How To Freeze Dry Pasta

how to freeze dry pasta banner with text

Freeze Dried Meals

When we’re faced with an emergency or crisis, nothing is more satisfying and comforting than a bowl of pasta. May it be swimming in a delicious, hearty broth or lathered in goodness with a thick stew, pasta can make almost any situation bearable.

That’s why it’s often included in special freeze-dried meals for camping, emergency storage, or other purposes. That’s why today, we’ll talk about how to freeze dry pasta (plain) and have it ready for your meals however you want it.

What Materials Do I Need?

For freeze-drying pasta, you’ll need the following:

  • Your choice of cooked pasta – any pasta would work, whether short, shell, twists, or spaghetti.
  • Parchment paper – to keep the pasta from sticking

The following materials are optional but can help you streamline your freeze-drying process:

  • Weighing scale.
  • Drill with a 6-8 inch drill bit
  • Food thermometers
  • Separate trays for pre-freezing

You can weigh your pasta so you’ll have an objective measure of whether the noodle’s properly freeze-dried. Sure, this makes the freeze-drying process more technical. But if you plan to make a profit out of it or finetune your process, documentation will help you a great deal.

rigatoni pasta with tomato tomato sauce served on a white plate.

How Do I Prepare Pasta For Freeze Drying?

Each brand has different instructions for cooking pasta. But it’s your food, so feel free to cook it however you want it. Of course, you need to consider the reconstituting method later.

Depending on your preference, you can cook the pasta exactly or in a little under a minute, the recommended time. You can go over 1-2 minutes if you want it soft.

After cooking, some recommend that you wash your pasta. We know this washes away the starch, which makes the sauce stick to the pasta. The problem is some experience their noodles sticking too much to each other.

If you don’t want them to stick, wash your cooked carbs for a short while under running water. This not only removes the starch but also stops the cooking process.

Another option is to cook the pasta added to a meal, like beef stroganoff, spaghetti, or mac and cheese. Keep oil to a bare minimum because it will interfere with freeze-drying.

Do I Pre-Freeze

Pre-freezing is optional for every food you plan to freeze dry. However, based on our experience, the more water content (and sugar) the food has, the more you need to freeze dry.

Cooked noodles have about more than 300g of water in them for almost every 2 1/2 lbs (1.13 kgs). That’s quite an amount of liquid to freeze in your little freeze dryer and  can take a lot of time. If you’ve got something going in your freeze dryer and have space in your freezer, why not pre-freeze? You’re making smart use of two appliances at the same time, so feel comfortable experimenting.

Remember the drill we mentioned in the list of materials? When you pre-freeze the pasta, it will be hard to push the thermometer in for an accurate reading. Use the drill bit at an angle roughly between 15°-20°. Bore it deep enough until the thermometer can push through 1/2 to 3/4 in. This way,

If you’re going to pre-freeze, make sure that the trays are also pre-frozen. The last thing you want is to destabilize the temperature in the freeze dryer chamber. If your food is cold, so should the tray and the chamber. If your food is warm, the trays and chamber should be too.

How Do I Freeze Dry Pasta?

Got your noodles ready? Then your Harvest Right freeze dryer is waiting for you.

  1. Turn on the machine and press “START > NON-LIQUID.”
  2. If your pasta’s fresh, choose “NOT-FROZEN”.
  3. If you pre-froze your food, select “FROZEN.” But remember to pre-cool the chamber before putting the trays in. The chamber temp should be lower than what your food. Give your freeze dryer 15-30 minutes to pre-cool.
  4. When the machine is ready, it will tell you to close the drain valve. This helps build pressure in the chamber to help sublimate or turn ice into vapor.
  5. Press “CONTINUE” and let the machine do its work.

How Long Does It Take To Freeze Dry Pasta?

It can take about 28-32 hours, depending on how much pasta you have. Other factors that can contribute to the freeze-drying time include:

Freeze dryers have internal sensors that let them know whether the food is dry. At times it will go off later or earlier than expected. Although the sensors are pretty accurate, you still need to check whether the freeze-drying process is good.

pasta in creamy mushroom sauce on a bowl.

How Do I Know it’s ready?

The best way to know if the pasta’s done freeze-drying is to test the trays while they’re warm. If you have a thermometer stuck in the tray, you’ll be able to see the temperature immediately.

Temperature can be between 80°F-120°F (27°C-48°C) if you have a thermometer installed. Touch the noodles to confirm they’re dry, warm, and have that crispy, airy texture to them. If any of the noodles feel cool and a bit soft, put the trays back for 2-3 hours of extra dry time.

How Do I Pack the Freeze Dried Pasta?

Aside from a perfect freeze-drying process, the shelf-life of your pasta depends on your storage techniques.

We always recommend Mason jars for on-demand use. This is because you can reseal and reuse them without wasting containers. You can make it last for years instead of months if you use a vacuum sealer for the lids.

But if you want to store food for long-term storage, like we’re looking at 10 years or so from now, go for Mylar bags. Not only are they cheaper than mason jars, but they’re lightweight and save you space. They’re also designed to help store freeze-dried food for 25 years or more.

Whatever you choose, never forget two things:


Write the date and year when you packed the freeze-dried pasta. This will help you know when the food is still good to eat or not.

Add oxygen absorbers

Oxygen absorbers take out residual oxygen left inside the jar or bag. Especially when you don’t have a handy vacuum sealer. About 1-2 of the 300cc packets are good for every gallon size if your container.

How Long Does Freeze-Dried Pasta Last?

If everything’s done properly, from preparation, freeze drying, and packing, to storing. Once the freeze-dried pasta’s sealed tightly, store it in a dry, cool, and dark room with a temperature no higher than 72°F (22 °C), and a relative humidity level of 15% or less.

How Do I Rehydrate?

Rehydration is easy for the noodles. You can use plain hot water and let it sit for 5-10 minutes or until they’re at your desired consistency. When they’re done, strain out any excess moisture, and add in your sauce. Or if you’re making soup, you can add the noodles at the last few minutes of heating the broth.

Freeze-drying is one of the coolest ways to preserve pasta. What’s great is that you only need to wait a few minutes to prepare it. It doesn’t need a lot of energy and resources to prepare, making it ideal for emergency situations.

Here we showed you how to freeze dry pasta as it is. But did you know you can freeze-dry it as a meal, like spaghetti and meatballs, or a hearty soup? Now that you know, how do you plan to freeze-dry yours? Let us know in the comment section.

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more freeze-drying tips and tricks.

Leave a Reply