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Can Lasagna be made 1-2 days ahead?

g
gtrekker2003 Aug 1, 2008 12:04 PM

I am making lasagna with meat sauce....no bechamel sauce. Can I make it a day or two ahead and keep it in the fridge covered with foil? And then bake on the day of?

  1. Cowprintrabbit Aug 1, 2008 12:14 PM

    I always freeze it after it cools because I am usually taking it over the mountains to my sister's house, and then reheat when I get there (it thaws in the car partway.) This is the no-bake recipe, I'm not sure which one you're using. To me, lasagna is one of the things that is better as leftovers :-)

    1. s
      swsidejim Aug 1, 2008 12:17 PM

      can it be done, sure.

      would I do it? no, I wouldn't think it would turn out as good as one assembled the same day as cooking.

      1 Reply
      1. re: swsidejim
        Jacquilynne Aug 1, 2008 02:26 PM

        Not at all. I find lasagna that's made ahead a day or two actually tastes better -- whether you half bake it and then hold, or hold it after assembly, the flavors meld better.

        I don't recommend fully cooking it ahead of time because it can dry out when you reheat -- but doing it half way (or more, as long as it still needs 15 minutes or so of cooking time, which becomes more like 30 minutes when you're reheating it) can save day of time, too, if you're really pressed.

        Made ahead lasagna is one of my absolute favorite dinner party dishes, because it allows me to do everything ahead of time, and wash all the dishes and get them out of the way, and then on the day of the party, all I do is pop the pan in the oven, and presto, dinner.

      2. kc girl Aug 1, 2008 12:24 PM

        Absolutely, no question. Many people make it a day or two before all the time.
        Don't need to put it in the freezer. No need to pre-cook. Just drain your noodles well (and even pat dry) before assembling. It will be great!

        1. eastcoastgirl_westcoastlife Aug 1, 2008 12:40 PM

          For sure! I find it sets better and tastes better too! I usually make two batches when I make lasagna, one for dinner and one to be frozen and baked another time.

          1. m
            maisonbistro Aug 1, 2008 01:08 PM

            Absolutely. I would never even serve a lasagna I assembled that day. The flavours need to meld and mesh. Lasagna is always best made one day, served the next.

            Unless you have no way of refrigerating it, don't sweat it.

            1. jfood Aug 1, 2008 01:09 PM

              Lasagne always taste better the next day. No problem whatsoever making and reheating 1-2 days post.

              1. damo267 Aug 1, 2008 01:22 PM

                Personally, even if it is only a matter of 1 or 2 days, I would suggest the freezer, rather than the fridge, especially if you made your own ragu', with genuine ingredients and no preservatives (hope this is the right word in English). And then bake them straight from the freezer, no need to thaw. It obviously takes a little longer to cook, but you get a more than decent result. I certainly agree with those who told you that lasagne (I keep using the plural like we do at home, in Italy) that have been made the day before definitely still taste good, and even have their own particular charme, in ways, but personally my fav are those baked the very same day and simply let rest for like half an hour or so before serving. Can't beat the aroma and the consistancy of the crunchy top, that way. I am not fond of frozen leftover once it's cooked, instead. Of course, it's still edible, but...not something I would do if I can help it.
                Ciao!

                1. chef chicklet Aug 1, 2008 02:21 PM

                  Absolutely, and it will taste better, you can count on it. I rarely cook a meal and serve it the same day. I am like always-alwasy two days behind in meals. That way they are ready to go. I usually save the weekends for nibbling or BBQ, so yeah go for it. It will absolutely taste great.

                  1. Karl S Aug 1, 2008 02:24 PM

                    Yes. But.

                    Anytime you keep a sauced starch like pasta (and rice and grains) in moisture in the fridge, it keeps absorbing water, making the sauce drier and the pasta mushier. It's better to freeze.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Karl S
                      m
                      maisonbistro Aug 1, 2008 06:20 PM

                      Freezing will make the sauce much more watery and affect the consistency of the cheese. I do not recommend freezing it, if only for a day or two. Even if the ragu (sauce) is made from scratch with no preservatives???(who adds preservatives when home cooking??) it will keep very well in the fridge. I do not recommend baking it though beforehand. P

                      Put it together, let it come to room temperature (do not put warm/hot food in the fridge) and then cover and refrigerate.

                      1. re: maisonbistro
                        damo267 Aug 2, 2008 06:20 AM

                        I probably did not express myself correctly: I meant that ESPECIALLY when homemade ragu (sauce) is used, and THEREFORE I know for a fact that it certainly has no preservatives, I do not like to let it sit in the fridge. I agree with the fact that the best thing is doing everything the same day, When it's not possible, I vote for freezing, But it's a free kitchen ;-)

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