The Easiest Way To Repurpose Broken Lasagna Noodles

Let's set the scene: You're about to make a lasagna from scratch for a weeknight meal or maybe even a dinner party and you're excited. Perhaps you've had a pot of Bolognese simmering away on the stove for hours or fresh ricotta cheese from the farmer's market or your favorite cheese shop sitting in the fridge. The anticipation mounts as you prepare to assemble the dish. Then, you open the box of lasagna noodles and discover, much to your chagrin, that several of the sheets have broken. 

While there's no rule against using chipped or split lasagna noodles in a lasagna, there is something satisfying about having those perfect, intact sheets laying in the pan as you work on spreading the different layers. So what do you do with the broken noodles? Throw them away? Not so fast. It turns out that the "one person's trash is another person's treasure" metaphor applies to pasta as well.

Use them as a substitute

According to Life Hacker, there are plenty of uses for broken lasagna noodles, including adding them to your soups and stews. Most soups or stew recipes will call for some kind of grain, be it rice, pasta, or potato. But rather than using a smaller noodle like ditalini, macaroni, or egg noodles for a soup or stew, you can impart broken lasagna noodles for a unique texture and appearance — and ridges that are great for catching all the tasty ingredients. 

Epicurious also suggests using broken lasagna noodles in place of any other small noodle you'd put in a pasta dish, such as this baked feta pasta recipe or a classic basil pesto pasta recipe. So, the next time you encounter broken lasagna noodles, don't panic and throw them away. Instead, save them and let your imagination run wild with all the possibilities for pasta substitutions.