One of the hardest things about cooking a meal is getting the timing right. If you start the pasta too late the meat course will dry out and the vegetables go limp. If you start it too soon, it will be overcooked or get cold. And how do you keep pasta hot for a buffet? Not to worry. Whether you mis-timed the dinner pasta or need to keep spaghetti warm for a party, all is not lost. There are several ways to hold pasta that keep it hot, fresh and ready to serve when the rest of the meal catches up.

Things You'll Need

If you pasta is done too soon, drain it, returning about one-half of the water to the pot. Rinse the pasta well with cool water to stop it from cooking, and toss it with olive oil to keep it from sticking. Place the colander into the pot so that it is suspended over the hot water. Cover the pot.

Heat a large bowl in the oven. Drain and rinse the pasta and toss it with a little bit of olive oil. Turn it out into the warmed bowl and cover the bowl with aluminum foil.

Hold pasta for a buffet by cooking it for one-third less time than the package instructs. Toss it with a generous amount of olive oil. Place it in a chafing dish.


  • Sturdier pasta keeps longer than delicate types, so plan a buffet around penne rather than angel hair.