• Do you throw it all out in a tall pan at once or by batches? In what pan should you cook it?
  • Do you put them on top of each other in the pan?
  • Do you place them horizontally or vertically?
  • With oil in the water or not?
  • How do you drain them in the colander without everything sticking?
  • Should you boil, par-boil, or let them soak in water before layering (concerning run of the mill DeCeco lasagne)?
  • 2
    Not sure if its available where you live, but there is such a thing as no-boil lasagna noodles. They're typically what I use, as they avoid the extra step of cooking the pasta before I can build my lasagna, and I find that the no-boil variety better absorbs excess liquid, which results in a more stable final product. – senschen May 22 '17 at 14:50
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    lasagne v. lasagna ... there was an edit offered to change OP's title. For anyone concerned...the Italian word is a plural form, lasagne meaning more than one sheet of lasagna, though in many other languages a derivative of the singular word "lasagna" is used for the popular dish. – Cos Callis May 23 '17 at 14:56

I mainly use freshly made egg pasta and cook two or three sheets at a time. I build the lasagna as I go. So... Bring water to boil. Add a couple of tablespoons of salt. Do not add oil. Drop in a couple of sheets of pasta. Fresh takes a minute or two. Remove to a towel on counter top with a spider. When cool enough to handle, transfer to lasagna pan and add condiments. Drop a few more sheets of pasta into water and continue layering. Then bake.

For dry pasta, use a large pot and add all of the pasta. Salted water...no oil in water. Cook for a couple of minutes below the package recommendation. Drain. You could use a little bit of oil here to keep pasta from sticking together...or refresh in cool water bath. I would blot dry before layering. Build your lasagna. Bake.

  • If I add all the pages at once they stick together in the pot. How do you prevent that? – Bar Akiva May 22 '17 at 13:37
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    @BarAkiva large pot, plenty of water, stir frequently....or smaller pot, two batches. – moscafj May 22 '17 at 13:43
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    I use freshly made pasta and don't boil it. It's going to bake for 45 minutes or so, it cooks fine. – Kate Gregory May 22 '17 at 17:47
  • @KateGregory sure, that is one way to do it. I prefer to cook first. – moscafj May 22 '17 at 22:29

OR..don't at all. "No boil" is kind of a gimmick, any store bought dry lasagna noodle can be 'no boil' just put them into your dish dry. If you don't already start with a small layer of sauce at the bottom and then add the noodles, sauce, cheese, etc..repeat and bake. During the course of baking the noodles will absorb liquids from the sauce and soften. I prefer this because it leaves the layers with enough structure to stay together better on serving. One caveat, you might want to thin your sauce just a little if it isn't 'thin enough' to begin with. Add some more wine, broth, beer or wine...did I say wine twice? ;)

(also see Turning regular noodles into no-boil noodles)

  • It's personal preference, but if you've never tried boiling your lasagna noodles before hand, you should try it. Starting with uncooked pasta will work, but in my experience, the noodles become dough-y and unpleasant. Boiling the noodles before hand gives a better texture, IMO. – kitukwfyer May 22 '17 at 17:49
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    I have tried and there are occasions when I will do so, but, in general, I find I prefer the results from not pre-boiling. – Cos Callis May 23 '17 at 14:52

For normal dry store-bought noodles, I recommend assembling the lasagna with the noodles uncooked, but then leave it in the fridge for a few hours, up to overnight. That will soften the noodles enough to give the right result. I once boiled the noodles fully (as per the instructions on the box), and while they were nicely al dente at the time, they got too mushy by the end of baking. If you don't have the time to "pre soak", then I suppose boiling them for around 1/2 the recommended time would give the right result. The way to keep them from sticking is to use a large enough pan and stir regularly. Instead of draining in a colander, fish them out and drop them into a bowl of cold water. Oil in the water does nothing.

Assembly: Start with a layer of sauce on the bottom, then noodles, then whatever other ingredients, and cycle. End with sauce on top of a noodle layer, and possibly some cheese on top of that if you want. Store bought noodles should be about the same length as the short dimension of the pan, so they fit approximately 3 side-by-side in a typically sized pan. Don't overlap noodles.


I place them in the bake pan. In water with spice like garlic in it. Cover place in fridge & let soak till 1/2 to 3/4 soft. This I find adds extra flavor to them. Remove & use pan to bake them in.


Simple for me. Doesn't take a trick. I buy mid- to high-grade box lasagne noodles (not the no-bake stuff- bleagh).

Your pot and water height does not need to be higher than the length of the noodles. Boil rapidly, add a modicum of salt, add noodles. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer. The noodles will ply eventually, (pretty quickly), submerging. I never follow times on boxes. When the noodles are pliable like a stiff eel, remove carefully (I remove from the standing pot, never use a colander), place on parchment paper sprayed with Pam, take care of everything else while they sit.

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