Green bean casserole is amazing comfort food that combines the best of a decadent sauce, vegetables, and, of course, green beans.
But a common thing with cooking green bean casserole is that you can sometimes end up with leftovers. This is a good thing since you get to enjoy it again the next day!
However, how to reheat green bean casserole? For larger portions, it is best to use an oven to reheat a green bean casserole. For the best results, cover the top with foil to prevent dehydration. For smaller portions, you can use a stovetop or even a microwave to quickly heat a serving!
Read below to learn more about reheating green bean casserole, some great heating methods, and a few important tips to keep in mind!
Dealing With Leftovers
Before we even begin with the heating methods, it is important that you first store the casserole the right way.
Green bean casserole includes multiple high-risk ingredients like milk, cream, meat, and more. This is why you must ensure that the casserole is stored correctly the night before.
Please keep in mind that any leftovers should always be stored within the first 2 hours of making the casserole. This time frame ensures that there is minimal bacterial growth in the food.
When the casserole is ready and is set on a tabletop, you will have about 2 hours to serve it and store it.
Remember, bacterial growth begins when the temperature of the food is around 40-140°F, and the bacterial population doubles every 20 minutes!
As a best practice, always cook the casserole 30-45 minutes before dinner time so that you can feed all the guests and then store the leftovers within the recommended time frame.
To store the casserole, first assess the amount of leftover food.
If there is a lot and you feel that it’s best that you just left the casserole in the baking dish you served it in then you should just wrap a foil over the casserole and store it in the fridge.
The refrigeration method is best when you intend to consume the leftovers the next day.
However, if you don’t want to eat the casserole the very next day then you should probably freeze it. For this situation, we recommend shifting the casserole into a freezer-safe container (like these ones).
You could probably store it in the baking dish but you will have to make sure that the bakeware is freezer safe and that you have enough space to comfortably fit in the entire dish.
If you have smaller leftover portions then you could just move all the food into a large container or individually pack the food in an airtight container. Follow the same storage protocol as mentioned above for smaller servings.
Green bean casserole will remain fresh for up to 2-3 days in the fridge and 3-4 weeks in the freezer. You may be able to keep the casserole in the freezer for longer but it may diminish its creamy and rich flavor.
How To Reheat Green Bean Casserole
There are three recommended methods for reheating green bean casserole:
1. Oven Method
For this method you will need:
- Leftover casserole in any bakeware
- A preheated oven
This is by far the best way to reheat green bean casserole and is excellent for heating larger portions. The oven method will ensure that all of the food is reheated properly without leaving behind cold spots.
Here are all the steps you need to follow:
- First, take out the leftovers from the fridge or freezer and let it sit on the countertop, away from heat, for about 20-30 minutes. In the meanwhile, you can preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Keeping the casserole out will cause it to defrost naturally and while it won’t completely reach room temperature (like in the case of frozen casserole) it will thaw the food enough to make a huge difference when it is reheated.
- Wrap a foil around the top of the casserole to seal it and then put it in the middle rack of the preheated oven. Reheat the casserole for about 30-45 minutes or until the inside of the glass bakeware collects some condensation.
- Once the casserole is adequately heated, take it out and remove the foil.
- Inspect the casserole to see if it has fully heated. If not, then pop it back in the oven for 5 minutes. Additionally, if you see extra moisture or water on the surface then you can give the casserole a quick broil by putting it on the top rack for 3-5 minutes.
- If you want to completely avoid dehydrating the casserole then you can add a bit of water into the dish before putting the foil over it. This will help create steam and will also heat the casserole more effectively. Do not add more than 1-2 tablespoons or you might end up diluting the flavors.
Pro Tip: The oven method can be tricky and it is easy to overheat or dehydrate the casserole so you should keep a close eye on the baking dish after the 20-minute mark!
2. Stovetop Method
The stovetop method is ideal for situations when you don’t have a lot of leftovers and when you want to quickly heat the food without waiting a long time.
This method will heat the casserole using direct heat which is in contrast to the oven method which uses indirect, ambient heat.
Thus, you can expect the reheating time to be around 5-10 minutes.
Here is what you need to do:
- A skillet
- Leftover casserole
- Some stock or water for rehydration
- Remove the casserole from the fridge or freezer and allow it to sit for no more than 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Heat a skillet at medium-low heat and add 1-2 tablespoons of water. You can also add stock if you don’t want the sauce to become diluted.
- Mix the casserole with the water or stock and then set the flame to low heat. Cover the top with a lid and heat the casserole for about 5-10 minutes or until there is enough condensation and steam inside.
- Inspect the casserole by tasting it. If it is still not adequately heated then you can leave it in for 2-3 more minutes. Once done, dish it out and enjoy!
Pro Tip: For the stovetop method, you should keep the flame low to avoid over-drying the sauce.
Also, keep in mind that the sauce will generally thicken when it is refrigerated so you will have to add some stock or water to bring it back to its original consistency.
3. Microwave Method
Finally, the microwave method should be reserved for last because even though it is capable of reheating the casserole in record time, it may also negatively affect its texture.
Microwaves work by heating food from the inside out, which means when you add a fat and carb-rich casserole dish to it, it will make everything soggy, including the green beans.
If you want to preserve the natural texture and crunchiness of the casserole then we highly recommend that you only heat single servings instead of reheating the entire casserole at once.
Here is how you can get the most out of microwaving a casserole:
- Allow the casserole to reach room temperature, if you are using a frozen casserole then it is best to first defrost it in the microwave at the defrost setting only.
- Take out a single serving and add some stock or water to the plate. Do not add more than 1-2 teaspoons! Mix the casserole until all of the water has been thoroughly mixed.
- Reheat the casserole at the highest setting for about 2-3 minutes. For the best results, first, heat the casserole for one minute, and then take it out and mix the food. Then continue heating for another 1-2 minutes or until the casserole is adequately warm. You can also heat the casserole at 15-second intervals if it is still not heated to your liking.
Do not add a foil or cover the casserole from the top as it will trap all the excess condensation and make it very soggy and unappealing!
The best method to reheat a green bean casserole is to use the oven method, especially if you have a large enough serving, while the stovetop and microwave methods are excellent for single-serving use!
Now that you know how to properly heat leftover green bean casserole, here are some related questions!
Can you oven-heat a frozen casserole?
No, reheating frozen food is generally not recommended because it will take longer and you will likely end up with cold spots. Thaw the casserole in the fridge overnight and then heat it the next day.
Furthermore, you can use two methods for heating frozen casserole. First, defrost the casserole in the microwave, and then use the oven method to reheat the casserole until it is as fresh as the day you made it!
Should you add additional toppings before or after reheating?
When reheating leftover casserole, you should add the toppings after the food has been reheated.
If you are adding cheese or other melting ingredients as a garnish then we recommend adding them during the last 5-8 minutes of the heating cycle so that the casserole comes out tasting fresh!
Just make sure that the additional ingredients are not frozen because this will add to the total reheating time of the entire casserole dish.
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