Precisely How to Freeze Lasagna

Enjoy one now and freeze a second one for later — your future self will thank you.

February 03, 2023
Frozen ready meals. Man's hands are taking frozen lasagna from the freezer of the fridge. Concept of ready made frozen dishes and saving time on cooking food.

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Frozen ready meals. Man's hands are taking frozen lasagna from the freezer of the fridge. Concept of ready made frozen dishes and saving time on cooking food.

Photo by: Qwart/Getty Images

Qwart/Getty Images

By Grace Elkus for Food Network Kitchen

Grace is a contributing writer at Food Network.

Lasagna will forever top our list of our favorite foods, but let’s face it: making one from scratch requires some serious time and effort. That's why we always freeze a second one for later, rewarding us with bubbly, cheesy goodness without any extra prep. Want to get in on the make-ahead action? Here’s everything you need to know, from the best containers for freezing to how to reheat with ease.

Authentic Italian Meat Lasagna with Ceaser Salad and Foccacia Bread  -Photographed on Hasselblad H3D2-39mb Camera

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Authentic Italian Meat Lasagna with Ceaser Salad and Foccacia Bread -Photographed on Hasselblad H3D2-39mb Camera

Photo by: LauriPatterson/Getty Images

LauriPatterson/Getty Images

Can You Freeze Lasagna?

Yes! Lasagna freezes and reheats beautifully, and doubling up requires minimal extra effort. Plus, because the flavors are given more time to come together, reheated lasagna actually tastes better than a slice fresh out of the oven. The layers of sauce prevent the lasagna from drying out when it’s reheated.

You can take one of two approaches when it comes to freezing lasagna: assemble and freeze it unbaked, or bake the lasagna and then freeze it. Either way, plan on baking frozen lasagna within three months (any longer, and the quality starts to deteriorate).

Man's hands making layers of lasagna in glass tray, top view. Cooking at home, traditional italian dish

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Man's hands making layers of lasagna in glass tray, top view. Cooking at home, traditional italian dish

Photo by: Chiociolla//Getty Images

Chiociolla//Getty Images

How to Freeze Unbaked Lasagna

If you're gifting lasagna to a friend, unbaked is the way to go: it will feel less like you're giving them leftovers. Just be sure to cook any meat before assembling and freezing the casserole.

Step 1: Assemble the Lasagna

Fully assemble the lasagna according to your recipe’s instructions.

Step 2: Wrap and Freeze

Wrap the pan tightly with heavy-duty foil, label and date the foil and freeze the lasagna for up to 3 months.

Step 3: Bake

Bake the foil-covered pan at 350 F for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove the foil and continue baking until hot, bubbly and the internal temperature reaches 165 F, about 30 minutes more.

Home made freshness beef lasagna with fine chopped parsley

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Home made freshness beef lasagna with fine chopped parsley

Photo by: haoliang/Getty Images

haoliang/Getty Images

How to Freeze Baked Lasagna

If you want to cut down on oven time the day you're serving the lasagna, baking it first is the better route for you.

Step 1: Assemble and Bake Lasagna

Assemble and bake the lasagna according to your recipe’s instructions.

Step 2: Let Lasagna Cool Completely

Let the lasagna cool completely, which will both prevent ice crystals from forming and keep the other foods in your freezer from thawing.

Step 3: Wrap and Freeze

Wrap the pan tightly with heavy-duty foil, label and date the foil and freeze the lasagna for up to 3 months.

Step 4: Bake

Bake the foil-covered pan at 350 F until it's hot all the way through, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

What’s the Best Container for Freezing Lasagna?

To free up freezer space (and keep your favorite casserole dish in rotation), the best container for freezing lasagna is actually no container at all. Instead, line your casserole dish with parchment paper or foil, letting the ends overhang. Assemble and freeze the lasagna (or assemble, bake, then freeze), then use the parchment or foil “handles” to lift out the frozen lasagna. Wrap it in several layers of plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil, then return to the freezer. Single slices can be wrapped individually in a double layer of foil.

Disposable aluminum pans are also a great option, as are aluminum foil loaf pans, which take up less room in the freezer. If taking this approach, place the pan(s) on a baking sheet for support, then remove the pan(s) once the lasagna's frozen solid. Avoid freezing glass dishes (unless they're labeled freezer-safe), which are prone to shattering when exposed to extreme temperature changes.

How to Bake Lasagna from Frozen

As a general rule of thumb, a frozen unbaked lasagna will take double the amount of time to bake as the initial recipe states. A frozen baked lasagna will take about one-and-a-half times longer than the original bake time to heat through (expect up to 1 1/2 hours for a 9-by-13-inch frozen meat lasagna).

To speed things up, you can thaw the frozen lasagna in the refrigerator overnight, then bring it to room temperature for about 30 minutes as the oven preheats. Bake unbaked lasagnas according to recipe instructions, and simply reheat pre-baked lasagnas in a 350 F oven until heated through, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Just remember to remove any plastic wrap beforehand!

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