No matter how hard you try, there are some recipes you simply cannot cut down into smaller portions. For me, one of those recipes is lasagna. Like most other casseroles, lasagna recipes make large pans that could feed an entire army if needed.
But what do you do with all that leftover lasagna if you aren’t feeding hundreds of friends and family members?
You enjoy it a second time, of course!
Pastas can be tricky to reheat, though, so it’s good to research and test out some methods before you start reheating. If you’re strapped for time, don’t worry — we did all the legwork for you and tested out the best methods to reheat that leftover lasagna so you can just whip it up and enjoy!
About Our Lasagna
For this reheating experiment, we reused leftovers from this homemade lasagna recipe. Although this recipe does require lots of ingredients and time, it genuinely yields some great tasting lasagna that’s well worth the effort. We also used grass-fed beef that we received from Butcher Box and fresh, locally sourced herbs which made the lasagna taste even better!
We baked the lasagna in a disposable pan and put the remaining lasagna into the fridge for approximately 24 hours before reheating. Keep in mind that your results may vary based on the exact recipe you use or if you freeze your leftovers before reheating.
Best For: Large Amounts of Lasagna
Total Time Required: 30-45 minutes
As you might imagine, reheating lasagna in the oven is one of the most popular reheating suggestions out there. Not only does it mimic the original cooking method, but oven reheating provides the most efficient way for someone to reheat multiple servings at the same time.
How To Reheat Lasagna in the Oven
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place the desired amount of lasagna into an oven-safe dish*.
- Once the oven is preheated, cover your dish with aluminum foil and slide it inside.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes until the lasagna is warmed throughout.
- Once the lasagna starts sizzling around the edges and the cheese looks fully melted, carefully remove from the oven using mitts or pot holders.
- Let the lasagna sit for a couple minutes, then serve it up and enjoy!
*If you’re concerned about the corners of the pasta drying out, you can sprinkle a tablespoon or two of water on your lasagna, but based on my test this is optional.
Avoid These Mistakes
- Don’t skip the aluminum foil unless you want dried out, crispy lasagna.
- Don’t try a higher temperature to speed up the cooking time — it doesn’t work and just creates a crunchy mess of noodles.
As expected, this lasagna tastes just as great as it did the first time around! I thought the lasagna maintained its moisture and the oven heated it evenly throughout. I also prefer this method since it lets you heat multiple slices up simultaneously.
Best For: Single Servings of Lasagna
Total Time Required: 20-30 minutes
Before researching reheating methods for this article, I’d never thought to reheat my lasagna in a skillet. Seriously, who sticks a slice of lasagna into a skillet on the stovetop? Although I didn’t believe this one would work, it turned out to be a great idea for heating up individual slices.
How To Reheat Lasagna in a Skillet
- Place a single slice of lasagna into a large skillet.
- Drizzle 1/4 cup of water over the lasagna.
- Heat the skillet over medium-high heat until the water starts to simmer.
- Once the water is simmering, cover the skillet and turn the heat down to medium-low.
- Cook the lasagna for approximately 20 minutes or until warmed all the way through.
Avoid These Mistakes
- Don’t heat the pan before placing the lasagna in — it can burn the bottom of your lasagna!
- Don’t cook uncovered! It will take longer and won’t provide the same result.
Although I was skeptical of this method, the end result tasted great! The water helped add moisture to the pasta, plus it kept the sauce from becoming dry. Overall, I found that this method tasted similar to the oven version, and it took a good 15 minutes less. If you don’t feel like turning on the oven but also don’t want to microwave your leftover lasagna, then give this method a shot!
Best For: Quick Reheating
Total Time Required: 3-5 minutes
Obviously you don’t always have the time or resources to reheat your lasagna in the oven or on the stovetop. On those occasions, you can reheat it in the microwave — if you account for the possible issues you may encounter along the way.
How To Reheat Lasagna in the Microwave
- Place one slice of lasagna (or two) on a plate or other microwave-safe dish.
- Drizzle 1 tablespoon of water over the lasagna, then stick a toothpick in the center.
- Cover your lasagna with a paper towel (the toothpick will help prevent it from sticking to the cheese).
- Heat for 3-5 minutes at 50 percent power, checking after 3 minutes to see how warm the lasagna is.
- Once the lasagna appears heated throughout, carefully remove from the microwave, let it cool for 1-2 minutes, then enjoy!
Avoid These Mistakes
- Don’t forget to cover the lasagna, otherwise you’ll end up with sauce all over your microwave.
- Don’t try to cheat the time by heating on full power — you just end up with a slice of lasagna that’s unevenly heated.
Surprisingly, this method still turned out delicious and well-heated. Although I think the oven version tasted slightly better, the microwave definitely helps you save time and energy without sacrificing too much quality.
Other Ways To Use Leftover Lasagna
Although leftover lasagna tastes great, you aren’t always in the mood for the exact same thing two nights in a row. If you hate to throw away that half pan of leftover lasagna, consider one of these unique recipes to reuse those leftovers in a new and fun way.
If you ask New York chef Mark Ladner what to do with leftover lasagna, he says the answer is simple: You deep fry it. For his Yesterday’s 100 Layer Lasagna Alla Piastra at Del Posto, they take a pan of lasagna and slice it into thin pieces then fry it up. If it’s good enough for the wealthiest people in New York, then it’s probably good enough for your dinner table, too.
One Pot Lasagna Soup
If you want to mix up things completely, there’s always the option to turn your lasagna into a soup. In fact, this recipe provides ways to make the soup from scratch or with your leftover lasagna, making it a great addition to your recipe book.
Believe it or not, some people actually reuse their lasagna to make what they call “lasagna bread.” It’s basically like a stromboli with the leftover lasagna inside the bread. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this idea myself, because it sounds great! This recipe actually comes from a street food in Ragusa, Sicily, so it also provides a great conversation starter for your meal.
How Long Can I Store Leftover Lasagna?
Sometimes you don’t want to eat your leftover lasagna the very next day, and that’s okay. In fact, you can store your leftover lasagna in your fridge for up to 5 days or in your freezer for nearly 3 months. For best results, though, you should refrigerate or freeze the lasagna in airtight containers approved for use in a freezer or Ziplock heavy-duty freezer bags. Like any other leftovers, always check your lasagna for signs of spoiling, like discoloration or unpleasant smells, before you reheat it.
The Bottom Line
No matter how you slice it, you can’t go wrong with one of these three recommended reheating methods for your leftover lasagna. Just remember that times may vary based on the size of your slices or the exact makeup of your lasagna based on the recipe you followed. Whether you heat it in the oven or save time with the microwave, you’ll surely enjoy your lasagna just as much the second time around. Bon appetit!
Looking for other great tips? Check out some of our other reheating articles and kitchen hacks!
Feature Image by Angèle Kamp on Unsplash