Cure for Crispy Top Layer of Lasagna

April 23, 2007 21 Comments

Cure for Crispy Top Layer of Lasagna

How to Keep the Top Layer if Lasagna from Getting Crispy

I got sent me the following email:

“Please Help! I’ve tried everything with the final top layer of pasta for my lasagna. It always cooks too crispy and hard. I’ve even tried a double layer and peeled the top off to still find the second layer also crunchy and too difficult to chew around the edges. I’ve covered it completely with sauce to have it drip all over the oven because of the bubbling.”


When I asked Chef Ricco what to do, he had a simple answer we can all try at home. He said, “This is simple, before Gail covers the pan with aluminum, first cover with plastic wrap then the aluminum foil over the plastic wrap. And don’t fret, the plastic won’t melt.

Now, there is a basic lasagna recipe at The Reluctant Gourmet website with some simple step-by-step instructions. And if you want to try something a little more involved but really just as easy, check out Spinach & Roasted Pepper Lasagna.




Last modified on Sun 9 July 2017 2:33 pm

Comments (21)

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  1. Vicki says:

    No offense to Gail, but the crispy top layer is my favorite part!

  2. Terry says:

    I must agree, I love the crispy part

  3. Amateur Cook says:

    Interesting method using plastic (cling) wrap. Would never have believed it doesn’t melt during cooking. And I won’t until I try it for myself!

  4. Bodil says:

    DAMN that recipe is really kewl! Thanx

  5. Prasad says:

    I thought aluminiun foils were not allowed in microwave,, Can we really use aluminiun foils in microwaves.pls reply…. my top layer got hard

  6. Marian says:

    Hi Reluctant Gourmet (is this the correct way to address you)?

    I too am having problems with crunchy brown lasagne top layer and macaroni cheese top layer. The meal looks ok when removed from the oven. I remove a portion for my husband to take to work. By the time he gets it there the top is crunchy and brown and totally inedible. He only has a microwave at work. How can I re-heat the pasta dish in the conventional oven and the microwave its is crusty already??? In otherwords how do I kill the crusty so it stays dead and remaians nice and en dente??? Your response would be so much appreciated. Marion

    • Hi Marian, I’m assuming you are using Chef Rico’s tip for covering it with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil when making it in the first place. I wonder if he tried covering the dish with plastic wrap before microwaving would solve the problem. Also, have you tried wrapping the piece you remove for you husband to take to work in plastic wrap to keep the air from getting to it and making it crust up? I would give that a try too.

      Any other suggestions from someone who has solved this problem is welcome.

      • Kevin says:

        I honestly signed up for this because I couldn’t not say something. If a “Chef” is telling you to microwave anything, you should be questioning the validity of their expertise.

        Also, tinfoil over your pan and back into the oven for a bit will work. If its dry add a tiny ( very tiny) bit of water to the pan and then cover, etc. Adding extra tomato sauce to it will destroy the flavor combinations you’ve already tediously baked together.

  7. Linda says:

    Oh my gosh. It is all so clear now. The recipe that I was following said to cover with shrink wrap and then foil and store in the refrigerator overnight. I only kept mine in the refrigerator for an hour or so, but I took everything off to bake it. The top layer of noodles with sauce and cheese on top totally curled up and stayed hard (like eating raw noodles right out of the box). Yuck. I actually just pulled off the top layer and put on a new layer of cheese, but I am going to heat it up with the shrink wrap and the foil (although it scares me and stresses me out). I also used the oven ready noodles (no boil) and with mine, the recipe says to use more water or milk with them and to cook them covered with foil. I didn’t do either of those things because I wasn’t following their recipe. It also cooked in half the time. Thanks for the advice. Live and learn.

  8. Lauren says:

    Plastic wrap absolutely melted 🙁

    Still crispy top layer too.

  9. R says:

    The plastic melted. You liars!

  10. Gwen Rudolph says:

    The plastic did melt . Had to throw it away!!!

  11. Rosemary Rinaldi says:

    Have tried it several times! Works like a charm! Thanks for the tip!

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