Here’s how to tell if lasagna is done (frozen or homemade) plus tips for leftovers and delicious lasagna recipes you’ll love!
There are few things more comforting than a delicious lasagna for dinner!
Lasagna is cheesy, flavorful, baked, and bubbling. And while it does have a long cooking time, it’s really easy to make.
You can enjoy store-bought and homemade lasagna as a weeknight dinner or a special meal for Sunday night.
But, it’s not always easy to tell when lasagna is done.
And no one wants to sink their teeth into a stack of cold noodles and sauce!
Here’s how to tell if Lasagna is done, plus other helpful tips for making the perfect lasagna!
Before we detail how to tell if lasagna is done, here’s some information on what lasagna is, popular lasagna ingredients, and smart tips from chefs.
Lasagna is a baked and layered Italian pasta dish that originated in the 14th century.
Traditional lasagna features wide and flat lasagna noodles, meat sauce, and mozzarella cheese. But, there are plenty of other creative ways to make lasagna.
Here are some yummy examples:
- Lasagna with shredded chicken, spinach, white sauce, and parmesan cheese
- Vegetarian lasagna
- Lasagna with ground beef, tomato sauce, and cottage cheese.
- Butternut squash lasagna with fresh herbs and Italian sausage
You can make lasagna sheets out of vegetables or potatoes or use traditional boiled noodles. You can also use “oven-ready” noodles that don’t require boiling.
However you make your lasagna, chefs recommend a minimum of three layers.
And it’s best to use a deep baking dish or lasagna pan so you can easily fit all those tasty ingredients!
How long do you cook lasagna?
The amount of time it takes to properly cook your lasagna will depend on a few factors: the number of layers in your lasagna, the type of oven you use (a regular oven or convection oven), and your ingredients.
And keep in mind that ovens bake at different temperatures.
One person’s 350°F oven, may not be the exact same temperature when you compare it to a 350°F oven in another home.
If you know your oven cooks hot or cold, make adjustments accordingly.
Once you make your recipe once, you’ll be able to nail down the proper bake time and the best temperature for that particular dish.
In general, you should bake homemade lasagna for 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can use the higher temperature if you’re running short on time.
If your lasagna has eggs in the recipe, the proper temperature will be lower. Cook your lasagna for an hour at a lower temperature of 325°F, then crank the oven at the end to get some color on the top.
RELATED: 20 Easy Ways to Substitute for Egg in Lasagna
How To Tell If Lasagna Is Done
There are a few different ways to tell if lasagna is done.
- First, you can check the center of the lasagna with a toothpick or fork. Insert the toothpick or fork into the middle of the lasagna, down through each of the layers, and then pull it back out. If the toothpick or fork comes away clean, then it’s done.
- Because the individual ingredients in the lasagna are already cooked, it only needs to bake until the cheese melts and the entire dish warms through. If the top layer of lasagna is golden brown, this is usually a good sign that it’s ready to eat.
- Another good sign that the lasagna is done is when the sauce starts to bubble around the edges of the pan. This indicates a properly elevated internal temperature.
- One of the best methods to check your lasagna is with a food thermometer. Stick your thermometer into the center of the lasagna to measure the temperature. The ideal temperature will be between 165°F and 175°F.
- Lastly, you can cut a small piece and give it a try!
More Cooking Tips
Now that we’ve covered how to tell if lasagna is done, here are some other tips to help you create the perfect homemade lasagna.
Always cover the lasagna with aluminum foil so the dish bakes evenly. Then, remove the aluminum foil for the last 10 minutes so the top gets melted and browned.
Your lasagna may produce excess liquid during the cooking process so it’s important to let the lasagna rest for at least 10 minutes before serving to help it reconstitute.
For best results, make sure you’re not using too much sauce. About 1/4 cup per layer for a 9″x13″ pan is PLENTY.
If your lasagna is still watery after letting it rest, you may need to adjust your recipe. Here are some common reasons to look out for:
- Over layering
- Over filling
- Too much sauce
- Not draining excess fat from meat filling
- Wet noodles (Don’t pull your noodles directly from the boiling water. Let them drain and dry before adding them to the pan).
- Wet ricotta (You can squeeze excess moisture out using a kitchen towel, or drain the ricotta with a sieve).
- Vegetables that give off moisture as they cook
- Inaccurate measuring
- Not cooling lasagna enough before slicing
Tips for Leftovers
After your lasagna is done, you may have some leftovers. Here are some tips to help you get the most use from your leftovers without getting sick!
How long can it sit out?
Leftover lasagna should sit at room temperature for no longer than 2 hours. After that time, cooked foods are susceptible to rapid and harmful bacteria growth.
Store your lasagna in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as possible.
And remember, the danger zone for foods is between 40°F and 140°F.
How To Store Leftovers
Store leftover lasagna in a shallow airtight container.
Or wrap your lasagna pan tightly with plastic wrap and/or aluminum foil.
You can also freeze leftover lasagna using the same methods.
Just make sure the lasagna is completely cool before freezing!
How long do leftovers last?
Leftover lasagna is best when you enjoy it the next day. But, you can safely eat refrigerated leftovers for up to 5 days.
And leftover frozen lasagna is good for about 3 months.
How To Reheat Leftovers
From the Refrigerator
The best way to reheat leftover lasagna is in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Place the lasagna in a foil-topped tray or baking dish and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the lasagna is hot all the way through and the sauce is bubbling at the edges.
You can remove the foil for the last few minutes of cooking to make sure the top browns.
Let stand for at least 10 minutes, and serve!
Frozen lasagna will take twice as long to reheat, and you’ll need to use a higher temperature.
Add frozen lasagna, covered with foil, to a preheated oven at 375°F.
Bake for about 1 hour, remove the foil and cook for another 10 minutes.
Let stand for at least 10 minutes, and serve!
How To Tell When Lasagna Has Gone Bad
It’s important to check leftover food for signs of spoilage before eating. If you notice any of the following signs, it’s best to throw your lasagna away.
- Change in color
- Excess moisture
- Slimy texture
- Rancid or sour odor
- An off taste
Yes! Overcooked lasagna will become dry, and the noodles may brown around the edges and turn crispy.
Homemade lasagna needs to cook at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. But, you can start checking for doneness around 35-45 minutes as ovens vary.
Lasagna is done when it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees.
You can also check for doneness by inserting a toothpick or fork into the center of your lasagna. If it comes away clean, it’s ready to eat.
Your lasagna may also be ready if the top layer of the lasagna is golden brown, the sauce bubbles up around the edges of the pan, or you taste test a small portion of the lasagna and it is warm all the way through.
Lasagna should rest for at least 10 minutes and up to 20 minutes before serving.
If your lasagna comes out watery, you may need to let it rest longer before serving (at least 10 minutes).
If it’s still runny, carefully drain any excess liquid from your lasagna pan. Then re-bake the lasagna for 10 minutes in the oven.
Don’t cover the lasagna with aluminum foil. This will trap moisture and keep your lasagna from thickening up!
If you can, remove the top layer of cheese before adding it back to the oven. This will prevent the cheese from burning and allow more moisture to evaporate.
Cook the lasagna for 7 minutes and add your cheese layer back on. Sprinkle some extra cheese on top and cook until the new cheese melts and browns.
Let the lasagna rest for at least 10 minutes and serve.
If you don’t have a food thermometer for cooking lasagna or baking, you can use the toothpick method.
Stick a toothpick (or fork) into the center of your dish. If it comes out clean, it’s done!
You can also sample a small piece of the dish to test for doneness.
Yummy Recipes to Try
Here are some easy and delicious lasagna recipes we know you’ll love!
They’re perfect for a weeknight meal and kid-friendly, too!
Elevated Hamburger Helper Lasagna (One Pot)
This elevated Hamburger Helper Lasagna combines the noodles from the familiar boxed dinner with a homemade meat sauce and 2 different kinds of cheese. It’s a delicious one pot lasagna meal that’s so easy to throw together!
Best Ever Lasagna Made With Cottage Cheese
This classic Italian Lasagna made with Cottage Cheese is as delicious as it is easy to make! Featuring three different kinds of cheese and a savory red meat sauce, this lasagna recipe is scrumptious.
This healthy Turkey Lasagna Soup recipe features browned ground turkey, tender noodles, a flavorful broth, and a little cheese. It’s everything you love about traditional lasagna without all of the calories!
Healthy and Delicious Lasagna Zucchini Boats
Lasagna Zucchini Boats are a low-carb version of the traditional pasta dish that you can make with hollowed-out zucchini instead of lasagna noodles. While this recipe may be healthy, it’s also incredibly delicious!
I hope you found some helpful lasagna tips and new recipes to try. If you make a recipe, be sure to take a picture and tag me on Instagram with @ashcroftfamilytable and use the hashtag #ashcroftfamilytable!
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