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Exactly How To Reheat Lasagna – I Test 5 Methods [Pics]

Lasagne is one of those dishes you can’t do by halves.

You either cook a whole baking dish worth or none at all. 

But what’s the best way to reheat the leftovers?

To help you avoid the potential pitfalls of a dry, overly crunchy, or watery lasagne, I tested five ways to reheat it. 

Hint: I’d go for the oven or the microwave.

Follow my instructions, and your lasagne is going to taste just like it did when you first pulled it out of the oven (or potentially even better!).

A note on my experiment

I cooked up an extra-large batch of mid-week lasagna, ate more than I should have (with a side of garlic bread), and put the leftovers in the fridge. 

Related: The Best Way To Reheat Garlic Bread

The following morning I tested five reheating methods:

  • The oven/toaster oven (best overall result)
  • The microwave (great if you’re in a hurry)
  • Frying in a skillet (good result if the lasagna is cheesy)
  • Reheating in the air fryer (lasagna dried out a bit, but not a bad result)
  • Steaming in a skillet (resulting in a watery sauce, not recommended)

The oven is perfect for large portions of lasagna and heats it through evenly.

The microwave is my go-to method if you only have a slice or two to heat up because it’s quick and easy.

Frying the leftover lasagna is a bit out there but can totally transform the dish.

Reheating lasagna in the oven/toaster oven

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) or the toaster oven to 325°F (160°C). Place the lasagna in an oven-safe dish and sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of water or sauce over it. Cover with aluminum foil and reheat for 25-30 minutes (slices 10-15 minutes). Remove and serve hot.

How to reheat lasagna in the oven/toaster oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), or 325°F (160°C) for a toaster oven.
  2. Place the lasagna in an oven-safe dish.
  3. Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of water or leftover sauce over it.
  4. Cover with aluminum foil to keep the lasagna moist. 
  5. Reheat for 25-35 minutes (slices take 10-15 minutes).
  6. Remove the foil for the last 5-10 minutes of heating to crisp the cheese. Add some extra cheese if you have any.
  7. Remove when the lasagna is bubbling around the edges.
  8. Serve piping hot.

It can be tricky to tell if the lasagne is hot all the way through, but I have a neat trick to help you.

Stick a knife into the thickest part of the lasagna. 

If the metal is warm when you pull it out, the lasagna is done. 

Of course, a temperature probe would be more accurate, so use that if you have one. You’re looking for a temperature of 165°F.

My verdict

The oven was one of my favorite methods. 

It was quite a bit slower than the other options, but that was the only real downside. 

The lasagna came out tasting delicious and had that ‘oven-fresh’ feel about it.

I definitely recommended adding a little bit of newly grated cheese – it brings the dish back to life.

Reheating lasagna in the microwave

Place 1-2 portions of lasagna on a microwave-safe plate. Cover the lasagna with a damp paper towel to keep it moist. Reheat on full power for one minute, then at 30-second intervals until warmed through.

How to reheat lasagna in the microwave:

  1. Place 1-2 portions of lasagna on a microwave-safe plate (any more and you risk cold spots).
  2. Cover the lasagna with a damp paper towel.
  3. Reheat on full power for one minute, and then in 30-second intervals until warmed through.
  4. Remove the portions from the microwave and allow them to rest for a minute before serving.

The damp paper towel creates steam to keep everything nice and moist.

If you’ve got lots of melty cheese on your lasagna, stick a toothpick into the middle and rest the paper towel on it.

This will prevent it from sticking to the cheese (although I didn’t have a problem with this).

My verdict

I found this the quickest and most convenient way to reheat a couple of slices of leftover lasagna.

The results weren’t amazing, and you could tell you were eating leftovers, but it was perfectly acceptable for a quick lunch.

Be careful not to overheat the lasagna, or the pasta will become quite chewy.

Reheating lasagna by frying in a skillet

Cut cold (from the fridge) lasagna into small slices approximately one inch thick. Heat a skillet and some oil over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, fry the slices for 60 seconds on each side until golden brown. Remove the slices from the pan and allow them to rest for a minute before serving.

This is a trick I learned from Reddit and the food genius Kenji López-Alt… I couldn’t not try it out.

How to reheat lasagna frying in a skillet:

  1. Remove your lasagna from the fridge. 
  2. Cut the cold lasagna into small slices approximately one inch thick.
  3. Heat a skillet and a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat.
  4. Fry the slices of lasagna on each side until golden brown. About 60 seconds per side.
  5. Remove the slices from the pan and allow them to rest for a minute or two.
  6. Serve hot.

Your lasagna must be cold and solid for this method to work. 

If your lasagne is room temperature, or it’s flimsy and poorly built, then it will start to fall apart in the pan, and you won’t get the effect you’re looking for.

As the lasagna heats, the cheese oozes out and carmelizes in the pan giving a crunchy texture and umami flavors. 

(or that’s what’s supposed to happen)

My verdict

Sadly, I don’t think my lasagne was suitable for this method.

There wasn’t enough cheese to hold the pasta sheets together, so they started to collapse and there was no melted-cheese crust forming.

The frying was quite a bit of effort compared to the other methods and pretty messy.

I’d try it again, but only if I knew my lasagna was solid and cheesy enough (Kenji actually used a spinach and ricotta lasagna)

Reheating lasagna in the air fryer

Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C). Put slices of lasagna into a loaf pan or make a foil pan. Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil and cook for 5-10 minutes, depending on the quantity. Remove the lasagna from the air fryer and allow it to rest for a minute or two before serving.

How to reheat lasagna in the air fryer:

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Slice the lasagna into medium-sized slices.*
  3. Put the lasagna in a loaf pan or make a foil ‘pan’ for it.
  4. Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil.
  5. Place the lasagna in the air fryer and cook for 5-10 minutes. 
  6. Stick a knife into the lasagna to test if it’s warmed through.
  7. Remove the lasagna from the air fryer and allow it to rest for a minute or two.

It is best not to put the lasagna ‘naked’ into the air fryer because it can make a mess.

If you don’t have a loaf tin that will fit into your air fryer, you can mold one out of aluminum foil.

*If your slices are too big, then the outside of your lasagna will start drying out before the inside is warm enough. 

If you like your lasagna reheated with some ‘crispy’ bits, don’t cover the top with foil.

My verdict

The lasagna ended up being a bit drier than with the other methods I tried, but it wasn’t terrible.

The pasta started to crisp around the edges, which I liked, but it won’t be to everyone’s taste. 

Overall, I probably wouldn’t use the air fryer again.

Reheating lasagna by steaming in a skillet

To reheat lasagna in a skillet, heat it on medium-high. When the skillet is hot, add the lasagna and sprinkle 3-4 tablespoons of water around the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the skillet with a lid. Heat the lasagna for 3-4 minutes. 

It’ best to use a non-stick pan for this, but if you don’t have one, simply lightly oil the skillet before adding the lasagna. 

How to reheat lasagna by steaming in a skillet:

  1. Heat a non-stick pan on medium-high heat. If you don’t have a non-stick pan, lightly oil the pan while it’s heating.
  2. Add the lasagna and sprinkle 3-4 tablespoons of water around the pan.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
  4. Cover the skillet with a lid* to retain the steam.
  5. Heat for 3-4 minutes, depending on the size of the portions.

*If you don’t have a lid, you can use a sheet of foil to cover the pan.

You’re effectively steaming the lasagne with this method. The water will vaporize and, trapped by the lid, will warm and re-moisturize your leftovers.

Top tip: go easy on the water. 

I used way too much water on my first attempt with this method, and the lasagna pretty much disintegrated.

My verdict

This was my least favorite method of reheating lasagna.

The cheese melted really well, but I felt the pasta overcooked slightly and some sauce leaked out into the pan. 

It was also quite a bit of effort compared to just whacking the lasagne in the oven or the microwave. 

How to store lasagna

Let your lasagna cool to room temperature, and then either transfer it to an airtight container or cover the baking dish tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Lasagna lasts between 3 and 5 days in the refrigerator. It also freezes exceptionally well.

Vegetable lasagnas won’t last as long as meat lasagnas. 

Cooked vegetables tend to get pretty sad looking in the fridge after 3 days, so that would be my limit for veggie lasagna. 

If you cover the lasagne before it’s completely cool, you’ll get condensation building up in the container. This can lead to soggy pasta and cheese. 

Top tip: if you have any spare sauce leftover from making the lasagne, save this too. You can use the sauce to help brighten up the dish when reheating it. 

Can you freeze lasagna?

Lasagna freezes well and will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. You can freeze it baked or unbaked. Go for unbaked if you want the best quality lasagna, but if you’re after a quick freezer meal, opt for baking before freezing. 

Cooking, freezing, thawing, and re-cooking will inevitably affect the textures in the lasagna. 

For example, you’ll lose the crunchy cheese top. But if you reheat it correctly, it will still taste amazing.

Cooking a frozen unbaked lasagna is just like baking a fresh one.

Top tip: use no-boil pasta in a lasagna you plan to freeze before cooking.

Be aware of using lots of watery vegetables in the lasagne if you plan to freeze it. Vegetables like zucchini don’t always fare well in the freezer.

How to freeze lasagna:

  1. Allow the lasagna to cool to room temperature.
  2. Slice the lasagna into portions (optional).
  3. Wrap the lasagna tightly in plastic wrap or foil. You can wrap individual slices, or you can cover a whole lasagne in its baking dish (as long as it’s freezer and oven safe).
  4. Aim to eat the lasagna within 3 months.*

It’s important not to put warm lasagna in the freezer. Any condensation will turn into ice crystals which will play havoc with the texture of your lasagna. 

*Your lasagna will remain safe to eat past 3 months, but the quality will start to slowly decline.

How to thaw and reheat frozen lasagna

Always aim to thaw frozen lasagna before cooking it. Thawed lasagna will reheat much more evenly and there’s no risk of a still-frozen center. The best way to thaw lasagna is overnight in the fridge. Then, simply reheat it in the oven or the microwave. 

You can thaw your lasagna using the microwave, but this is hit and miss and you may end up with mushy pasta. 

If you want to cook your lasagna straight from frozen, use the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C), cover the lasagna with foil and bake it for 60 minutes (less for slices). Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes to crisp the cheese.

Exactly How To Reheat Lasagna

In this short recipe, I show you the very best way to revive your leftover lasagna.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: lasagna, reheat lasagna
Prep Time: 0 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 135kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 portion lasagna
  • 2 tbsp water

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), or 325°F (160°C) for a toaster oven.
  • Place the lasagna in an oven-safe dish.
  • Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of water or leftover sauce over it.
  • Cover with aluminum foil to keep the lasagna moist.
  • Reheat for 25-35 minutes (slices take 10-15 minutes).
  • Remove the foil for the last 5-10 minutes of heating to crisp the cheese. Add some extra cheese if you have any.
  • Remove when the lasagna is bubbling around the edges.
  • Serve piping hot.

Notes

It can be tricky to tell if the lasagne is hot all the way through, but I have a neat trick to help you.
Stick a knife into the thickest part of the lasagna.
If the metal is warm when you pull it out, the lasagna is done.
Of course, a temperature probe would be more accurate, so use that if you have one. You’re looking for a temperature of 165°F.

Nutrition

Serving: 100g | Calories: 135kcal

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