Frozen Lasagna - How much should I cook the noodles?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by thecytochromec, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. thecytochromec

    thecytochromec

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    I planned on prepping a lasagna tonight and freezing it. My intentions are to throw it in the oven and bake it on Christmas Eve. I'm wondering how long, if at all, should I cook the noodles so they won't be overdone when it gets baked? I was thinking of taking the noodles out of the water while they're considerably under cooked. I guess around the point they'll "wobble" with plenty of crunch in the center of the noodle.

    Anyways, I thought I'd get some opinions on this.

    Thanks!
     
  2. thecytochromec

    thecytochromec

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    Also, I didn't mean to create three threads. That was my bad! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/blushing.gif
     
  3. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Normally, the noodles are pre cooked fully before assembling the lasagna unless you're using the no-boil noodles. Those you just add extra liquid to the recipe for baking which the no boil noodles will absorb. 

    From what you've described, I'd cook regular noodles, assemble it, and freeze it for baking on the night of use. No reason to pre-bake it unless you're trying to save some extra time. But I think you'd get better texture if it's not pre-baked. 
     
  4. chefross

    chefross

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    There is no such thing as no-boil noodles.

    Perhaps this is something a company invented to make money.

    You do not need to boil the noodles first to make the lasagna.All you need is a more watery sauce.

    Let's see Christmas Eve is....tomorrow? Why would you freeze it to begin with?

    You can make, bake and refrigerate until tomorrow, then reheat.
     
  5. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    No boil it oven ready is what that are called. 



    Yes, they were cooked at the factory then specially dried. But for the consumer, you just assemble and cook. Doing that with a regular lasagna noodle turns out poorly in comparison.
     
  6. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Barilla also makes a no boil sheet. I have used this for years with good results, just add a bit more sauce.

    I'm with chefross on not freezing......
     
  7. chefross

    chefross

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    Seriously......wow...

     i have been making lasagna for so many years without knowing that I have been making a poor quality product.... 

    Sorry....

    I used to make 35-40 hotel pans of lasagna at once for college cafeteria service.

    You should have seen the look on those blue haired older ladies as I walked up and down the table placing dried lasagnas sheets in the pans with the sauce and cheese. They scoffed and argued and said I was going to ruin the food. 

    Of course after baking and resting they were all amazed how well the pieces came out all nice and square with no juice running everywhere. again I say that the pre-cooked noodles are a gimmick to make more money.
     
  8. mike9

    mike9

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    Before I replaced noodles with sliced eggplant I used to assemble dry and soup up my sauce and they came out perfect.  
     
  9. thecytochromec

    thecytochromec

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    Sorry for such a delayed response.

    I had to freeze the lasagna because we were vacationing out of town in a cabin. I didn't want to waste time and kitchen space dealing with this meal when I could be sitting by the fire, drinking and waiting for the dish to finish heating. If I were at home, it would have been a different story.

    So to tell what transpired, I cooked the noodles basically to the point of being finished. I had tried to aim for a little less done, but either way, I found it wouldn't have mattered much in the end. So I found the answer to my question which is, "If the noodles aren't overcooked before freezing a huge lasagna, they won't be overdone once heated in the oven." I basically assembled the dish, topped it with cheese and froze it so that it only went through the oven once. When it was all said and done I weighed it out of curiosity. It came in at a hefty 11.5 lbs. If anyone is wondering, it took a little over two and a half hours at 375* F to reheat it. It needed to be foiled for a majority of that and once the center comes up to temp you can broil it if it's not already golden. 

    Thanks everyone for your insight and advice. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and happy New Year.
     
  10. smokeydoke

    smokeydoke

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    At my old place, we made a sheet pan at a time, then refrigerated for 3 days (yeah, I know). Reheated them per order. TBH: they tasted best after sitting for half a day.

    I have no problem serving reheated lasagna, the only reason I would serve it out of the oven would be presentation. If you reheat, I wouldn't reheat the whole pan, just reheat each serving. Top it with a little marinara and it will be fine.