Perhaps there is a fun event coming up like a family reunion and you are trying to think of a dish to serve dozens of people. Pasta always comes to mind because it is a favorite food, tasty and satisfying. The ingredients make people happy and willing to chat with one another. You know that Susan is bringing spaghetti, so the next question you wonder about is “how far ahead can I make lasagna” and the answer is one you will like.
Some people make up several batches of lasagna and freeze it to cook weeks later. If you are planning to serve it during the next few days, bake it and let it cool. Cover it tightly and let it set in the refrigerator for up to four days. The flavors will continue to blend and the noodles will absorb the yumminess of the entire combination. Pull it out of the refrigerator a couple of hours before dinner. Let it sit on the counter 15 minutes or so for the dish to warm a little.
Reheat the lasagna in the oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until it is warm throughout and you will be serving extra special, delicious lasagna. If you do not plan to use the lasagna during the next few days, freeze it into individual portions for baking later. Another option is to build the lasagna and put it in the refrigerator to set.
How Far AheadRemove it from the fridge and take the lasagna out of the baking dish, setting it on clear plastic wrap. Wrap it around tightly twice to hold the shape. Wrap aluminum foil around it and freeze it. When you are ready to cook the lasagna, unwrap it, put it in a baking dish and bake it.
The Most Intense Flavors
Lasagna is not the only recipe you can make ahead but it is certainly one of the best. Some people plan to make their lasagna ahead of time, not just because they know they will be pressed for time on the day, but also because allowing your lasagna to sit in the refrigerator for a few days intensifies the flavors and makes it tastier. The same applies to chili con carne, curries, and other dishes.
It is perfectly safe to make your lasagna ahead of time and to either refrigerate or freeze it and people do this every day without problems. If you have used meat which is near its use-by date, then you might want to ensure the lasagna is eaten (or frozen) before that date is reached. Similarly, cooked seafood lasagna recipes might not keep well for four days in the refrigerator but a beef or lamb one should.
Make it Ahead for the Best Results
Some recipes are supposed to be made and served immediately but others are fine to make ahead and if you want the most intense flavors, you might be wondering “how far ahead can I make lasagna” and how to store it until you do cook it.
Not everyone has the space in their refrigerator to keep a huge lasagna but you could store half in there and half in the freezer, if half a lasagna is sufficient for a family dinner.