Tips on making Lasagna to be frozen in portions?
Esteemed Chowhound Cooks:
I'd like to make a bunch of individual lasagna portions for freezing. My own homemade convenience food. I've been buying the frozen boxed lasagna portions, Amy's, Whole Foods, et al. I'm sure I can make my own tastier and less expensive.
Any tips on method, best containers. Should lasagna be assembled in the individual freezer containers? Or should I assemble in a big pan and slice up portions? Bake now or later?
I plan to make my lasagna with ground beef and ricotta and a bit of grated parm. No mozzarella.
After I get the freezing technique down, I'd like to make a batch with zucchini or chopped greens.
My wife and I do this regularly: make a lasagna, assemble it normally in a large pan, bake it (usually eat some that night for dinner), chill it overnight in the fridge, cut it into portions, wrap in foil, put it into a ziploc bag and freeze it. That's it. Lasanga is particularly forgiving as a frozen item. We warm it back up in either the microwave (sans foil) or the toaster oven (preferred method if we're willing to wait).
Jfood pretty much followed ccbweb's method except he wrapped the portions in plastic wrap first (it was easier to peel the plastic wrap off the frozen lasagne) and he does not own a TO, used a regular oven. The family calls these "pasta bricks". There are always 3-4 portions in the basement freezer.
But a couple of years ago jfood bought a foodsaver. Now he bakes the lasagne that he wants (many versions to choose from) and freezes the portions in the foodsaver bags. 25 minutes in boiling water and you have piping hot moist lasagne.
One head's up. He once added whole basil leaves and this was not good upon reheat. Nice idea, bad execution.
Yes, I agree!! Make it in a large pan and cook then cook, cool & slice into individual portions & freeze..I've tried all ways and I too wrap in plastic wrap first then place into ziploc bags for freezing portions..Takes up less space in freezer this way then putting into containers..Take out & nuke or put into oven to reheat. Ever wonder why all the freezer low cal meals contain pasta? It's because as someone else mentioned they are so forgiving ....
If you alternate the noodles length-wise in the pan one layer and cross-wise the next layer, it seems to hold its shape better when cut. Since you're freezing the whole pan, let it cool a bit and it will firm up, additionally helping with the cutting part.