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Due to time constraints, I need to prepare a large lasagne in advance of a dinner party at a friends house the next day. The ingredients will be meat sauce, bechamel sauce, a variety of grated hard cheeses and the dehydrated, hard pasta lasagne sheets commonly found in Europe and the UK.

I have considered assembling the lasagne while it is still warm, as both the sauces will be less stiff, more easily spread and levelled. However, I am concerned the heat may affect the quality of the cheese and the pasta sheets.

I won't really have much time to wait for it to cool down before assembling the dish the night before, and the next day both sauces will be very thick and almost impossible to spread evenly straight out of the refrigerator.

As I intend to bake the dish at the friends house, what would be the best way to approach this to bake the best lasagne?

5 Answers 5

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Just prepare the lasagna in advance as you normally would the day before the event. Refrigerate. Bring the dish to the friends house and bake as you normally would. Lasagna is fairly sturdy. It will hold up just fine.

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Lasagne is one of the dishes that taste even better when it is a day old, you can make/ bake it the day before and reheat it at your friend's place.

After baking, just let it cool down, put to the fridge and slowly reheat it at your friends place.

If you are worried about how the reheated lasagne tastes, you could make a small one as a test run.

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    That would be my pick as well. Rather than a partial gain from pre-prep, go for the whole gain from pre-finish, which also makes timing at the dinner a lot easier ("it's almost ready!"). That's not something I'd do on all recipes, far from, but lasagna works well with it. I might also experiment with microwave vs oven reheating. Commented May 9 at 18:52
  • @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica Lasange and gulash are great examples of better next day dishes as well as certain cakes. Microwave vs oven is for me if it has to stay warmer longer or is served right away and the amount of reheating. A single portion is better done in the microwave, a full serving of lasange better in the oven.
    – Zibelas
    Commented May 9 at 19:28
  • The selected answer isn't wrong, but this is the best answer. My wife's Italian-ish dishes always taste better as leftovers; the only reason we don't wait is we can't.
    – Dave
    Commented May 10 at 22:02
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My family makes lasagna every year for Christmas Eve, and my mom makes it multiple days in advance and keeps it in the fridge, then reheats it on the day of.

It’s slightly different than the one that you describe, as it’s made with fresh noodles (cooked before assembling, then spread out to cool), but with a meat sauce and béchamel. I want to say the assembly happened when everything was warm but not particularly hot, then put in the fridge.

She reheats the lasagna at a lower temperature until warmed through, and then turns up the temperature to let it brown the top just a bit. She serves it with freshly made béchamel and some extra tomato sauce on the side for anyone who wants extra. (We typically have two types of lasagna; there is also a white lasagna with no tomato or meat)

She often makes an extra of each one, and wraps it in heavy foil and freezes it for a later meal. I think she would let it defrost for a couple of days in the fridge, then reheat in a low oven (maybe 300°F / 150°C), etc.

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    I can confirm it freezes and defrosts very well, I often assemble then freeze and leave the baking until needed. Depending on what it is frozen in (i.e. no metal trays), a microwave defrost on medium power (70%) works quite well, followed by a bake in the oven to finish it off.
    – bob1
    Commented May 8 at 4:57
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    Thanks @Joe, I think the key here is the warm temperature.
    – Greybeard
    Commented May 8 at 23:11
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We have a Delia Smith recipe that says to prepare it 6 hours in advance to let the dried pasta get softer. I can't imagine longer would be a problem.

We always assemble it warm or as you say it doesn't spread.

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    If DS suggest that, it must be OK !!!
    – Greybeard
    Commented May 8 at 23:12
  • @Greybeard it is really good.
    – WendyG
    Commented May 9 at 8:55
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    Friend stated "That was the best lasaga I have ever tasted". So the tip for letting the pasta rehydrate clearly works.
    – Greybeard
    Commented May 11 at 22:31
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I've been using the no-boil recipes for some years now. Can't see any reason those couldn't be prepared in advance...

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