We are having a pasta "bar" for a party that will last several hours. How do you keep pasta HOT and NOT sticky. (I have seen several answers for COLD and not sticky, but not for hot.)

1 Answer 1


I've not personally tried this with larger quantities, but I have the best success keeping hot pasta non-sticky in smaller quantities (assuming you want to keep pasta and sauce wholly separate) when I do the following three things:

  • Cook in a large amount of water; this will keep the amount of starch in the water down to a bare minimum.
  • After draining, rinse off as much of the surface starch as you can; you might need to keep a separate pot of near-boiling water ready for this.
  • Add a small amount of whatever oil or fat the sauce is based on (olive oil, butter) to the pasta and mix it in.

This is all assuming it is completely unacceptable to sauce the pasta ahead of time.

Good luck!

  • Your basic idea will definitely work. We used an oil and butter mix for keeping it not sticky. I would not use a strong flavored oil such as olive oil. Remember to keep the lid closed except when serving because the outer exposed pasta could dry up somewhat!
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 4:37
  • My usual guideline on the oil to use is based on whatever the sauce has - so for (e.g.) an Alfredo sauce, it would definitely be butter and not olive oil. If the sauce were a tomato and olive oil sauce, however, olive oil would be my choice. Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 15:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.