Think making lasagna has to be difficult? Not with this super simple freezer lasagna recipe. You don’t even need to purchase oven-ready lasagna noodles. This dish also makes a great freezer meal if you are doing a lot of cooking for the month. Use the basic freezer lasagna recipe to start, then customize using one of the other freezer lasagna recipes as an idea to design your own freezer lasagna recipe creation. Can you freeze homemade lasagna? Definitely! How do you make a homemade frozen lasagna? Whether you call it lasagna or lasagne, this is one of the best make-ahead lasagna recipes ever. Here’s how to make easy, homemade, freezer-friendly lasagna!
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Where This Awesome Easy Freezer Lasagna Recipe Originated
When I graduated from college and moved into an apartment, my mom did a very sweet thing. She put together a cookbook filled with easy favorite family recipes.
It was such a blessing! I had no clue about cooking, and the recipes she chose to include were perfect for a beginning cook. One of the recipes was this easy lasagna. However, the original recipe was made in a 7 by 11-inch pan. Fast forward a number of years to when I became a mom to boys. These boys (and their dad) all loved to eat lasagna. One 7 by 11-inch pan of lasagna was not going to last very long around our house. I adapted the recipe to suit a larger, 9 by 13-inch pan, and that is the recipe I’m sharing with you today. I often like to make two pans of this lasagna. One pan gets baked and eaten right away, and the other goes in the freezer for later.
***Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.*** Already know what you’d like to get from Amazon? Here’s a handy way to get to the website, linked a baking dish that’s perfect for this recipe. Just click on the link, then browse around and do your shopping.
Freezer Lasagna Equipment
One essential item needed for this easy freezer lasagna recipe is a nice 9 by 13-inch baking dish. The baking dishes with lids are especially nice for storing leftovers (if you have any) in the refrigerator. This is the one I have and use often.
Another convenient item needed for this recipe is a large skillet for browning the meat or vegetables and heating the sauce. If you are doubling or tripling the recipe, you can even use a large stockpot or canning pot. This skillet is my favorite. I use it constantly.
If you are going to be freezing the lasagna, you will need aluminum foil to line the baking dish.
Freezer Lasagna Ingredients
1/2 to 1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup water
1 32-ounce jar marinara sauce (home-canned sauce is excellent, if you have it)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 package lasagna noodles
1 16-ounce small curd cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
16 ounces mozzarella cheese (more if you slice cheese thickly)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Freezer Lasagna Directions
If you are baking the lasagna after assembling, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. If you are going to freeze the lasagna, prepare a 9 by 13 inch baking dish for freezing the lasagna by layering in one sheet of foil lengthwise and two sheets of foil across, overlapping slightly. Leave some extra foil draped over the edges of the baking dish.
Brown ground beef in a large skillet. If you wish, you may add chopped onions, celery or green pepper to make a ground meat mix, as I wrote about in my kitchen shortcuts post. Drain the ground beef, then add water, sauce, and salt. Mix together and bring to a boil.
While the sauce is coming to a boil, slice the mozzarella cheese. I like to place eight slices on each cheese layer. I usually like to have two layers, so you will need to slice 16 slices. When the cheese is sliced and the sauce has come to a boil, begin your layers.
Layer hot sauce, lasagna noodles, and cheese. Repeat layers and top with sauce.
Here’s how to prepare the lasagna for the freezer. Cover with foil but leave the extra foil lining draped over the sides. Put the baking dish in the freezer. After 24 hours, remove the frozen lasagna from the baking dish using the extra foil as handles. Fold the extra foil over the top so the foil completely encases the frozen lasagna. Label the foil with the date using a marker and return the foil-covered lasagna package to the freezer. For best quality, eat within 18 months.
Homemade frozen lasagna cook time varies depending on whether or not you choose to thaw it first. To bake frozen lasagna, take it out of the freezer 1 day before baking. Return it to the same baking pan you originally froze it in. Thaw in the refrigerator, then bake as directed. Reheating frozen lasagna in the oven from the freezer takes some extra time. If you bake the lasagna directly from the freezer, you will need to add approximately 30 minutes of bake time. The frozen lasagna oven temperature will remain the same as with baking thawed lasagna, which is 375 degrees.
To bake, cover lasagna pan tightly with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour. Let the lasagna stand for ten minutes before cutting. Remove the foil and garnish with Parmesan cheese. The recipe serves eight.
- 9 by 13-inch baking dish
- Aluminum foil for freezing, if desired
- 1/2 to 1 pound ground beef
- ¾ cup water
- 1 32-ounce jar of marinara sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ box lasagna noodles
- 1 16-ounce container of cottage cheese
- 16 ounces mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- If you are going to freeze the lasagna, prepare a 9 by 13 inch baking dish for freezing the lasagna by layering in one sheet of foil lengthwise and two sheets of foil across, overlapping slightly. Leave some extra foil draped over the edges of the baking dish.
- Brown ground beef in a large skillet. If you wish, you may add chopped onions, celery or green pepper to make a ground meat mix.
- Drain the ground beef, then add water, sauce, and salt. Mix together and bring to a boil.
- While the sauce is coming to a boil, slice the mozzarella cheese. I like to place eight slices on each cheese layer. I usually like to have two layers, so you will need to slice 16 slices. When the cheese is sliced and the sauce has come to a boil, begin your layers.
- Layer hot sauce, lasagna noodles, and cheese. Repeat layers and top with sauce.
- To freeze the lasagna, cover with foil but leave the extra foil lining draped over the sides. Put the baking dish in the freezer. After 24 hours, remove the frozen lasagna from the baking dish using the extra foil as handles. Fold the extra foil over the top so the foil completely encases the frozen lasagna. Label the foil with the date using a marker and return the foil-covered lasagna package to the freezer. For best quality, eat within 18 months.
- If the lasagna is frozen, take it out of the freezer 1 day before baking. Return it to the same baking pan you originally froze it in. Thaw in the refrigerator, then bake as directed. If you bake the lasagna directly from the freezer, you will need to add approximately 30 minutes of bake time.
- To bake thawed lasagna or lasagna that has not been frozen, cover lasagna pan tightly with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.
- Let the lasagna stand for ten minutes before cutting. Remove the foil and garnish with Parmesan cheese.
Freezer Lasagna Questions
Is it better to freeze lasagna cooked or uncooked? It’s definitely better to freeze lasagna uncooked. Reheating frozen lasagna that has already been cooked can result in tough noodles.
Is it better to thaw frozen lasagna before baking? If you want to have a shorter baking time, thaw the lasagna first. If you have more time and patience, you can bake the lasagna directly from the freezer. You will just have to add about 30 minutes to the baking time.
How do you freeze lasagna in individual portions? If you want to freeze the lasagna in individual portions, get 8 small rectangular containers that have lids and are freezer-friendly. After assembling the lasagna in the large baking pan, cut the lasagna into 8 portions and transfer to the smaller containers. Label with the date and place in the freezer for up to 18 months. When you are ready to bake, transfer frozen lasagna to an oven-safe dish with sides and cover with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the noodles are cooked and the cheese is melted. If you know you are going to be freezing the lasagna in individual portions, you may want to cook the noodles following package directions before layering in the baking pan with the other ingredients.
Vegetarian Freezer Lasagna Recipe Variation
To make this freezer lasagna vegetarian-friendly, simply omit the ground beef or italian sausage. Proceed with the other steps as directed in the recipe. You may wish to add additional items such as mushrooms or cooked squash. If you use fresh mushrooms, you can saute them in the skillet before adding the marinara sauce.
Gluten-Free, Keto-Friendly Freezer Lasagna Recipe Variation
To make this freezer lasagna recipe gluten-free, you have a couple of options. The first and easiest method is to purchase gluten-free lasagna noodles. You can just substitute these noodles for regular lasagna noodles and follow the recipe as directed.
The other gluten-free option, which is more low-carb and keto-friendly, is to layer on something entirely different than lasagna noodles. Thin slices of zucchini may be substituted for the lasagna noodles. If you try this method, slice the zucchini lengthwise as thinly as you can. Some people use a peeler and others use a mandoline. You could also try slicing thinly with a knife.
Once you have your zucchini sliced thinly, sprinkle salt on the slices to draw out some of the water. Let the salted zucchini sit for about 15 minutes, then cook in a skillet for 1-2 minutes on each side. That way, your gluten-free lasagna won’t be too watery. Once you have your lasagna zucchini “noodles” ready, follow the rest of the recipe as directed.
Easy 8×8 Freezer Lasagna Recipe
To adapt this easy freezer lasagna recipe to an 8×8 pan, simply halve the ingredients. Alternatively, if you like the idea of using an 8×8 pan and have two of them, you can keep the ingredient amounts the same and make 2 8×8 freezer lasagnas.
Perfect for Large Gatherings
This recipe lends itself well to feeding a crowd. To make a bulk lasagna recipe to feed a crowd, just double, triple, or quadruple the recipe. If you have room in your oven, or have a double oven (I’m jealous), put all of the pans in the oven to bake at the same time. If you don’t have two ovens (I do not) you may want to switch the pans on the top rack with the pans on the bottom rack about halfway through the baking cycle so the pans bake evenly.
What Goes Well with Freezer Lasagna?
If you are taking one of these freezer lasagna recipes to a friend, there are some easy side dishes you can bring along. Pick up a fresh loaf of French bread along the way. If you can your own green beans, send along a pretty jar to accompany the freezer lasagna. Both the bread (which can be frozen) and the canned green beans may be stored for later. If you know that your friend is going to be cooking the freezer lasagna right away, you can send along a tossed berry mandarin salad. If you prefer home-baked goods, add some easy, foolproof dinner rolls. For a simple dessert, send along some blueberry rhubarb crisp, apple crisp, or blueberry cobbler. Whatever you include with your freezer lasagna meal will be appreciated by a new mom or anyone else who needs an easy, delicious home-cooked meal.
Might You Try One of These Freezer Lasagna Recipes?
Are these easy freezer lasagna recipes calling your name? If you decide to try on of these recipes, I’d love to know how it turns out. If you like what you’ve read today, please consider subscribing and becoming part of the Fluxing Well community. You will receive fresh ideas every week, plus access to a library of free printable resources, including a free cookbook filled with the best easy recipes from the Fluxing Well website.
Perhaps one of these easy freezer lasagna recipes will earn a special place at your family dinners. We have many fond memories of gathering around a pan of this steamy, warm, savory goodness. It truly is comfort food at its best. I hope you have a fabulous week and have fun making easy lasagna!