Reheaing a Casserole In The Oven Without Drying It Out

In this jam-packed article, I will show you how to reheat a casserole in the oven without drying it out. This technique is super easy and doesn’t require a ton of additional steps.

And I’ve even included a guide on how to revive that delicious crispy topping you had!

For more reheating tutorials, make sure to check out my site. Guides like How To Reheat Chicken Wings and How To Reheat Pizza can save your leftovers from becoming band, crisp, and burnt meals. 

A Casserole from above

The Lost Art Of Properly Reheating Leftovers

Today, we are jumping right into it! What is the best way to reheat a casserole in the oven without causing it to dry out?

Usually, and we’ve all been guilty of this, most people just place the leftover casserole in a baking dish and stuff it in the oven. It doesn’t matter what temperature they use, it doesn’t matter how long they add it – it’s just a mindless practice that was born out of laziness. Harsh, but true.

And it really defeats the purpose of keeping leftovers to some degree. What’s the point you do the effort to store it safely and then don’t even care about keeping its integrity (taste, texture, and consistency) during the reheating process?

So, this guide will help you effectively reheat casserole in a couple of easy steps.

How To Reheat Casseroles In The Oven

Let’s look at how to reheat a casserole. This guide is suitable when reheating chicken casseroles in the oven or any other casserole.

Reheat Casseroles In The Oven Infographic

Step 1: Bring the casserole to room temperature

This applies to both leftover fridge casserole and frozen casserole.

If you have frozen casserole, it’s best to first thaw it slowly inside the fridge for a couple of hours, but preferably overnight. It takes longer than you think, especially if you have larger pieces.

Once it has been fully thawed, you can place it on the kitchen counter at room temperature. The same goes for leftover casserole from the fridge.

By doing this, you are raising the starting temperature of the casserole. This will ultimately help you reheat it in less time, another crucial step in preventing it from drying out.

Furthermore, it helps the casserole reheat evenly.

Step 2: Cover the tray with foil

You can preheat your oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

When your casserole has come to room temperature, cover the oven-safe baking dish with foil.

This prevents the casserole from drying out and keeps it juicy. It also helps the contents heat much more quickly because less heat escapes.

Secondly, the foil can help prevent the top of the casserole from burning before the bottom has heated through.

Casseroles Covered with Foil

Step 3: Reheat the casserole in the oven

Place the foil-covered dish in the middle of the oven. Allow it to heat for 20-30 minutes.

Keep in mind that the portion size will affect this timeframe. Larger portions may take longer, while smaller portions can take a lot less time.

Casseroles In The Oven

Step 4: Test for cold spots

When the time has elapsed, you can remove the casserole from the oven and remove the foil covering.

Use a butterknife and insert it into a couple of different areas on the casserole. After each insertion, remove the knife and feel it between your fingers.

The knife should be hot, not cold. If it is still cold (or not as hot as you want it to be), then you can continue reheating the casserole in the oven. 

Be careful when testing the doneness like this. The knife may be extremely hot and can burn you. Obviously, if you remove the knife from a spot and a bunch of steam comes out, the area is heated enough.

A safer way to test the doneness is by using a probe or instant thermometer. It should read 165ºF (74ºC).

check for cold Spots on the casserole

How Long To Reheat A Casserole In An Oven

As you can see above, there are a couple of factors that will ultimately affect how long it will take when reheating a casserole in the oven.

On average, you can expect it to take between 20-30 minutes at 350ºF (180ºC).

The starting temperature of the casserole, the size of the portion, and even the position in the oven can all increase or decrease this time.

Casseroles In An Oven Infographic

Tips And Tricks For Reheating Casseroles In An Oven

To help make the casserole heat more quickly, you can cut it into smaller portions. This increases the surface area, which will speed up the reheating time.

If you are in a hurry, you can bring the fridge or thawed casserole to room temperature by heating it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. This will give the dish a head start in the oven.

How To Warm Up A Casserole In The Oven With A Crispy Topping

Now, many casseroles do have crispy toppings made from breadcrumbs, cheese, crispy onions, or potato chips. Whatever you use, you obviously still want to experience it when eating the leftovers.

So, the best way to do this is to finish off the casserole on the grill setting.

First, heat it as per the instructions above. Only heat it for 15-20 minutes.

Then, remove the foil covering, and increase the oven temperature to 375ºF (190ºC).

Leave the casserole to crisp up for about 5-10 minutes. Keep an eye on the progress to ensure the top doesn’t burn.


Can I reheat my casserole in an oven twice?

No, this is an extremely dangerous practice that can cause some serious food poisoning, even death! It sounds dramatic, but it’s true.

How long can leftover casserole stay in the fridge?

If properly stored, you can easily keep your leftover casserole in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. But it mainly depends on how well you store it and the temperature of your fridge. It shouldn’t be close to fresh produce, raw meat, dairy, or eggs.

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