over medium heat, put a few drops of olive oil on the pan and spread it all over.
  2. Once the pan is hot enough, add in the paella and spread it evenly.
  3. Toss it continuously for a few minutes as you do with fried rice until it is heated evenly.
  4.  If you find it too dry already, adding a spoon or two of chicken broth (or water) will give it a moisture boost.

The socarrat or the crispy bottom part of paella makes it even more special because it creates more character and texture to the dish. 

Make sure not to set the stove too high when reheating paella because it might make it dry. Over medium, the olive oil makes up for the lost moisture and adds more flavor in the process.

How to Reheat Paella in a Microwave?

How to Reheat Paella
This is what we’re after. Firm but not soggy!

Reheating paella in a microwave isn’t too popular with foodies and for good reason.

You guessed the reason: microwaving will make it soggy due to the condensation of steam. You don’t want to lose the crisp texture for which paella is so popular!

However, if you just need a quick paella fix, here’s how to do it:

  1. Use a microwave-safe container and wipe it with cooking oil, preferably olive oil.
  2. Place the paella in the container, preferably covering it with microwave-friendly plastic wrap on top.
  3. It is highly recommended that you reheat paella in the microwave in small portions. Or better still, use a wider container so that the heating can be even.
  4. The ideal heating period is one minute.

How to Reheat Paella in an Oven?

If you don’t have a microwave at home, an oven will do. However, it may take a significantly longer time.

Here’s how to reheat paella in the oven:

  1. Prepare the oven by preheating it to 350ºF.
  2. Place your paella in a casserole or a wide baking pan. Make sure to spread it evenly in the container.
  3. Place the dish in the center and reheat it for about 15 minutes and then check the food. If it smells good and is just beginning to sizzle, this is the moment to serve it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Paella Last in the Fridge?

If your paella contains any kind of seafood, you can only store it for 1 day in your fridge before reusing it or throwing it away. Yes, that’s shorter than most other foods! This is because seafood is very prone to early microbial spoilage.

On the other hand, if it is meat-based, you can store it for 3-5 days!

Can I Eat Paella From the Fridge Without Reheating?

While some dishes are as good eaten either hot or cold, it isn’t wise to eat your leftover paella straight out of the fridge. The main reason: risk of food poisoning.

That’s because the bacteria will attack your paella pretty fast. And reheating reduces the bacteria count in the food, so it lowers your risk of food poisoning.

If you are sure that your paella is very fresh, you can eat it cold.

Can You Reheat Frozen Paella?

You can definitely reheat frozen paella, but only if you stored it immediately after it cooled down. Just let it defrost in the fridge for about 24 hours and then heat it in your pan (preferably), microwave or oven, as described above.

However, we have to admit that most cooked food will never taste exactly the same when you take it out of the fridge.

That’s because cooking brings about chemical reactions in food, which bring out the best flavor in the dish. Many of these flavors evaporate when the dish cools down and get lost.


Reheating paella without bidding farewell to its rich flavor and enticing texture is an art that can be mastered with the right techniques. Through our exploration of various methods, from stovetop to oven and microwave reheating, we’ve unveiled ways to preserve the essence of this Spanish culinary masterpiece. The key lies in a careful balance of heat and moisture, ensuring that each grain of rice remains flavorful and each ingredient retains its vibrancy.

As you embark on the journey of reheating paella, remember that patience and attention to detail are crucial. With the methods provided, you have the tools to transform leftover paella into a satisfying and delicious encore performance.

Ready to enjoy the rich flavors of reheated paella?

Share your experiences, preferred methods, and any additional tips in the comments below. If you found this guide helpful, spread the joy by sharing it with fellow paella enthusiasts.

Let’s ensure that every reheated paella experience is a culinary triumph.

Happy reheating!

Suggested Posts