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When it comes to how long to cook lasagna, there are a few things to consider deciding the length of time. Making lasagna from scratch, for instance, takes less time to cook than store-bought frozen lasagna. If the lasagna you are making is vegetarian lasagna, it may also take less time to cook then lasagna that is simply meat and cheese, or only cheese. Both of these options will create a delicious meal for the family, or a special occasion such as a birthday, church function, or potluck.
If you are planning to make your lasagna from scratch, you must consider how long the noodles will take to cook and cool before you can place them in the pan with the rest of the lasagnas ingredients. Since ingredients vary from chef to chef and cook to cook, it is important to know what you plan to build the lasagna with and how long it will then take to bake so it cooks completely.
When wondering how long to cook lasagna and it is frozen lasagna from the store, you are looking at two hours or more in addition to defrosting time. One simple way to make your pre-made store-bought lasagna special is to put extra cheese on the top. It will take a few more minutes to bake but the tastiness is worth the extra time. Other items to make it special is an extra bit of sauce, some sliced black olives or a dash of thyme or rosemary. Even though different types of lasagna have their own specific cooking times, it is important that you cook it so you like it, whether it is with a crunchy top or a smooth and bubbly top.
There is more to how long to cook lasagna than simply following the recipe. Every oven works slightly differently and other factors can affect the total cooking time, including the thickness of your vegetables, which vegetables you have used, how much sauce you have put in your lasagna, the thickness of your lasagna noodles, the size of the lasagna and more.
Rather than removing the lasagna at the end of the cooking time and assuming it is done, you should take it out of the oven and have a proper look at it. The lasagna should be piping hot in the center, the cheese on top should be bubbling and beginning to turn golden brown, and the vegetables should be tender.
If the top is browning too fast, you can cover the lasagna with some foil and keep cooking it. An underdone lasagna will have crunchy pasta and hard vegetables and an overcooked one will have a burnt appearance and flavor, and might be a little dried out. Practice makes perfect, and the more lasagna recipes you make the better you will become at knowing how long to cook lasagna.
Because lasagna is piping hot when it comes out of the oven, you might wish to leave it for a few minutes before serving it. This also allows the layers to settle and firms it up. While the lasagna is cooling you can prepare a simple tossed salad and pop the serving plates in the warm oven so they will be warm when you put the lasagna on to them.