Lasagna is one of those dishes that the whole family can enjoy. You can sneak spinach into it, and leftovers are as delicious as the first day.
Speaking of leftovers, you left your lasagna on the table, and you’re wondering if it’s still good. How long can lasagna sit out?
Unbaked and baked lasagna can sit out for 2 hours at the longest. Once lasagna sits out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours, it moves into the Danger Zone. The U.S. Department of Agriculture warns that the danger lies between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140F. It’s in the Danger Zone, where harmful bacteria can multiply fast.
What’s The Best Way To Store Lasagna?
For this article, we will split up our answers between two types of lasagna. There is a lasagna that’s already been cooked. And we have lasagna that has been created but hasn’t baked in the oven.
When it comes to uncooked lasagna, it will have a longer shelf-life in the freezer. But you can store it in the fridge as well.
It should never sit out longer than the 2-hour recommendation, mainly because it contains cheese and raw eggs. You may be asking, can I freeze cooked lasagna?
Cooked lasagna does not freeze well. So you should store the cooked lasagna in the refrigerator.
As you would with any other food, be sure to seal it in an airtight container. Covering leftovers keeps them fresher.
How Long Will Lasagna Last In The Fridge?
Cooked lasagna is good three to five days in the fridge, but it must be covered well.
Raw lasagna shouldn’t be kept in the fridge that long, primarily due to the eggs. Raw, cracked eggs are only good for two days in the refrigerator.
Bacteria love eggs, so they’ll be waiting for an opportunity to infest that ricotta mixture you spent so much time spreading.
If you are unable to cook the lasagna, you assembled that night, freeze it. We give you great tips below, and it’s the best way to prolong the life of your lasagna.
You can even freeze it in an oven-safe container. That way, it goes right from the freezer to the oven unless the baking dish is glass.
Tip: Never put a glass container from the freezer into a hot oven. The contrast in temperatures can cause the glass to crack.
Assemble your lasagna in a metal pan if you want to go directly from the freezer to the oven.
How To Freeze An Unbaked Lasagna?
Get the dish you want to bake your lasagna in and assemble it. Once it’s ready, instead of putting it in the oven, wrap it well with aluminum foil.
Then wrap it again in plastic wrap or something sustainable that you might have.
Some lasagna pans are sold with covers. Before you put your lasagna in the freezer, be sure to mark it with a date.
How Long Will Lasagna Last In The Freezer?
Lasagna should be good for three months in the freezer. Any more time and it could suffer from freezer burn, which will alter the taste. This is why tight sealing is so important.
Freezer burn happens when the food is robbed of its moisture. The air in the freezer does this. We always suggest an extra layer of protection when freezing lasagna.
Repeat: We don’t recommend freezing a lasagna that’s already been baked. The cheese and pasta will not retain consistency or form.
Should I Defrost My Lasagna Out Before Baking?
You don’t have to. Lasagnas that are purchased in the freezer section are ready for the oven.
Homemade lasagne can be baked while frozen, but be sure it’s not in a glass container. Glass that quickly moves from cold temps to hot temperatures can crack.
Aluminum baking dishes work best when moving from freezer to oven, and you can wash those just as easily as a glass baking dish.
You should let your lasagne defrost in the refrigerator overnight for the best results from freezing.
Can I Defrost My Lasagna On The Counter?
Never defrost a lasagna or any other food on your counter. It would take longer than 2 hours to defrost a pan of lasagna on the counter thoroughly.
This will leave the defrosted parts in the dreaded Danger Zone. The outer parts will be over 40˚F before the inside is thawed, which gives dangerous bacteria time and room to multiply.
Defrost your lasagna by pulling it out of the freezer and putting it in the fridge overnight.
Of course, sometimes you don’t know that you want to make the lasagna the night before. That’s why it’s good to make it in a freezer-safe and oven-safe pan.
If you use a glass container and don’t want it to crack, let that sit out for one hour so the glass can reach room temperature.
Do not let the lasagna sit out longer than 2 hours. If it’s been on your counter for an hour and you decide not to make it, don’t refreeze.
Very few foods can be frozen, defrosted, and frozen again and maintain their structure. Lasagna is not one of these foods. Once you’ve defrosted that lasagna, it’s suitable for three to five days in your fridge.
Should I Cut Into My Lasagna As Soon As I Pull It Out Of The Oven?
No. This is one of those moments when you shouldn’t be in such a hurry to start eating.
Your lasagna may smell good and look fantastic, but don’t cut into it.
Lasagna is a food that needs to rest before slicing. This goes for turkey, steak, pizza, and some casseroles.
Lasagna needs time to set, which is what that resting period is all about.
How Long Should I Let My Lasagna Rest After Baking?
Ten minutes should do. Set your timer, call your family, and let them know it’s time for supper.
Put out your salad, bread, and extra sauce. By the time it’s all ready, you can put that lasagna pan on some hot plates and let the games begin.
Tip: A lasagna that fails to form after resting for ten or fifteen minutes may have too much sauce. A general rule of thumb is to use one cup of sauce per layer.
How Long Can Lasagna Sheets Sit Out?
Some lasagna noodles are made to be put right in the pan, with no pre-boiling. But most brands require lasagna sheets to be parboiled.
It’s important to let it cool if you’re using your hands to layer the lasagna. How long can you let parboiled lasagna sheets sit out?
The answer to that question is 2 hours if they’re cooked. When pasta is dry, it can stay out at room temperature for two years when unopened.
When opened, dry pasta can still last a year if you store it correctly. Pasta doesn’t last that long in our house.
But, once you parboil pasta, the moisture is what attracts the bacterial growth.
So you only have 2 hours before your lasagna noodles move into the Danger Zone. The Food and Drug Administration also sets this rule.
What’s The Best Way To Reheat Lasagna?
The best way to reheat lasagna is in the oven. Microwaves work in a pinch, but they never heat anything evenly.
Cold lasagna is good, but not a wonderful as one with melty cheese and warm center.
You can put it on a pie plate if you only want to heat a single piece. Avoid heating the entire lasagna if you are only going to eat a bit.
The more you heat it, the more it will dry out. You can add some sauce to the top before you put it in the oven.
Tips For Making Lasagna
We love lasagna. So much so, we’ve made it more times than we can count.
During our journey through different lasagnas, we found some helpful tips. We’d like to share those with you.
Tips: When putting veggies in lasagna, cook them first. Then let the excess moisture drain. Otherwise, you’ll have soggy lasagna.
When adding meat to lasagna, brown it first. Never put raw meat in lasagna because it won’t cook all the way.
Drain the fat before using it. Otherwise, you’ll have a greasy lasagna.
Don’t use more sauce than the box recommends. It could be too soupy then.
If you can make your pasta, it will kick your lasagna up a notch.
Other Items To Put In Lasagna
Your standard ingredients for lasagna include meat, ricotta, eggs, pasta, sauce, and mozzarella cheese. Here are some fun ingredients to add for a change of pace.
What better way to get your kids to eat their veggies than by wrapping them in cheese and pasta? Here are some veggies that work well in lasagna.
Here are some fun meats to put in your lasagna. While many people season a bit of ground beef, other options are fun and delicious.
- Ground pork
Lasagna has roots in Italy, but households worldwide have claimed it as a regular meal item. People love to make lasagna, and others love to eat it.
Just remember, don’t eat it if your lasagna has sat out for longer than 2 hours. It might be tasty. But you may regret it.
My name is Keren Tayler. I am a stay-at-home mama to three lovely girls, Sarah + Rachel + Hannah. Prior to becoming a mom, I had a successful career in the accounting field, steps away from becoming a CPA. I decided to give up on my career in order to raise my own kids (as opposed to letting a nanny do it, no judgment here :)) I learned a lot and I love sharing it with other moms. Along the way, I also became a Certified Food Handler.