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12 Time-Saving Hacks If You're Obsessed With Pasta

No more waiting forever for water to boil.

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1. If you're making a baked pasta dish, soak your pasta instead of parboiling it...

Simply soak it in salted water for 30 minutes before baking ― no boiling necessary. You can even use this technique when making lasagna to save yourself the hassle of precooking pasta sheets. See how to do it here.


3. Or ditch boiling altogether and cook your pasta right in its sauce.

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This allows the pasta to absorb as much flavor as possible without having to wait around for a giant pot of water to boil. Try this technique with creamy sauces and you'll never go back to boiling again.

4. Cook pasta in the microwave for an instant, dorm-friendly dinner...

Simply place your pasta in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with cold water, and microwave for 10 minutes to get perfectly tender pasta without a stovetop. See how to do it here.

5. And take it to the next level by adding milk and shredded cheddar.

Just add half a cup of shredded cheddar and half a cup of milk to your microwaved pasta to transform it into an instant mac and cheese perfect for busy weeknights. See how to do it here.

6. Be like Alton Brown and cook your pasta in a bit of cold water.

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Alton doesn't waste time boiling a giant pot of water to cook his pasta. Instead, he starts his in cold water — just enough to cover the pasta — and brings it to a boil for just a few minutes. Learn how to do it here.


7. To save even more time, ditch the deep pot for a shallow pan.

To make perfectly al dente pasta in a matter of minutes, simply cover your pasta with cold water in a shallow frying pan and cook it over high heat. See how to do it here.

8. Freeze cooked pasta in individual portions for quick and easy weeknight dinners.

That way, all you have to do is microwave it for 20 seconds or reheat it directly in sauce for a hearty dinner that comes together in a flash. Learn how to do it here.

9. Cook it in a slow cooker for an effortless pasta night.

Just add your pasta to the slow cooker 30 minutes before serving. It will absorb enough sauce to become tender without having to boil it first. See how to do it here.

11. Cook your pasta like risotto for a quick one-pan dinner.

Cooking small pastas such as ditalini or orzo in place of arborio rice makes for a quick and easy take on risotto without the endless stirring. Get the recipe for pasta risotto with herb roasted chickpeas here.