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Nov 19, 2009 04:06 AM

Should I make lasagne day before or day of?

Also, if I cook the day before, should I put it away cooked or uncooked? thanks.

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  1. I wouldn't bake it the day before. The cheese will not have as nice of a texture, and it might be somewhat denser after sitting around. You can certainly assemble it ahead of time, and that will probably improve the flavor of your bolognese, if you're using one.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ChristinaMason

      Yeah, I agree with Ms. Christina; you can assemble the day before but bake the day of and let it rest for 30 minutes or so after it comes out of the oven, so it can set up. Otherwise you may have some trouble getting portions out of the pan in one nice piece.

      Oh, a hint: if you bake it with a foil cover to start, place a piece of parchment on the lasagna first to prevent the cheese from sticking to the foil.

    2. My Italian grandmother always said it HAD to be made, and baked, the day before, so the pasta would absorb the extra juices and become firm rather than runny. That's what I always do, I hate goopy lasagna.

      1 Reply
      1. re: coll

        I agree with this completely- not only for liquid, but the flavors just combine so much better when it's had a chance to rest and "find itself"!

      2. It really boils down to personal preference.

        Day old lasagna is usually drier, but more flavorful because the pasta has had time to absorb the flavor of the sauce. Because refrigeration degrades the starch, the pasta is a bit firmer as well. It's a denser/somewhat heartier experience. Rewarming day old lasagna can be tricky, though- I tend to avoid the oven and go with the microwave.

        Day of tends to be fresher, lighter and juicier.

        I love both. To me, it's a little bit like baked macaroni and cheese versus unbaked. Both are great, but some people prefer one or the other.

        3 Replies
        1. re: scott123

          I reheat my lasagna covered first with saran wrap and then heavy foil covering all, that steams it while it cooks and prevents any excessive drying. If you're afraid of the plastic wrap, you could use the parchment as above, but it won't steam it up as nicely.

          1. re: scott123

            I know my Italian grandmother made it the day before as well, but I have always found it tricky to reheat, just didn't like the end result. So I make it the day before baking, which allows the pasta to absorb flavor, as you stated. Letting it rest when it is finished baking is really paramount.
            I guess I just like a juicier Lasagna.

            1. re: scott123

              Great analogy with the mac styles.

              I do think that if your guests are used to eating freshly-baked lasagna, they might be able to tell that they're having reheated. Don't get me wrong: I love leftover lasagna, but it's not quite the same experience, as others so aptly explained.