To bake or not to bake? 

By Corey Williams
June 17, 2020
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Lasagna is a delicious pasta/casserole hybrid—that’s one of the reasons it actually freezes really well. Here’s how to perfectly freeze and reheat your lasagna: 

Should You Cook Lasagna Before Freezing? 

Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Prissy Lee

If you have the option, it’s better to hold off on cooking until right before you’re about to eat the lasagna. 

Freezing, cooking, and thawing all change the ingredients on a chemical level. These processes can affect the texture and taste of your food. 

Cooking, freezing, thawing, and cooking again put the lasagna’s quality through the ringer. While it’ll still be edible, it may not taste very fresh.

That’s why, when you can, you shouldn’t throw in the extra step of cooking before freezing. It takes less of a toll on the food and is less work for you. 

However, that’s not always possible (leftovers are a thing, after all). You totally can freeze a baked lasagna—just be aware that it won’t taste like it did right out of the gate.  

How to Freeze Cooked Lasagna

You don’t have to do anything special to freeze a cooked lasagna. Just follow these simple steps: 

  1. Cool completely. Don’t just stick a hot lasagna in the freezer. This will cause ice crystals to form throughout the layers, which will make the dish mushy when thawed and reheated. 
  2. Cover. It’s fine to leave the lasagna in the casserole dish it was baked in. However, if you’ve already eaten a considerable portion of it, it might make more sense to transfer it to another container that will take up less freezer space. Cover the whole container tightly with plastic wrap and then cover the top again with aluminum foil. This extra measure prevents freezer burn.
  3. Freeze. Label with the date and freeze for two to three months. 

How to Freeze Uncooked Lasagna

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If you’re not planning to cook the lasagna right away, all you have to do is build the dish before freezing. There’s only one caveat: You really should use no-boil lasagna noodles. Obviously, you’re not going to get the chance to boil the noodles once they’re buried under layers of cheese and sauce. You could boil them before assembling the rest of the ingredients, but this may make them mushy in the long run. 

Just assemble the dish as you normally would, but instead of immediately baking, follow the above steps and freeze until you’re ready to eat (ideally within three months).

How to Cook Frozen Lasagna

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To reheat frozen lasagna (whether it was baked or unbaked before you froze it):

  1. Transfer the lasagna from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before you plan to cook it. 
  2. Take it out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes while your oven preheats.
  3. Remove the foil and plastic wrap, then recover with foil. Bake at 375 degrees until it’s heated through (about an hour). Remove the foil and let the lasagna continue baking for another 5-10 minutes to brown the top.