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Oops, is there a good way to cut frozen lasagna?

Blargh, I guess my brain skipped a critical step when I got the bright idea to pick up a family sized pan of meat lasagna at the local Italian deli for lunch/dinner today. It's just 2 of us and so ideally we won't be eating the whole pan although I wouldn't put it past our ginormous appetites. I imagine we would eat it sometime around 7pm which might give me time to thaw it out. Would you advise to thaw it and then bake or just bake from frozen and refreeze after baking? In general d you notice any difference baking lasagna from frozen vs frozen that has been thawed?

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  1. home-made does just fine being baked from a frozen state, so i am sure this pan will too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      Ok, good, I did a quick search and it seemed that most people recommended thawing beforehand as baked from frozen was less than good, but I guess I'll give it a shot.

    2. From frozen: Wrap it tightly in foil (a layer of parchment on top to separate the sauce from the foil) and bake it longer, at lower heat.

      Or wrap in a large zipper bag, squeezing/sucking out the air, and weight down to submerge it, on a cooling rack, in cool water. The rack is so water contacts the bottom too. It will thaw evenly within a couple of hours.

      2 Replies
      1. re: greygarious

        What temperature would you recommend for how long? Obviously I'll have to check it periodically but perhaps an estimate. We have some leftover marinara sauce around should I pour on top before wrapping? The top is already sprinkled with cheese if that matters

      2. Okay. Did the pan of lasagna come with any instructions? Usually they do. Even from an Italian deli. Follow them.

        Then portion & store the leftovers in your fridge & enjoy them again within a couple of days. Since the original lasagna was already frozen, refreezing will lessen the quality.

        So regardless of whether you cook the lasagna from frozen or thaw it first, unless you decided to keep the leftovers in the fridge, refreezing will reduce quality. Moot point.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Bacardi1

          It did however the instructions referred to cooking from thawed. I went with a few suggestions here but then just stuck an oven theromemeter in set to 160F and sat on the couch to wait. It took longer than I had expected - started at 375/400 and eventually cranked it up to 425F. I would estimate probably 90 minutes total.

          1. re: fldhkybnva

            So, you didn't thaw it AT ALL before baking it? High heat like that is a sure-fire way to dry it out before the interior heats up. Good thing you have extra marinara on hand. Also, nothing in it was raw. You did not need it to be 160. 130 would have been plenty hot enough.

            1. re: greygarious

              +1

              Heating it at such high temperature would only result in a dried out brick of noodles. You should have done it low and slow, to prevent everything from drying out. Heating lasagna takes time. Even the frozen Stouffers ones call for 350 for 100 minutes or something like that.

              1. re: boogiebaby

                Thanks for the tips. I thought ahead and pulled it put of the freezer a day ahead of time to thaw. Anything I should do differently and in general when you freeze an unbaked pan do you prefer to thaw it first?

              2. re: greygarious

                Nope, I went from frozen. The 2-3 hours out of the freezer probably wouldn't have made much difference. I guess it's not a sure-fire way as the lasagna was amazingly delicious. I like it with extra marinara so poured it over, SO does not and also thought it was quite possibly the best lasagna in a while. It worked somehow.

          2. My 2c: I have found that reheating cooked lasagna doesn't work. Something about the texture of the cheese. I have concluded that cheese should only be melted once. As far as cutting frozen food, I seem to recall there is knife for that purpose, sort of like a hacksaw. Biggest problem might be securing the food in one place--I wouldn't want to hold it in my hand while sawing away.

            5 Replies
              1. re: fldhkybnva

                Understood. I was talking about the possibility of cooking, eating half, and freezing the leftovers.

                1. re: mwhitmore

                  Ahh, great thanks. Unfortunately that wasn't an issue :) It was so good we downed it faster than we could blink

                2. re: fldhkybnva

                  Your title for the thread asked how to cut the lasagna, though the body of your OP did not address that question.
                  Should you ever want to divide a pan of lasagna before baking, don't. Unless it touches 4 pan sides, it will seep around the edges. No problem slicing it up after baking, as long as you let it rest/cool down first.

                  1. re: greygarious

                    Thanks for the tip, the title was more of a clearly bad attempt at humor

              2. For future reference, it's not that tough. Pop the frozen lasagna out of the pan onto your cutting board. With a food grade chainsaw, cut it into how ever many pieces you want, preferably in sizes that closely match baking dishes you already have. Wear eye protection, and heavy leather gloves are always a good idea when using a chainsaw. Put the pieces in the baking dishes, wrap up tightly, and freeze.

                (Hey, I said it wasn't tough...I didn't say it wasn't messy!)

                2 Replies
                1. re: ricepad

                  Is this from actual personal experience?

                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    No. My brother borrowed my food grade chainsaw years ago, and has never returned it. (He needed to carve a frozen turkey.)

                2. Seriously though, that's what Ginsu knives are made for. After you cut the frozen lasagna, you can cut open a can of beer and then a tomato. Either that or a long serrated bread knife.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Shann

                    And it can slice thru a nail. Don't forget the nail!