Skip to Content

Where do you store leftover naan?

Naan is a popular Indian flatbread that is served alongside curries, kebabs, and other dishes. It’s made from a dough containing flour, yeast, yogurt, egg, and ghee or oil. The dough is rolled into oval or teardrop shapes and cooked in a tandoor oven, which gives naan its signature puffy appearance and charred flavor.

Leftover naan can seem like an afterthought, but it doesn’t have to go to waste. Naan makes an excellent vehicle for leftovers, an addition to sandwiches, or a crispy snack when revived. With proper storage, naan will stay fresh for several days after baking. Read on to learn how to best store naan to maximize its shelf life and prevent it from drying out.

Should you refrigerate naan?

Refrigerating is one of the most common ways to store leftover naan. The cool environment of the refrigerator helps slow down starch crystallization, which is the process that causes bread to go stale. It also prevents microbial growth that can cause naan to develop mold.

However, refrigeration can also cause naan to lose moisture quickly and become tough. The starches in the bread retrograde (recrystallize) faster in the cold, dry air of the fridge. For best results, be sure to take these extra steps before refrigerating naan:

  • Allow naan to cool completely before refrigerating. Storing warm bread leads to condensation forming inside the packaging, encouraging mold growth.
  • Store naan in airtight packaging like a plastic bag or container. This prevents moisture loss.
  • Place a paper towel inside the packaging to collect condensation. The paper towel absorbs excess moisture but allows the naan to retain its softness.
  • Use naan within 2-3 days for best quality. After that, it will dry out quickly.

Properly stored in the refrigerator, naan will maintain its softness and flexible texture for a few days. The refrigeration allows it to be used longer without fear of spoilage. Just be diligent about sealing the naan so it doesn’t harden prematurely.

Should you freeze naan?

Freezing is an excellent storage method for naan you won’t use right away. The freezer’s below-freezing temperature stops starch retrogradation in its tracks and prevents mold growth. Properly frozen, naan can be kept for 2-3 months without sacrificing taste or texture.

To freeze naan:

  • Allow naan to cool completely after baking.
  • Place in a freezer bag or airtight container, removing as much air as possible.
  • Lay flat in a single layer to prevent bread from bending or becoming misshapen.
  • Freeze for up to 2-3 months.

Once frozen, naan can be thawed at room temperature or warmed up directly from frozen. The bread may lose a bit of pliability after thawing but can be refreshed by sprinkling with water and reheating briefly in the oven or toaster oven.

Freezing prevents premature staling and molds growth, letting you enjoy fresh naan long after baking. It also allows you to bake naan in bulk and have ready access to it later.

Should you store naan at room temperature?

Storing naan at room temperature is possible for short periods, but it carries some risk of the bread drying out or developing mold. If you want to keep naan out on the counter or breadbox, here are some tips:

  • Let the naan cool completely after baking – warmth encourages mold.
  • Keep it in a paper bag or wrapped in a tea towel. This allows airflow to remove condensation.
  • Use within 1-2 days for best quality. After that, it will stale quickly.
  • Check frequently for mold growth. Discard at first signs.

The room temperature environment causes naan to stale faster than refrigerated or frozen storage. But for immediate use, keeping naan wrapped on the counter is fine. Just be diligent about using it quickly and watching for spoilage.

Staling can be reversed by spritzing the naan with water and crisping it up in the oven for a few minutes. This removes some of the starch retrogradation that occurred.

How to revive stale naan

Over time, even properly stored naan will eventually dry out and lose its softness. Luckily, it’s easy to revive stale naan and restore it to its original texture. Here are some revival techniques:

  • Mist the naan lightly with water and wrap in aluminum foil.
  • Warm in a 300°F oven for 5-10 minutes until soft again.
  • Run the naan briefly under hot water to moisten then heat in a skillet.
  • Toast or broil naan slices until crispy.
  • Microwave 15-30 seconds to soften.

The moisture loosens up the stiff bread fibers and allows them to move freely again. Gentle heating aids this process and drives off some of the moisture as steam.

Revived naan won’t be quite as soft and pliable as fresh. But these tricks can extend the bread’s useful life by a few more days and prevent you from having to throw it out.

How to use leftover naan

Don’t let leftover naan go to waste! Here are some delicious ways to use it:

Sandwich wraps

Naan makes an excellent wrap for both cold and hot sandwiches. The bread’s teardrop shape and pliability result in neat, compact sandwiches that don’t fall apart.

Pizza bases

Top leftover naan with marinara sauce, veggies, and cheese for quick personal pizzas. Bake at 400°F until the cheese melts.

Chips or croutons

Cut naan into wedges and bake at 400°F until crispy. Toss with olive oil and salt for crackers or with dressing for salad croutons.

Garlic bread

Spread naan with butter or olive oil and minced garlic. Bake or broil until golden brown.

Breakfast tacos

Fill naan with scrambled eggs, cheese, potatoes, beans, or other favorite breakfast ingredients.


Fill naan wedges with cheese, beans, veggies, and other fillings. Cook in a skillet until the cheese melts.

Dessert pockets

Fill naan with sliced fruit, chocolate hazelnut spread, or other sweet fillings then dust with cinnamon sugar.


With proper storage and revival methods, leftover naan can enjoy a long shelf life. Refrigeration, freezing, and room temperature storage all help prevent premature staling and mold growth. Stale naan can also be softened again by rehydrating and reheating. Naan’s versatility also means leftover bread can be repurposed in many delicious ways instead of being discarded. Be sure to store and use up leftover naan so none of this tasty bread goes to waste.

Storage Method Shelf Life Pros Cons
Refrigeration 2-3 days Slows staling
Prevents spoilage
Causes drying
Speeds staling
Freezing 2-3 months Prevents staling
Allows long-term storage
Requires thawing
Room Temperature 1-2 days No special preparation Quick staling
Mold risk
Revival Method How It Works
Mist with water Rehydrates dried bread
Wrap and heat Steam softens bread
Toast/broil Crisps exterior
Microwave Softens interior
Reuse Idea Ingredients
Sandwich wrap Fillings of choice
Personal pizza Sauce, cheese, toppings
Chips/croutons Oil, salt
Garlic bread Butter/oil, garlic
Breakfast taco Eggs, cheese, potatoes
Quesadilla Cheese, beans, veggies
Dessert pocket Fruit, chocolate, cinnamon