I was brainstorming freezer-friendly meals for a friend the other day. She had a baby recently, and is heading back to work soon. To ease the transition, our friends and I are gifting her several homemade freezer meals that she can simply reheat when she and her husband get home from work. I claimed lasagna almost immediately, as I know it freezes beautifully.
And let’s be honest, reheated lasagna often tastes better than freshly-baked lasagna anyways (there’s actually a lot of food science behind this, which was summarized nicely in an interview on Forbes in 2011).
Plus, my favorite bolognese recipe makes enough sauce to fill two lasagnas. So I was able to make one lasagna for Dan and I to eat immediately, and another to freeze for our friends. That’s a win in my book!
You have two container options for freezing your lasagnas:
1. Use a disposable foil lasagna pan. Find them at the grocery store (often in the baking aisle) for $2-3.
2. Line a glass or metal 9” x 13” pan with aluminum foil, allowing several inches of foil to hang over the edges. Wrap the extra foil over the top of the lasagna and stick in the freezer. When the lasagna is frozen through, you can just lift out the foil and use your pan for something else.
I opted for a disposable pan for the lasagna. It feels much sturdier to me, especially if you don’t have a flat surface available in your freezer. It also makes the reheating a little easier. But really, either should work.
Here’s how to freeze lasagna:
- Lightly (very lightly!) grease the bottom and sides of your pan/aluminum foil.
- Assemble the lasagna per usual.
- Place the pan on a cookie sheet and slide into the freezer. If you are using a glass pan, you may not need a cookie sheet. It is more important for the disposable foil pans, as it will create a flat surface so that your lasagna doesn’t freeze in a bent pan.
- For disposable pans: cover the top of the pan with aluminum foil. For a pan lined with foil, fold the foil over the top of the lasagna. Pinch the edges to seal the foil closed.
- Label the lasagna. Don’t forget to include the date on which it was assembled, as well as reheating instructions (see below)! Freezer tape or a freezer tape + notecard combo usually works well.
- Freeze overnight. If you used a pan lined with foil, you can now lift the foil out and put the pan back into your kitchen rotation.
- To reheat the lasagna, defrost in the refrigerator overnight. If you have the lasagna in a foil packet (instead of a disposable pan), transfer the lasagna to a 9” x 13” pan and cover with foil before defrosting. If you used a disposable pan, just stick the entire thing in the refrigerator.
- Bake as instructed in the original recipe (though if the lasagna still feels fairly frozen when it goes into the oven, you may need to add 10-15 minutes to the baking time). Don’t forget to remove the labels first!