How to Freeze Lasagna the Right Way

Learn how to freeze lasagna so it reheats just as good as when it's freshly baked.

As delicious as a slice of homemade lasagna is, making it every time a craving hits can definitely be a chore. Between making the sauce and cheesy filling, boiling noodles, assembling it all and baking, sometimes I’m too tired to actually enjoy my labor of love.

So, to make life a little easier, and honestly, so I always have some lasagna at my beck and call, I’ve taken to keeping a prepared lasagna in my freezer. Usually, this means preparing and assembling two lasagnas at once (one to be enjoyed right away, the other to be frozen) but freezing can also be a great make-ahead option for a single lasagna.

If you want to learn how to freeze lasagna, keep reading to get the step-by-step instructions. Don’t have a go-to lasagna? Check out this lasagna recipe that’s been viewed by over 5,000 people a day.

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How to freeze lasagna

For the best results, freeze lasagna after it has been assembled but before it’s been baked. This will help maintain the lasagna’s cheese and noodle texture and prevent it from getting soggy. If you’ve already baked your lasagna, don’t worry; it can still be frozen! Just know the texture might be a little different than freshly baked. Don’t miss these other foods you didn’t know you could freeze, either.

Also, consider the dish you’re going to assemble and freeze your lasagna in. A disposable pan (Renolds sells a pack of three for $13) is a great choice since you can toss it after it’s used (nothing to clean!) and you’ll still have access to your pans and casserole dishes. If you plan on using a glass or ceramic dish, double-check that it has been tempered, or else it can crack in the freezer.

Step 1: Cool it Down

Assemble your favorite lasagna recipe, then let it cool completely. Popping a hot lasagna to your freezer can cause other items in your freezer to start to defrost, which can affect their taste and texture, or cause bacteria to develop. Plus, freezing a hot lasagna can cause ice crystals to form throughout, leading to freezer burn and a mushy reheated lasagna. Trust us, taking the extra time to cool the lasagna is definitely worth it.

Step 2: Wrap it Up

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Once your lasagna has cooled, you’ll want to wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and foil. This will keep air from reaching your lasagna, preventing freezer burn and preserving its flavor and texture. To do so, first wrap the entire lasagna, pan included, in plastic wrap. Try to get the plastic wrap as close to the lasagna surface as you can to block out air. Then, cover the top of the wrapped lasagna with a piece of foil to secure it. Learn the best ways to keep food fresh in the freezer with these tricks.

If you’re freezing a baked lasagna, you can also break it up into individual servings first. Transfer the slices of lasagna into freezer-safe food containers or wrap the slices first in plastic wrap and then in foil, and store them in a freezer storage bag, like these Ziplock bags.

Step 3: Label it

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Before you put your lasagna in the freezer, label it! We like to write the recipe name, best-by date and reheat instructions on bright masking tape and place them on the foil. You can write directly on the foil, just make sure you don’t puncture it while writing.

Step 4: Freeze it

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Store a full or portioned lasagna in the freezer for up to three months. Ensure that your freezer maintains 0° with a freezer thermometer, like this one from LinkDm.

Note: If you’re using a glass or ceramic dish, place the room temperature lasagna in the refrigerator for a few hours before freezing, until it reaches below 40°. Too much of a temperature change too quickly can cause these dishes to break, and refrigeration helps bridge the difference.

How to reheat frozen lasagna

When you’re ready to use your frozen lasagna, transfer it to the refrigerator and let it defrost overnight. Then, take it out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes while your oven preheats to 375°.

Remove the lasagna’s freezer wrappings, cover the top with new foil and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until heated through (a thermometer inserted in the center should read 165°). Remove the foil and bake the lasagna for 10 more minutes or so to brown the top. Pull the lasagna from the oven and let it sit for another 10 minutes before slicing into it.

Note: To reheat a previously baked lasagna, follow the same instructions as listed above.

To reheat individual portions, defrost and bring to room temperature as instructed as above. Preheat your oven to 350°, then bake one portion in an oven-safe dish for 30 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the center reads 165°.

Serve lasagna with additional sauce, cheese, and fresh herbs for a dinner that’s sure to hit the spot. Have leftovers? Here’s how to store every type of leftover food in your freezer.

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Originally Published on Taste of Home