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One of the most popular dishes out there, lasagna, is universally adored and made around the world. But how long does this beloved dish last? Can it spoil? How to find out if your lasagna is still delicious or if it is time to throw it out? With so many ingredients going into it, it is critical to be aware of the shelf life of all the ingredients, especially those that will spoil the quickest. It is just as important to use good quality products, not just because your lasagna is going to taste so much better, but also because fresher produce, guarantees longer shelf life. In this article we will find out all about how you can enjoy your lasagna longer.
I love lasagna and would love to eat it all the time, every time. But if you have ever made lasagna, you will know what a long, drawn-out process that is. At least for me, lasagna is not the dish I quickly throw together on a whim. It is a dish I meticulously plan for, always ensuring I have the time and the ingredients. Which is why when I make lasagna, I double whatever I usually make and put one away in the freezer for a future meal.
Cooked lasagna will last in your fridge for 3-5 days. This depends on proper storage. You can also freeze lasagna in an air-tight container, which should be good for 2-3 months. This is for homemade lasagna, considering other factors such as quality of products use, storage and temperature control.
Frozen, store-bought lasagnas can last for anywhere from 6 months to a year in your freezer if it is left as is in the packaging.
How To Freeze and Store Lasagna?
Homemade lasagna, using fresh produce and quality ingredients can have a long shelf life if stored properly.
- If you want to store lasagna for just a few days, don’t leave the lasagna out for too long. Transfer it into an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. It is best to refrigerate lasagna within an hour or two of making it. This ensures that the quality of the lasagna doesn’t deteriorate and will last longer.
- To freeze lasagna, store it in an airtight container or tightly wrap it in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and leave in the freezer. Make sure that the lasagna is not hot when you’re freezing it, it must be at room temperature. You should not freeze hot foods as they might thaw out the foods around it in the freezer, making them unsafe or inedible. Hot foods also take a long time to freeze, which increases risk of spoilage.
- It is ideal to freeze food within an hour of making it. If you are making lasagna specifically to freeze it, to be used later, then make it, let it cool and immediately freeze it. Lasagna is best frozen within an hour or two of making it.
- If you are freezing a large portion of lasagna to be consume over a period, then portion it out and then freeze it. This is so that the frozen lasagna is not constantly taken out to thaw, exposing it to fluctuating temperatures, thus increasing the chance of it going bad.
- If you are freezing store-bought lasagna that has been cooked, transfer it into an airtight, freezer-safe dish and it will last in your fridge for 2-3 months. The lasagna won’t necessarily spoil after the date of expiry, but it won’t taste as good.
- If you are planning to prep and store uncooked lasagna, you can still freeze it. The best way to do it, is to cook it, layer it and freeze before baking. This way the lasagna retains all the flavors and still tastes fresh.
How Long Does Lasagna Last? Does It Go Bad?
Here is a handy table to give you a general idea of how long your lasagna will last. Keep in mind this is an estimate. The lasagna’s endurance depends on several factors that need to be considered:
- When was it made?
- How fresh are the ingredients used?
- Is it fully cooked?
- Has it been frozen and thawed?
|Storage||Homemade||Store-bought fresh||Store-bought frozen|
|Pantry||2-4 hours||2-6 hours||Overnight|
|Fridge||3-5 days||3-5 days (depending when it was made)||1-2 days|
|Freezer||2-3 months||3-6 months||6-12 months|
The durability of lasagna depends on the shelf life of the ingredient that is going to spoil first, in this case, the cheese, specifically ricotta cheese. Then you must take into account, the meat, the sauce, vegetables and the noodles. Different ingredients will spoil at different times.
So, bear in mind that lasagna can last anywhere from a few hours to up to a year, but it will definitely spoil. You can take a few steps to make this delicious dish last longer, but first, here is how to tell if your lasagna’s life is over.
How To Tell If Your Lasagna Is Still Safe to Eat?
The sniff test is the best way to tell if your lasagna is still good. If it smells sour or funky, it will generally smell “off” that is your first indication that your lasagna is not safe to eat any more. Secondly, be on the lookout for any weird sheen or discoloration on your lasagna. Gray or green spots, a dullness or withered look or an oily shine are sure fire ways to spot spoilt lasagna. You should not eat spoilt lasagna, or lasagna that is one the verge of spoiling, it will result in food poisoning, nausea and other related illnesses.
If your lasagna looks and smells fine, but you’re still not sure, then take a small bite. Spoilt lasagna will have a sour taste, you’ll need to throw it out immediately.
Lasagnas that are store bought come with an expiry date. Because we are unsure of when exactly it was made and under what conditions, it is ideal to adhere to the dates provided. There will usually be a best-by date or an expiry date or both. Best-by date refers to the date till when the lasagna will taste good. You can still eat the lasagna after this date, it will not spoil, but its quality will be poorer, and it will not taste as good. The expiry date is the earliest date the lasagna can spoil.
How to Increase the Shelf Life of Lasagna?
Every lasagna-lover is hoping to enjoy it for as long as possible, and here are a few quick tips to make your lasagna last for as long as possible.
- Store the lasagna in an airtight container or wrap tightly with foil.
- Ensure you cool the lasagna before refrigerating or freezing it.
- If you are prepping lasagna for future consumption, cook it but don’t bake it before you freeze it. It will last longer and taste better.
- Use the freshest possible ingredients and ensure they are of good quality; they play a huge part in the lasagna’s shelf life.
- Don’t leave the lasagna out for too long. Refrigerate or freeze it between 1-4 hours of making it.
You can enjoy your lasagna longer and avoid food wastage by taking steps to store your food properly.