Sorry to break it to you, but reheating lasagna isn’t as intuitive as you might think. You can’t just cut off a square and pop it into the microwave. I mean, you could, but it will probably make a mess and the lasagna certainly won’t turn out as cheesy and delicious as it once was!
Reheating leftover pasta is tricky as noodles tend to absorb the sauce as it sits in the refrigerator overnight, turning the dish dry with crispy, crunchy edges (and not in a good way). Luckily, we know four ways to reheat lasagna so it tastes like it’s fresh out of the oven.
Basic Tips for Reheating Lasagna
Can you reheat a whole lasagna?
Absolutely! We love make-ahead lasagna because it gives the flavors time to meld and come together in the refrigerator. A whole lasagna is usually too big for the microwave, but it reheats beautifully covered in foil in the oven. For best results, take the chill off the pan by removing it from the refrigerator while the oven is preheating.
Should I thaw frozen lasagna before reheating?
If you have the time, it’s best to thaw frozen lasagna in the refrigerator overnight, but we all know meal planning doesn’t always work out that way! Don’t be afraid to reheat frozen lasagna using one of the methods below; just tack on an extra 10 to 15 minutes to the cooking time.
How do you reheat lasagna so it doesn’t dry out?
As the lasagna sits in the refrigerator overnight, the pasta sheets absorb the liquid from the sauce. To keep it from tasting dry, add some extra liquid as you reheat it! A splash of water usually does the trick, and you’ll want to cover the lasagna with foil, plastic wrap or a paper towel to trap all that liquid inside as it reheats.
4 Simple Ways to Reheat Lasagna
How to Reheat Lasagna in the Microwave
The microwave is the quickest, easiest, and most convenient way to reheat lasagna. The only problem is that it loves to pop and explode if you heat it too long. Don’t worry, we have a trick for that, and all you need is a toothpick to pull it off.
Step 1: Place the lasagna on a microwave-safe dish
This works best with a single serving, but you can probably get away with placing two servings on a single plate. Just make sure the slices aren’t touching each other. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of water on top of each piece of lasagna to keep it from drying out as it cooks.
Step 2: Grab a toothpick
Stick a toothpick into the center of the lasagna piece, making sure it sticks out a few inches. This will keep the cover in the next step from touching the lasagna and stealing all your melty cheese.
Step 3: Tent and cook
Drape a microwave-safe paper towel over the top of the lasagna, centering it around the toothpick. You can also use a piece of microwave-safe plastic wrap and loosely wrap the entire plate. Then, heat the lasagna on full power in 90-second increments until it’s warmed all the way through. Any longer than that, and you risk overheating the lasagna to the point of explosion! You’re looking for 165°F in the center, which can take five or six minutes total.
How to Reheat Lasagna in the Oven (or Toaster Oven)
We would argue that the oven is the best way to reheat lasagna because it mimics the original cooking environment for the casserole. It’s also the ideal way to reheat an entire lasagna instead of individual slices. That said, it does take the longest, so plan ahead and only use this method if you have 30 to 45 minutes to spare!
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350º
Resist the urge to turn up the heat up higher so the lasagna will cook faster; hot temperatures will steal all the moisture from your lasagna, drying it out more quickly than gentle oven temperatures. If you’re using a toaster oven, turn the heat down to 325º, as your leftovers will be closer to the heating element.
Step 2: Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil
With the oven method, you don’t need to add any extra water because the gentle heat will keep the lasagna from drying out. You do need to cover it in foil, though, to keep all that moisture inside. If you’re reheating a single piece of lasagna, you can use our toothpick trick from the microwave method to keep the foil from touching the cheese. For multiple slices or a whole lasagna, we like using an oven-proof baking dish that’s covered in foil.
Step 3: Bake until it’s heated through
Bake the lasagna for 30 to 45 minutes, until it’s 165° in the center. If you don’t have a thermometer, look for the lasagna to start sizzling around the edges and for fully melted, glossy cheese on top.
How to Reheat Lasagna in a Skillet
The skillet method is not quite as quick as reheating lasagna in the microwave, but it’s much faster than the oven. It tastes similar to an oven-baked lasagna, too, so grab your trusty cast-iron skillet and let’s get reheating.
Step 1: Place the lasagna in a skillet
Place a slice or two of lasagna in a large skillet. Add 1/4 cup of water for each slice, drizzling it over the top of the lasagna to moisten the pasta.
Step 2: Bring the mixture to a simmer
Heat the skillet over medium-high heat until the added liquid starts to simmer. You’re not looking for big, boiling bubbles, but just enough activity to indicate that the water is getting hot.
Step 3: Cover and simmer
Reduce the heat to medium-low and place a lid on the skillet. Cook for about 20 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time. The lasagna will absorb the extra water and turn out nice and moist. If you like, you can remove the lid for the last 5 minutes of cooking time to crisp up the bottom.
Psst! Did you know you can make lasagna in a skillet from the get-go? Get our recipe for One-Skillet Lasagna.
How to Reheat Lasagna in an Air Fryer
We love our air fryer. It’s great at cooking food, but it’s also an easy way to reheat leftovers. An air fryer works like a convection oven, circulating hot air to cook your food, but it works faster.
Step 1: Preheat the air fryer to 375º
It’s really important to always start with a preheated air fryer. It only takes a few minutes, but you don’t want to skip this step!
Step 2: Place the lasagna in a loaf pan
We’ve found the best way to use an air fryer for reheating lasagna is in a loaf pan. It keeps the cheese from melting into the basket, and a standard loaf pan fits in most air fryers. Cover the loaf pan with a piece of aluminum foil to keep all the moisture inside.
Step 3: Air-fry until it’s heated through
Check the lasagna after 10 minutes to see if the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted and glossy. You’re looking for an internal temperature of 165°, so keep cooking in 5-minute increments until you reach the final temperature.
Safety Tips for Reheating Lasagna
How many times can you reheat lasagna?
Technically, you can reheat lasagna multiple times so long as you bring it up to an internal temperature of 165° each time. This temperature kills most bacteria that might be present in your leftovers. That said, the quality degrades with each reheat, so we suggest reheating lasagna one time only.
How long do lasagna leftovers last?
If your leftover lasagna has been sitting in the back of the fridge (or freezer) for quite some time, you should always give it a once over to see if the food has spoiled before attempting to reheat. If the casserole smells funky or looks discolored, it’s best to throw it out. Cooked lasagna lasts 3 to 5 days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer.
Now you can go ahead and whip up a double batch of our top lasagna recipes. Enjoy those leftovers!
Up next: Learn how long leftovers last.
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My family first tasted this rich, homemade lasagna recipe at a friend's home on Christmas Eve. We were so impressed that it became our own holiday tradition as well. I also prepare it other times of the year. This classic lasagna recipe is requested often by my sister's Italian in-laws—I consider that the highest compliment! —Lorri Foockle, Granville, Illinois
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This is hands-down one of the best skillet lasagna recipes our testing panel has ever tasted. And with classic flavors and cheesy layers, it’s definitely kid-friendly. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Buffalo Chicken Lasagna
This recipe was inspired by my daughter's favorite food—Buffalo wings! It tastes as if it came from a restaurant. —Melissa Millwood, Lyman, South Carolina
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I collect cookbooks and recipes (this one is from my son's mother-in-law). My husband teases me that I won't live long enough to try half of the recipes in my files! He loves this easy Mexican lasagna. —Rose Ann Buhle, Minooka, Illinois
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Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups
One night friends on a tight schedule stopped by. I invited them to stay for dinner, so I needed something I could fix in short order. I created these savory roll-ups, featuring a creamy three-cheese filling. They taste like lasagna but bake in a fraction of the time. —Julia Trachsel Victoria, British Columbia
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Chicken Alfredo Lasagna
My family was growing tired of traditional red sauce lasagna, so I created this fun twist using a creamy homemade Alfredo sauce. Store-bought rotisserie chicken keeps prep simple and fast. —Caitlin MacNeilly, Uncasville, Connecticut
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When you taste this casserole, you'll think it came from a complicated, from-scratch recipe. Really, though, it starts with frozen ravioli and has only three other ingredients. —Patricia Smith, Asheboro, North Carolina
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Sausage & Swiss Chard Lasagna
Rustic and comforting, I found this rich and cheesy lasagna to be a great way to get kids to eat healthy greens—it's such a tasty casserole they'll never know the Swiss chard is there! —Candace Morehouse, Show Low, Arizona
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Makeover Traditional Lasagna
I’ve never been quick to pass along my special recipes, but this one is so good that it’s become our family’s Christmas Eve tradition! —Michelle Behan, Littleton, Colorado
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The post How to Reheat Lasagna So It Tastes Delicious appeared first on Taste of Home.
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