Community Message Boards
Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Lasagna: Baking From Frozen?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Appleton, WI
    Posts
    4,634

    Lasagna: Baking From Frozen?

    I know this is not my first time asking about cooking lasagna from a frozen state, but this time it's a bit different.

    I have company coming next week from way out of town, and it also is a busy day for us... I will be in and out all day. What I'd like to do is make a lasagna this weekend and freeze it in its raw state so that I can pop it in the oven and it will take a good hour and a half to cook.

    I will be out of the house just over 1 1/2 hours right before dinner time- so in my head this sounds like the perfect plan. I could rush in the door, take the foil off to allow the top to brown and toss a salad...But I really don't want to serve burnt or otherwise malfunctioned lasagna to company I wish to impress!

    Thoughts? Suggestions? BTDT?

    This is the recipe I'd intended on using:

    World's Best Lasagna (from allrecipes.com)

    1 pound sweet Italian sausage
    3/4 pound lean ground beef
    1/2 cup minced onion
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
    2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
    2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
    1/2 cup water
    2 tablespoons white sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
    1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

    1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    1 tablespoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    12 lasagna noodles
    16 ounces ricotta cheese
    1 egg
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
    3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
    2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
    3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
    4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
    5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
    Merry: I don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
    Pippin: What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?


    I'm food bloggin' almost daily at Tummy Treasure!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Columbus, OH, USA
    Posts
    3,033
    Mmmmm ... sounds yummy! Why not take it out of the freezer first thing in the morning, or even the night before, and let it defrost in the fridge. Then you won't have to worry about a charred outside and ice-cube inside.

    Cheers,
    Phoebe

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Appleton, WI
    Posts
    4,634
    Quote Originally Posted by Ohioan View Post
    Mmmmm ... sounds yummy! Why not take it out of the freezer first thing in the morning, or even the night before, and let it defrost in the fridge. Then you won't have to worry about a charred outside and ice-cube inside.

    Cheers,
    Phoebe
    I could, but what I'm going for here is that I'll put the lasagna in and be able to be away for a full 90 minutes before I'll be back to pull it out.

    Most lasagna recipes call for between 30-45 minutes for the initial bake, then you remove the foil and bake for an additional 15-20 to brown the top. I'm thinking that from frozen, my 90 minutes away while it's covered in foil should work... but was hopeing someone else here has already braved this territory.
    Merry: I don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
    Pippin: What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?


    I'm food bloggin' almost daily at Tummy Treasure!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Dadeville, AL
    Posts
    12,830
    I haven't ever done this, but your way sounds reasonable -- how about putting a probe thermometer in the middle, and baking it on a lower setting, just so it gets done all the way through? You can always go a little longer, right? Just don't want it overdone on the edges, and uncooked in the middle...
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    1,533
    My guess is that your plan will work if you are right on the timing and don't have something interfere, mrswaz. I've frozen seafood lasagna (9x13) a couple times and it takes closer to 2 hours to cook at 350F, a little lower than your recipe. I also froze it in a chest freezer, not a fridge freezer. I expect a fridge freezer not to be as cold. No thawing before going in the hot oven. Just make sure it is tightly covered with non-stick foil. You might also consider cooking at 325F til you get home then crank it up and remove the foil. Use a knife to check for doneness in the center. And enjoy!
    Cheers! Andy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Appleton, WI
    Posts
    4,634
    Quote Originally Posted by hAndyman View Post
    My guess is that your plan will work if you are right on the timing and don't have something interfere, mrswaz. I've frozen seafood lasagna (9x13) a couple times and it takes closer to 2 hours to cook at 350F, a little lower than your recipe. I also froze it in a chest freezer, not a fridge freezer. I expect a fridge freezer not to be as cold. No thawing before going in the hot oven. Just make sure it is tightly covered with non-stick foil. You might also consider cooking at 325F til you get home then crank it up and remove the foil. Use a knife to check for doneness in the center. And enjoy!
    Great to know about the 2 hours- and thanks for pointing out the temperature difference. It certainly wouldn't be a problem for the lasagna to take longer to bake- I can always pull out some cheese and crackers if it looks like the natives are getting restless.

    I'll definitely be freezing it in the stand alone freezer- no room in the fridge freezer for a big pan of lasagna!

    I wish I'd thought of this a few weeks ago, I would have done a test run!
    Merry: I don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
    Pippin: What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?


    I'm food bloggin' almost daily at Tummy Treasure!

  7. #7
    My own two cents - I would put it in the fridge the day before to defrost. I have NEVER succesfully cooked a lasagna from frozen

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Appleton, WI
    Posts
    4,634
    Quote Originally Posted by DCook View Post
    My own two cents - I would put it in the fridge the day before to defrost. I have NEVER succesfully cooked a lasagna from frozen
    Can you expand more on what went wrong? Burnt edges? Still frozen middle? Other?

    If it's not going to work, then I'll just make the lasagna fresh that morning and hold it in the fridge and just hope it doesn't cook to a crisp while I'm out running around.
    Merry: I don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
    Pippin: What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?


    I'm food bloggin' almost daily at Tummy Treasure!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    7,088
    I have baked casseroles from frozen many times without issue...as a matter of fact, I NEVER defrost them. Andy's instructions are exactly what I would have told you.

    I have even been known to put the frozen casserole in the oven and use the timed bake feature which turns the oven on at a specific time to start baking. SInce it is frozen solid from the freezer, an hour or two starting to thaw slightly won't hurt it, then the oven kicks on and finishes the job. That way I can be away from home for 3-4 hours. Not for everyone, I suppose, but we are all still alive and well.
    kathyb


    Less rhetoric, more cowbell!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Fresno, Ca
    Posts
    2,749
    This is the recipe I make all the time. And because it makes such a big portion I always freeze it.

    I have heated straight from frozen (at least an hour usually a bit more) and I have taken it out to defrost for a couple of hours before heating (about 45 min). The main difference is if I let it defrost somewhat I don't need the foil on top. (Not sure why, but it works that way.)

    And as far as the recipe - I tweak it by subbing ground veal for some of the meat - so 1.5 lb combination of italian sausage, ground veal, and ground beef.
    The best sound is that of someone laughing in their sleep.

  11. #11
    I have no tips about cooking things from frozen, but I would not have something in the oven for 90 minutes while I was not there (unless someone else will be home). If that is the case, I'd be inclined to make spaghetti and cook the sauce in a crock-pot.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by mrswaz View Post
    Can you expand more on what went wrong? Burnt edges? Still frozen middle? Other?

    If it's not going to work, then I'll just make the lasagna fresh that morning and hold it in the fridge and just hope it doesn't cook to a crisp while I'm out running around.
    Both. And I've cooked them LONG, like 2.5 hours. And still ended up with frozen middles

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Appleton, WI
    Posts
    4,634
    Well, the lasagna is assembled and frozen, and we'll be hoping for the best come Tuesday! I will say that the marinara is absolutely delicious- the recipe made much more than could be used for one lasagna, so we'll be having the extras over spaghetti tonight for dinner.

    I made it exactly as written, except that I ground up the fennel seed with a mortar and pestle before adding it to the sauce.
    Merry: I don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
    Pippin: What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?


    I'm food bloggin' almost daily at Tummy Treasure!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Appleton, WI
    Posts
    4,634
    Reporting back that freezing the lasagna worked just fine!

    I cooked it frozen, with foil on, for two hours at 350º and then took the foil off for an additional half hour. I probed it when I took the foil off, and the thermometer shot right up, so it just needed to brown up.

    The lasagna recipe itself is very good. Company was delighted, and I will definitely be making it again.
    Merry: I don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
    Pippin: What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?


    I'm food bloggin' almost daily at Tummy Treasure!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Dadeville, AL
    Posts
    12,830
    Quote Originally Posted by mrswaz View Post
    Reporting back that freezing the lasagna worked just fine!
    Glad it worked! I'm writing it down, so I can remember it!
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    1,533
    I'm glad too. mmm-mmm lasagna!
    Cheers! Andy

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Appleton, WI
    Posts
    4,634
    Quote Originally Posted by LakeMartinGal View Post
    Glad it worked! I'm writing it down, so I can remember it!
    The best part is that this lasagna really was good, and the sauce part made enough for two lasagnas. So in the future I will just plan on assembling two and then I'll have one for the freezer. I really love that.
    Merry: I don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
    Pippin: What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?


    I'm food bloggin' almost daily at Tummy Treasure!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    1,425
    Cook's Country has a recipe for frozen lasagna. Wish I could find the recipe!
    Blogging Fun
    Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. -Michael Pollan

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    877
    Mrswaz, I made this lasagna for a group last night and it was a hit! We loved it. Thanks so much for posting!

    Amy

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •