Can You Bake Frozen Lasagna Without Thawing?
Lasagna is one of the favorite go-to meals of busy professionals. Some would usually make two or three pans and freeze them to reheat and consume any time they want. Those who don’t have the time to prepare the dish choose to buy the frozen kind instead.
Most store-bought frozen lasagnas come with cooking instructions using a conventional oven. What if your appliance is the convection type? A convection oven uses a different cooking process than the conventional one. Let’s see how you can bake a frozen lasagna in various ways.
Cooking Different Types of Frozen Lasagna
There are several ways to cook frozen lasagna, and the instructions vary depending on what type of appliance you will use. Before we go to the cooking process, let us first determine the type of frozen lasagna you have on hand.
You can categorize frozen lasagna into three varieties, and each requires a specific preparation procedure.
1. Unbaked and Frozen
For unbaked and frozen lasagna, you can get the best results by taking it out of the freezer and letting it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Lasagnas take some time to cook, hence the need for thawing so you can cook it evenly and thoroughly.
If you don’t have the luxury of time, you can cook it straight out of the freezer. However, you will need a much longer time than what is required to cook it through.
It’s also best to lower the temperature if you need to bake it for a more extended period. Check the lasagna’s cooked quality after completing the set time to ensure that it’s entirely heated. You may need to put it back in the oven if the middle portion still feels cold to let it cook for a few more minutes.
2. Baked and Frozen
For the baked and frozen kind, remember to preheat the oven before putting the dish inside. Also, check the cooking instructions on the recipe you have followed before freezing the lasagna.
By standard, you should double your cooking time when baking a frozen lasagna than when you first cooked it. Also, regularly check the dish in the oven to prevent burning. You can remove the lasagna from the oven once the sauce starts to boil.
3. Store-Bought Lasagna
Manufacturers prepared their ready-made frozen lasagnas from the grocery suitable for freezer-to-oven cooking. Most store-bought frozen lasagnas have covers with venting holes. You can cook the dish for around 45 minutes, although others come with specific cooking instructions on the package.
After completing the 45-minutes cook time, take out the dish and remove the cover. Put the lasagna back in the oven and cook for another 25 minutes. Once you see that the cheese has melted and browned, the lasagna is ready for serving.
Cooking Frozen Lasagna in Convection and Conventional Ovens
You can cook lasagna using various appliances. But today, we will just be checking out two options: convection and conventional oven types.
Cooking in a Convection Oven
A convection oven actively distributes the hot air inside, allowing food to cook evenly in less time than a conventional one. You need to make some adjustments with your cooking time and temperature if the indicated instructions are for conventional ovens.
Check the cooking temperature for the standard oven and lower it by 25 degrees for convection types. You should also shorten the cooking time by 25 percent from the one indicated for a traditional oven.
Cooking the lasagna in a convection oven longer than 45 minutes might dry it out. As such, you need to cover the dish with aluminum foil during the first half of your cooking to prevent it from losing its moisture. Remove the foil cover for the last half to melt the cheese and let the heat brown it a little.
Cooking in a Conventional Oven
If you’re like the majority, you are more familiar with baking lasagna in conventional ovens, where the heat comes from underneath the appliance.
As mentioned, it is better to thaw the lasagna inside the refrigerator overnight before baking to ensure even cooking. Then, cover the dish with aluminum foil as you wait for the oven’s temperature to reach the desired degree of hotness.
For two-shelf ovens, it is best to place the baking dish on the bottom rack. It usually takes about an hour for a thawed lasagna to cook and may take longer for a frozen one. Once you see sizzling on the dish, it means that it’s almost done. You can remove the foil cover and cook for several minutes more to melt the cheese.
Cooking Frozen Lasagna Without Thawing
There is no fast way to cook a frozen lasagna, but a thawed dish lessens the cooking time by at least 30 minutes. If you want a quicker way to cook that frozen lasagna, you can use a convection oven instead of the conventional type.
There are slight differences in the cooking time and temperature, but you can be sure of a more evenly cooked lasagna. It’s better to fully understand how a convection oven works to ensure perfect cooking results.