How to Make Homemade Lasagna for the Freezer

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Freezing lasagna is a great way to make it ahead of time and have one of your favorite meals at the ready. This homemade lasagna recipe is a delicious one-dish dinner that can be made ahead and frozen. And this recipe for making lasagna allows you to customize it to suit your tastes. 

slice of lasagna on a plate with cornbread and salad

Lasagna has always been one of my favorite meals to make and freeze. It’s filling, and it can be doctored up with veggies to make it a one-dish dinner. My kids have gone through seasons when they’ve been picky about lasagna, but with my current method and go-to recipe, a 9×13 pan disappears in a flash.

Making homemade lasagna.

Lasagna is total comfort food. When served with salad, garlic bread, and a nice glass of wine for the adults, it makes the perfect company dinner.

Sure, you could go buy a frozen lasagna at the store, but making your own and freezing lasagna is so much better! Plus, it’s really not difficult at all.

Making homemade lasagna more affordable

Growing up, our lasagna had a cottage cheese filling. I upgraded that to ricotta when I became an adult. And I love lasagna made with a cream cheese filling like this easy lasagne recipe.

But, sometimes those cheeses can be pricey, especially if you’re buying a large quantity.

Nowadays my go-to method is to use a white sauce instead of a cheese filling. It’s super cheap to make with pantry staples and it tastes great!

Freezing lasagna

If I’m going to make lasagna, it’s rare that I’ll make just one pan. It’s so easy to make several casseroles at once and stash the extras in the freezer for later! It’s worth it to make extras and have dinner all ready to go.

How to make freeze lasagna – step by step

Ingredients and containers on a counter to freeze lasagna

I lay out all the components, making a meat sauce and a white sauce in two separate pans. I have the cheese and the uncooked noodles ready at hand.

When I want to add vegetables, I usually do so via the sauce, making a veggie-rich bolognese or using this roasted vegetable sauce with browned ground beef. You can also add some chopped spinach to your favorite spaghetti sauce and call it good.

I haven’t cooked my lasagna noodles before assembly in years. If you add enough sauce to the dish, the noodles will cook in the sauce while the casserole bakes. This saves so much time — and you don’t have to clean another pan.

containers prepped with lasagna ingredients for freezing

Start with a layer of sauce. Well, spray the pans first and then the sauce. I know it sounds weird to have the sauce on the bottom, but it works. And no, this isn’t very saucy looking sauce because the meat was cold when I stirred it in. Sorry.

lasagna noodles layered in metal containers for freezing

Once you’ve got the sauce, add a layer of cheese and a layer of noodles. Again, don’t cook the noodles. I’ve been making it this way for almost 20 years. It will be fine. Promise.

cheese added to freezer lasagnas

Then add the white sauce that you made yourself. I usually stir in about 1/4 cup shredded parmesan or asiago cheese to dress it up a bit.

shredded mozzarella layered on top of freezer lasagnas

Repeat with layers of noodles, sauce, and cheese. I have a kid who doesn’t love lots of melted cheese, so I go light on the cheese on one end of the lasagna.

Freezer Lasagnas labeled with cooking instructions

Tip for freezing lasagna

Last cover the pans. If they come with lids, great. If not, heavy duty foil works. I also bag the casserole dish in 2-gallon size Ziploc bags. A whole casserole dish fits! I suck out the air with a straw so that there’s no air left in the bag to condense and create ice crystals.

I chill the casseroles in the refrigerator for several hours before I put them in the freezer. This helps them freeze quickly which in turn reduces the risk of freezer burn.

Tools I use for for freezing lasagna:

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Homemade Lasagna for the Freezer
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Homemade lasagna is a delicious one-dish dinner that can be made ahead and frozen. This recipe for making lasagna allows you to customize it to suit your tastes.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: lasagna
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 330 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef turkey, or sausage
  • 3 cups favorite spaghetti sauce
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 lasagna noodles
  • 1 batch white sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Grease a 9x13-inch pan. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef. Add the spaghetti sauce and set aside.
  2. Spread half the meat sauce in the bottom of the 9x13-inch pan. Sprinkle 2 cups of mozzarella cheese over the sauce.
  3. Lay 4 noodles across the cheese.
  4. Add the parmesan cheese to the white sauce, whisking to combine. Pour this mixture over the noodles in the pan. Top with the remaining four noodles.
  5. Spread the rest of the meat sauce over the noodles. Top with the remaining cheese.
  6. Wrap and label the pan with baking instructions. Chill completely before freezing. The dish can be frozen up to 3 months in a refrigerator’s freezer compartment.
  7. To serve: Thaw completely in the refrigerator. Bake in a preheated 400° oven for 30 minutes. Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Lasagna for the Freezer
Amount Per Serving
Calories 330 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 81mg27%
Sodium 892mg39%
Potassium 404mg12%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 22g44%
Vitamin A 534IU11%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 228mg23%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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Comments

  1. Micha says

    This is how I make lasagna. I don’t care for cottage cheese or ricotta so I use white sauce. I have to admit that seeing cornbread with lasagna is a bit unusual but I usually only serve it with chili, a pot of pintos, or vegetable soup.

    • Ha! I had a big BIG debate with my editor on that point when I paired them in a book. I asked all my friends after that. Turns out it’s a Marie Callendar’s combination that I adapted long ago. Try it. It’s really yummy.

  2. Meagan says

    I wish I had realized years ago that you don’t have to boil regular lasagne noodles first. Such a great shortcut!

  3. Karen J says

    Jessica, I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for quite a while. Since I’m still pantry challenging I made it last night as I had everything. I had a box of the no boil noodles to use up. Very delicious! I think this will be my go to way from now on. I like lasagna with ricotta, but it’s expensive and cottage cheese isn’t my favorite. White sauce works great! I never would have thought of it.
    Thanks!

  4. Bonnie says

    When you make it fresh, do you bake it covered?

  5. Leigh says

    Do you have to double the ingredients to make 2 lasagnas or is the recipe above enough to make 2?

  6. Theresa Vigil says

    I use cottage cheese in my lasagna. Will that change anything with the freezing and reheating?

    • Nope. I use the same methods when I use cottage cheese or ricotta instead of the white sauce.

  7. Vanessa says

    A few times the top has come out overdone – like brown cheese. Is 400 the right temperature? What should I do to avoid this in the future? Love this recipe!!

    • Some ovens can be off or off “sometimes”. I would cover it with a sheet of foil for the first 15 minutes and then uncover for the rest.

  8. Kim says

    How long does it take to thaw in refrigerator before baking

    • It may take up to a couple of days, depending on the temp of your fridge and where in the refrigerator you place it.

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