A favorite meal of Garfield and many others, lasagna is perfect for any occasion, be it a simple dinner or a birthday gathering. But what to do if you’ve got leftovers?
The answer is to freeze it. Lasagna can be frozen either before or after baking. In this article, we’ll go over each step so that you can freeze lasagna the right way.
How Can I Freeze Lasagna?
One way you could freeze leftover lasagna is to do it in single-serving slices. When it comes to flavor or texture, it’s very unlikely you’ll notice the difference between a lasagna that was baked prior to freezing and the one that wasn’t. So when it comes to choosing between them, it’s really up to you.
However, there’s one thing you shouldn’t do, and that’s freezing a lasagna that’s made with ingredients that were previously frozen. There are two reasons for that. The first one is because freezing breaks down the tissue, causing food to become mushy and less flavorful. The second one is because any food that reached above 41 degrees Fahrenheit when thawed is at risk of growing bacteria.
But if you’re set on using frozen ingredients, make sure they weren’t frozen and thawed before. What’s more, you should let them thaw in the fridge, so that there’s no suitable environment for bacteria to grow. Finally, you’ll have to bake your lasagna all the way before you freeze it.
It goes without saying that the lasagna should be let to cool down at room temperature or inside the fridge. That way, you’re preserving the quality of the ingredients of the dish you’re about to freeze.
And if you want to freeze lasagna into single servings, chilling it in the fridge will allow it to be solid enough so that slicing is a piece of cake. As for storing, you can use either plastic wrap or bags. In both cases, you should remove as much air as possible from the packaging.
The reason we want a lasagna wrapped well is to prevent the possibility of freezer burns. While it won’t affect the safety of your frozen lasagna, freezer burn will kill its flavor and dry it out.
If you want to freeze your lasagna as a whole, you don’t have to do it with the pan. Instead, line the pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper prior to baking. Once it’s done and cold, use the wrapping to remove the dish from the pan while still keeping its shape. Then, put it in a freezer-safe container and leave it for up to three months in the freezer.
How Can I Thaw And Reheat Frozen Lasagna?
Are you craving lasagna right now? Here’s how you can thaw and reheat frozen lasagna the right way.
Defrosting Frozen Lasagna
The first thing you should do when you take the lasagna out of the freezer is to let it thaw completely. If you don’t, it won’t cook or reheat properly and evenly. Ideally, this should be done in a fridge, so that there’s no possibility of bacterial growth. For single-serving slices, several hours should do the trick. As for the whole dish, it’s best to leave it overnight to thaw slowly.
If you have a microwave, you can also use it to thaw this dish. The same can be done by putting it into a cold oven, then letting it warm up with lasagna inside. However, both of these methods can somewhat affect the taste and texture of lasagna, so they should be done only as a last resort.
Reheating Defrosted Lasagna
Once completely thawed, it’s time to warm up the lasagna before eating it. When heating up the whole dish, you should cover it with aluminum foil before putting it into the oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, for about half an hour. The reason we add foil is to prevent lasagna from becoming brown too soon. You can remove the foil about 10 minutes before the baking ends, to get that perfect brown shade.
Reheating is a bit easier if you’ve frozen the dish into individual slices. In this case, you can use the microwave. Just make sure it goes from the fridge straight to the microwave, to prevent bacteria from growing.
Lasagna is one of those dishes that taste amazing even when defrosted. So if you have leftovers, go ahead and freeze them for up to three months.