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No Cook Lasagna Noodles

I am getting ready to cook for 60 men at a church function next weekend and I am making Lasagna as the main dish. Has anyone tried making it with the no cook noodle? I would love to try it simply as a time saver. Is there a significant difference between cook & no cook as far as taste & texture?Thanks

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  1. I've used the no boil lasagna many times and they'rea great timesaver. I run the noodles under cold water before layering. This assures that they'll cook properly without any dry spots.

    1. Yes -- they are great (no one has ever commented on a differece in taste or texture, and I certainly can't tell a difference). They save so much time... when I discovered these a few years ago, I went on a lasagna-making spree!

      Be sure every noodle is covered with cheese and/or sauce. Spread your filling all the way to the edges of each noodle. Otherwise th part of the noodle that is exposed will not soften up, and you'll have a crunchy surprise around the edges of your lasagna.

      Good luck!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Raeviola

        Thanks for the quick reply - I have another question - do I need to use more sauce in the layers to make up for the pasta absorbing moisture in order to cook? or is the moisture it absorbs insignificant?

        1. re: bigbob

          You can even use regular lasagna noodles. I use Barilla lasagna noodles without any problems. Make sure you have a good layer of sauce on the bottom. Cook covered and finish uncovered to allow top to brown. By covering it you will have enough moisture to cook the noodles without a problem. Again you don't have to buy no boil noodles and you don't have to moisten them first. It works

          1. re: bigbob

            I do add a little more sauce with no boil lasagne sheets.

            1. re: grapevine

              Yep, you can use regular lasagne noodles. Like scuba-scooby-doo says.

        2. I grew up in an Italian town in NJ. My mother got someone's recipe for lasagna and would make it without cooking the noodles. That was long ago, before this type of noodle was made. I always liked her lasagna. In fact, it was one of the only things she made that I did like. She wasn't much of a cook.

          I've made lasagna both ways. Working with the wet noodles can be difficult. They are very slippery. I also like the drier texture without cooking the noodles.

          1 Reply
          1. re: puppymomma

            Did your mother make her lasagna with foil tightly covering the pan? I know someone whose lasagna recipe also does not require that you pre-cook the noodles but you do add more liquid and cover it -- wondering if yours is similar.

          2. When I used to make lasagne, I always used the no cook noodles...Just be sure that every surface of the noodles are well covered with sauce, or they come out "crispy"...not a good thing.

            1. These are all I use anymore to make lasagna.
              They're a huge time saver and easy to work with. Texture and taste are just as good as the ones you have to boil.

              1. I haven't bothered with boiling dried lasagne for years; no-boil noodles are superior (though they are inferior to fresh lasagne).

                I prefer Barilla, which capture something vaguely like the silken mouthfeel of fresh. Ronzoni are thicker and best used for very deep lasagne dishes that need solid structure.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Karl S

                  I agree that no-boil noodles are better than regular noodles if you aren't going to cook them first.

                  IMO regular noodles can be a bit gummy. No boil are processed differently.

                  I also use Barilla brand no-boil and they are 100% foolproof in my experience.

                2. Cooks Illustrated magazine had a recipe for this and it called for soaking the noodles in hot water first. It turned out very good, better than not soaking it.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: chowser

                    I have two boxes of Barilla No Boil Lasagna noodles that I need to use up, and I will probably soak them based on this recommendation. It's a great idea -- very similar to what one does to rice noodles prior to stir-frying.
                    Thanks, chowser, I wouldn't have thought about this on my own.

                  2. I too use regular noodles (not even no-boil ones), and have always done so (my mother did it this way, long before "no-boil" noodles ever appeared in the supermarket)
                    However, I find that if you are using partly or totally bechamel sauce, it's important to soak the regular noodles at least a little bit, since the sauce is less flexible about its moisture content (i.e., about having the noodles soak some of it up) It might instead be possible to make a white sauce that is a bit thinner, to compensate for the moisture that the noodles will take up, but I've never really managed to get that quite right. Still, compared with boiling, it's hardly a hassle to let them sit in a bit of water while you're getting the white sauce ready....

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: another_adam

                      I appreciate all the great answers and I am going to use the no cook concept this time around.

                    2. I disagree. I've stopped with the no-cook noodles and have gone back to regular - though I totally understand people who use the new ones, because they're so much better. I just find that they really lack the flavor and toothiness of lasagna noodles.

                      That being said, since you're going to be making it for that many people, it seems to me that you are going to be making it in advance. Because of that, I really suggest using the regular noodles. I find that the no-cook ones get very soggy in leftovers.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: katecm

                        Interesting. How do you mean "soggy"? Like the noodles are falling apart? Or they soak up a lot of liquid?

                        I've been making lasagna with no-cook noodles for years, and eating the leftovers and I've never encountered a soggy noodle. The sauce sometimes will get a little watery, but the noodles seem to keep their consistency and shape very well. Or do you mean if the OP assembles, then refrigerates before cooking?

                        1. re: katecm

                          I guess it's a matter of taste, but the no cook are thinner so more elegant to me and I like the delicate texture. To me, the regular noodles are coarse and I don't like how thick and dominating they are to the dish. I actually don't care for lasagne with thick noodles at all and dread that it is the default dish at random potlucks. Starch bomb. But I do like al dente paste usually and see that maybe that is what you mean by toothiness. It's just the heaviness they give to the dish is gross. I wonder if there are any thin style dried regular pasta noodles that will make a lighter dish?

                          1. re: coconutz

                            Well, understand that lasagne is ideally supposed to be made with fresh noodles; in fact, lasagne are the easiest fresh pasta to make.

                            The dried rippled lasagne common in the US are ideal for making the deep, many-layered meat-sauced lasagna al forno that is what most people here think is lasagna - they can help keep it structured. Fresh or Barilla no-boil will not exactly fall apart but they will have a harder time keeping such a deep and heavy filling in place.

                            Since I prefer a lighter, less deep lasagna, I prefer the Barilla no-boil or fresh for the reasons you cite.

                          2. re: katecm

                            I would totally disagree that because the OP is making lasagna for such a large group that regular noodles should be used! I would say that the number of people alone would be reason enough to go the easier route of no-boil. It's so much simpler and less labor intensive. Cooked lasagna noodles are slippery suckers and they tear so easily. That being said, I've also had great success with no-boil noodles, specifically the Barilla ones. I make a huge pan of lasagna and usually end up eating leftovers for a week and I've never noticed any untoward sogginess. I much prefer the no-boil myself, as coconutz says the pasta is much thinner.

                            I have also heard that it's unnecessary to boil regular lasagna noodles if you just use a little extra sauce, but I've never gone that route myself. If the OP thinks that the toothsomeness of regular pasta is a deal breaker, I'd give that method a try and let us know.

                            1. re: ballulah

                              Im going with the Barilla no cook noodle, results posted Monday......wish me luck as I will be cooking for these guys all weekend (Saturday 3 meals and 2 on Sunday)

                              1. re: bigbob

                                Sorry for the delay in getting back to replying on how the no cook lasagna noodle worked out - drum roll please ........... Its the only way to go! i did pre soak assuggested previously and as a precaution and everyone loved it, but hey it was a bunch of starved guys! Thanks to all who were kind enough to offer their thoughts

                                1. re: bigbob

                                  I'm so glad everything turned out so well! Just wanted to add a note about my "noodles of choice". I like the De Cecco brand of lasagne noodles. They're thin and elegant, and I treat them just like the no boil noodles, i.e., just soak in warm water and cover with ample sauce in the layering process.

                          3. Do no bake noodles hold up ok if lasagna is prepared the day before cooking?

                            1 Reply