The 15 Most Popular Foods to Reheat – Revive Your Leftovers!

Popular Foods To Reheat

If there’s one sure way to make life easier, it’s having foods to reheat on hand. In today’s modern world, leftovers are a way of life. We are always on the go and saving time & money is more important than ever. Leftovers are an incredibly smart way to do that. 

However, it’s not as simple as just hitting a button on your microwave. A lot can go wrong and what good is having foods to reheat if they end up tasting terrible when you do? 

Sadly, we’ve all been there, folks. I know that leftovers can be very disappointing but they don’t have to be. A little knowledge can help you achieve great results and that’s where I come in. I’m Amy and finding solutions to problems in the kitchen is my specialty. So when you want to learn how to reheat ribs the best way and many other leftover foods the very best way, I’ve got you covered!

It’s my mission in life to help people make the most of their leftovers and for that purpose, I’ve put together this ultimate guide to reviving your leftovers the right way. This handy guide will turn you into a leftover pro, regardless of your skill level in the kitchen. We’ll talk about:

  • the ways having leftovers can be a great benefit
  • the most efficient methods of reheating leftovers
  • the 15 most popular foods to reheat and  easy-to-follow reheating instructions
  • innovative tips and tricks that improve results
  • common pitfalls and potential problems to watch out for

The Benefits of Reheating Leftovers

Reheating cooked foods makes them safer

So often, we stand at the open fridge door and dig in, right? It’s a bad habit we are all guilty of occasionally, myself included. Yet, eating cold leftovers may not be all that wise. Bacteria are always present in food, even when it is stored in the fridge. And the longer that food sits in there, the more those bacteria multiply. Eventually, it can cause food poisoning. 

Reheating helps destroy some of that bacteria and makes it safer to eat. Food safety should always be your top priority in the kitchen. The U.S. Food and Drug Association has established recommendations for proper food temperatures and storage that you should always heed.

Having foods to reheat gives you an opportunity to make them tastier. It’s not hard to tweak a dish that was lacking something. A pinch of this or that and it can be exactly the way you really wanted it. 

Plus some dishes just taste better the next day even without any changes. Ingredients and seasonings mingle longer and that can make them more flavorful. Stews, soup, lasagna, rice dishes, chili—all more delicious as leftovers! 


Nutrition expert, Anita Mirchandani, said, “Reheating food can be a safe and healthy option if done correctly. By following simple guidelines, such as using the right temperature and storage methods, individuals can enjoy delicious reheated meals that are still packed with nutrients.”

Leftovers are a fantastic convenience. 

What could be simpler than reheating something that has already been prepared? Nothing is more gratifying. It means that you get to do the bare minimum to enjoy another terrific meal!

Having food to reheat saves money. 

Using up leftovers means you aren’t spending anything more on another meal or disposing of something with value. Plus, extra servings are almost always more cost-effective and that will lower your food expenditures. 

Benefits Of Reheating Leftovers

Reheating leftovers is a timesaver. 

There is simply no faster way to make dinner than to reheat it. Don’t believe me? Okay, go ahead. Find a recipe. Make a shopping list. Drive to the store. Go shopping. Drive home. Prep your ingredients. All right, cook your meal. Wash your dishes. 

Now, how long did all that take? Exactly! Even when you choose a slower method to reheat your leftovers, you will be saving valuable time.

Waste not, want not. 

Sure, it’s an old cliché—but it’s true. So much food goes to waste around the globe. According to Feeding America, homes make up a whopping 42 billion pounds or 39% of all food waste. By utilizing your leftovers instead of throwing them away, you are part of the solution, not part of the problem.


US homes make up about 39% or 42 billion pounds of all food waste. By utilizing leftovers as opposed to throwing them away you become part of the solution

Source: Feeding America

So, it’s easy to see why having foods to reheat is such a wonderful benefit, right? But of course, it still comes down to knowing what to do with them. 

Reheating methods can be a viable cooking technique for some foods, too.

In some cases, there really isn’t any difference between reheating and cooking. Applying heat does both, and sometimes that’s a distinct advantage.

The 5 Best Methods of Reheating Leftovers

The method you choose to reheat your leftovers can make a big difference. Nevertheless, your primary objective may be different from the next person’s. 

Some people are looking for the ideal way to reheat foods so that it tastes as good or better than they did originally, others value speed over all else and some people just want it to be as easy as possible. There is no right or wrong method if it works for you. The key is to understand the pros and cons and choose the option that suits you best. 

Methods Of Reheating Leftovers

The five most popular methods of reheating leftovers are the microwave, stovetop, oven, crock pot, and air fryer. Some will work better than others depending on the specific foods to reheat. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of each choice:

Reheating Leftovers in the Microwave

The microwave is an incredible appliance, it brought convenience and speed into our kitchens that we never had before. It has revolutionized our approach to cooking and reheating and changed the food industry forever. 

Not only will you find a microwave in every home but most people use it every day too. It’s often a good option for foods to reheat—but not usually the best in terms of food quality.

Pros: Hands down reheating food in the microwave is faster than every other method. (Or cooking method for that matter.) It is also simple to operate. For heating up a liquid or defrosting something, it excels. Plus, you can have one in places where you can’t always have a stove.  

Cons: The microwave uses water molecules to do its cooking or reheating and it steals those molecules from your food. That is not usually in your food’s favor as it can take on a rubbery or unpleasant texture and become overly dry. Plus, it’s virtually impossible to achieve a crispy texture in the microwave. 

It also reheats unevenly. Microwaves heat from the outer edges of your plate and move inward. Because of that, foods to reheat positioned at the center will typically be cooler than the outer parts. Plus, the appliance takes up a large chunk of counter space.

For me, the microwave is often my “last resort” option. Yes, you can overcome some of its quality drawbacks with some tips and hacks and get decent results but it won’t revive your foods to reheat to their original perfection. Nevertheless, when you’re in a hurry, it’s still your best appliance in the kitchen!

Reheating Leftovers on the Stovetop

The stovetop is a great way to cook many foods. In fact, you probably do more cooking with your stovetop than any other method. It can be a terrific way to reheat leftovers too. It applies heat from the bottom which is great for reheating certain foods. It also allows you to utilize any pot or pan that fits on your burner however it does have limitations.

Pros: The direct heat of the stovetop works efficiently with most foods to reheat. Plus you can keep an eye on things when reheating on the stove. Stirring on the stovetop is an easy task because it’s right in front of you. It also does a very good job of making things crispy on the bottom when that’s desired. 

For example, it’s one of the best ways to reheat pizza. Plus, stovetop reheating won’t make the same kind of unpleasant textural changes to the food that the microwave does. Thus, your leftovers will be closer to their original goodness.

Cons: Of course, using a stovetop also means that you have a stove—a large and costly appliance. True, almost everyone has one at home but there may be circumstances when you don’t have access to one. 

For example, students who want to reheat leftovers in a dorm room. Most dorms accommodate a microwave but almost never a stove and some kinds of foods are just not stovetop friendly.

I often find that the best foods to reheat on the stovetop are the ones that were originally cooked there. 

Reheating Leftovers in the Oven

The oven is one of my favorite ways to reheat leftovers. When food quality is your top consideration the oven is often your smartest choice. It provides an enveloping, all-over heat that surrounds your food on all sides. It also gives you many versatile options for temperatures and pan choice but reheating food in the oven has some drawbacks too.

Pros: The oven uses a dry heat that is especially good for many foods to reheat. It heats very evenly and it excels at crisping and browning. The oven is also superior at “low and slow” reheating which is frequently very beneficial. 

Cons: Combined with the stovetop the oven is part of a large and expensive appliance. Additionally it can be one of the slower ways of reheating food and some foods will need to be covered to preserve moisture because dry heat can make things crusty and browned. (Sometimes that’s a desirable thing, but not always.) 

Lastly, ovens are not very speedy or energy-efficient. In most cases you have to preheat them for a while before you can begin reheating. 

In general the oven is my go-to for anything that reheats best low and slow. It may also be your best option for large portions of food that simply won’t fit elsewhere. 

Different foods you can reheating in a crockpot

Reheating Leftovers in the Crockpot

The crock pot has come a long way over the years. It’s no longer your grandmother’s appliance but a marvel of modern technology and convenience. But, yes its specialty is still extremely slow cooking and extremely slow is often a fantastic way to go when it comes to foods to reheat.

Pros: The ultra-slow speed of the crockpot means you are reheating at steady, even temperatures. It’s perfect for soups, stews, casseroles or any dish that has a certain amount of sauciness and in terms of convenience the crock pot is a “set it and forget it” appliance. Sometimes we don’t want speed. Occasionally we just want to go about our day and come home to something that’s heated and ready to eat and the crockpot does that for you spectacularly well!

Cons: Then again sometimes the faster your leftovers are ready the better. “Just let me hit that up in the crockpot real quick,” said nobody ever! And if the foods to reheat are drier in nature it may not be a good choice. It’s much better with wetter foods and things you would typically stir if you had it on the stovetop. 

Likewise it’s not a great choice if the leftovers don’t fit well into the crockpot. Plus the crockpot is not all that energy-efficient. Slow reheating means a lengthy draw on your electrical bill.

The truth is I don’t use the crockpot for reheating all that often but there are some foods to reheat that are just perfect for it. When super slow is your goal there’s no better way to go!

Reheating Leftovers in the Air Fryer

The air fryer is the new kid on the block when it comes to appliances. Nevertheless, it’s become a favorite must-have tool for the modern home. Air fryers are terrific at reviving your leftovers provided that the foods to reheat are suitable for convection heat.

Pros: Like the microwave the air fryer is a speedy appliance. Preheating, cooking, and reheating food in an air fryer usually only takes a few minutes. This makes it a very energy-efficient choice.

There is more good news—convection means fast-moving hot air. That’s a wonderful way to reheat foods that are meant to be crisp! Just about anything you would deep fry can be cooked or reheated in the air fryer (and without needing all that oil!). Plus it’s easy to use even to the point of being kid-friendly. 

Cons: The air fryer is a bulky appliance that will need some dedicated space on your counter. A good one may also be expensive. Furthermore convection may not always be the most ideal method for some kinds of foods to reheat. The air fryer does not do “low and slow” very well. They can be messy to clean up too.

Confession time… 

I love my air fryer. You could even say I’m a little obsessed with it and that’s maybe it’s just because it’s a newer gadget but I think it’s because it’s great! When you want to know how to reheat food without a microwave or stove this is it! If you don’t have one, trust me and get one! You’ll be so glad you did! 

What Are Your Primary Reheating Priorities?
(Ranked 1 to 5 Stars) Speed Energy Efficiency Quality of Results
Microwave ★★★★★ ★★★★★
Stovetop ★★★ ★★★ ★★★
Oven ★★ ★★ ★★★★★
Crockpot ★★ ★★★
Air Fryer ★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★

The 15 Most Popular Foods to Reheat And Easy-To-Follow Reheating Instructions

You don’t have to search the web for reliable advice and techniques for reheating the most popular foods to reheat. I’ve done all the hard work for you! They’re right here—tested, organized and assembled for you in one convenient place. Even better, I dive into juicy details of my preferred reheating method for each of these popular foods and discuss why I choose the techniques over the others. My team and I often receive inquiries about reheating popular dishes, which is why I’ve created a FAQ Fiesta section that addresses the most frequently asked questions we encounter

Following are 15 of the most popular foods to reheat, indexed alphabetically by food type to make them easy to find. 

How to Reheat Burritos Why is the oven my favorite method to reheat this popular food?

1. How to Reheat Burritos

The taco may be the most well-known Mexican dish but is it really better than a burrito? I think not! Honestly, I’ve never met a burrito I didn’t like. It’s an entire multi-course meal wrapped up in a tasty tortilla! So delicious, not to mention affordable and filling! Burritos are a terrific food to reheat.

FoodLve’s Best Overall Reheating Method: Oven

Why is the oven my favorite method to reheat this popular food?

When it comes to the burrito no method is faster than the microwave. It can work okay here but this food is going to be soggier and the tortilla will never be crispy. As one of the most popular foods to reheat, it deserves better! The oven does an excellent job of reheating evenly and also crisping up the tortilla. 

Instructions On How To Reheat Burritos In The Oven:

  • Start by preheating the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Before putting the burrito inside the oven make sure that you wrap it in aluminum foil.
  • Once wrapped, place it on a baking sheet and put the burrito in the oven.
  • Let it reheat for 10 or 15 minutes depending on your liking. Keep checking halfway through it.
  • Take it out once done and enjoy your fresh-out-of-the-oven burrito.
How To Reheat Burritos

FAQ Fiesta:

What other methods can I use to reheat this popular food?

A toaster oven will give you the same crispy results if your portion is small enough to fit inside but it will be trickier to get the center warm enough. As a hack, you could nuke it on half-power for a minute and then move it to the toaster oven. The grill is a great choice for this food to reheat as well and the way to go if you want a charred, smoky flavor. Finally, for extreme crispiness on that tortilla try the skillet. 

What if my burrito has cold components?

If you have a burrito with cold components, scoop those out and set them aside to add them back after reheating. Or better yet replace them with fresh components. The important thing is to only heat up what is meant to be served hot. (Guacamole isn’t the world’s worst when heated but you don’t want soupy sour cream!)

Check out this helpful write-up with detailed instructions on how to reheat your leftover burrito. Referring to these comprehensive instructions you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite burrito for a second time without sacrificing its flavor or texture. The second time’s a charm for sure! 

2. How to Reheat Chicken and Rice

Chicken and rice dishes are amongst the most popular foods on the planet. Who doesn’t have a favorite chicken and rice dish? We all enjoy this tasty combination and it’s a very common food to reheat but it can also be a challenge. 

FoodLve’s Best Overall Reheating Method: Oven

Why is the oven my favorite method to reheat this popular food?

The oven is regarded as the best way to reheat chicken and rice because it is known to evenly distribute heat and help prevent the food from becoming overcooked or dried out. The last thing you would need is a dehydrated meal when you are in a hurry. Using the oven allows for a slower reheating process that preserves the moisture and texture of the dish. 

Instructions on How to Reheat Chicken and Rice in the Oven

 Here is what you need to know about how to reheat chicken in the oven:

  • Allow the chicken to defrost if it has been frozen so it is chilled but not frozen solid and then cut it up into smaller pieces. Get an oven pan and put the sliced chicken into it. Do not lay them close to each other. 
  • Pour some chicken stock or water and add it to the pan before you start warming. 
  • Cover the pan with a well-fitted lid or aluminum foil to keep the chicken tender and moist
  • Preheat the oven to a temperature range of 425°F to 475°F. 
  • Place the pan in the oven and heat for 20 to 30 minutes, occasionally checking to see how hot it is getting.
  • Remove the chicken once it is hot enough and let it sit for a few more minutes to finish cooking through.
  • Serve your chicken with your rice and enjoy!

Here is what you need to know about how to reheat rice in the oven:

  • Take the rice out and spread an even layer onto a cooking sheet or pan that has been lightly sprayed with cooking oil.
  • Separate the clumps of rice using a spoon or spatula and spread the rice evenly across the sheet/pan.
  • Drizzle a bit of water over the surface of the rice as doing this will keep it from burning and drying out as it cooks.
  • Cover the tray with aluminum foil to lock in the moisture and prevent the top layer of the rice from drying out and burning.
  • Set the oven to a temperature of 300°F which is an ideal temperature for reheating rice leftovers.
  • Put the tray into the oven and heat for 15 to 30 minutes. 
  • Check the rice after 10-15 minutes to know if it is well heated. If more time is needed, work up in 5-minute intervals of cooking time.
  • Remove the tray and transfer the rice into a bowl or service dish and keep it covered until ready to serve and eat.
How To Reheat Chicken And Rice

FAQ Fiesta: 

Why do I need to separate the rice and chicken?

This food to reheat is one of many dishes that benefit from separating the protein from the other ingredients and reheating them separately. Always do that when possible. That way you can adjust your approach to each component as needed. 

Why should I stay away from a microwave when reheating chicken?

In my humble opinion, the microwave should be your last choice to reheat the chicken, and only if speed is your main objective. When you reheat chicken in the microwave it tends to get rubbery. The microwave is notorious for cooking foods unevenly and leaving cold spots that result in overheating. 

If the microwave is your only option to reheat the chicken, a simple hack would be to heat it on low heat and also stir the chicken halfway.  

How do I maintain the rice texture when reheating it?

A simple tip to maintain the rice texture when reheating it is by adding a little water to the rice no matter which method you choose. The water helps the rice reheat evenly and regain its fluffy texture. 

We figured not everyone has an oven or stovetop or crockpot so here is a useful guide that will help you reheat chicken and rice in any kitchen

3. How to Reheat Frozen Cooked Chicken 

Chicken is one of the most popular foods to reheat and frozen cooked chicken is so convenient! It can be used in so many different ways. Repurpose it for soup, a salad, a sandwich or simply enjoy it in its original form.

FoodLve’s Best Overall Reheating Method: Air Fryer

Why should I use an air fryer to reheat my frozen cooked chicken?

If you prize the crispy skin or coating you can’t beat reheating frozen cooked chicken in the air fryer. Plus using the air fryer means that thawing is not necessary (Voot! Voot!). The air fryer also does a superior job of preserving the texture of the chicken. 

How to Reheat Frozen Cooked Chicken in an Air Fryer

  • Remove the chicken from the fridge and cut it into manageable pieces. 
  • You don’t need to thaw out the chicken. Simply place it inside the air fryer basket. 
  • You also don’t need to pre-heat the air fryer. Set the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) and let the air fryer warm at the same pace as the frozen cooked chicken. This helps retain the moisture in the meat and enables even cooking. 
  • Using a meat temperature check the internal temperature of the chicken every 5 minutes.
  • Remove and serve.
How To Reheat Frozen Cooked Chicken

FAQ Fiesta:

How do I reheat my frozen cooked chicken evenly in the air-fryer?

In order to cook your frozen cooked chicken evenly in the air fryer make sure to cut it into similar-sized pieces. 

Can I use a Microwave to reheat this popular food if I do not have an Airfyer?

If you are reheating frozen cooked chicken that is skinless or unbreaded, the microwave is a decent option. However, if your chicken has skin or a coating that you want crispy again skip the microwave as the stove top is better for this food to reheat. 

Hungry for More!? Take a look at this handy and detailed guide with lots of helpful tips on how to safely reheat frozen cooked chicken using easy-to-follow instructions.

4. How to Reheat Fried Chicken

Chicken is more than a protein—it’s a staple. Every culture and cuisine has its favorite chicken dishes and preparations. From roasts to sandwiches to soups, casseroles, and stews, chicken satisfies every craving. But when you envelop it in a crispy coating and fry it? That’s magic, friends! Leftover fried chicken is a treasure of golden goodness. Indeed, it’s one of the most popular foods to reheat. 

FoodLve’s Best Overall Reheating Method: Air Fryer

Why is the air fryer the best way to reheat leftover fried chicken?

We consider the air fryer the best method to reheat leftover fried chicken because it can help restore the crispy texture of the chicken without making it too oily. This is possible because hot air circulates inside the air fryer that allows for excess moisture to evaporate and simultaneously reheat the chicken at a faster speed.  

Instructions on How to Reheat Leftover Fried Chicken in the Air Fryer?

  • Preheat your air fryer to 400ºF.
  • Next, arrange the chicken (which should be at room temperature) in a single layer at the bottom of your fryer basket. Do not crowd the chicken or it will not receive the proper heat circulation it needs (You can do multiple batches if necessary).
  • Once your air fryer has reached temperature place your basket inside and time it for 5 minutes.
How To Reheat Fried Chicken

FAQ Fiesta: 

How do I restore crispness when reheating leftover fried chicken?

Let your chicken come to room temperature before you begin reheating. To restore crispness in this food to reheat you cannot go wrong with the oven or air fryer. 

What are some other tips one should be thinking of when reheating leftover fried chicken in the air fryer? 

Preheat your air fryer and don’t crowd your fryer basket. If using a larger air fryer one that has different racks put the chicken in the middle rack so heat can circulate underneath.

When should I use a microwave/toaster oven to reheat leftover fried chicken?

If you are only heating a piece or two try the microwave/toaster oven: 

  • Warm up the dish on half-power in the microwave for about a minute 
  • Then pop it in the toaster oven to get the coating crispy again 

This combination hack will work with many popular foods to reheat that are a coating best enjoyed when crispy.

Did you know that the Colonel has been making fried chicken since 1952? See what KFC is up to lately.

5. How to Reheat Crème Brulee [Should you even reheat it??]

Yes, it’s a French classic but this phenomenal custard dessert topped with caramelized sugar is loved around the world. Naturally, there’s some debate about whether or not you should reheat this delicate dish. After all, it gets its start in the oven right? And it even tastes great when it’s still warm. 

But the fact is you shouldn’t reheat it. Crème Brulee is meant to be eaten cold—at least the custard part. It is only the caramelized sugar layer that is preferred warm. The contrast of cold custard and warm sugary crunch makes this elegant dessert a showstopper.

FoodLve’s Best Overall Reheating Method: None! For best leftover results enjoy cold or replace the sugar layer only.

How To Reheat Creme Brulee

FAQ Fiesta: 

Don’t reheat it as the custard could be ruined if reheated and the sugar layer doesn’t honestly reheat well either. It melts or burns! But here’s a helpful hack if you really want that shatteringly sweet warm golden topping at its best: Remove the old sugar layer and sprinkle on a new one (It’s just plain white sugar. Use fine sugar if you have it but regular table sugar will do.). Then finish it with a mini kitchen blow torch and not in the oven.

6. How to Reheat Fajitas?

Fajitas might be a Mexican dish but I can’t think of anyone coast to coast that doesn’t love these popular foods to reheat! The savory sizzling meats, fresh veggies, spicy seasonings, and crispy tortillas—yum! They are a wonderful leftover food to reheat as well.

FoodLve’s Best Overall Reheating Method: Stovetop (It’s all about that sizzle!)

Why is the stovetop the best method to reheat Fajitas?

The stovetop is one of the most convenient methods to reheat fajitas. It restores the natural freshness and crispiness of the meat or vegetables that you sauteed earlier. Even heat distribution can help prevent overcooking and drying out the meat or vegetables. If you’re making shrimp-based fajitas add them last so they can maintain their juicy flavors!

Instructions on How to Reheat Fajitas on the Stovetop

  • Take a non-stick pan, place it over medium heat, and let the pan heat up for a few seconds.
  • Add 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil and let it heat up.
  • Once the oil is hot enough you can add the fajita mixture and toss it around in the pan for 3-4 minutes making sure you constantly move around the mixture to avoid sticking or burning.
  • If you find the taste a little dull add another pinch of fajitas seasoning to liven up the flavors again.
  • Once everything is reheated you can fill the fajita mixture inside a taco or tortilla and add the toppings of your choice.
How To Reheat Fajitas in a cast iron pan.

FAQ Fiesta: 

How do I prevent the fajita from sticking to the pan when reheating? 

When using a skillet or pan add a bit of oil or water to the fajitas to help rehydrate any dry areas or prevent sticking to the pan. This can help preserve the taste and texture of the dish while also allowing you to customize the reheating process to your liking.

Is it recommended to freeze leftover fajitas?

It is not recommended to freeze your restaurant’s leftover fajitas for more than a day or two, you can freeze and store the homemade leftover fajitas for a little longer.

Can I use a microwave, air fryer, or oven to reheat this popular food?

Yes, all methods can work well on this food to reheat, but if you want your tortillas crisped up use the stovetop. Make sure you don’t overheat your fillings. Remember they are already cooked so all you want to do is bring them up to temperature. 

Are you craving more sizzling and flavorful fajitas? Well, we’ve got you covered with our detailed guide on how to properly reheat fajitas using three super easy methods! Get ready to satisfy your cravings in no time!

7. How to Reheat French Fries

Is there anybody out there who doesn’t like french fries? They are pretty much the world’s favorite side dish. Naturally, they are one of the most beloved popular foods to reheat and one of the easiest too!  

FoodLve’s Best Overall Reheating Method: Air Fryer

Why is the air fryer the best method to reheat French Fries?

The air fryer is the best method to reheat french fries because it can deliver crispy, evenly heated fries with a texture that is similar to freshly cooked ones within a matter of minutes. This is because the air fryer uses hot circulating air to cook the food which helps to remove any excess moisture and create a crispy exterior.

Instructions on How to Reheat Fries in the Airfryer:

  • Start with fries that are cold out of the fridge. 
  • Set your air fryer to 400ºF and preheat it for a few minutes.
  • Place your fries in a thin layer in your basket but do not crowd the basket. You don’t want them more than two fries deep otherwise they won’t reheat evenly. If you have a larger amount do them in batches instead.
  • Air fry for a minute then give the basket a shake to ensure that they are reheating evenly and put them back in. 
  • Check the fries after another minute and keep checking (and shaking) every minute or two until they are hot and crispy. Then serve and enjoy!
How To Reheat French Fries

FAQ Fiesta:

How do I review the crispness when reheating french fries in the air fryer? 

Here are my 2 tips on how to review the crispness of french fries when reheating in the air fryer: Don’t overcrowd your pan or basket and also lightly spray fries with oil before reheating to help crispiness. (A tip for any food to reheat in the air fryer!) 

What degree of heat should I be using when reheating french fries in the airfryer?

Use high heat around 400 to 450ºF and preheat the appliance. 

Can I use a microwave to reheat french fries?

Avoid the microwave unless you don’t mind your fries soggy and sad! My favorite method for reheating fries is basically anything but the air fryer is terrific and fast.

PS: Ever wonder what the most popular brand of frozen fries is? Ore-Ida! Fast food fries? McDonald’s is still tops! And our favorite stuff to dunk them in!? Heinz ketchup! (Hey when they’re your favorite food to reheat they deserve the best!)

8. How to Reheat Roasted Lamb

Some people might think of roast lamb as a special occasion meal however it’s never been more popular! Sure it’s always been a favorite holiday meat but it’s a favorite everyday treat for many of us! It’s one of the most popular foods to reheat, especially as a roast. Whether it’s a leg, loin or a rack, roast lamb is typically a large feast that yields plenty of leftovers. (Yay!)

FoodLve’s Best Overall Reheating Method: Oven

Why is the oven the best method to reheat roasted lamb? 

The oven is the top choice for this popular food to reheat because it helps preserve the texture and flavor of the meat while also ensuring its reheating evenly. Roasted lamb is very delicate and it can easily dry out when reheating. The oven leverages a slow and gentle reheating process that prevents roasted lamb from becoming overcooked and tough. 

Step-by-Step Instruction On How to Reheat Roasted Lamb In The Oven:

  • Take out your roast lamb from the freezer or refrigerator and let it sit till it gets to room temperature. If you have a large size of leftovers and you do not wish to reheat them all at once cut out only the portion you want to reheat and return the rest. 
  • Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C) while you wait for the roast to reach room temperature. 
  • Pour a little portion of cooking juice or meat stock on the roast lamb you wish to reheat. 
  • Get a foil and loosely wrap the roast lamb.
  • After wrapping, lay it on the wire rack in the oven. 
  • Leave it in the oven for about 15 minutes to heat up properly. Timing can vary depending on the size of the lamb. If it is not hot enough after 15 minutes you can leave it in longer, ensuring you check on it regularly.
  • Take it out once well heated and allow it to cool a little before serving.
How To Reheat Roasted Lamb

FAQ Fiesta:

How do I maintain the moisture when reheating leftover roasted lamb? 

A helpful tip to maintain the moisture when reheating leftover roasted lamb is to add a little more broth or water to the lamb as this will allow for more even reheating. 

Does the crispy bit and fattiness of the meat play a role in choosing the reheating method?

Yes, crispy bits and fattiness of your roast lamb can influence your method of choice too. The oven and air fryer do a great job of crisping in general but if you want to render off some excess fat on your food to reheat, a skillet on the stovetop is a great idea. The only drawback with the stovetop is that it can be more challenging to get the roast reheated evenly.  

What other tips do I need to think about when reheating roasted lamb?

Overcooked lamb is a crime against humanity! For a juicy leftover roast meal make sure you bring your roast to room temperature before you begin reheating.

9. How to Reheat Lasagna

The words “lasagna” and “leftovers” should be right next to each other in the dictionary as far as I’m concerned. Delicious? Yes! But also so filling! It might be your favorite Italian treat on the menu but chances are some of it’s coming home with you! And luckily that’s a good thing. This favorite food to reheat deserves some space in every fridge.

FoodLve’s Best Overall Reheating Method: Oven

Why is the Oven the Best Method to Reheat Lasagna?

Lasagna can be tricky to reheat evenly. My preferred method with this is the oven. When you reheat lasagna in the oven you’ll get closer to the original taste and texture and it also does the best job of heating evenly.

Step-by-Step Instruction on How to Reheat Lasagna In The Oven:

  • Take the lasagna out of the fridge, uncover it and let it sit on your counter for about 30 minutes to warm up a little. 
  • Preheat your oven to 325ºF. (This should take about 30 minutes as well. Be patient! You never want to put your lasagna into a cold oven or it won’t reheat evenly.)
  • Add a very light coating of olive oil to the bottom and sides of the pan as this will help prevent the lasagna from sticking. (I usually just add a dab and spread it around with a paper towel.) 
  • Sprinkle a little cold water across the bottom of your dish right on top of the olive oil. You don’t want a full layer of water, just droplets (like rain on a windshield).
  • Put your lasagna in the prepared pan. 
  • Next add even more water. Sprinkle it all over the top of your lasagna 
  • Now, cover your pan tightly with either foil or a well-fitted lid.
  • Put your pan in the middle of your center rack and start timing it. A single portion will take about 30 minutes and a larger amount will take about 45 minutes. 
  • After 25 minutes with a single portion or after 40 minutes with a larger one it’s time to check the temperature.
How To Reheat Lasagna

FAQ Fiesta:

Here is a checklist of helpful tips when reheating lasagna?
  • Add more sauce or water if it isn’t already saucy. 
  • Cover it tightly as with this particular food to reheat, creating steam is the secret!
  • Reheated lasagna is notorious for having a too-cool center. Check its temperature in the middle before you serve it to erase all doubts.
Can you use a microwave to reheat leftover lasagna?

You can use the microwave to reheat leftover Lasagna. While this method is fast and easy I recommend it be your last option. The microwave’s uneven distribution of heat can result in either overcooking or drying out certain areas of your dish.

Fun fact: Lasagna recipes go all the way back to ancient times but the dish we recognize as lasagna today? It was created in the late 1800s in Naples, the same city that invented pizza. Grazie, Naples!

10. How to Reheat Macaroni and Cheese

When it comes to comfort foods mac-n-cheese is king! It’s the timeless dish that works with every kind of meat and veggie. It’s economical, it’s an easy food to reheat and of course it works great as a meal all by itself. (Raise your hand if you’ve plowed through an entire box of Kraft dinner all by yourself. Then again don’t bother. I know you have!) Macaroni and cheese is a favorite dish we never want to stop eating!

FoodLve’s Best Overall Reheating Method: Oven

Why is the oven our best method to reheat leftover mac and cheese?

The oven is considered the best method to reheat leftover mac and cheese because it allows for even heat distribution, helping the dish to be heated thoroughly without drying up the edges and the top and leaving the middle cold. Additionally, reheating leftover mac and cheese in the oven can help maintain the texture and moisture of the dish (YUM! Getting hungry yet!?).  

Step-by-Step Instruction on how Reheat to Mac and Cheese in the Oven:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit for 2-3 minutes.
  • Take out an oven-proof glass dish and transfer your leftover mac and cheese into it.
  • Add a tablespoon of milk and stir it around so every portion is well-coated. For extra creaminess you can add some full-fat cream to it (1/2 a tablespoon).
  • Cover the top of the glass dish with aluminum foil, pinching the foil from the sides to seal it from every side (Tip use your thumb and index finger to pinch the sides). 
  • Bake the dish for 15-25 minutes depending on the quantity of leftovers that you have. 
  • Once done remove the foil and bake the dish for another 5-10 minutes to crisp up the cheese from the top.
How To Reheat Macaroni And Cheese

FAQ Fiesta:

How do I retain the moisture and creamy texture when reheating mac and cheese?

One thing that can be tricky about pasta combined with sauce or cheese is keeping its creamy texture intact. Pasta absorbs liquid and it keeps doing so even when it is sitting in your fridge because of that your mac-n-cheese will likely be drier when you go to reheat it.

To keep it’s creamy texture intact add a little more butter and milk to help the dish along. (Heck, go crazy! Add more cheese too. In my opinion more cheese makes everything better including this food to reheat!) 

What if I’m in a hurry and need to use the microwave to reheat mac and cheese?

Yes you can reheat mac and cheese in the microwave (I call this the lazy person’s method! Lol just kidding). To prevent it from drying out, splash a small amount of milk or cream to the dish before reheating it. Make sure you cover the dish before placing it in the microwave to allow for steam build up. Also starting the dish halfway through the reheating process can help distribute the dish and heat it evenly. 

Check out my indepth write up for the quickest method to reheat macaroni and cheese. You’ll discover some handy tips and tricks that can help you save time and avoid common mistakes when reheating this classic comfort food.

11. How to Reheat Pasta

Pasta is another dish we just can’t do without. It fills the role of a side dish and entrée with equal excellence and it’s a carbohydrate energy boost we all appreciate even if it can also beach you on the couch sometimes! In this collection of popular foods to reheat it’s probably the one we turn to for comfort the most.

FoodLve’s Best Overall Reheating Method: Oven & Stovetop

Why is the oven/stovetop our top method of reheating this popular food?

In my professional opinion the oven or stovetop are the best methods to reheat pasta. The type of pasta dish dictates that method of choice. Pasta needs a little romance to revive it right and that means…… (drum roll!!!) low and slow. The oven is a great method to reheat baked pasta like baked ziti and lasagna as it allows even cooking and prevents the pasta from drying out or becoming too mushy. 

The stovetop is an excellent reheating method for pasta dishes that are in a sauce or in a soup because it allows for more precise temperature control and helps prevent the pasta from drying out or becoming overcooked. 

Step-by-Step Instruction on How to Reheat Pasta in the Oven:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit for 2-3 minutes.
  • Take out an oven-proof glass dish and transfer your leftover baked pasta into it.
  • Cover the top of the glass dish with aluminum foil by pinching the foil from the sides to seal it from every side (Tip use your thumb and index finger to pinch the sides). 
  • Bake the dish for 15-25 minutes depending on the quantity of leftovers that you have. 
  • Once done remove the foil and bake the dish for another 5-10 minutes to crisp up the cheese from the top.

Step-by-Step Instruction on how to Reheat Pasta on the Stovetop:

  • Pour some milk into a shallow pan with a wide base. Measure out about three tablespoons of milk per portion of pasta. 
  • Heat the milk until it’s just about to start bubbling. 
  • Add the leftover pasta into the simmering milk. 
  • If you like, add one or two tablespoons of heavy cream and pasta sauce in equal parts. 
  • Stir vigorously as the sauce reduces. 
  • Once reheated enough, lightly sprinkle a few drops of olive oil and stir the dish. This helps the pasta separate and look as good as freshly cooked. 
How To Reheat Pasta in a cast iron pan

FAQ Fiesta:

Can I use a microwave to reheat pasta

The microwave is my least favorite choice because it’s infamous for not reheating evenly leaving cold spots and also drying out certain areas (especially the sides). That said it can work here too. Just make sure you go low and slow and if it’s a baked pasta or if it looks dry, add extra water or sauce.

Should I use the air fryer to reheat my leftover pasta?

You can use the air fryer to reheat baked pasta. It is a great option because the hot air circulation helps the dish heat very quickly and evenly as well. This results in a crispy and delicious texture. 

12. How to Reheat Pizza

Ah, the zah… How we crave it! Pizza might just be the most popular food to reheat of all the items on this list. There’s always leftover pizza in the fridge or the freezer right? And it’s something that nobody ever wants to waste. 

FoodLve’s Best Overall Reheating Method: Air fryer 

Why is the air fryer our top method of reheating this popular food?

In my humble opinion the airfryer is my top method for reheating leftover pizza because it delivers the same crispy finish as when it was first made. The air fryer is able to evenly distribute heat and achieve an excellent finish without drying the pizza out. Additionally it’s able to reheat the pizza in a matter of minutes when compared to the oven. 

Step-by-Step Instruction on How to Reheat Pizza in the Air Fryer:

  • Take your leftover pizza out of the fridge and let it warm up for about 15 minutes.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 350ºF (which should only take about 3 minutes).
  • Brush your pizza bottom and exposed crust with a very light amount of good olive oil.
  • If you have a smaller fryer model add a teaspoon of cold water to the fryer underneath the basket. For a larger fryer add 2 teaspoons. 
  • Put your pizza in the fryer basket and arrange the slices so that they do not overlap. (Don’t overcrowd the basket. If necessary, do it in batches instead.)
  • Put the basket in the air fryer and start timing. It should only take about 4 minutes to reheat the pizza in the air fryer. 
  • Keep an eye on it and take it out as soon as it is hot and crispy once again.
How To Reheat Pizza

FAQ Fiesta:

Is there an air fryer hack to enhance the reheating process?

Adding a few drops of water under the basket will replace any lost moisture. 

Why add water? Water creates steam making your leftover pizza truly great again! The steam keeps your crust from getting too dry. It also helps your cheese melt and keeps it from getting too brown. Plus it rehydrates your toppings so their flavor stays at its best. 

What other methods can I use to reheat the pizza apart from the air fryer? 

My next favorite methods for this food to reheat are the oven and stove top. The oven is a nice way to re-crisp the crust and brown cheese. The stovetop (in a frying pan with lid) is a great way to do it that won’t overbrown your cheese and toppings if already browned. 

Meanwhile if it’s just a slice or two the toaster oven will work although that choice may yield drier results with this food to reheat.

Can I use a microwave to reheat my leftover pizza? 

If you are in a huge hurry and need to use the microwave, here’s a microwave pizza hack: Put a small cup of water next to your pizza plate for better results. It won’t make the crust crispy but it can help it reheat more evenly.

Want to learn about (or visit) America’s very first pizza shop? Check out Lombardi’s

13. How to Reheat Ribs

Ribs are the perfect meat. After all, aren’t we always cooking food on sticks? A rib comes with a built-in skewer and when it’s succulent, saucy, spicy, smokey and ready to fall off the bone!? Forget the silverware!—I’m all in, maybe even up to my elbows! Ribs are no doubt one of the most perfect popular foods to reheat. 

FoodLve’s Best Overall Reheating Method: Oven 

Why is the oven our top method of reheating this popular food?

The oven is our top choice for reheating ribs as it warms the meat without compromising texture and flavor. The dry heat in the oven allows the meat to retain its moisture while also creating a supremely crispy texture. Using an oven allows for consistent heating throughout the dish. Low and slow is the best approach to reheating ribs. Thus the oven will be your best option to achieve great quality.

Step-by-Step Instruction on How to Reheat Ribs in the Oven:

  • Take your ribs out of the refrigerator and let them warm up for about 15 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 250ºF.
  • Next you’ll need a baking sheet and some aluminum foil. Your foil sheet should be large enough to make a packet to encase the ribs.
  • Put your ribs in the center of your foil sheet and take a look if they look dry. If they do, add a little moisture in the form of extra barbecue sauce, broth, plain water or even fruit juice. Then seal up your foil packet by crimping it tightly and put it on the baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet with the ribs in the preheated oven’s center rack and start timing. Thicker or larger portions may take 30 minutes or more while smaller ones can be ready in 20 minutes. Check at the 20-minute mark and take them out when they reach 165ºF on a food thermometer.
How To Reheat Ribs

FAQ Fiesta

What are some other methods I can use to reheat ribs?

If the oven is not an option for you then the crock pot can be good too if you have more time. Your ribs will get even moisture in the crock pot. In fact it will take that “falling-off-the-bone” thing to a whole new level. Meanwhile the air fryer is fast and gets good results but it may be drier. You can add a few drops of water under the basket if you are using the air fryer and the grill works well if you are outdoors. 

14. How to Reheat Salmon

Salmon is a tricky protein to reheat. It can easily become unpleasantly fishy, dry and overly firm. It’s already a boldly-flavored fish so you don’t want to amplify that. Nevertheless, salmon is delicious! It’s easily one of the top 15 popular foods to reheat and definitely worth the effort.

FoodLve’s Best Overall Reheating Method: Oven or Air Fryer 

Why is the oven or air fryer our top method of reheating this popular food?

As with most proteins, low and slow is the way to handle salmon. I prefer the oven overall for this food to reheat. The dry and even heat from the oven does a great job of reheating the salmon evenly while retaining its moisture however you might want to reheat salmon in an air fryer if it has skin. When you reheat fish in an air fryer it does a superb job of crisping the skin especially if you go skin-side down. 

Step-by-Step Instruction on How to Reheat Salmon in the Oven:

  • Take your leftover salmon out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature for about 15 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 275ºF.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  • Brush a little olive oil or butter on the bottom of your foil or parchment. 
  • Next sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of water across the bottom of the sheet. You can add a few slices of citrus on top as well (lemon, lime, or orange) to help brighten up the flavor.
  • Add your salmon to the pan (skin side down if it has any) and cover it tightly with foil.
  • Reheat the salmon in the oven for about 15 minutes and check it with a food thermometer. If it has reached 130º, it’s ready. If not, put it back in until it reaches the proper temperature.
How To Reheat Salmon

FAQ Fiesta

How long can I keep leftover salmon in my fridge?

No more than 3 days. Then it will need to be discarded because of spoilage and bacterial growth.

Can I reheat salmon more than once?

No, never try to reheat salmon more than once. The texture would be terrible and it could have bacteria growing in it that might make you sick.

15. How to Reheat Steak

Beef is a favorite protein for many people and there is perhaps no greater way to enjoy it than as a steak. Whenever I order one, I order a BIG one! Leftover steak is a fantastic thing to have on hand. It can be repurposed in many ways and is one of the most popular foods to reheat. 

FoodLve’s Best Overall Reheating Method: Air Fryer 

Why is the air fryer our top method for reheating this popular food?

The air fryer is considered one of the best ways to reheat steak due to its ability to quickly and evenly heat the meat while also helping to maintain its original texture and flavor. Its speed helps to maintain the steak’s original level of doneness and that convection heat helps simulate that outer sizzle you get from the grill or pan.

Step-by-Step Instruction on How to Reheat Steak in the Air Fryer:

  • Preheat your air fryer to 350ºF. (It should only take a few minutes.)
  • While your air fryer is warming up, grab your leftover steak out of the fridge.
  • Brush your steak with a little butter on both sides. If your steak is rather plain you can sprinkle on a little more seasoning now, too.
  • Add your steak in a single layer to the fryer basket. Don’t crowd the basket. (If necessary, you can reheat in batches.)
  • Next put your basket into the air fryer and begin timing. Small or thin pieces can be done in as soon as 4 minutes. Larger pieces might need 6-8 minutes. Reheat steak in the air fryer for a few minutes and check it with a thermometer. Also give the steak a flip about halfway through cooking time for best results.
How To Reheat Steak

FAQ Fiesta

What if I do not have an air fryer? What other methods should I use?

To go low and slow I prefer the oven. The grill and a frying pan on the stovetop are all good options too. The  microwave is my least favored choice but if you must try this hack: Put a moistened paper towel over the top of the steak. Then microwave at half-power for 30-minute intervals until hot enough. 

What prepping tips should I use before reheating the steak?

Add a pat of butter to boost the flavor and help moisture as you reheat. Make sure you rest your steak and be patient. Thin cuts need 5-7 minutes and thick cuts should rest 10-20 minutes. (Always rest your proteins even with food to reheat. Rested meats are consistently juicier and more flavorful.)

General Tips & Tricks for Better Reheating Results

When you want to achieve the best results with your foods to reheat there are tips and tricks that come into play. Some of that advice is specific to the foods involved and will be found within the reheating instructions. However, there are some general recommendations to keep in mind:

  • Store your leftovers properly. Your leftovers are not going to reheat well if you don’t store them correctly in the first place. Always utilize a lidded container or bag that will eliminate as much air as possible. Yes, this sometimes means taking foods to reheat out of the to-go containers they came in and repackaging them appropriately. (No groaning people! The extra effort will be worth it I promise!)
  • Be mindful of temperatures. It’s important for leftovers to go into the fridge at the right temperature. They need to be cooled to room temperature and not still warm when they go in. They also need to be reheated to the proper temperature otherwise your health may be in jeopardy because of the bacteria present in the food and hot-as-lava or cold-as-ice are not enjoyable temperatures regardless! An accurate food thermometer is something everyone should have and use. 
  • Seasonings can make a big difference. Leftover foods to reheat often need a little help to taste as good as they did when you first ate them. Thus it’s smart to keep a few spices and seasonings handy to give them a flavor boost when they need it. McCormick is your friend!
  • Invest in the reheating tools that will help you achieve success. Reheating is not just about the leftovers themselves. It’s also about using the right equipment and accessories that best accommodate the method of reheating you are using. So it’s wise to be prepared. Stock your kitchen with these essentials and think of them as insurance for your leftovers that helps guard against failure and waste. In the long run, they’ll save you time, money, and aggravation. Plus your leftovers will be better for it, too.

Common Pitfalls to Watch Out For When Reheating Food

Just as there are tricks to reheating leftovers with better results there are some common pitfalls to watch out for. Here are just a few:

  • Don’t keep leftovers for too long. The general rule of thumb is three days. After that bacteria may be building up to unsafe levels that could make you sick. Label your leftovers with dates if necessary. Freeze things to preserve them for a longer period of time and don’t guess if you don’t know for sure. If in doubt, throw it out.
  • Always preheat when called for. Skipping the preheating is never a good way to save time. There’s a valid reason why preheating is necessary. If you don’t do it your appliance will not be able to reheat your food evenly or efficiently.
  • Let your leftover foods to reheat warm up a little first. You’ll notice that most reheating instructions direct you to do this. Always do it when called for otherwise your food won’t reheat evenly and the outside layers may get overdone before the center even gets warm. 
  • Follow the directions. The more closely you adhere to the reheating steps given the better your foods to reheat will turn out. Every step has a specific purpose.

Your Best Place to Start

I hope you’ve found this guide helpful and informative. Updates and more great instructional links are sure to come so please bookmark us and check back soon. Whether you are looking for help with one of these popular foods to reheat or any food-related questions, foodlve.com is your best place to start!

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