I know that moment when you forget to put your leftover food in the fridge overnight, and you wake up in the morning having a shock that your food is still on the kitchen countertop.
This can happen with lasagna as well. Sometimes you think that it is still hot enough and is not safe to put it in the fridge for the moment, and you get distracted, so your lasagna sits there overnight.
It is always a hard decision to throw away food. It is hard to throw away store-bought lasagna, but it is way harder to throw away a lasagna that you spent time and effort cooking.
So for this situation, I decided to do some research and write an article that will help you decide what to do with your leftover lasagna.
Can you leave lasagna out overnight?
No, you should not leave lasagna out overnight because most probably that means that it is in the danger zone for bacteria to multiply. The danger zone for bacteria to multiply is between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and most of the cooked food should not be exposed to those temperatures more than 2 hours before refrigeration.
If the lasagna was in a sealed container, at least you removed the risk from the outside factors, but the bacteria from inside can still ruin your food since the temperature will allow them to multiply faster, so even in this case, I would not eat it.
The only case you are safe to eat it is if you left lasagna in a sealed container in a cooler place in the room. Let’s say that your window is open, outside is cold enough, and you put lasagna on the window sill. I highly doubt that this is the case, but there should be more situations like this that I can’t think about for the moment.
What is lasagna made of ?
It is essential to know your lasagna ingredients to know if you have fewer or higher chances to get an ok to eat lasagna if you forgot it out overnight.
Lasagna is made in different ways, but you usually need a wide flat sheet of pasta to create layers. You fill those with ragu which is made from ground meat and tomato sauce and vegetables and cheeses, which can vary depending on what taste you want.
Also, you can feel free to add a few seasonings and spices like oregano, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, and so on.
Since you have a lot of wet ingredients that are prone to bacteria should be an alarm that you need to store lasagna properly. You also have plenty of cheese and meat in a traditional lasagna, which are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
Read Also:Can You Substitute Egg In Lasagna?
How to know if lasagna has gone bad?
Before you think of reheating lasagna stored in the fridge, you should check a few things.
First, you need to check if the pasta layers are dried. This signifies that your lasagna is not fresh and probably not safe to eat, because it’s been stored for so long it has started to dry.
Second, you have to smell your lasagna since the tomato and cheese will get sour if they go bad.
Lastly, you have to check if there is any visual sign that your lasagna is bad. Most likely, if it is bad, you will see mold spots or other weird spots due to its wet ingredients.
How to store lasagna?
You can store your lasagna in the fridge if you want to eat it in the next few days. It is not recommended to keep lasagna in the fridge for more than 3 days. Still, I will recommend eating it in the next two days to be on the safe side since the ingredients you use for lasagna can differ from other people who state that lasagna is good even after five days.
You can also freeze your lasagna if you don’t plan to eat it in the coming days. You should know that most likely it will not be as tasty as a fresh one, but if you store it properly, it can be good enough.
There are a few things to know before you freeze lasagna. Frozen lasagna can last up to three months. I highly recommend that you label your lasagna with the date you put it in the freezer because there are big chances you will forget the exact date when you did this.
You should let lasagna be completely cool before putting it in the freezer, and make sure you wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and foil. This way, you prevent air from reaching your lasagna and ruining your storage process. Also, you keep the smell from other food to get to your lasagna.
Can you reheat lasagna multiple times?
You can reheat lasagna multiple times because most bacteria will be killed when you reheat the lasagna, but you will easily ruin the texture.
But it depends a lot on how much time has passed after the last reheat and also how you stored it in the meantime.
For example, if you reheat lasagna in the morning, you let it cool, put it in the fridge, and you want to reheat it again in the evening, most probably you should be fine.
But if you want to do the same thing, but this time you forget to put it in the fridge, your lasagna is probably not good anymore.
Also, as I said before, don’t keep your lasagna more than 3 days in the fridge.
Keep in mind that your lasagna quality will be lower with each reheat, so even if it is possible in the perfect circumstances to reheat lasagna multiple times, it will be safer and better if you reheat it only once.
If you have a bigger lasagna, make sure you reheat only as much as you can eat. Don’t reheat too much lasagna at once, it’s better to cut as much as you need, transfer it to a clean plate that is safe to use in the microwave or oven, and then reheat it.
In some situations, your lasagna can still be safe to eat even if you forgot it outside overnight. But most likely, it is not so. In my opinion, it is not worth the risk of finding out the hard way, which can mean food poisoning.
To be on the safe side, throw it away, and next time, keep in mind to put it in the fridge once it is completely cool and don’t eat it if it has been in the fridge for more than 3 days.
I hope everything is clear now and you are safe.