How to Drain Pasta Without Messing Up? - TheLadyChef

How to Drain Pasta Without Messing Up?

How to Drain Pasta (TheLadyChef)
How to Drain Pasta

Although making pasta and storing it is quite easy, the real challenge is of how to drain pasta. The whole process may get dangerous if not done correctly. First, you’ve to wangle the colander into the sink and then be careful that you don’t burn yourself with the boiling water while pouring the pasta into it. And finally, you’ve to dump it back from where it came.

Starting from using the lid to the tongs, forks and ending up by wiping it from the dish towel –that’s how you can drain your pasta without a stainer.

We’re here to guide you completely on how you can drain your pasta well without messing it up.

Related: Does Beef broth go bad or not?

How to Drain Pasta Without A Strainer?

Your Fettuccine, Mexican Lasagne, or Macaroni’s recipe might go well if you’re using a pasta strainer. Then what about those who can’t afford it or don’t have space for some extra tools in the kitchen? Things might get messed up, honestly!

Don’t worry! We’re right here to help you out with this challenging task. Let’s get right into some fantastic tips!

1. Use the pot’s lid

The thought of not having a pasta strainer will not cross your mind when draining it with this technique. It’s a simpler, easier, and safer way to drain the pasta water. You just have to bring the lid of the pasta pot right into play.

But don’t worry! If your pot doesn’t have a matching lid, then find and insert any lid that can cover the pot’s opening. Now, to get the draining process started, fix the lid firmly against the pot’s opening. Bring the pot to the sink, and slide the lid sideways to drain the boiling water inside.

But make sure you hold the lid tightly because if the opening gets wide, then you’ll be collecting your pasta right from the sink at the end. Annoying! Isn’t it? Remove all the pasta water this way, and you’re done.

This method requires some extra cautiousness and goes pretty well with all kinds of pasta, but sadly not with spaghettis. Being too slim and long; the spaghetti may run out from the lid opening along with water.

2. Use the forks or tongs

Draining Pasta using forks or tongs

Tongs and forks are more explicitly for serving pasta and some other dishes. But who cares if they are only for serving? You can use them for draining your pasta too! If you feel the lid method quite more vigilant than your stamina, then go for this peaceful method.

Pick a tong or a fork and scoop the pasta from the boiling water to any other bowl. And that’s it! Bring some scoop fulls, bring again and again unless the whole pasta is drained. If you don’t have a tong, you can use a fork alone, but that won’t be much effective for long threads of spaghetti.

And yeah! You’ve to remain patient throughout this time-consuming process.

3. Use A large Spoon As An Alternative

If you think that you can drain your pasta from a regular spoon, trust me, it’ll become a never-ending task. A regular spoon will pick up to 2-3 pasta in each pouring, and the draining will become a headache. How about if we talk about the bigger spoons? YES! You read that right.

Take a spoon and fill it up with the pasta and water mixture from the pot. Now hold the spoon firmly against the inner side of the pot and remove the water from it. And that’s it! Do it multiple times to get the whole pasta drained.

But, there’s one thing you’ve to keep in mind. This trick doesn’t go well with spaghetti because it will ruin its long thread nature and turn into smaller fragments.

4. Using a slotted or spider spoon

Draining Pasta using slotted or spider spoon

A spider or slotted spoon works best for draining the pasta perfectly. There’s no chance for water to remain in the shells or corners of pasta –this spoon drains it well. These spoons have plenty of small-sized holes that do the job of a proxy strainer. The water eludes from the holes, and the pasta stays on it.

All you have to do is take a scoop full of pasta and wait for some time to let the water leave. And that’s it! You’re done with this speedy and effective process.  

You have to keep in mind that don’t perform this trick with spoons having large holes; the spaghetti may get space to slip throught the holes.

5. Using a dishtowel to drain pasta

Here’s the last but the most cautious trick –using a dishtowel. Cautious in the sense that you need to be quite more careful in this process, the hot water may splash back on you. It’s even better if you get an extra helping hand with you.

Place the dishtowel in the sink or over a substantial empty bowl. Now, hold it with the end of the pasta pot and gradually start pouring the pasta. Let the water leave altogether through the draining holes of the towel. Despite being quite tricky, it’s the most effective and time-saving process.

It’s quite useful when you’re having severe hunger pangs or guests are waiting for dinner outside.

A helpful video to do this:

How to Drain Excess Oil From Pasta?

Sometimes, boiled or cooked pasta secretes some excess oil that’s definitely not healthy. This fat can mess up your whole diet plan, especially when you’re quite strict on it. Instead of taking that fat into your body, why don’t you think to drain it out?

Let’s get into some useful tricks and techniques to perform this arduous-looking operation.

Remove the spoon-fulls of fat!

Once you’re done preparing your pasta, and you see some extra oil floating on it, it’s time to rip it off. An effective way is to remove it by filling spoons out of it –in case oil is too much. Perform it periodically with a ladle or spoon and discard it immediately.

Icing the pasta

The ice cube trick is much practical, except that it will leave your pasta rough and cold. But wait, it effectively removes all the excess fat. Spread the ice cubes on the pasta dish, and the fat will start accumulating over the cubes.

The oil freezes and converts into fat at lower temperatures. Now remove the ice cubes, and that’s all! Congrats! You’ve removed most of the oil content of your pasta.

The bread trick

Bread can absorb any liquid content –water or oil. So spreading the bread slice on the top of the pasta dish will effectively remove the pasta oil. The bread will take away most of the oil and make pasta healthier for you.

Discard the slice and feed it to your pet; trust me, he’ll love to eat that. But one thing! Make sure you take the bread off with a tong –it will be much hot.

Cool the serving tray

This trick demands some additional time, so if you’re cooking in advance, it’s good to go with. All that you have to do is put the serving dish into the refrigerator overnight. Now pour your pasta into the frosty dish and watch the oil freezing and sticking to the dish.

How to Prevent Pasta from Sticking?

Your pasta will stick together or not depends on the way you boil and drain it. The pasta doesn’t only stick together but sometimes to the bottom of the pot, and it becomes annoying dealing with that. So, here are easy steps to prevent pasta from sticking.

  1. Make sure you are using enough water while boiling the pasta.
  2. Frequently stir the pasta soon after adding it into the boiling water. It will prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
  3. Never add olive oil to the pasta while boiling or draining it. It will not let the sauce adhere it.
  4. Rinse or soak the pasta in ice-cold water that will not only prevent sticking but also makes it grow bigger.


Making pasta is the easiest of all dishes, but the time you’re draining the hot water is a real-time challenge. The draining task goes well with the right strainer. If you don’t have a strainer, you need complete know-how to tackle that real-time challenge.

Would you like to mess-up with your favorite spaghetti or macroni recipe when the guests are waiting outside? Probably not! Don’t worry; we’ve got your back.

Then make sure you bring all these tips into consideration before working on your recipe.

Adalynn Ward
Hello!! My name is Adalynn I love to eat, travel, and eat some more! I am married to the man of my dreams and have a beautiful little girl whose smiles can brighten anyone’s day!