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boil or no-boil lasagana noodles

Why would I choose one over the other? Please explain the difference[s] in the finished product, which version you prefer and why.
Thank you all!

asked by Kt4 over 2 years ago
17 answers 4718 views
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added over 2 years ago

The no-boil lasagna noodles save time in the sense that you cut out the step of having to first boil the noodles. Although, the truth is, if you use enough sauce and ricotta and regular lasagna noodles, you can cook them without boiling too, as they also soften in the sauce. That said, I always boil my pasta first. I've heard a bunch of chefs, including Mario Batali recently, suggest that the pasts should be boiled first. The caveat, he said: if the boiling will prevent you from making the dish, use the no-boil.

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added over 2 years ago

I frequently use the no boil pasta. I dip it into water first to moisten it a bit. Since I freeze lots of lasagna during the summer using fresh vegetables, this saves me lots of time and doesn't heat up the kitchen. I also like this pasta since it is thinner and lighter than traditional lasagna noodles.

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added over 2 years ago

I have not boil lasaga noodles for years. In the oven I make sauce a little thinner and cover with foil. uncover and land let brown a little. I make crockpot lasaga the same way. insert knife to make sure noodles are tender. Crkockpot lasaga is one I take to pot lucks and never bring any home.

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added over 2 years ago

I have not boil lasaga noodles for years. In the oven I make sauce a little thinner and cover with foil. uncover and land let brown a little. I make crockpot lasaga the same way. insert knife to make sure noodles are tender. Crkockpot lasaga is one I take to pot lucks and never bring any home.

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added over 2 years ago

I have not boil lasaga noodles for years. In the oven I make sauce a little thinner and cover with foil. uncover and land let brown a little. I make crockpot lasaga the same way. insert knife to make sure noodles are tender. Crkockpot lasaga is one I take to pot lucks and never bring any home.

P1291120
added over 2 years ago

My mother taught me -- years and years ago -- to put uncooked pasta in the lasagna, and I always have. Works perfectly, as the whole thing sets up nice and firm with the pasta absorbing the extra water from the sauce, cheese, etc. Personally, I think "no boil" pasta is a gimmick and not worth paying a penny extra for. Just use regular noodles. Saves time and clean up, with a fantastic result. Try it -- you'll forever skip the "boil noodles" step, and wonder why you ever did before.:)

Junechamp
ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 2 years ago

I have made lasagne many times with the so-called "boil noodles" but I have NOT boiled them. They still cook up to a beautiful al dente in the dish. Don't get the no-boil. just use the regular as if they were.

Buon Appetito!

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added over 2 years ago

I actually think the finished lasagna is much better with regular "boil" noodles because it doesn't get the weird gummy, chewy quality that "no boil" noodles usually have. I'm more traditional in my pasta cooking though, and I'm sure it's still just a subtlety in the final product. I doubt you would find a good Italian restaurant that would use "no boil" noodles.

Zester_003
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 2 years ago

I'm old school all the way on this. Whenever possible I make my own lasagne leaves and I do boil them. But then I'm not covering them with a big sloppy sauce either. The lasagne I've eaten in northern Italy scarcely resembles what is usually consumed here. The saucing is restrained and delicate and the edges a bit crisp.

Lorigoldsby
added over 2 years ago

If you are "old school" like us...with a softened noodle, you need a thicker sauce. I strain my sauce and use almost a tomato "pulp"

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added over 2 years ago

I've never had luck with not boiling noodles so I always boil mine but never all the way

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added over 2 years ago

I've also never had good luck w/ no boil noodles - although I've only used them twice. I'm a huge lasagna lover, and recently diagnosed with a pork and beef allergy, which makes good turkey lasagna a must! I either make my own noodles, and if I use purchased noodles I always boil them a little because I am bummed if they aren't done.

Dsc00859_2
added over 2 years ago

I prefer boiling the noodles first for a more tender result. The lasagna is "higher" and less gummy. Have also tried wonton skins recently, they were not bad.

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Kt4
added over 2 years ago

Wonton skins? That's something I would've never thought of doing. I'll have to remember that for a future experiment.

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Kt4
added over 2 years ago

Wonton skins? That's something I would've never thought of doing. I'll have to remember that for a future experiment.

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Kt4
added over 2 years ago

Thank you all for your comments. This has been quite informative. Since I want my first lasagna for him to come out GREAT, I think i'm going to par-boil regular lasagna noodles and use them dry another time.
Cheers! Katy

Mrs._larkin_370
mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

added over 2 years ago

I use Barilla no-boil pasta sheets. They are the bomb. I make a traditional Northern-Italian lasagne with bolognese sauce and besciamella sauce, and there's plenty of liquid to cook the pasta sheets. They cook up nice and thin, like fresh pasta sheets. One box of Barilla gets me a 9 x 13" lasagne.

I don't like the boxed pasta with the ruffly edges at all - way too thick and gummy for a traditional lasagne.

Good luck, Katy!