Do’s and don’ts of freezing lasagna
When it comes to storing this most nutritious dish, there’s lots to learn about freezing lasagna.
• How long you can freeze it?
• What should you store it in?
• Should you cook it before freezing?
… and much more.
This quick guide should help you put any such questions out of their misery.
(Free Download: Right-click this Freezing Lasagna Guide and choose Save file/link as to save this page's advice to your PC.)
Now let’s dive right in…
Situation 1: You’ve made too much
You’ve followed the recipe, enjoyed your feast, and there’s still leftover food…
DO - Freeze the remaining food. It will keep fine for a month or two, whether meat-filled or vegetarian.
(Tip - you can store a ton of lasagna and serious amounts of fresh ingredients in a side by side fridge freezer).
DON’T - freeze your leftovers if any ingredients have been frozen and defrosted more than once before. This increases the chances of bacteria creeping in, and you don’t want that!
Note: Some cooks say to avoid freezing lasagna if any of its ingredients have been frozen and defrosted even once before, but my wife and I have never suffered because of that.
DON’T - Freeze or store your lasagna (or other pasta meals) directly in aluminium (tin) foil.
This suggestion is not due to the much-rumoured health dangers of metal foil.
Instead it’s because of the way the foil can sometimes make your food taste, well… like metal!
The idea of freezing the food is so that you can enjoy it again after all…
Situation 2: Making double
If you have the ingredients and energy to spare, making double what you need – by preparing and/or cooking 2 batches at once – makes lots of sense. That way you guarantee a second tasty dinnner in the very near future with the minimum of work.
There are two ways to do this:
• Prepare and cook two batches, then just freeze the second, or…
• Prepare two batches and immediately freeze one for later (only cooking the one you’ll eat now)
When cooking two batches…
DO - Cook these as normal, then let the second lasagna cool down. Next either:
• Pop this second oven dish directly in the freezer
• Or… spatula out the lasagna (carefully!) and freeze it in cling film (transparent film), Ziploc freezer bags or Tupperware (my favourite). Or even aluminium foil if that’s all you have.
DO – also consider buying and using greaseproof ‘baking paper’.
Just line your lasagna dish with this first, build your lasagna, cook it as normal, then let it cool down. Then just lift out the paper, pop the food in bags/Tupperware and you can re-use the dish.
Cooking one batch, freezing the other
DO - If preparing and immediately freezing your extra lasagna (to cook later), you can build it in the dish exactly as normal. The drawback to this approach is that this oven dish goes ‘out of circulation’.
Next time: Defrosting, Reheating & Eating it..
DON’T - Reheat your lasagna at full cooking temperature when it’s completely frozen, as this makes it difficult to gauge when it is no longer frozen and/or cooked.
DO - Defrost it first (naturally or in the microwave), then just add a little extra cooking time (5 minutes say) if the lasagna is still chilled when you come to put it in the oven.
DO - Check that your lasagna is cooked right the way through before serving… just stick in a cocktail stick/toothpick and if it plunges easily through the layers and comes out warm, your meal is ready!
Still got questions?
Is your freezing lasagna query not answered above?
If so, you should find your answer on one of these pages:
• Italian Lasagna FAQ (the Lite version)
• Italian Lasagna Q&As (seriously comprehensive - use the Search function!)
If you're still stumped, just submit your lasagna question and I'll get back to you!
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