Why You Should Always Cover Lasagna Before Baking

Lasagna is a much-loved baked pasta dish involving layers of lasagna noodles, sauce, meat, and cheese, but there are countless unique ways to prepare and arrange these ingredients. The origins of the dish are a little fuzzy, but it undeniably originated in the Mediterranean region. Some believe the dish comes from ancient Greece — its name is derived from the Greek word laganum, which refers to the first type of pasta, according to CucinaVenti. The earliest lasagna recipe dates back to ancient Rome in a first-century cookbook, per La Cucina Italiana.

Nowadays, the pasta dish is made throughout the world. Lasagna is a comforting family recipe in many households, with recipes being passed down from generation to generation. Everyone has their own way of preparing it, but there are a few procedural standards that you should always follow to ensure your lasagna is moist, flavorful, and hearty. One of these standards is to always cover your dish before popping it in the oven.

How to avoid a dry lasagna

The biggest causes for concern when baking lasagna are more technical. While there are recommendations for the best kinds of cheeses, noodle brands, how much sauce to use, and more, it all comes down to a matter of personal preference. The issue lies in not properly preparing the dish, like not covering it during baking, warns Cooking Chops.

One of the best parts of lasagna is the crispy top layer of cheese, but this can be achieved through a quick pop under the broiler at the very end — not by leaving it uncovered the entire time. Half Scratched estimates that most lasagnas need to be cooked for at least 30 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. If uncovered, the prolonged exposure to heat will quickly dry out your lasagna, no matter how much sauce you've added. Make sure to always add a layer of tin foil over your baking dish, which will trap the moisture inside while still allowing the dish to cook properly. Once it's done or nearly all the way cooked through, remove the foil and change your oven to its broiler setting. This will give the top layer of cheese that classic bubbly, brown, crispy top without drying out the entire lasagna.