The Essential Guide to Reheating Paella: Mastering the Art of Reviving Spanish Flavors

How to reheat paella: The Essential Guide

Paella is a popular Spanish rice dish known for its rich flavors and colorful presentation. When cooked in large quantities, it’s not uncommon to have leftovers. Fortunately, there are several ways to reheat paella to preserve its delicious flavor and texture. In this essential guide, we will explore different methods for reheating paella, as well as tips for storing cooked paella.

Storing Cooked Paella

To ensure the longevity of your leftover paella, proper storage is crucial. Here’s an easy step-by-step guide to storing cooked paella:

  1. Transfer the paella from the pan to an airtight container, such as this set of containers available on Amazon.
  2. Allow the paella to cool before covering and placing in the refrigerator. This step is especially important for absorbent foods like rice, as placing warm paella in the refrigerator can cause condensation and result in a soggy texture.
  3. If you have seafood in your paella, it’s best to eat it within 24 hours, as seafood can spoil quickly. Paella without seafood, such as chorizo or chicken, can be stored for several days or even up to a week.
  4. Before reheating, always check the freshness of the paella by visual inspection and smell.

Reheating paella in a pan

Reheating paella in a skillet is the preferred method for achieving the same texture and flavor as the original dish. Follow these steps to reheat paella in a pan:

  1. Allow the paella to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to defrost naturally.
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add a dash of olive oil.
  3. Add the paella to the pan, making sure it is evenly distributed so that it heats up evenly.
  4. Stir the paella for a few minutes until heated through.
  5. If the paella begins to dry out or stick to the pan, add a splash of oil or water and stir to rejuvenate the dish.

Reheating Paella in the Oven

Reheating paella in the oven takes a little more time, but results in a dish that closely resembles the original in taste and texture. Follow these steps to reheat paella in the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread the paella evenly in a sturdy ceramic dish, such as a casserole.
  3. Add water, about half a cup for every two cups of paella, to keep it moist without making it soggy.
  4. Cover with foil and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Stir the paella around the 10 minute mark to ensure even heating.

Reheating Paella in a Steamer

Using a steamer is an excellent way to reheat paella, resulting in a moist and flavorful dish. If you don’t have a steamer, consider using a bamboo steamer designed specifically for rice-based dishes like paella. Here’s how to reheat paella in a steamer:

  1. Place the paella evenly in the steamer.
  2. Steam the paella for about 8 minutes.
  3. Once reheated, the paella is ready to serve.

Reheating Paella in the Microwave

Although reheating paella in the microwave is not the optimal method, it can be a quick solution when time is limited. Follow these steps to reheat paella in the microwave:

  1. Use a microwave-safe container and add a small amount of oil, coating the bowl evenly.
  2. Place the paella in the bowl, making sure there are no lumps.
  3. Microwave the paella for 1 minute.
  4. Stir the paella and check the temperature in the center. If it’s not hot enough, continue heating in 30-second increments, stirring between each interval.

Important Considerations

When reheating paella, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

  1. Seafood paella should be eaten within 24 hours and should not be frozen due to the risk of spoilage. Non-seafood paella can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to one week or frozen for up to four weeks.
  2. Avoid eating paella straight from the refrigerator, as reheating improves both the flavor and safety of the dish by eliminating any bacteria that may have developed during storage.
  3. When using the microwave, use caution when reheating seafood paella as it may result in a rubbery texture. Stirring between heating intervals will help to promote even heating.
  4. Thaw frozen paella in the refrigerator for about 24 hours before reheating to maintain texture and flavor.


There are several ways to reheat paella, each with its own advantages and considerations. Whether you use a pan, oven, steamer or microwave, following the proper techniques will help you enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal. In addition, proper storage of leftover paella will ensure its longevity and quality. By understanding the essential steps for reheating and storing paella, you can make the most of this popular Spanish dish and enjoy its flavors long after the initial cooking.


How long can I keep cooked paella?

Seafood paella should be eaten within 24 hours, while non-seafood paella can be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to four weeks.

Can I heat paella in the microwave?

Yes, you can reheat paella in the microwave. However, it’s not the best method as it can result in uneven heating and a less than desirable texture.

What is the best way to keep the original texture of the paella when reheating?

Reheating paella in a frying pan with some liquid added is the recommended method to maintain the same texture as when it was originally cooked.

Can I freeze leftover paella?

Yes, you can freeze leftover paella. Non-seafood paella freezes well and can be stored for up to four weeks. However, it is not recommended to freeze seafood paella due to the risk of spoilage.

How do I know if the paella is heated properly?

The best way to ensure proper reheating is to check the temperature of the paella in the center. It should be steaming hot throughout.

Can I reheat paella straight from the fridge?

It is generally recommended that paella be left at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before reheating. This allows for more even heating and helps to enhance the flavors of the dish.