How to drain pasta without a strainer? (5 Ways how)

In this article, we will answer the question “How to drain pasta without a strainer?”, and how to store pasta?

How to drain pasta without a strainer?

Tongs or a fork

If you have tongs in your kitchen, you can easily snatch out spaghetti or any other type of long pasta from the hot water. It will take some time but It is not a bad idea. If you do not have any tongs, you can use a fork instead.


This method is not applicable to long and stringy pasta. You can scoop out macaroni-type pasta using this technique. Use the largest spoon in your kitchen to drain your pasta. Scoop the pasta, hold it against the side of the pot, tilt to drain, and put it into the tan empty bowl.

Slotted spoon or spider 

Spider spoon is more like a mini colander or a handheld colander to drain pasta. You can see the water dripping down the holes of the spoon. While this takes some time, It isn’t a bad option If you do not have a choice.

The lid 

Leave the lid of the pot about ¼ inch askew. Tilt the pot using oven mitts. Keep the pot away from yourself as the hot water is a hazard. Drain all the water in the sink or keep a bowl in the skin to catch the water If you want to store it for later use.


This method takes less time but you have to be extra cautious. Plus point is that you can drain any kind of pasta using this method. In an empty bowl, place the dishtowel. Wear oven mitts before pouring the contents of the pot into the bowl. Hold the edges of the dishtowel and lift it. Wait for a few seconds to drain the water.

How long is pasta good in the fridge?

On average, cooked or leftover pasta will only be good in the fridge for less than a week. On the other hand, uncooked pasta lasts indefinitely in the pantry if stored correctly.

Type of pastaShelf-life in the fridge
Fresh homemade wheat pasta4-5 days
Fresh store-bought wheat pasta1-3 days
Cooked wheat pasta3-5 days
Lentil-, bean-, or pea-based pasta3-5 days
Gluten-free pasta3-5 days
Tortellini or other stuffed pasta3-5 days
Lasagna or other cooked pasta with sauce5 days

Pasta will keep longer in the fridge if the sauce and the pasta are stored separately. The estimated shelf-life of different types of pasta sauces is given below. 

Type of sauceShelf-life in the fridge
Tomato red sauce4-5 days
Alfredo white sauce4-5 days
Vinegar and oil3-5 days
Meat sauce4-5 days
Fish sauce1-2 days

Other FAQs about Pasta which you may be interested in.

How to tell If pasta is al dente?

How long does cooked pasta last?

How long do Zoodles last in the fridge?

How to store pasta?

In the fridge 

Pasta should be stored within 2 hours of preparation. Do not store warm pasta. The moisture trapped inside in the form of steam will favor the growth of harmful bacteria and molds. Let the pasta come to room temperature after cooking. Toss it with some vegetable or olive oil to prevent it from clumping and sticking. 

Store it in an air-tight container at 4°F or below. If the pasta has already been tossed with the sauce, you do not need to add any extra oil. The uncooked pasta should be stored in a dry place away from moisture and heat.

In the freezer

Freezing saucy pasta is not recommended. The sauce will damage the texture of pasta making it soggy. However freeze-storing cooked pasta without sauce provides a quick-fix for meals.

To freeze store pasta, follow the instructions below:

  1. Do not cook the pasta completely. Instead, boil it al dente. This parboiling technique is used by restaurants. Reheating parboiled pasta freshens it up.
  1. Toss the pasta in some olive oil to avoid clumping. The pasta will break if it sticks too much.
  1. Spread the pasta on a baking tray and form nests using a fork. Each nest should equal about ½ cup of pasta. Put the tray in the freezer for pre-freezing.
  1. Toss the frozen nests in a freezer bag. Squeeze out all the air and label the bag. Keep the bag in the freezer for up to 8 months.

How to tell if the pasta is bad?

Discolored patches or grey/white spots/patches and slimy texture are obvious signs of spoiled pasta. If the pasta gives an off-odor, throw it away. Uncooked pasta stored in the pantry might develop bugs if stored for longer periods of time. 


In this article, we answered the question “How to drain pasta without a strainer?”, and how to store pasta?


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