Here’s all you need to know about lasagna’s shelf life and storage. Learn how long lasagna lasts, how to store it, and how to tell if it’s spoiled.
Baked homemade lasagna and not sure how long you can store the leftovers? How long does lasagna last?
Or maybe you got yours at the deli counter and wondering how many days you’ve got to eat it.
If that sounds familiar, or you’d like to learn a thing or two about storage, shelf life, or spoilage of lasagna, you’re in the right place.
Let’s jump right in.
How Long Does Lasagna Last?
Homemade lasagna lasts in the fridge for 3 to 4 days of cooking, and so does pre-baked lasagna that you buy at the deli counter. If you need more time than that, you can freeze the leftovers.
Canned lasagna lasts months past the printed date, similar to pretty much all canned goods. And as long as the can is untouched, the food should be safe.
After opening your canned lasagna, you should refrigerate the leftovers and use them within 3 to 4 days. Once again, freezing the rest is also an option.
(All of the above is also true for storing leftover mac and cheese.)
Now, say your lasagna has been in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. That means it’s most likely going to be perfectly fine to eat.
But before doing so, take the time to reheat it properly. That’s for two reasons:
- Cold lasagna tastes bad, so make sure yours is nice and warm before eating.
- Proper reheating, meaning bringing the whole dish to an internal temperature of 165°F (or 74 °C), kills most microbes and ensures that the dish is safe to eat. So even if there’s some invisible (for now) bacterial growth going, the heat neutralizes that.
How to Store Lasagna
Store your leftover lasagna in the refrigerator, sealed tightly. And make sure you’re using clean utensils when scooping and portioning, so those leftovers don’t spoil prematurely.
Next, follow the 2-hour rule, meaning refrigerate the leftovers within two hours of cooking. Leave them at room temperature until barely warm, then transfer them to an airtight container and place them in the fridge.
If refrigerating for 3 to 4 days isn’t enough, you can freeze lasagna. If it’s already baked, it might taste a bit different after defrosting and reheating, but it should still be quite okay. You only need to portion the leftovers, wrap them, and freeze them.
You can use freezer bags, resealable containers, or any other dish if you wrap it using plastic wrap or aluminum foil. And if you want the lasagna to sit in the freezer for more than a couple of months, consider double-wrapping to further protect the casserole from freezer burn.
Finally, if you’ve bought your lasagna frozen, it’s obvious you should store it in the freezer. Just chuck the container in there, and you’re good to go.
How Long Can You Freeze Lasagna?
Frozen lasagna retains best quality for up to 6 months. After that period, the casserole will still be safe to eat and taste pretty good after reheating, but its quality might start to drop slowly over time.
(If you’re famished and want to eat anything as soon as possible, it won’t matter much to you.)
This six-month period is only a rough estimate, as it’s impossible to tell precisely how long a frozen product will keep quality. But just like other frozen foods, your lasagna will gradually lose quality. And at some point, probably after more than 12 to 18 months, it will taste pretty so-so after defrosting and reheating.
How to Tell if Lasagna Is Bad?
Discard your lasagna if:
- It’s moldy. The casserole is done if you notice any mold on the surface or in the container. Don’t even think about scooping the affected area and eating the rest.
- It’s discolored or the texture has changed. These don’t happen nearly as often as mold but are also sure signs of spoilage.
- It smells off. Any leftover food that smells funky or “funny” is most likely spoiled, and that’s definitely the case for lasagna.
- It’s refrigerated for more than four days. As I already mentioned, you can store leftover lasagna for up to 4 days. If yours has been in the fridge for longer, it’s no longer safe to eat. Toss it.
Those are the typical signs of spoiled lasagna. But if you notice anything odd, trust your gut and toss the casserole. Better safe than sorry.