Can You Reheat Moussaka? (Step by Step Instructions)


Moussaka dish

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Moussaka can be reheated by using the microwave, stovetop, oven, grill, and even an air fryer. Using the oven is the best choice. You will get the best result by covering it with tin foil to retain moisture. Leftover moussaka can actually taste better the next day since it gives the flavors time to soak into each other.

What’s In Moussaka?

When you’re reheating any dish, it’s important to consider what the ingredients are so you can ensure you’re reheating them safely. The ingredients of moussaka can vary, but traditional moussaka often contains some meat, such as lamb mince or ground beef.

Moussaka also usually has eggplants, potatoes, tomatoes, egg, and wine in it, and can be made with other vegetables too.

What Do You Need To Think About When Reheating It?

You need to identify all the ingredients you have used and consider whether any require special handling. For example, a vegetarian moussaka won’t require you to be as careful about storage and reheating as a meat one.

You should also think about how it has been stored and whether it has been reheated before. It’s recommended not to reheat meat more than once, so if you’ve got a meat moussaka, take this into account. Although meat can be safely reheated more than once if you follow all the proper steps, this is not generally recommended.

How To Store Moussaka

Proper storage is another key aspect of handling leftover moussaka.

Moussaka which has been left out in a warm kitchen is not likely to be safe to reheat, especially if it contains meat.

Even vegetarian and vegan moussakas should be stored in cold, sealed environments.

Moussaka can be stored in the fridge for up to five days. It’s best to put it in an airtight container, such as a Tupperware, to minimize airflow or the potential for contamination. Make sure it doesn’t get left sitting on the side at any point; as soon as the dish has cooled from cooking, transfer any leftovers to the fridge.

If you want to keep the moussaka for longer than five days, you can freeze it in an airtight container. This is perfect if you want to make small portions for lunches, or if you’ve made more than intended and don’t think you’ll use it all up. It’s also ideal if you want to cook in advance. Uncooked moussakas can be frozen ready to bake later.

Moussaka actually tastes better once the flavors have had time to soak into each other, so making extra and storing what you don’t eat is a great way to take advantage of this. It also saves you cooking later.

How To Reheat Moussaka From The Fridge

ApplianceHow LongConsiderations
Microwave5-7 minutesThis method could dry the dish out, so cover the bowl with a lid/plate and add a few drops of water if needed.
Stovetop10-15 minutesThis method will require you to stir the moussaka, so the dish may become mixed and lose its layers.
Oven20-30 minutesThis method could dry the dish out, so cover the moussaka with foil to help it retain moisture.
Grill15-25 minutesIt is easy to burn the dish under the grill, so cover it with foil and use a low heat.
Air Fryer10-20 minutesThis method could result in overly-crispy moussaka, so use a low heat and check on the food regularly.

Microwave

A microwave is the most popular tool for reheating any leftovers, partly because it’s quick and easy. 

  • Put your moussaka in a bowl and put another plate or a lid on it. Make sure the lid is loose so steam can escape.
  • Set your microwave to medium-high and heat for 2 minutes.
  • Take the moussaka out and stir gently.
  • Heat for another 2 minutes.
  • Stir again and test the temperature of the food.
  • If necessary, put the moussaka on for another 2-3 minutes, so it is piping hot throughout before serving.

If you are heating large portions of moussaka, you will need to increase the heating time accordingly. Continue to heat in small bursts and stir to make sure heat is distributed evenly through the food and the food doesn’t get dried out.

If you use microwave-safe containers to store your food in the fridge, you can put it straight from the fridge into the microwave without needing to decant it into a separate bowl. If nothing else, it saves on washing up!

Stovetop

Reheating moussaka on the stove might be a little unconventional, but it’s faster than an oven, and not everyone has access to a microwave. 

  • Choose a non-stick pan and transfer the moussaka into it.
  • Put the pan on a medium heat.
  • Stir the moussaka every so often to ensure it doesn’t stick or burn.
  • Once the food is piping hot, tip it into a bowl and serve.

Oven

Moussaka in the oven

Ovens may be the best option for preserving a moussaka’s taste and texture; after all, moussakas are originally cooked in ovens.

  • Transfer your food to an oven-safe dish and heat your oven to 320°F (160°C).
  • Cover the dish with foil and place it in the oven for about 20 minutes.
  • Insert a clean knife into the center of the dish and check whether it is hot throughout. If it isn’t, leave it in for longer.
  • Transfer to a clean bowl and serve.

Grill

Again, a less conventional method of reheating moussaka, the grill might be an option if you want to preserve the crispiness.

  • Transfer your food into an appropriate dish and turn the grill to a medium heat.
  • Cover the dish with foil and place it under the grill for around 15 minutes.
  • Insert a clean knife into the center of the dish and check whether it is hot throughout. If it isn’t, put it back under the grill and allow it to cook for longer.
  • Transfer to a clean bowl and serve.

Air Fryer

Air fryers are usually used to reheat food that is crispy, but if you’re short on options, it is possible to reheat a moussaka in one.

  • Choose a bowl or container which is safe for the air fryer (for example, Pyrex) and transfer your food to it.
  • Set the temperature to 350°F (177°C).
  • Put the moussaka in and allow to cook for 5-8 minutes.
  • Take the moussaka out and insert a clean knife into the center to check whether it is hot throughout. If it is hot, serve it; if not, return it to the air fryer for another 5-10 minutes.

Air fryers don’t suffer massive temperature drops if you open them while cooking, so check your moussaka regularly to ensure it isn’t becoming too crispy. This could save you spoiling your meal.

How To Reheat Moussaka From the Freezer

Of course, many people do want to freeze portions of moussaka; they make delicious, healthy, and easy lunches if you have access to a microwave at work. If you want to reheat moussaka from frozen, the easiest way is to let it thaw out first.

Set it on the counter in a warm kitchen and leave it for a few hours.

If, like many of us, your organization occasionally goes out of the window and you forget to take the moussaka out of the freezer in advance, you can still reheat it from frozen. Your best options for this are likely to be in the microwave or the oven.

If neither of those work and you aren’t too pushed for time, you can speed up the thawing process a little bit by using warm water. Make sure the container is sealed, and then stand it in a bowl of warm water for a while. Do not use hot water or the container may break.

Microwave From Frozen

  • Choose a microwave-safe container with a loose-fitting lid for your moussaka. If it is still in the container you froze it in and that isn’t microwave-safe, you may be able to free it by running warm water over the container, but this can be a bit of a tricky transfer process.
  • Microwave the moussaka on the “defrost” setting in 3-5 minute bursts. The amount of time needed will depend very much on how much moussaka you are defrosting.
  • Once the moussaka is thawed or mostly thawed, follow the instructions for reheating in the microwave. Make sure the food is hot through before serving.

Oven-Heat From Frozen

  • Choose an oven-safe container and cover with foil. Do not put a frozen/cold container of moussaka in a preheated oven or it may shatter.
  • Heat on a low heat, approximately 210°F (100°C) until the moussaka is mostly defrosted.
  • Follow the instructions for reheating in the oven. Remember that the foil will help prevent the moussaka from becoming dry, which is even more important when cooking from frozen because it will be in the oven for longer.

Final Summary

There are plenty of options for reheating moussaka. The most important thing to check is that the meal is hot throughout before you serve it, especially if the product contains meat. Proper storage and careful reheating will ensure a safe and tasty meal for everyone.

Chef Rooney

I like to cook. It makes me happy, and I know it does the same for others. If you ever want to learn how to make a great dish, just ask!

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