How to Fix Undercooked Pasta – A Step-By-Step Guide

Italians believe that the proper way to make a bowl of pasta is to cook it ‘Al dente,’ which means that the pasta will be firm and not wholly soft when cooked. However, not everyone subscribes to this idea. Some people love their pasta soft, and that’s fine.

If you’re one of those who’d rather have a bowl of soft pasta than one that is ‘al dente,’ you might freak out when your pasta isn’t soft enough.

Even though there is not much you can do to fix overcooked pasta, we can give you some tips on how to fix undercooked pasta.

So, let us fix that undercooked pasta!

How to Fix Undercooked Pasta – A Step-By-Step Guide

The simplest way to fix undercooked pasta is to reboil it.

  1. Boil water; once the water is bubbling, add the pasta.
  2. Please keep a close watch on the pasta, so it doesn’t overcook.
  3. Let the pasta sit for 60 seconds and check it; if it still isn’t soft enough, let it cook for 30 seconds.
  4. When the pasta has cooked to your preferred texture, drain it.
  5. It will be best if you don’t put your pasta back on the heat; it’ll only overcook it instead of drying it as you may think.

Another way you can fix undercooked pasta is to add the pasta into your sauce if you made some.

How to know when pasta is done

Two words, taste it.

The best way to know cooked pasta is to taste it. With pasta texture, it is not one size fits all; it depends on your texture preference. Pasta is done in whichever texture you enjoy, soft and tender or al dente.

However, if you’re not sure what cooked pasta is supposed to taste like, follow the instructions on the packaging.

How to fix undercooked pasta in an instant pot

  1. Add half or a quarter cup of water to the instant pot.
  2. Add your pasta, seal it, let it cook for a minute or two, then check it.
  3. If it isn’t as soft as you’d like, add some water and repeat it.

How to fix undercooked pasta in a sauce

Making use of your sauce is a flavorful way to fix undercooked pasta.

  1. Add the pasta into the sauce and let it cook for some minutes.
  2. You might want to add some water because the starch from the pasta will thicken the sauce quickly.
  3. Carefully stir the pasta, so it doesn’t attach itself to the bottom of the pan or pot.
  4. Taste the pasta from time to time.

Read also: Can I Use Pizza Sauce For Pasta?

How to fix undercooked pasta in a pasta salad

Reboil the pasta. Here’s how:

  1. Heat some water in a pot till it bubbles and boils.
  2. Put the undercooked pasta into the boiling water.
  3. Keep a strict watch on the pasta texture and keep tasting it till you get your preferred consistency and drain it.

How to cook pasta without boiling water

Pro-tip: Bake the pasta in the oven

You’ll need uncooked pasta shells, a casserole dish, aluminum foil, heavy cream, canned diced tomato (with its juice), fully-cooked sliced sausage, chicken broth, shredded mozzarella, and preferred seasoning.


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Add your pasta shells, along with the sausages, diced tomatoes, and the juice, your preferred seasoning, and some mozzarella cheese to the casserole dish and mix.
  3. Add some chicken broth and heavy cream and firmly cover with a double layer of aluminum foil.
  4. Leave to bake for about an hour.
  5. After an hour, add some shredded mozzarella and let it sit for a while in the oven.
  6. When the cheese has melted, bring out the pasta bake and let it cool for a while before serving.

Accidentally put the pasta in water before boiling? Here’s what to do.

If you accidentally put your pasta in cold water, you don’t need to worry.

The only problem you may face is the pasta sticking together instead of standing separately.

You can prevent that by gently stirring the pasta till it cooks.

How to keep my pasta from drying out

How to keep the pasta from drying out while cooking

Add some more water while it is boiling, or cook the pasta with the sauce. 

How to keep refrigerated pasta from drying out

Oil the pasta with extra virgin olive oil and refrigerate in an airtight container. This method applies to pasta that you don’t mix with sauce.

How to keep reheated pasta from drying out

If you’re reheating pasta, here’s how to keep your pasta from drying. Reheat the pasta and the sauce separately before pouring the sauce on the pasta to improve moisture.

If you’re reheating sauced pasta in the oven, reheat it at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes with an aluminum foil cover. The aluminum foil improves moisture and prevents dryness.

Read also: Why Is My Spaghetti Sauce Watery? Tips For Fixing This

Why is my pasta chewy?

Your pasta is too chewy, probably because it is undercooked or you used too much water to boil it.

Homemade pasta can turn out chewy when it isn’t well-kneaded, or the pasta dough doesn’t rest for as long as it needs to.

Another reason why homemade pasta can end up chewy is that it was made too thick. The appropriate width for pasta should be 2-4 mm.

How long are spaghetti noodles good for?

Raw spaghetti noodles are only good for how long the use-by date says they are.

Unopened dry pasta can last up to 24 months after purchase, while opened dry pasta can stay up to 12 months.

Cooked spaghetti noodles can last up to 3 to 5 days in the fridge and 1 to 2 months in the freezer.

Read also: Can I Eat Ramen Noodles After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Should you rinse pasta after cooking?

You should only rinse pasta after cooking if you intend to use it for a cold dish like pasta salad.

Is eating uncooked pasta bad for you?

Yes, it is.
If you eat uncooked pasta, you risk digestive problems like intestinal inflammation and interruption of the normal functioning of enzymes in your body.
Lectin and phytates in pasta cause the above problems.
Read also: Can I Eat Pasta After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

How to keep my pasta from sticking together after draining

Oil the pasta with some extra virgin olive oil and add some of your sauce to the pot and mix the pasta with the sauce.

By Luong Tan

Luong Tan, the creative and passionate founder of Bourbono, is a multi-talented individual with a deep love for the culinary arts. An accomplished food blogger, cookbook author, and former Ambassador of US cuisine in Vietnam (2015-2016), Luong has been on a mission to share his appreciation for food with the world.

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