Day Old Spaghetti

If you are the type of person who makes way too much spaghetti every time you want a simple dinner then this recipe is for you. Day old spaghetti is a dish that has been a comfort food for me and my family for ages, and to be honest I don’t really remember how we found out about it. If you truly use day old spaghetti this recipe can be whipped up in about 10 minutes, so perfect for a weeknight meal!

day old spaghetti recipe in a baking dish being scooped with a spoon. chiffonade basil as a garnish

For this recipe you only need two ingredients. I know, right. Well, of course one of the ingredients is a bunch of spaghetti that’s already been cooked but that’s beside the point. If you are really looking for a way to use up spaghetti leftovers, then this dish is perfect. I happened to have plenty of leftovers after making my ‘to-die-for’ Spago’s copycat red sauce so this was probably one of the best day old spaghetti I’ve ever made as well.

What are the two ingredients you might wonder? Well, the day old spaghetti is the main one, and the second is a bunch of mozzarella. I also added some basil chiffonade and some of my homemade Aleppo chili oil, but you don’t need to. Or you can get creative and add other things you want. Have some leftover meat? Go ahead and throw that in too.

What Is ‘Day Old Spaghetti’?

day old spaghetti in an au gratin dish with basil chiffonade

Day old spaghetti is a recipe that has been in my family as long as I can remember. It is cooked and sauced spaghetti (usually yesterday’s leftovers) mixed and topped with freshly grated mozzarella and broiled until bubbly. The most important part is the broiling so I suggest you get a set of mini au gratin dishes.

You can add plenty of additions to this when you make it yourself so treat this very basic and simple recipe as a base for your creativity.

Simple Spaghetti Recipe?

spago's red sauce on spaghetti with basil on a white pasta bowl

Since this recipe calls for spaghetti leftovers you can use whatever marinara spaghetti recipe you normally use. I highly recommend giving my Spago’s red sauce a try as I had to work very hard to persuade a chef to give me the recipe.

That recipe is quite long with over a dozen ingredients so I’d suggest reading it on the page (redoing the entire recipe just for this leftovers recipe will just take an unnecessary amount of reading time. If you don’t feel like making your own spaghetti sauce you can use a high quality store-bought version like Raos or Victoria.

How To Make Day Old Spaghetti

leftover spaghetti in mini casserole dishes on a countertop

This dish has basically two ingredients and three steps. It really is a go-to comfort food and the reason I always make ‘too much’ spaghetti on pasta nights.


  • 500 grams Cooked And Sauced Spaghetti – Preferably with a red sauce as that is what I’ve always used, but a Bolognese can also work.
  • 150 grams Low Moisture Mozzarella – You want low moisture because it is easy to shred. If you buy a bag of preshredded mozz it won’t mix and melt as well, so go for a block of nice low moisture mozzarella and shred it yourself.
  • Basil – Optional
  • Chili Oil – Optional


two casserole dishes filled with leftover spaghetti and topped with mozzarella cheese

Start by preheating your oven to 200C or 400F. It does not need to be exact, but make sure you have the broiler on as this recipe calls for baking the cheese crust. Place your spaghetti into your au gratin or casserole dishes and top with the freshly shredded mozzarella. You can also mix some of the shredded cheese into the pasta before putting it in the dish, but it is possible the leftover spaghetti is a bit stodgy and hard to separate without breaking.

a spoon of day old spaghetti in a baking dish with broiled cheese crust

Place the pasta into the top rack of your oven and broil until the cheese gets bubbly and browned. Depending on your oven and the distance to the heat sauce can cause times to vary, but in my case it was about 6 minutes. If you find it takes more or less time that is perfectly okay, just make sure to start watching the oven after a few minutes.

How To Customize This Leftover Spaghetti Recipe?

While I only added some basil chiffonade and chili oil, there are so many other things you could add to this dish. You want to add a protein? Why not some cubes of cooked chicken breast. Or how about replacing the red sauce with a pink sauce for extra richness. Here are a few other ways to making this leftover spaghetti recipe your own:

  • Add Some Cooked Down Mushrooms – Mushrooms can add a lot of rich, umami flavor to this dish while still keeping it vegetarian (it can be vegan if you use a vegan cheese, as my sauce recipe in 100% vegan).
  • Top With Some Breadcrumbs – Adding a sprinkling of breadcrumbs to the top, or even inside the dish can add a nice crunch and texture to the final dish.
  • Kick Up The Heat – While I added some Aleppo chili oil in my version of this leftover spaghetti recipe, you can add any type of hot sauce you want. I love making my own homemade hot sauce from dried chili peppers (since I don’t live in a place where growing peppers is easy) so a few drops of my ghost pepper hot sauce really gives this pasta a nice kick.
day old spaghetti recipe in a baking dish being scooped with a spoon. chiffonade basil as a garnish

Day Old Spaghetti

This leftover spaghetti recipe is so easy and delicious you'll be making it again and again. You only need two ingredients! (but can always add more if you feel like it).
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Course Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 662 kcal


  • 500 grams Cooked And Sauced Spaghetti Preferably with a red sauce but you can use meat or pink sauces if you want instead.
  • 150 grams Low Moisture Mozzarella shredded. Buy a block and shred by hand since the preshredded stuff does not melt as well.
  • Basil Optional
  • Chili Oil Optional


  • Preheat your oven on broiler setting to 200C or 400F
  • Place the leftover spaghetti in 4 separate au gratin or mini casserole dishes (divided evenly. Top with shredded mozzarella also divided evenly.
  • Place the dishes into the oven on the highest rack and cook until the cheese begins to bubble and brown. Times will vary but mine takes about 6 minutes for example.
  • Remove from the oven, garnish with your choice of toppings (or nothing at all) and enjoy!
Keyword Baking, Leftovers, Leftovers Recipes, Pasta
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1 thought on “Day Old Spaghetti”

  1. 5 stars
    This feels like a fever dream. My family made something like this when I was a kid same name and everything. But I’ve never heard of anyone else doing it. Thanks for the recipe it was just like I remember growing up

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