Mistakenly Left Soup Out Overnight? How To Save It

We’re all guilty of slipping up and forgetting a pot of soup out of the fridge overnight, it could be owing to exhaustion or being occupied with other things, all of which we perfectly understand. But what you would really appreciate is knowing if you can save the soup you’ve left open overnight.

You can save soup left out overnight by bringing it to a 15-minute boil the next morning and refrigerating it. However, the USDA advises that soup left out for more than two hours (or overnight) should be gotten rid of, but this must only be strictly adhered to if you’re selling it professionally.

Storing leftover soup is a tricky task, you have to wait for it to cool before you dish out the amount of soup you plan to store. However, if it’s a late-night meal and you forget to refrigerate the soup after leaving it to cool for a while, the next morning might be tough when you have no idea how to save it, let’s help with that.

When Should You Dispose of Soup Left Overnight? 

The USDA advises that when your soup is left out longer than two hours, it is no longer safe for consumption and should be discarded. 

If you own a restaurant, and you’ve left your soup out overnight and you intend to sell it to customers the next day, you are expected to strictly follow the regulations of the USDA and discard it instead.

However, if your soup is homemade for personal consumption and the choice to save it or not is up to you, here are some factors to take into consideration before go-ahead to save your soup.

1. If it has no acidic foods in it

The most common acidic food that is present in soups is tomatoes, when they are present in your soup that was left overnight it is okay to go ahead and use our simple hack to save it and consume it.

The acidic content in tomatoes allows them to stay safe and fresh overnight, ships without tomato content are likely to get bad overnight.

2. If the pot was not covered overnight 

The main reason why the USDA advises against consuming soups left out overnight is that they are open to bacterial infestation. However, if your pot of soup was shut tight, it is less likely that any bacteria would’ve made its way into your soup while it was out of the fridge overnight.

Also, if your pot of soup was left open you have no idea what could’ve crawled into it during the night, so it is best to discard it.

Do You Drink Or Eat Soup?
Image: Envato Elements

3. If the taste or smell has become unpleasant 

Even after ticking these boxes, we must also use our human senses to ensure that the soup that was left out overnight can still be saved. This is why you should do a quick taste test to ensure that the taste is still the same, if it tastes unpleasant then throw it out. If the smell is also questionable, save yourself the stress of trying to save it and simply get rid of it.

How To Save Soup Left Out Overnight

We know you’re worried about your soup being safe to eat after a night out of a fridge, lets’s get that crease off your forehead with this simple hack you can implement the next morning.

When you get out of bed and realize that you had left your soup out overnight, your mind is definitely going to begin spiraling with ideas on what you should possibly do you resolve the issue. You must be wondering whether or not your lovely pot of homemade soup is still good enough to consume and you would be anxious to find a way to save it as soon as possible. 

We’ve come to the rescue and we’re going to provide you with a simple hack that can easily put all your worries to bed when it concerns saving soup you left out overnight. 

All you need to do is simply bring the soup to a boil for 15 minutes, if you’re thinking of heating it in your microwave, that will not be as efficient as boiling so it is best that you ignore that thought.

Instead, place your pot of soup on your gas and allow it to cook, almost as though you’re making fresh soup, if you see the need to you can add some water and ingredients to the soup. 

Homemade potato soup
Image: Envato Elements

Adding water and ingredients to your pot of soup is entirely optional, but this could be a great way to have it taste fresh and new after leaving it out in the kitchen overnight. 

Boiling your pot of soup is necessary to retain its freshness after a night out without being refrigerated. After boiling, you can either choose to eat it after it cools or go ahead to pack it in airtight containers and store it in your refrigerator.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I leave hot soup overnight out to cool?

Yes, you can leave hot soup overnight out to cool, but it is best to cool it quickly in a bowl of ice and water and put it in your fridge in an airtight container rather than wait till morning to refrigerate it. The earlier you refrigerate soup after cooking it, the longer it lasts.

Can I reheat the soup left out overnight? 

Yes, you can reheat soup left overnight, but what you want to do instead of simply reheating in a microwave is heat it on a gas stove until it boils. After which you can serve it immediately, or leave it to cool and store it in your fridge.


It’s never easy to let or watch a tasty pot of soup go to waste because of a mistake you made the night before, leftover soup also seems to taste much better after you reheat it than the fresh soup you ate right out of the pot. 

Having your leftover soup go to waste because it was left out overnight is something we can stop from happening with a simple trick that requires you to heat the soup in a gas cooker for 15 minutes till it boils.

As long as you make sure the soup still smells and tastes right, and was covered overnight, you can save it and not risk food poisoning.