Freezing homemade lasagna is a great way to ensure you have a ready-to-eat meal for the evening, in which case all you need to do is turn on the oven or microwave and heat it up for dinner. When you make lasagna and freeze it, you have a supply of healthy homemade food on hand whenever you need it. You can freeze baked or unbaked lasagna, but you'll need to thaw it overnight before cooking and then serving. Start with Step 1 below to learn how to freeze lasagna so that it tastes fresh.
Method 1 of 2: Preparing the Lasagna
Step 1. Make lasagna from the 'freezer-friendly' lasagna recipe
Some ingredients taste better when reheated after freezing. Many lasagna recipes that call for fresh ingredients will do just fine after freezing, whether you freeze them before or after baking. However, if the lasagna recipe uses ingredients that have been frozen and thawed once, then it is better not to freeze and thaw them a second time. This is because it increases the chances of food being contaminated with bacteria.
- For example, don't plan to freeze lasagna made from sausage or ground beef that has been previously frozen. Instead, use fresh meat or don't use it at all.
- Foods that are frozen and thawed more than once also experience a decrease in quality in terms of taste and texture. Choosing a lasagna recipe that uses the freshest ingredients will result in the tastiest taste of lasagna.
- If your favorite lasagna recipe calls for frozen ingredients, the final result of the finished lasagna will usually be less affected if you use a fresh version of the ingredients instead. For example, instead of using frozen mushrooms, just use fresh ones. In most cases, you will also need to defrost.
Step 2. Place the lasagna in a freezerable container
Look for containers labeled freeze-resistant or be sure the container you are using can be frozen and can also be oven-heated. Most glass/ceramic containers or boxes will withstand this use.
- Avoid using aluminum containers for long-term storage of lasagna, or the lasagna will have a slight tin taste sensation.
- If you don't have a container that can be used for both freezing and roasting, you can bake and freeze them in separate containers.
Step 3. Decide whether or not you want to bake the lasagna before freezing it
Lasagna that was baked before freezing will still taste good after reheating. Lasagna that has been made and frozen before baking is also delicious. So use whichever method is most convenient for you, as the final texture and taste of the lasagna will not be affected too much by either method.
- You may decide to freeze the lasagna before baking if you have leftover lasagna after making it in large batches.
- If you prefer to freeze lasagna before baking, consider making two lasagnes the next time you prepare lasagna for dinner. You can bake one and freeze the other to eat later.
Step 4. Cool the lasagna to room temperature
If you want to freeze baked lasagna, make sure the lasagna has completely cooled before you freeze it. Otherwise, the texture may not turn out as good as after baking when you eat it later after freezing. Once the lasagna is finished baking, let it rest for an hour to cool. You can also place it in the refrigerator to cool. Before placing it in the refrigerator, cover the lasagna with two layers of plastic wrap and one layer of aluminum foil.
Step 5. Cover the container with the lasagna with freeze-safe plastic wrap
Do not use aluminum foil as it can affect the taste of the lasagna. Cover the lasagna with several layers of plastic wrap to keep it fresh in the refrigerator. You may want to wrap the entire container, not just the top. That way, you can ensure that there are no gaps in the packaging where air can enter and cause scorching due to freeze/freezer burn.
- Consider cutting the lasagna into individual pieces per ready-to-eat serving, and freezing each in a plastic bag. This way you don't have to heat it all up if you only need lasagna for one or two people. Cut the lasagna into pieces per serving after the lasagna has cooled after baking. This will help the cut be neat and not crumble or fall apart. Place each piece of lasagna in a freezer-safe sealed plastic bag.
- Make sure you wrap it in a wrap or double layer to prevent the lasagna from drying out.
Step 6. Freeze the lasagna
Label the lasagna container the date it started freezing so you can check how long the lasagna has been stored and also so that it doesn't get confused with a later frozen or pre-frozen batch of lasagna. Also label the contents to make it easy to distinguish the lasagna from other frozen foods you store together in the freezer. You can also add a description of the portion or how much lasagna is in the package. Once labeled, place the lasagna in the container in the freezer. Lasagna can be frozen and stored there for up to three months, whether it has a meat or vegetable filling.
Method 2 of 2: Defrosting and Reheating Frozen Lasagna
Step 1. Thaw frozen lasagna overnight in the refrigerator
The night before you intend to eat lasagna for dinner, thaw frozen lasagna overnight by moving it from the freezer section to the regular shelf of your refrigerator. If you try to bake the lasagna while it's still partially frozen, the lasagna will cook unevenly, and that will affect the taste and texture. It also makes it hard for you to tell if the lasagna is done or not. You can thaw whole lasagna or pieces per serving in the refrigerator overnight.
Step 2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF)
This is the standard cooking temperature for lasagna. No matter what recipe you use, this is a good temperature for baking your lasagna to perfection.
Step 3. Prepare the lasagna for grilling
Remove all plastic wrap, and cover the baking sheet or baking tray with aluminum foil. This will prevent the top of the lasagna from getting too brown while the rest of the lasagna is cooking. If you are baking 1 individual lasagna serving, take the piece of lasagna you wish to bake from a plastic storage bag, and place on a suitable baking sheet, then cover with aluminum foil.
Step 4. Bake the lasagna
Place the lasagna in the oven and cook 30 - 40 minutes, or until fully heated through. You may want to test a small piece of lasagna in the center to make sure it is no longer cold. During the last 10 minutes of baking, you can remove the aluminum foil cover to allow heat to reach the top of the lasagna if you want a lasagna with a brown, crunchy outside.
If you're only heating or baking one slice of lasagna, you can do this in the microwave instead of the oven. Place the lasagna pieces on a plate or microwave-safe container, and microwave the lasagna on high for 2 - 3 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Do not use aluminum foil in the microwave
Step 5. Serve the lasagna
Since it's been in the freezer for some time, you may want to give your lasagna a fresh aroma and feel by sprinkling some chopped basil or oregano on top.
- Always label and date frozen foods so you know how long they have been frozen.
- Lasagna is easier to cut into individual serving sizes when cold.
- To heat each piece, place the lasagna in the packet in the microwave on high for 3 minutes. Tear the plastic with a knife to let the steam out. Or place the lasagna on a microwave-safe plate or container and cover it with plastic wrap so the steam can get to work cooking your lasagna.
What you need
- Freeze-resistant or freezer-resistant plastic containers and bags
- Food wrapping plastic
- Aluminum foil
- Labels (to date and identify food ingredients in containers)
- Baking tray or container (oven-resistant/microwave-resistant) and parchment paper for baking lasagna pieces