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No-boil lasagna noodles

Do these really work? I want to make a vegetarian lasagna for a crowd and wondered if these work as well as the noodles that you must boil first. Seems like this would be a wonderfully quick way to make lasagna.

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  1. Yep, they work, pretty well at that. I use them all the time for Veggie lasagna.

    1. they work great, plus they are very thin, which I prefer to thicker noodles.

      1. They work well, just compensate by using more sauce than you normally would for parboiled noodles, as the dry noodles have to soak up the extra liquid.

        1. They are superior to boiled noodles. I love the Barilla brand, which are very thin and contain egg, so they have more flavor. I am single, so I prefer dividing lasagna into smaller rectangular baking pans in order to freeze the baked containers. When I do it that way, I soak the noodles in warm water for a little while, until I can slice them in half, which makes them fit perfectly into my square single-serving pans.

          The package directions will show you how much additional liquid you will need. Just make sure no noodle edges are exposed, as they will dry out. It is usually best to cover the baking dish with foil initially, removing it at the last stage of cooking so the top browns.

          1 Reply
          1. re: greygarious

            I learned the soaking tip from Cooks Illustrated and find it makes a big difference. I like the Barilla no boil brand the best for this.

          2. I buy regular (not no-boil) noodles and don't boil them. I have been making lasagna for about 25 years this way. I do soak them in hot water for a few minutes though and make sure they are surrounded by lots of sauce.

            2 Replies
            1. re: sparkareno

              I also use regular noodles and don't boil, but I don't soak them before putting together the lasagna. I add extra sauce and I put together the lasagna the night before. When I'm ready to bake it, I'll add more sauce or a splash of water if the lasagna looks too dry.

              1. re: cheesecake17

                I use regular noodles, don't soak and don't let sit either. I do make a loose sauce so maybe that is to my advantage but I just make a lasagna and bake. Works great every time. The noodles are cooked perfectly. The whole dish holds together well also.


            2. I'm going to be the odd one out and say I don't like them. It's not the same texture at all. But, if you are short on time and cooking for a crowd - as opposed to spending all day making the best lasagna ever - then you'll probably be okay with it.

              1. Barilla no-boil lasagna noodles are terrific. I don't use extra sauce and my lasagnas always come out great. I got so fed up with boiled noodles - always such a project getting them out of the pot and layering them without them splitting. Once you try this, you won't go back to boiled.

                1 Reply
                1. re: addicted2cake

                  I think the Barilla ones are amazing, too. They're tender and more like fresh pasta than the thick dried ones are. I haven't found a need for extra sauce with them at all.

                2. I like them a lot more than regular lasagna noodles. I think regular lasagna noodles are way too thick. I also use the Cook's Illustrated method of soaking first.

                  1. I just made lasagna tonight. I boiled water in the kettle and soaked my noodles in a large glass bowl, but they were still firm. Took minutes, was easy to work with... Made a bolognese sauce not too soupy..and it was amazing. Never boil again! :)
                    That being said, I would totally try the no-boil brand if I would have had it at my shop.

                    1. I seriously hate these. My whole dinner was ruined by trying out this ridiculous invention thinking that I could save valuable time. Not even close to the real thing. Then again, I usually make my own....

                      1. The no-boil noodles in the box do work, but they are just not as good. They have a mushy texture that I do not care for- I like the bite of an aldente noodle in my lasagne. So I use these now and then, but there is nothing like the real thing. I have heard that one can use regular noodles and just soak them in a pan of hot water for about 10 min while preparing the other ingredients. I want to try that.

                        1. Another vote here for the Barilla brand. They are the only no-boil lasagna that I do recommend. Definitely pre-soak in warm water otherwise you may get some shrinkage during baking. I know it would seem to be the opposite but they really do shrink a bit when you cook them...thus, I also overlap mine a bit just in case.


                          2 Replies
                          1. re: LiveRock

                            I never pre soak and they expand, they don't shrink when I bake them.

                            1. re: mcf

                              me, too -- no shrinking in my oven.

                          2. love em..they make a nice aldente lasagna, too....

                            1. I know this is an old thread, but I am making a lasagna next week for company and was planning on using the no boil. My only concern is that I find that layering on top of the hard noodles is harder - does soaking in hot water help this?

                              22 Replies
                              1. re: wincountrygirl

                                What do you find hard to do? Soaking is not necessary. I just lay them on top of a thin layer of sauce and drop my filling onto them, press lightly to spread a bit and add another noodle, etc.

                                I've never had one break.

                                1. re: mcf

                                  Who cares if it breaks anyway?? It's covered up.


                                    1. re: addicted2cake

                                      I used the Delverde no boil last time and they are curled more and they slipped a lot.

                                      1. re: wincountrygirl

                                        Never heard of them, but Barilly are flat, no curls, very delicate texture, almost like fresh.

                                  1. re: wincountrygirl

                                    Yes. Soaking in hot water will make them pliable.

                                    I use regular noodles and don't bother boiling or soaking. What I do do is repeatedly push down on fresh noodles as I put them in. So they sorta sink into the layer below.

                                    If I were making for company I'd invest in fresh noodles. Or make my own (which I've never done but have it in my mind I should try sometime.)


                                    1. re: wincountrygirl

                                      I understand what you mean about spreading the sauce and cheese over dry noodles, though I don't find it that much of a problem. Soaking briefly - certainly no more than an hour - makes them bendy, which you might prefer. You can use cold water. I recently posted on another thread about a tip from Williams-Sonoma: to cut down on kitchen heat, soak spaghetti in cold water, in a flat pan, for 90 minutes. It then takes only a few minutes of boiling to cook it.

                                      But you should soak the lasagna noodles in a single layer, on a sheet pan. That way it's easy to pick up one at a time, and they won't stick together. I have boycotted Barilla since the homophobic statements made by the CEO, but I did love their no-bake noodles, which are thin and tender, and have lots of flavor since they contain egg.

                                      1. re: greygarious

                                        At least he walked those comments back, right?

                                        1. re: mcf

                                          Not in any credible way. I donated the one box I had on hand to a food drive and will never buy it again.

                                        2. re: greygarious

                                          Grey, just because the CEO is intolerant, should you deprive yourself of a good product? CEOs come and go, but Barilla will be around for a loooooong time.


                                          1. re: caiatransplant

                                            I think each of us gets to decide what our personal deal breakers are.

                                        3. re: wincountrygirl

                                          I love the Barilla oven ready noodles. I soak them in hot tap water for 15 minutes or so, and dry well before using. It makes them easier to layer, and it's impossible to cut the dry noodles if you need smaller pieces to fit into odd-size pans or corners.

                                          1. re: gmm

                                            Thanks all. Gmm -I am making a large tray - one of those aluminum roaster pans. Do you think 2 packages will be enough?

                                            1. re: wincountrygirl

                                              It depends on the size of the pan and how many layers there will be. I made one a couple weeks ago in one of these pans
                                              http://www.walmart.com/ip/Reynolds-Di... for a friend who lives out of town. I did three layers of noodles and one package was enough. The noodles expand a bit after cooking, but not a lot, so you can lay the dry noodles out in your pan to estimate how many you'll need for each layer.

                                                  1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                    Sounds like a good fit; they also carry a lasagna pan without the roaster bottom; you want it flat, not ridged for the juices/sauce to drop into.


                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                      Thanks. Do they carry a larger size lasagna pan?

                                                      1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                        I don't know, I'm not a Walmart shopper. :-) I use my own 9x13 baking dish.

                                                        1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                          If you need to make a really big batch two regular 9x13 size pans will cook more evenly and be easier to serve from than one larger much deeper pan.... Its hard to get the middle cooked properly if its both a tall and deep pan for lasagna.

                                                          1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                            Good idea - I think that is what I will do.

                                                  2. re: wincountrygirl

                                                    the noodles are a perfect fit for a 9x13 pan, with room for explansion. There's plenty for three layers.

                                              1. Barilla brand are pretty good - a decent substitute when fresh pasta is not available and better than those thick slabs of "boil" noodles -

                                                but they are different - thinner noodles make a more delicate lasagna - if you like the thick noodles with the crimped edges like those Ronzoni jobs then you may not be happy with the no boil.

                                                1. Good lasagna is not so difficult - you can make it a day or 2 ahead of time- but use good quality boiled noodles. There is no substitute and it's just not that hard. For a hurried, regular night dinner I may consider the no boil ones- but if I were having guests- use the good stuff. It's just not that hard, esp. when you can do it in advance.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Bjanemcg

                                                    I don't consider the oven ready noodles to be an inferior product at all, they're much more like fresh pasta. Just a matter of personal preference.

                                                  2. I just want to report back about my lasagna. Thanks for the tip about Barilla - it was great - very light and reminded me of my MOL's lasagna which is the one I strive to make. I hit that mark yesterday. I used the Barilla no boil and did not soak. I made one lasagna in a 15X10 inch foil roaster (actually the size pan Lidia B suggests) and I made one small one with goat cheese and locatelli for my husband who has a cow cheese allergy. Both came out great!!! Thanks again everyone!