How Long to Cook Frozen Lasagna in Convection Ovens: A Beginner’s Guide
Sometimes I feel like a sloth. I don't want to prepare food. I just want to toss some frozen lasagna into an oven and be done with it for the evening.
If you're reading this, you're feeling the same right now.
Here's the catch: with a convection oven, the process can be a bit different than conventional ones.
What I mean is that the time needed to get a crispy, tasty lasagna might differ from what you see on the box label. The same applies to temperature settings.
It's not rocket science, but it deserves a quick guide.
By the way, what's your favorite frozen lasagna brand? Over the past year, I've really grown into grabbing a pack of this meat sauce tastiness whenever I'm in lasagna mood. 🙂
How Convection Ovens Work
Compared to conventional ovens, a convection oven has fans installed that push the heated air around the dish you’re cooking.
Convection ovens can also handle cooking more than one dish at a time.
That is because their fans will heat both dishes equally better than a conventional oven.
The fans also ensure lower temperatures while still getting a more even heat distribution.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Convection Oven?
You don’t see convection ovens as much as you see the average conventional oven in homes or apartments.
However, several benefits make using a convection oven a better choice.
1. Energy Saving
Convection ovens use less heat to do the same amount of cooking as a conventional oven, so you may see a slightly lower energy bill each month.
Even though it has fans, since the oven doesn’t need to reach as much heat, it takes less time to bring it to temperature and less time to cook food.
2. Cooks Faster
Cooking takes some time, but the less time you spend doing it, the better and more convenient it is for you and your family.
Whether you are cooking a frozen lasagna or a homemade dish, the convection oven will cook your dish faster.
That is again all thanks to the even distribution of heat.
3. They Don’t Burn Food
Another benefit of using this kind of oven is that you won’t need to worry about your food burning.
Since the fans blow the hot air around the pan instead of from the bottom upward, burning the bottom of the dish won’t happen nearly as easily.
That goes for the top of the dish too, which will not burn quickly.
It also helps to cook the dish more evenly than a conventional oven, so your food won't have overcooked or undercooked areas.
How Long to Cook Frozen Lasagna in Convection Ovens
With all the differences between convection and conventional oven, when using a convection oven, necessary adjustments should be made.
Specifically, the temperature and time used will be different from a regular oven.
Generally, you will need to lower the required amount of time the dish cooks by 25%.
For frozen lasagna, the label will always indicate the time required to cook it.
Thus, if the total cooking time says it will take 90 minutes, you need to adjust the temperature to between 22 and 23 minutes less.
You have to wait only about 68 minutes at a minimum for the lasagna to be fully cooked.
Check the lasagna at this time and see if the top is bubbly and the cheese melted completely. If not, you can continue cooking it for another minute or two.
Temperature-wise, conventional ovens are generally 25 degrees cooler than conventional ovens.
With that in mind, if the recipe on the lasagna box says you must cook it at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, you must also lower that by 25 degrees or set it at 375 degrees.
Cooking for Over 45 Minutes
With those in mind, when you cook with a convection oven for more than 45 minutes, your dish might lose too much moisture.
To prevent it from happening, you will want to cover the dish with foil for the whole first half of cooking. This will keep the top from drying out.
When you reach half of the cooking time, take off the cover to let the top layers of the lasagna get crispy and the cheese to melt.
How to Cook a Frozen Lasagna in a Convection Oven
Now that you know what temperature to use for your meal and how long you should cook it, you should also know how to cook the lasagna properly.
Here are the general steps you need to follow:
1. Set the Oven and Check Instructions
First, you need to preheat your convection oven to the right temperature.
While waiting for the oven to reach the temperature required, you will want to check if the time will be over 45 minutes. If so, then follow the instructions provided above.
2. Prepare the Frozen Lasagna
If cooking time is less than 45 minutes, remove the frozen lasagna's aluminum lid.
You don't have to transfer the lasagna to another pan unless you want to or the instructions say so.
3. Cook the Lasagna
Once the oven reaches the right temperature, place the frozen lasagna or the pan with the frozen lasagna in your oven's tray.
You don't have to worry about the position of the dish since it will cook evenly no matter what.
Close your oven door, set the time, and wait.
If you want to pour extra sauce or cheese on top, do so during the last few minutes of cooking.
That will ensure the cheese melts and the sauce gets warm.
4. Let It Cool and Enjoy
Let the lasagna cool for about ten minutes before serving since it will be hot through the dish.
Cooking With a Convection Oven
Now you have the idea that using a convection oven is not completely different from using a conventional one.
There are minor differences such as the temperature settings and the cooking times, which give the convection oven an advantage over the other option.
Using this type of oven for cooking a frozen lasagna is better because it doesn’t take as long and you're assured that your food will cook more evenly.
Just make sure you know how long to cook frozen lasagna in convection ovens.
All you have to do is check the cooking instruction and use simple math to adjust. Also, don't forget to adjust the temperature accordingly.
What's more interesting is that the same adjustment rules apply to almost all food that you plan to cook in your convection oven.