Imagine that yesterday you made a delicious paella, and for some reason, today you have leftover paella. So what is the best way to reheat paella? Should you do it in the microwave, in a frying pan, or some other way?
Store tightly covered in the refrigerator
If you haven’t managed to empty the entire paella pan, and you still have leftovers, the first thing to do is to store it properly.
This is best done by taking the paella out of the paella pan and storing it in a sealed container in the refrigerator. This prevents paella smell in the fridge and it keeps your remaining paella fresh.
If you have leftover paella with seafood, you will want to remove all shells before putting the paella in the fridge or freezer. Later, when you are ready to reheat the paella, you can return the shellfish, warming it up together.
Reheating paella in the microwave, frying pan, or oven
When you are ready to eat the remaining portion of paella, it should first be heated appropriately. There are three options for doing this: in the microwave, in a frying pan or in the oven.
Reheating paella in a microwave oven
Reheating paella in a microwave is not recommended. Once the paella has been in the fridge for a while, lying in a pile, the rice becomes somewhat sticky. If you reheat it by placing the bowl in the microwave for a few minutes, the rice will remain sticky.
If you start eating the paella, you will probably realize, that it has little paella taste left anymore. The structure of the paella has been compromised. This is a pity when you have worked hard to make a good paella.
Reheating paella in a frying pan
If reheating in a microwave is not the way to go, then how should you reheat paella?
To regain a bit of the original structure of the paella rice, it is best to reheat paella in a frying pan with a few drops of olive oil.
To do so, take the paella you want to reheat out of the fridge half an hour before — bringing it to home temperature.
Next, heat a frying pan over medium heat, adding a little olive oil. When the pan is heated, add the paella and distribute it evenly across the pan. Sauté for a few minutes until the paella has been heated.
At some point, the rice may start to fry a little bit. This is not a problem, as long as it doesn’t burn or gets too dry. After all, a little extra crispy socarrat is always welcome. Reheating the paella in olive oil will also add some extra fat, which will improve its taste.
Reheating paella in the oven
A third, and also great, way to reheat paella is in the oven.
Again, it is important to take the leftover paella out of the fridge or freezer in time. Preferably so far in advance that all ingredients are at room temperature.
Take your time
When reheating paella in the oven, it is best to take your time. The oven temperature should be relatively low, so it can easily take up to half an hour or more before the entire paella has reached the right temperature. Having the paella at room temperature will make it faster than taking it out of the fridge right before reheating.
How to reheat paella in the oven?
- Place the leftover paella in a generously sizes oven dish and break it up with a fork.
- Preheat the oven to 250°F / 125°C. At this temperature, excess moisture evaporates, but the paella is not baked again.
- When the oven has reached the right temperature, place the dish in the middle of the oven and reheat the paella for about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Stir occasionally, checking if the desired temperature is reached.
How to make your own paella?
Would you like to make a delicious paella on your own? Then take a look at the Paella Recipes page elsewhere on this site. Here you’ll find the most delicious and authentic paella recipes for the most popular types of paella.