Holidays, Sunday Dinner

How to Reheat & Warm Up a Casserole in the Oven the Best Way

Are you craving the comforting flavors of a delicious casserole, but find yourself with leftovers in the refrigerator? Reheating a casserole is an excellent way to enjoy its savory goodness all over again the next day. However, not all reheating methods are created equal, and improper techniques can lead to dry, unevenly heated, or even unsafe results. With some tried and tested tips, you’ll be able to revive your casserole to its mouthwatering glory, ensuring both food safety and flavor satisfaction (both important). So, let’s warm up a casserole in the oven and discover the secrets to bringing back that scrumptious casserole to your table.

Now, there are a few different methods to warm up your casserole like in an air fryer, toaster oven or microwave, but I’m going to focus on the oven method, which I find brings the best results and is actually a pretty simple process. Casseroles are a great way to meal prep. They offer endless possibilities and can be extremely crowd-friendly. The biggest take away is the leftover magic it brings. Somehow, the flavors tend to taste even better the next day. Let’s get down to business to explain how to warm up your casserole in the oven.

Why is it important to warm up your casserole in the oven?

Reheating a casserole is important for several reasons:

Food Safety:

Proper reheating helps eliminate any potential bacteria that may have grown during storage or caused by improper handling. Heating the casserole to a safe internal temperature ensures that harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella or E. coli, are destroyed, reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses.

Even Heating:

Casseroles often contain different ingredients with varying densities. Reheating allows the heat to penetrate all the components evenly, ensuring that each bite is heated thoroughly and providing a consistent taste and texture throughout.

Quality and Flavor:

Casseroles often contain complex flavors and textures that can be compromised when cold or improperly reheated. By reheating the casserole, you can restore its original flavors, melt any cheese or toppings, and bring out the aromas that make it enjoyable to eat.

Enjoyment of Leftovers:

Casseroles are known for making great leftovers. Reheating them properly allows you to extend their lifespan and enjoy them for additional meals, saving time and money. Reheated casseroles can be just as delicious as when they were freshly made if done correctly. You can warm up a casserole in the oven and sometimes find even more enjoyment the next time around.


Reheating a casserole in the oven is a convenient method since it requires minimal effort. You can prepare the casserole in advance and have it ready to be reheated when needed. This is probably the biggest reason I enjoy casseroles the most. They’re just so convenient for not only busy parents but anyone who wants a quick and delicious meal.

Overall, reheating a casserole ensures food safety, maintains the quality of the dish, and allows you to enjoy the flavors and convenience of this popular meal option.

Health importance with reheating a casserole

The risk with improperly reheating your casserole can result in a few different things. When a casserole is not reheated to a sufficiently high temperature, any bacteria present in the dish may not be killed off. Failing to reheat or warm up a casserole in the oven evenly can result in some portions being undercooked or lukewarm, while others may be excessively hot.

Improper reheating methods, such as using excessive heat or reheating for too long, can cause the casserole to become dried out, rubbery (ew), or overcooked. This can result in the loss of the dish’s original textures and flavors, making it less appetizing and just unappetizing.  If a casserole is not reheated properly and becomes unsafe or unappetizing, it may need to be discarded, leading to unnecessary food waste and a huge blow to the ego. Not to mention you might have some hungry little rugrats running around looking for food.

Consider this before you warm up a casserole in the oven

Preheat the oven to the appropriate temperature

You’re going to want to start by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C) and allow it to fully preheat.

Choosing an oven-safe dish and transferring the casserole

When you’re reheating your leftover casserole, choosing the right dish is key.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when placing your dish from the fridge to the oven:

1. Gradual Temperature Increase:

When placing a cold casserole dish in the oven, it’s best to let it come to room temperature for a few minutes on the countertop. This helps prevent sudden temperature shocks that may cause the dish to crack.

2. Avoid Extreme Temperature Changes:

Avoid placing a cold refrigerated casserole dish directly into a preheated oven, as this can cause thermal shock and potentially damage the dish. Instead, allow the dish to warm up a bit at room temperature or place it in a cold oven and let it heat up gradually along with the oven.

3. Use Appropriate Dish Material:

Make sure the casserole dish you’re using is suitable for both refrigerator and oven use. Most glass, ceramic, and metal dishes are designed to handle the temperature change without issues. However, it’s always a good idea to check the manufacturer’s instructions for any specific recommendations. An easy way to avoid a cracked dish, just portion out the casserole and place it into another dish.

4. Prevent Dish Damage:

To protect the dish from potential damage, avoid placing it directly on a hot oven rack or exposing it to direct contact with the oven’s heating element. Instead, place the casserole dish on a baking sheet or oven-safe tray. This isn’t necessary, but just another option to help protect the dish.

Placement of the dish in the oven

Proper placement of the dish in the oven is important for even heat distribution.

When you warm up a casserole in the oven, the best option is to place the casserole dish on the center rack. This allows for even heat distribution and helps ensure that the casserole reheats uniformly.

When you position the casserole in the center of the oven, it helps prevent the top or bottom from overcooking or browning too quickly. It allows the hot air to circulate around the dish, promoting consistent heating from all sides. This helps avoid cold spots.

Avoid placing the casserole dish too close to the oven’s heating elements, as this can lead to uneven reheating or excessive browning on the top.

If your oven has a convection setting, using it can further enhance the circulation of hot air, resulting in more even reheating.

However, if you find that your casserole tends to brown too quickly on top or the bottom isn’t heating sufficiently, just adjust the positioning. So, you can move the casserole dish to a lower rack if the top is browning too quickly, or to a higher rack if the bottom needs more heat.

Basically, you want to make sure that the casserole is in a position in the oven that allows for even heat distribution. Also, you want to prevent any of your delicious dish from getting excessively cooked or dried out. A

Monitoring the casserole’s internal temperature with a food thermometer

The proper internal temperature of a casserole will depend on the specific ingredients and type of casserole you are reheating. However, as a general guideline, it is recommended to ensure that the internal temperature of a reheated casserole reaches at least 165°F (74°C). Reheat the casserole for 20-30 minutes depending on the size and thickness.

As always, just check the internal temperature.

Step by step to reheating your casserole in the oven

To reheat or warm up a casserole in the oven, follow these steps:

  1. Preheat the oven:

    Set your oven to a temperature of around 350°F (175°C) and allow it to fully preheat.

  2. Prepare the casserole:

    Take the casserole out of the refrigerator and remove any plastic wrap or aluminum foil covering it. If the casserole is quite large, you may want to divide it into smaller portions for easier and more even reheating.

  3. Place in an oven-safe dish:

    Transfer the casserole into an oven-safe baking dish or casserole dish. Make sure the dish is the appropriate size for the amount of casserole you’re reheating.

  4. Add moisture (if necessary):

    If the casserole seems dry, you can add a small amount of liquid to prevent it from drying out further during reheating. This could be broth, water, or a sauce that complements the flavors in the casserole. Pour the liquid over the casserole evenly.

    1. How to Add Moisture to Your Casserole:

      If you notice that your casserole is dry or has lost some moisture during storage, you can add liquid to help rehydrate it. Here are a few options:

        • Broth: Pour a small amount of broth, such as chicken, vegetable, or even bone broth, over the casserole. This will help moisturize and add flavor.
        • Sauce or Gravy: Consider adding a sauce or gravy that complements the flavors in your casserole. This can help moisten the dish and enhance its taste. Maybe you have some leftover biscuits and gravy. That would be a great addition to help prevent dryness and add delicious flavor.
        • Water: If you don’t have broth or sauce available, you can sprinkle a little water evenly over the casserole. While this won’t add flavor, it can still help prevent excessive drying, which is still really important.

      Cover with Foil:

      Before placing the casserole in the oven, cover it tightly with aluminum foil. The foil will help retain moisture during the reheating process, preventing the casserole from drying out further.

      Adjust Cooking Time and Temperature:

      If your casserole tends to dry out easily, you can reduce the cooking time slightly or lower the oven temperature a little. This allows for gentler reheating, which can help retain moisture. Keep a close eye on the casserole to avoid overcooking.


      While reheating, you can occasionally baste the casserole with its own juices or any added liquid. You can certainly use a spoon to pour or drizzle the liquid over the casserole to help maintain moisture and flavor.

      When you use these techniques, you can help combat dryness and ensure that your reheated casserole remains moist and enjoyable. Remember, it’s always a good idea to monitor the casserole closely and make adjustments based on its specific characteristics and your personal preferences.

  5. Cover the dish:

    Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil to help retain moisture and prevent excessive browning or drying. If the casserole has a crispy topping, you may want to remove the foil during the last few minutes of reheating to crisp it up.

  6. Place in the oven:

    Put the covered casserole dish in the preheated oven. Position it in the center rack for even heat distribution.

  7. Reheat the casserole:

    Allow the casserole to reheat for approximately 20-30 minutes, depending on its size and thickness. Check the internal temperature with a food thermometer to ensure it reaches at least 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.

  8. Check for doneness:

    Carefully remove the foil and check if the casserole is heated through. If it needs additional reheating, continue cooking uncovered for a few more minutes until it’s hot all the way through.

  9. Serve and enjoy:

    Once the casserole is thoroughly reheated, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Serve it while it’s still warm and enjoy!

Tips and Tricks for Reheating Success

By portioning your casserole before reheating, you can decrease the amount of time it takes to reheat, provide more even heating, preserve texture and flavor consistency, and enjoy the convenience of individual servings. Another great option is to pre-slice the casserole before reheating.
Here’s how small portions can contribute to better heating:

  1. Faster Heating: Smaller portions of a casserole take less time than a large, single portion. When a casserole is divided into smaller servings, the heat can penetrate each portion more efficiently, reducing the overall reheating time. This helps prevent overcooking or drying out the outer portions while waiting for the center to heat through.
  2. Even Heat Distribution: Portioning a casserole allows for better heat distribution throughout the dish. Smaller portions create more surface area, allowing the heat to penetrate more evenly from all sides. This helps prevent hot or cold spots within the casserole, resulting in a more consistent reheating process.
  3. Consistent Texture and Flavor: When a casserole is portioned, each serving reheats at a similar rate. This helps maintain consistent textures and flavors across all portions, ensuring a cohesive and enjoyable eating experience. It prevents situations where some portions are overcooked or dried out while others remain undercooked.
  4. Individual Servings: Portioning a casserole into individual servings offers the convenience of grabbing and reheating only what you need at a given time. This helps minimize food waste and allows for easy storage and reheating for future meals.

How to Store Casserole leftovers in the fridge

  • Allow the whole casserole to cool down for about 30 minutes before placing it in the fridge.
  • Use an airtight container if possible. If not, use a tight-fitting lid.
  • Label and date. As a busy parent, you will not regret dating and labeling the casserole. The days fly by faster than you think!
  • Eat your casserole in about 3-4 days. After that, sometimes it just doesn’t taste as good. If you need to, consider freezing it for longer storage.

Must try casserole recipes

1. Chicken and Waffles Casserole Recipe

2. Green bean casserole

3. Egg Casserole

4. Lasagna casserole

To conclude

Reheating and warming up a casserole in the oven can be a simple and effective way to enjoy its delicious flavors all over again. By following the proper techniques outlined in this blog post, you can ensure that your reheated casserole is not only safe to eat but also retains its texture, flavor, and overall quality.

From selecting the right dish to adjusting cooking times and temperatures, each step plays an extremely important role in the best results. By placing the casserole dish in the center of the oven, you promote even heat distribution, while considering portioning helps ensure consistent reheating throughout.

Remember to monitor the internal temperature of the casserole and aim for at least 165°F (74°C) to guarantee its safety. If needed, add moisture, cover with foil, or make adjustments to prevent dryness and maintain a moist and flavorful dish.

Reheating a casserole allows you to enjoy the convenience of leftovers without sacrificing taste or quality. It’s an excellent way to make the most of your culinary creations, saving time and reducing food waste. It’s great for families and meal prepping as well!

So, whether you’re reheating a classic lasagna, a homey-comforting chicken casserole, or a cheesy baked dish, follow these guidelines to reheat it to perfection. With the right techniques, the good news is that you can enjoy the flavors and relive the comfort of a reheated casserole that tastes just as good as when it was freshly made. Enjoy!