Seeking the perfect receptacle for lasagna
March 11, 2020 8:07 AM   Subscribe

I am tired of having to break lasagne pasta sheets to have them fit into our various odd shaped oven dishes. Do you have the perfect pan for baking lasagna? I want to hear about it and where to buy it. Challenge: For smaller recipe size.

We often make the lasagna where we don't need to cook the lasagna sheet first. The sheets seem to come in somewhat standard dimensions, and yet none of my oven dishes can take a layer of pasta without me having to break them up.

I only want to lay down 4 sheets per layer (so a rectangle with the sheets laid down 2x2). Most of the normal lasagna pans are much bigger, but we just don't make lasagna that big on a regular basis. (I know, a valid question is "why not??" but please indulge my constraints.) Something around 6.5"x14" could work but I can't find an easy way to search for that sort of dimension.

Glass? Ceramic? Nonstick? Open to all.
posted by like_neon to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
We usually use a 9x13 3 qt Pyrex. 3 noodles per layer. The noodles look a little small going in, but they expand to fill the space pretty nicely.
posted by damayanti at 8:23 AM on March 11, 2020 [3 favorites]

So a few weeks ago I wanted to make Mac n cheese lasagna (no recipe, just an idea and it was delicious BTW) and only had 5 lasagna noodles. I used a disposable aluminum loaf pan I had left over from making bread to give away at holiday time. It worked *perfectly* with a single line of noodles- just a smidge of room on all sides- and yielded 3 servings. I’m going to try in my ceramic loaf pan next, because I feel like I unlocked a secret to Quick Easy Small Amount Lasagna.
posted by holyrood at 8:24 AM on March 11, 2020 [5 favorites]

Lasagne noodles are @ 10" long x 3.5" wide, but that standard is unlikely to be very reliable. You canlook for pans that are any combination of 3,5, 7, 10.5 by 10. An 11" pan will accommodate 3 noodles laid width-ways, and you could break them in half, so 11 x 5 would take 3(halves) x 2.

2 x 2 uncut noodles calls for a 10 x 7 pan. This one is low, but nice. This is enameled, which is harder to clean. 10 x 7 is a 1/8 sheet pan.

I cut the noodles after boiling, with scissors, which seems easier.
posted by theora55 at 8:26 AM on March 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

I make lasagna in two bread pans (8-1/2" x 4-1/2" x 2-1/2"). I started doing this when there was one meat-eater and one vegetarian in the house, but kept it up once we both went veg. I find it really convenient for making leftovers. We eat one bread-pans worth for dinner, the other goes into the fridge (once cooled) to be divvied up for lunches.
One noodle (Trader Joe's oven-ready/no-cook lasagna noodles) fits perfectly...maybe a little bit more space around the noodle than there should be, but I really pack in the fillings. I usually use 3-4 noodles in each pan.
posted by Gray Duck at 8:33 AM on March 11, 2020 [6 favorites]

Yes, yes to loaf pans! I've used a ceramic one with great success.
posted by mefireader at 9:18 AM on March 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

Nthing loaf pans.

If you want to go even more compact, and are willing to consider cooking the noodles first, one trick I tried was to take the cooked noodles, spread a line of cheese down each noodle, and then roll each noodle up like it's a jelly roll - then you nestle the noodle rolls into whatever dish you like and pour the sauce over that. It gives you a good deal of flexibility with the shaping and it's easier to scale down to a single serving that way. (I'm a similar solo diner and I feel your pain.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:22 AM on March 11, 2020 [5 favorites]

Loaf pans!
posted by raccoon409 at 9:48 AM on March 11, 2020

I do the trick EmpressCallipygos suggested all the time - it's awesome! Not only does it help you scale the recipe up or down, but the lasagna cooks more evenly, so you don't get the top all dried out and the bottom soggy. The downside is that it's more assembly than just building layers in the pan.
posted by chbrooks at 10:40 AM on March 11, 2020

There are other sizes of lasagna noodles. The last ones I bought were no boil from Trader Joe’s and they were about 3.5 by 6. I used them in a square pan with two noodles per layer.
posted by soelo at 12:36 PM on March 11, 2020

It is both immoral and improper to mention something as crazy delicious sounding as "mac and cheese lasagna" and not share the recipe with the rest of us. Paging holyrood...

I also use a loaf pan.
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet at 1:53 PM on March 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

Loaf pan for stacking 1 lasagna sheet to the sky. Duh. Thanks everyone.
posted by like_neon at 5:28 AM on March 13, 2020

Haha sorry missed the call 2soxy. I made it up (I am sure others have done it- I mean I didn’t look at any other recipes beforehand). I made a bechamel cheese sauce (butter and flour and shallots and milk and cheese) on the stovetop like I would for baked Mac n cheese. I took a pound or so of fresh spinach, washed, and chopped finely (still raw). Put a generous amount of butter in the loaf pan. Add noodle. Add handful of spinach and a lump of cheese sauce. Continue layering, pushing down every noodle gently to distribute the sauce and raw spinach along. The raw spinach will give up water while cooking and cook the noodles so that’s why you gotta distribute it all through. Bake at 350 for 20 min. Take out, top with breadcrumbs, butter, and Parmesan mix, bake 5 more min until top is crunchy.
posted by holyrood at 6:37 PM on April 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

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