Tuna pasta bake is one of those rich, delectable, flavourful, and yummy, versatile dishes most of us know how to cook because it’s so tasty and satisfying! It makes a fantastic snack for student meals or a main course for family suppers, depending on how you take your tuna pasta bake.
But what if you prepare more than enough? Or you want to prepare it ahead of time? Can you freeze tuna pasta bake?
Yes, you can freeze tuna pasta bake for four months or thereabout. You can decide to freeze your completed tuna pasta bake in the dish you’re going to reheat it in, or you freeze it unassembled in its parts.
Freezing your tuna pasta bake extends the shelf life of the dish rapidly. You see, your tuna pasta bake only keeps up to 4 to 5 days when kept in the fridge. However, when kept in the freezer, your tuna pasta bake will stay fresh for two months or thereabout. But it will still remain safe for consumption beyond these two months.
However, freezing tuna pasta bake comes with a problem- the degradation of the pasta itself. That’s why it’s important to prepare and package the pasta properly. These are essential to maintaining and sustaining the original texture and flavour of the pasta dish.
The reality here is that badly packed frozen pasta bake could turn messy when it’s been defrosted and reheated. The pasta could also absorb fridge flavours if it’s been defrosted wrongly. Knowing all these, let’s take a look at how you can freeze tuna pasta bake.
How To Freeze Tuna Pasta Bake?
There are two options available to you when you want to freeze your tuna pasta bake, depending on the situation at hand.
You can either decide to freeze the pasta when it’s fully assembled, which can be tossed straight into the oven, or freeze it separately in parts that you can later on put together to create your pasta bake.
How to Freeze Fully Assembled
If you don’t have much time at your disposal, we advise you to freeze the pasta fully assembled. We understand that not everyone has a free weekend to put together some sauces and freeze the tuna pasta elements separately. If you find yourself in this situation, here’s what you need to do to freeze your pasta fully assembled.
- Cook and Cool
Prepare your tuna pasta bake as you would normally do. Cook it completely, and then allow it to cool.
- Portion and Protect
If you want to freeze the pasta as portions, slit the tuna pasta, bake into those portions, and put it into containers. After that, you seal the containers with a cover or foil and then cling film.
If you want to freeze as a whole, you only need to wrap your tuna pasta bake in a foil layer and then a layer of cling film to prevent the air from getting in.
Finally, write the storage date and time and then stick the pasta in the freezer, laying the plastic bag flat to reduce storage space.
How to Freeze Separated
Tuna Pasta bake is primarily cooked pasta, sauce, and cheese. That’s why it’s recommended to freeze each of these three elements separately and then combine them later to create your delicious yummy tuna pasta bake. Preparing it this way will deliver a better result.
With this method, you could prepare three pasta types and three sauces, and having nine separate pasta bakes; you can knock together.
So if you want to follow this method, then here is what you need to do:
- Cook Pasta
To start with, cook your pasta until it is still somewhat firm. You’ll be cooking it again, so don’t overcook it, or you’ll be left with pulpy pasta regarding warming it. Drain and permit to cool off a little.
- Bag Up Pasta
Add a sprinkle of olive oil to the pasta and shake to make sure each pasta piece is covered. This is done to forestall some sticking.
Tip the pasta into freezer bags, ideally in partition sizes. Seal the bags up, pressing out as much air as you can.
- Freeze Pasta
Insert the pasta bag into the freezer.
- Prepare Your Sauce
Now is the time to prepare your sauce. Once you’re done preparing the sauce, allow it to cool off, preferably to room temperature.
- Bag Up Sauce
Place the sauce into airtight thick freezer bags or containers. Now ensure you place it into portion sizes to make sure one bag of pasta and one bag of sauce will be enough for the pasta bake.
- Freeze Sauce
Put the sauce into the freezer alongside the pasta so you can locate them both easily.
How Long Can You Freeze Pasta Bake?
You can keep your tuna pasta bake in the freezer for a decent 3 to 4 months before the flavors will degrade to some degree. Though it will be totally safe to consume past this point; however, it will not taste very great as it once did. As usual, ensure you label it accordingly with the date it requires to be consumed.
How To Defrost Tuna Pasta Bake?
If you have frozen either a whole or portions of your tuna pasta bake, remove it from the freezer and transfer it to the fridge, preferably the night before. We recommend not opening the plastic bag as the pasta defrost, and you need to give it time to do this.
Once the tuna pasta bake has melted or defrosted completely, you can then reheat it in the microwave or the oven. If you’re using the oven, bake the pasta at 177° celsius for 20 minutes. In the last 5 minutes of the baking, sprinkle a little extra handful of fresh cheese to make it extra gooey.
If you’re using a microwave to reheat, heat until the pasta is thoroughly heated.