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Easy Fried Spaghetti with Leftover Pasta

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Fried spaghetti is the answer when you want to transform leftover spaghetti into an indulgent and unique meal! The pasta gets cooked pancake-style and turns crisp on the outside yet remains tender on the inside. A layer of gooey cheese and fun toppings elevates the fried pasta and creates a truly indulgent and comforting meal.

Plus, this dish is ready in under 30 minutes! It is the perfect way to repurpose leftover spaghetti and turn it into something fun and memorable for the family.

A serving plate with fried spaghetti topped with marinara sauce and cheese.

Cheesy fried spaghetti is the solution to leftover dinner woes. It’s an easy recipe that takes just minutes to prepare.

And, since pasta leftovers are the main ingredient in this comfort food dish, you likely have all the ingredients you need to get started. 

Fried spaghetti can be done using any kind of leftover spaghetti dish, like our classic Italian Meatballs and Spaghetti! It has a flavorful garlic and tomato sauce with tender meatballs you can certainly enjoy on the side of this fried spaghetti the next day. 

Why This Recipe Works

Our fried spaghetti recipe is a great way to repurpose extra spaghetti. It’s amazing what a large frying pan and a clever cooking method can do for leftovers!

The result? A crispy texture on the outside and cheesy, gooey-ness on the inside. Load it up with toppings like marinara sauce or fresh basil, or enjoy it plain in all its fried and crispy glory. 

This easy fried spaghetti recipe is:

  • quick and simple to prepare
  • ready in under 30 minutes
  • a unique recipe that is family-friendly and kid-approved
  • the perfect comfort food meal for busy weeknights.

The Ingredients

This is an easy pasta recipe that makes the most of spaghetti leftovers! It’s also incredibly forgiving, so you can riff as you like, especially with the types of cheese used. 

Here’s a list of the simple ingredients you’ll need to make fried spaghetti:

  • Eggs. ​This helps bind the noodles together in the frying pan. 
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese. Stirred in with the eggs and pasta, the Parmesan adds a wonderful flavor and also helps hold everything together. 
  • Seasonings. A blend of salt, ground black pepper, and red pepper flakes is all you need. 
  • Leftover spaghetti with tomato sauce. Just your regular spaghetti with sauce, cooked and cooled, a.k.a. spaghetti night leftovers. 
  • Shredded Mozzarella cheese. This is needed to create that cheese layer in the center of the fried spaghetti.
  • Olive oil. For frying, a must to prevent the pasta from sticking to the pan. A little olive oil in the pan will also deliver the best results when it comes to getting those crispy bits on the fried spaghetti.
  • Garlic cloves. Minced garlic adds an extra punch of garlic flavor to the dish. 
  • Toppings. Optional toppings include marinara sauce, shredded Mozzarella and fresh basil (or swap in fresh parsley).
Spaghetti, marinara, salt, pepper, chili flakes, eggs, parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, mozzarella, and basil.

How to Make Fried Spaghetti

Here’s a look at the steps involved in the process to give you a brief overview of this fried pasta. As always, scroll to the bottom of the page to view the printable recipe card, which includes all of the ingredient amounts, full instructions, and star rating. 

Whisking cheese, eggs, and cheese together then stirring in leftover spaghetti.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the Parmesan and seasonings, then the leftover pasta noodles (and sauce). Stir well until the pasta is completely coated. 

Three photos: Adding spaghetti to a skillet, topping it with cheese, then topping it with more spaghetti.

Heat a little bit of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, cook the garlic for a minute. Add half the pasta mixture, spreading it out in the pan. Add some mozzarella, then cover it with the rest of the spaghetti. 

Push the pasta down to flatten. Fry spaghetti in the pan until it gets golden brown on the bottom.

Four photos showing how to invert a pan with fried spaghetti onto a plate then sliding the spaghetti back into the pan to fry the other side.

Place a large plate over the skillet and flip the fried spaghetti onto the plate. Add a splash of olive oil to the pan and slide the pasta back onto the skillet to cook the other side over medium heat. 

​Press down on the pasta with the back of a spatula and cook for another 6-8 minutes until golden brown and crispy. 

Crispy brown spaghetti fried in a skillet.

When done, transfer it back onto the plate. You can enjoy it plain, sliced into wedges.

Or, you can top it with marinara sauce and cover it with cheese, then slide it under the broiler until the cheese melts. Slice it into wedges and serve with freshly-chopped basil. 

  Substitutions and Variations

This indulgent and crispy spaghetti is a fun and unique way to enjoy leftovers. The possibilities are endless when it comes to the types of pasta you can use and the toppings you can add. From classic spaghetti to creamy turkey tetrazzini, fried pasta is the perfect way to transform your leftovers into a new and exciting meal. Here are some more ways to make this recipe.

Lifting up a cheesy slice of fried spaghetti leftovers from a serving plate.

? Pro Tips for Success

  • You can make this recipe without leftover spaghetti! Cook 8 ounces of dried spaghetti noodles (or any pasta you have on hand) according to the package directions. You can add tomato sauce to the fresh spaghetti or omit it entirely- this recipe will still work out well. 
  • You can make fried spaghetti using spaghetti mixed with ground beef or using a meatless spaghetti. If you have large meatballs in your leftovers, break them up before starting. 
  • This recipe is forgiving, which means you can adjust the amount of ingredients based on how much spaghetti leftovers you have. If you have less than what the recipe calls for, use only one egg. If you have more, add an extra egg or two or add in more Parmesan. 

  Storage and Reheating

Store any leftover fried spaghetti in an airtight container for up to three days. 

When ready to reheat, you can either microwave it or bake it in a preheated 350°F oven until heated through.

To freeze, let it cool down completely, then transfer it to an airtight container or freezer bag. Freeze for up to three months.

A slice of crispy fried spaghetti on a late next to a fork.

?️ What to Serve with Fried Spaghetti

Like any other pasta dish, our fried spaghetti recipe goes well with traditional spaghetti sides! Here are a few recommendations for what to serve it with:

⭐️ Helpful Tools

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? More Recipes You Will Love:

Crab Pasta is comfort food that’s easy and elevated! Tender pasta and fresh crab meat are tossed in a creamy and savory white wine sauce along with loads of fresh herbs and pine nuts.

Our baked spaghetti and meatballs gets cooked in one pan. It is an easy weeknight dinner that will save you time in the kitchen.

Creamy Bacon and Leek Pasta is an easy and delicious weeknight meal that’s ready in just 30 minutes, which makes it the perfect quick dinner for a busy weeknight. Made with just a few simple ingredients, this dish will please the whole family, and it is a great way to use seasonal leeks. 

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Fried spaghetti on a serving plate topped with marinara sauce and cheese.

Fried Spaghetti

Fried spaghetti is a quick and delicious way to transform leftover spaghetti into an indulgent meal, and you will have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.
The pasta gets cooked like a giant pancake until it is crispy on both sides but tender on the inside with a layer of gooey cheese. This dish is a surefire winner with the entire family, and it is the perfect way to repurpose leftovers.
4.56 from 9 votes
Print Pin Save
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 381kcal
Author: Dahn Boquist


  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups leftover spaghetti with sauce cooked and cooled
  • ½ cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves chopped

Optional toppings

  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • ½ cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil


  • Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add the Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and leftover pasta. Stir well until the pasta is completely coated in the egg and cheese mixture. 
  • Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, toss in the garlic. Cook the garlic for 30 to 60 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add half of the pasta mixture to the skillet and spread it out. Add ½ cup shredded mozzarella, then cover it with the rest of the pasta mixture.
  • Push the pasta down firmly with the back of a spatula. Let it fry in the pan for 6 to 8 minutes or until it gets golden brown and crispy on the bottom. Occasionally lift the pasta with the spatula to take a peak and make sure it isn’t getting too dark. Adjust the heat on the stove if needed.  
  • Place a large plate over the skillet and flip the skillet over so the pasta is on the plate. 
  • Add a splash of olive oil to the skillet and slide the pasta back into the skillet with the cooked side facing up. 
  • Press down on the pasta with the back of a spatula and cook for another 6 to 8 minutes until golden brown and crispy on the bottom.  You can eat it like this (sliced into wedges) or top it with cheese and sauce (below).

To Top with Cheese and Sauce

  • Spread marinara sauce over the top of the fried spaghetti, then cover it with Mozzarella cheese. Slide the skillet under the broiler for 3 to 4 minutes or until the cheese melts. 
  • Slice into wedges and serve with freshly chopped basil. 


  • If you don't have any leftover spaghetti, cook 8 ounces of dried spaghetti noodles (or any pasta you have on hand) according to package directions. You don't have to add sauce to the pasta unless you prefer.
  • This recipe works well with meat or meatless spaghetti. If you have large meatballs in your leftover spaghetti, break them up before starting.
  • You don't have to be super precise with the measurements. If you have less spaghetti leftovers than called for, use one egg. If you have a lot of leftovers, add an extra egg or two and toss in more Parmesan cheese. It is a very forgiving recipe.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 826mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g

Dahn Boquist

Dahn is a retired nurse, recipe creator, home cook, baker, and self-proclaimed foodie. She loves creating in the kitchen and cooking for family and friends. She lives in Washington State with her husband and dog. When she isn't cooking or baking, you can usually find her spending time with her grandchildren or exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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