Ah lasagna ! The most beautiful pasta type there is, delicious and creamy and oh so layered. It’s a bit of a hassle to make, but entirely worth the effort. And when you do make some great lasagna, you somehow end up with leftovers. So, what do you do ?
Can you reheat lasagna ? If yes, is there a way to preserve the texture it had when freshly made ? Can you eat the leftover lasagna cold ? All this and more, coming right up. This dish is so delicious it’d be a waste to not treat it properly the next day.
Can you reheat lasagna ?
Yes, you can reheat lasagna and your best bet is to use the oven on a medium setting. The point is that leftover lasagna will absorb a lot of the extra moisture found in the sauces and fillings you’ve added. Left overnight the pasta sheets will thicken and dry out a little. So your reheated lasagna may not end up exactly the same, but we can get it close.
You need patience, and a good understanding of what you can achieve with leftover pasta of any kind. SO let’s take a look at the first and best method of reheating lasagna.
1. Reheat lasagna in the oven or toaster oven
You can reheat lasagna in the oven, or the toaster oven if you have a single serving to reheat. The key is to use a medium-low heat, so the entire dish can heat through and get bubbly. You may think that using high heat from the get-go is a good idea, but you end up with crispy edges and a warm interior, and for a lasagna that’s not the point.
Read also: Can You Reheat Onion Rings ?
So bring your lasagna up to room temperature before putting it in the oven. Or, put the lasagna in an oven-safe plate (with raised edges if possible) and start the oven with the lasagna inside.
Once the oven has reached your medium-low setting, let it bake for about 15-20 minutes. Add 5 extra minutes for each extra portion of lasagna if it’s a lot of leftovers.
Be sure to add a bit of aluminum foil on top, loosely. This is especially important if you’re using a gas oven, as it will dry out the lasagna edges significantly.
As the lasagna heats up, you may notice the sauces becoming a bit runny. They won’t be as moist as they were originally, since a good portion of that moisture is now in the pasta sheets.
If you want the top of the lasagna to be bubbly, remove the foil in the last 5 minutes and let it crisp up a little.
2. Reheat in the microwave on medium-low
Another option is to use the microwave, but you will end up with a slightly soggy lasagna. Again, be sure to use medium-low heat and a microwave-safe bowl on top, to trap moisture. Otherwise you end up with a randomly crispy and soggy lasagna.
In the microwave this should be a pretty quick affair, but we still don’t recommend using high heat. It’s better to wait a few extra minutes and get a nice, even heating than to get a messy, bubbly lasagna in 2 minutes that won’t have any texture. It may take up to 10 minutes, but it’s well worth it.
Can you reheat lasagna without drying it out ?
Yes, you can reheat lasagna without drying it out if you provide a layer of protection such as an aluminum foil in the oven. The point is to not fully cover the lasagna, it needs to be a loose covering. Most of the moisture will be trapped, and keep your lasagna reasonably moist.
Still, you have to understand the way pasta sheets work. They absorb moisture, which is why you add so much sauce when you first cook the lasagna. And there is no real limit to how much moisture those sheets can absorb.
So if you cooked your lasagna perfectly, then let it tis in the fridge, most of the moisture in the sauce will be in the pasta sheets. It will be a little gummy and dry, yes, but that’s simply how pasta works. You can’t take a lasagna apart and keep the sauces separate after cooking, so we’ve got to work with what we have.
Can lasagna be prepared the night before ?
Yes, you can cook lasagna the night before and then reheat it in the oven the next day. Or, you can assemble your raw lasagna and leave it in the fridge overnight.
Keep in mind that the raw pasta sheets will absorb some of the moisture in the sauces and meat. This means it will take a little less time to cook than a regular lasagna. Do not add extra liquid, simply bake the lasagna as you would normally, with the amount of sauce it normally requires. It should turn out fine.
How do you store cooked lasagna ?
Your cooked lasagna is probably going to end up in the fridge, in the pan you’ve already baked it in. So you can do two things. First, you can use plastic wrap to seal it, make sure it’s a double wrap. But this will not work when you reheat it in the oven the next day, so be sure to take it off before you pop it in the oven.
You second option is to cover it with aluminum foil, as tightly as you can. It should keep well enough in the fridge overnight. Then, the next day simply poke a few holes into the aluminum or undo the edges a little, just to let a tiny bit of moisture escape. If you’re reheating i the microwave remove the foil completely !
Your lasagna can keep for up to 3 days after cooking, but we advise eating it within the first 24 hours. It’s not really taste thig, but more of a textural problem. You see, the more you let pasta sit the more moisture it will absorb. And 3 day old lasagna will dry out and get rubbery real fast.
Can you eat cold lasagna ?
Yes, you can eat cold lasagna if you’re fine with the texture and temperature of it. There is no health recommendation that says lasagna should always be hot. But it’s always wise to reheat your leftovers, to make sure you kill off any lingering bacteria. And it simply tastes better, but that could be out opinion and you may just like your lasagna cold.
Read Also: Can You Reheat Nachos ?
Why does lasagna taste better the next day ?
Lasagna, like most other foods, has an array of spices, herbs, and flavors that mingle together when it cooks. And like most foods, it tastes better the more those flavors get to mix. Meaning a second-day lasagna has had more chance to mix its flavors than fresh lasagna. This is especially true for foods that have sauces in them.
It’s one of the reasons you should normally let the lasagna sit for about 30 minutes before serving. This way it gets a chance for the flavors to mix a bit more, and it’s not overly hot too. Do not underestimate how hot a lasagna is between all those layers ! It was bubbling when you got it out of the oven, give it some time otherwise you’ll burn your tongue and then miss out completely.
So your leftover lasagna may not have the best texture, but it will definitely have a better flavor. We’ve talked so much about this we might just make a batch ourselves !