Quorn is a unique meat alternative growing in popularity with the rise in plant-based diets. It’s a new food for many, which means you may not be sure how best to handle it for food safety. Can you get food poisoning from it? Can you reheat Quorn, or should leftovers be thrown away?
We all hate to see food go to waste, but it’s important to avoid eating food that bacteria and other harmful microorganisms have potentially contaminated. As a registered dietitian, I’ll discuss the best ways to handle leftover Quorn.
What is Quorn?
Quorn is a popular brand of plant-based meat alternatives made from mycoprotein1, a protein derived from the fungus Fusarium venenatum. Quorn offers a variety of products, including foods like meatless pieces, meatless nuggets, and meatless grounds. Items like Quorn mince or Quorn sausages are easier to find in the UK than in the United States.
Some Quorn products are vegan, but others contain egg whites or milk-based ingredients.
Quorn products are high in plant-based protein and fiber while being low in saturated fat. It’s also a great source of zinc and selenium, two minerals that are especially important for vegans to prioritize in their diet.
Can you reheat Quorn safely?
As with other foods, Quorn can be reheated safely as long as proper food handling procedures are followed.
After preparing Quorn products according to the cooking instructions on the package, they should be cooled to room temperature within two hours and then stored in the fridge in an airtight container. It can also be frozen. These cold temperatures significantly slow down the growth of new bacteria.
When reheating, use a food thermometer to ensure that the innermost part of the Quorn product is reheated to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Why 165 degrees? This temperature is high enough to kill any bacteria that had the chance to grow while the Quorn was cooling after being cooked or while being stored in the refrigerator.
Just be sure that the tip of your food thermometer is inserted in the middle of a piece of Quorn, not at the surface or touching the pan or bowl. This will give you the most accurate results.
Contrary to popular belief, you can reheat foods more than once2 as long as they are reheated to 165 degrees Fahrenheit each time. Of course, the texture and quality will get worse each time, so it’s best to only reheat the amount you plan to eat in one sitting.
Quorn recommends eating leftover cooked Quorn products within 48 hours.
Best ways to reheat Quorn
There are multiple methods for reheating Quorn. Consider how you plan to use it when deciding which method to use.
The microwave is the best option when you need to reheat leftovers quickly (and no worries, it won’t zap the nutrition out of your food). It works the best for dishes in which Quorn is covered in a sauce, like Quorn curry, but it will also work for plain Quorn pieces as well.
To microwave Quorn:
- Place Quorn in a microwave-safe bowl or plate, depending on what works best for the dish.
- Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or until the dish is steaming. The timing will depend on how much food you’re microwaving at one time.
- Insert the tip of a food thermometer into the middle of your Quorn, making sure not to touch the plate. It should read at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If not, keep microwaving for 15-30 second increments until hot enough.
The stovetop will take longer than the microwave but is better at heating leftovers evenly. This method is good for making Quorn crispy again.
- Place Quorn pieces in a single layer on a skillet.
- Heat over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, flipping the pieces or stirring as needed. The total time will depend on how much food you need to heat.
- Insert the tip of a food thermometer into the middle of your Quorn pieces, making sure not to touch the skillet. It should read at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If not, keep heating.
Heating Quorn in the oven will work well for solid dishes like grilled or sauteed Quorn, but it’s the slowest option.
- Preheat to 350°F.
- Place Quorn on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the middle of the Quorn reaches at least 165°F when tested with a food thermometer. Avoid touching the thermometer on the baking sheet. Try also to avoid overbaking as this will dry out your Quorn.
The air fryer is by far the best, most efficient way to reheat Quorn and make it crispy again.
- Preheat air fryer to 350°F
- Arrange Quorn pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket
- Air fry for 3-5 minutes, or until the inside of the Quorn reaches at least 165°F when tested with a food thermometer.
Quorn is a nutritious, protein-rich meat alternative that can be safely reheated as long as its internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit with each reheating. This ensures that any bacteria present in your leftovers will be killed, significantly reducing the potential for food poisoning.
The company recommends properly refrigerating leftover Quorn and eating it within 48 hours.
Can you leave Quorn out overnight?
Quorn should not be left out overnight since bacteria grow very well at room temperature. It should be refrigerated quickly after it has been cooked. If you did leave it out, it’s safest to throw it away.
Can Quorn be reheated in microwave?
Yes, Quorn can be reheated in the microwave. This will work best for a moist dish, like Quorn curry. It’s best to reheat it to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This will kill microorganisms that could potentially cause a foodborne illness.
The scientific information in this article was accurate at the time of publishing but may change over time as new research becomes available.
- Finnigan TJA, Wall BT, Wilde PJ, Stephens FB, Taylor SL, Freedman MR. Mycoprotein: The Future of Nutritious Nonmeat Protein, a Symposium Review. Curr Dev Nutr. 2019;3(6):nzz021. Published 2019 Apr 4. doi:10.1093/cdn/nzz021
- USDA. How many times can I reheat foods? AskUSDA website. https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/How-many-times-can-I-reheat-foods. Accessed 9/6/23.