How to Cook Noodles so They Don’t Stick

Lasagna is one of my favorite dishes, and I love the way the big, wide noodles hold the meat and cheeses together so well.  But it can be challenging trying to get your lasagna noodles cooked perfectly, since they like to stick together.  Don’t worry though.  By following these cooking tips, you’ll make sure that you get no stick noodles every time.Lasagna noodles can be tricky to cook. See my tips for perfect no stick noodles every time.

It seems odd that something as simple as boiling water would need instructions. After all, the package says to boil the pasta in salted water for about 11 minutes, right?  Yes, that is the way to do it, but you also need to make sure to follow a few dos and some don’ts as well.

Don’t crowd the pan.  It stands to reason that if the noodles have lots of room to move around when the water is boiling, they will have less of a chance of sticking together.  So use a pan that is big enough for the pasta that you want to cook. When it comes to lasagna noodles that means a big Dutch oven or stew pot with deep sides.

Don’t rush the boiling process.  If you add your noodles to the water before it has boiled, you will end up with gummy noodles.  Pasta needs to be cooked in boiling water. So let the water boil and then add the noodles.

Do remember to stir the noodles.  When you add the noodles to the boiling water, it will lower the temperature of the water for a bit.  But it will rise soon and timing is the key. Stir within a minute or two of the pasta being added.  During this time, the pasta surface is coated with sticky starch. If you don’t stir the water, the pieces of pasta that are touching each other will literally cook together in one mass.  If you have ever taken your noodles out thinking they were done, only to find them all stuck in one piece, or ripped to shreds, ask yourself, did I salt the water?Follow my tips to make sure that you don't make a mess with your noodles.

Keep a timer going. Both under cooking and over cooking have detrimental effects on pasts. It is important to keep an eye on your time, but also important to do a test yourself. Package instructions tell you how many minutes, but your taste test is best. Al dente is what you want for the best no stick noodles. Don't under cook the noodles.

Separate the noodles quickly.  Don’t let noodles sit for a long time. Try keeping a piece of parchment paper near by when you are cooking lasagna noodles.  Separating them as soon as they are cool enough to handle and placing them on the paper will make sure you get no stick noodles.  Letting them sit in a pan for a long time will just ensure that they stick together.Separate the noodles

Now that the noodles are cooked, it is time to use them in a recipe. See my lasagna roll ups recipe here.

Should you add oil to get no stick noodles?

Do you add oil?  Many people add oil to the water to keep the noodles from sticking.  This does have a positive effect BUT there is a price.  Adding oil makes the noodles more slippery, so they don’t hold the sauce as well.  My opinion is that if you cook the noodles properly, you don’t need the oil.

Should you rinse the pasta?  Once again, there is a controversy on this topic.  Rinsing removes the starch that helps the sauce to stick to the noodles, so I don’t recommend it. The exception is if you don’t plan to use the pasta right away and don’t want it to stick.

For more cooking tips, be sure to visit my Cooking and Kitchen Tips Board on Pinterest.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission, but the price will be the same for you. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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