Pasta gets a bad rep for being such a high-carb dish, but say what you will, it’s still one of the staples of a student diet (especially if you’re a vegetarian *cough* like me). It’s cheap, it’s easy, and you can make it any way you like.

One of the problems with pasta, though, is that you almost always end up with leftovers. And leftovers, while exciting when they’re from Thanksgiving, get boring fast when it’s just spaghetti and tomato sauce.

Enter re-fried pasta. My mom used to make this all the time when I was growing up, and now I make it at least once a week. It’s ridiculously easy, and you end up with a dish that tastes even better than regular pasta and sauce (in my opinion).

Don’t be scared by the name of this recipe, the only oil you add is a dollop of olive oil. You can also make it with gluten-free pasta or make it dairy-free by not adding the parmesan. So next time you’ve got some extra pasta lying around, try out this recipe. You won’t regret it.

Re-fried Pasta

  • Prep Time:5 minutes
  • Cook Time:10 minutes
  • Total Time:15 minutes
  • Servings:1+ servings
  • Easy


  • Olive Oil
  • Leftover Pasta
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Grated Parmesan (optional)
  • Step 1

    Put a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a skillet and heat on the stove at medium-high until the oil starts to smoke.

    Photo by Caitlin McCreight
  • Step 2

    Add the noodles and tomato sauce to the pan (the amount of sauce you use should depend on how much pasta you have).

    Photo by Caitlin McCreight
  • Step 3

    Let the pasta cook, stirring often, until it is hot and has started to brown, adding the parmesan (if using) halfway through (around the 4-minute mark).

    Photo by Caitlin McCreight
  • Step 4

    When the pasta is done (the noodles should be saturated with sauce and starting to crisp), turn off the stove and pour the pasta into a bowl. Garnish with more parmesan and eat up.

    Photo by Caitlin McCreight