Do you know why we love pasta night? Because there always seem to be leftovers. Let's make those leftovers great again with these easy and delicious leftover spaghetti recipes!

chicken parmesan on spaghetti, from Shelf Cooking

Pasta is a shelf cooking dream! Mix and match your proteins, toss in some sauce, and you can feed a family for days with just a few bucks. What do you do when you're sick of the leftovers, though?

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As much as we love spaghetti, we don't love eating it three days in a row! In the spirit of helping you learn to love leftovers, we're dishing out some must-try leftover spaghetti recipes today. We'll even tell you what to do with extra sauce or noodles, too. Are you ready to do this?!


spaghetti with meatballs, from Shelf Cooking

If you've got a pot full of pasta and spaghetti sauce left to use, but you're not a big fan of microwaved leftovers, here are five simple ways to turn all that goodness into something brand new:

  • Easy Chicken Parmesan – It doesn't get much easier than this! Toss a few chicken tenders in your air fryer or quickly bread a batch of chicken breasts in some Italian breadcrumbs (be sure to dredge in some whisked egg first). Then warm up those leftovers, place the chicken on top, top it with a slice of cheese, serve, and enjoy!
  • Baked Spaghetti – Toss all your leftovers in a baking dish, top with cheese, and bake at 350°F for around 30 minutes, and boom! Now your spaghetti is baked spaghetti. It's so, SO good this way.
  • Add Meatballs – A big batch of homemade meatballs can make those leftovers feel special!
  • Spaghetti Fritters – Coat a frying pan in oil and heat over medium heat. Using an ice cream scoop, drop ball-shaped portions of your leftovers into the hot pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, and then enjoy the crispy goodness! These make a great side dish, or you can top them with sour cream and serve them with a side salad.
  • Muffin-Shaped Spaghetti Nests – Mix your leftovers with one egg for every cup of pasta, then add the mixture to a greased muffin tin and bake at 350°F for around 7 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and continue baking for 3 minutes, or until cheese melts. Have extra veggies lying around? You can shred those and add them to the mix, too!

See? Yummy, easy, and anything but boring, huh? Don't you dare toss those spaghetti leftovers again! Now, let's talk about what you can do if you end up with more leftover pasta than you have sauce.


We've all been there! What can you do when you've cooked WAY more pasta than you need? Well, here are five other dishes you can make:

  • Lo Mein – Not feeling more Italian tonight? Make lo mein instead! Toss those leftover noodles with some soy sauce or peanut sauce and add veggies, a fried egg or two, and the protein of your choice, and you're all set! Try this easy lo mein recipe from Pinch of Yum. Just use spaghetti noodles instead of ramen.
  • Chicken Alfredo – Have you tried our 5-minute Alfredo sauce? Here's your chance!
  • Ramen – Make your own ramen bowl with those leftover noodles. Just add your favorite broth, some veggies, seasonings, and a poached egg, and you'll have a protein-packed meal in no time.
  • Chicken Carbonara – Head over to our sister site, Fun Cheap or Free, for a 15-minute chicken carbonara recipe the whole family will love!
  • Pasta Salad – This is perfect for lunches! Toss your leftovers with some leftover shredded chicken (rotisserie works, too) and then add a splash of salad dressing and sprinkle in some cheese. Voila! Even picky eaters will love it. Try to sneak in some veggies if you'd like!

Pro Tip: Wondering how to reheat leftover noodles? Boil a pot of water, then drop your noodles in for a minute or two. Good as new!


zucchini boats stuffed with spaghetti sauce, from Shelf Cooking

Ready for the grand finale? Here's what you can do if you end up with tons of leftover spaghetti sauce:

Pro Tip: Prefer to freeze your sauce? No problem! Place the leftovers in an airtight container or bag, label them with a sharpie, and be sure to use it within two months. Defrost overnight in the fridge when you're ready to use it again.


Well, now you've got more than a dozen ideas! The hard part? Deciding which one to try first!

Do you have any recipes to add to the mix? Let us know!

Want to check out a few more of our favorite recipes that feature leftovers as the star?

Chow for now!