Fried lasagna appetizer – bite-sized pieces of lasagna, breaded and deep-fried. Crispy on the outside, with layers of cheesy lasagna inside.
What Is Fried Lasagna?
I love lasagna – layers of pasta, cheese, and tomato sauce all layered in a baking dish. Bake it until the layers melt into a delicious cheesy meal. When I make lasagna, I make a big 9 X 13-inch pan. Farmer Fred and I can eat about a third of it, which means we have a lot of leftovers. Oh, the dilemma of the leftover lasagna. Do I reheat it for another meal? Do I freeze it for a later date? As I pondered what to do, I thought, there has to be a creative way to use the leftovers!
I love appetizers. Lasagna and appetizers, there must be a way to turn my leftover lasagna into a fantastic appetizer. Suddenly it occurred to me, Fried Lasagna!
Make the Lasagna.
Fried lasagna bites are the perfect thickness when made from half-thickness lasagna. That’s right, make a lasagna with a single layer of ricotta cheese.
Use fresh homemade pasta, and make your own marinara sauce. Roll the pasta thin. The thin pasta will absorb all the flavors of your delicious homemade sauce. It is so much better than the thick commercial lasagna noodles. However, if you don’t have time to make your own, a jar of marinara sauce and a box of lasagna pasta is also good.
Make the lasagna using cooked pasta. Start by spooning marinara sauce into the bottom of the pan and add a layer of pasta. The next layer is marinara sauce topped with seasoned ricotta cheese, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. The final layer is more pasta topped with sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. Bake the lasagna and chill overnight in the refrigerator.
Make the Fried Lasagna Bites.
Cut the chilled lasagna into bite-size pieces. A 9 X 13 pan of lasagna makes a lot of appetizers. This pan made 7 dozen appetizer size pieces. Freeze the pieces for at least 2 hours. Be sure to separate the pieces, or they will freeze together.
Use a 3-stage breading to bread the frozen pieces before frying. For 3-stage breading, coat each piece with flour, then egg, and finally bread crumbs. Use seasoned Italian breadcrumbs. Once the pieces are breaded, don’t worry if they thaw completely.
Deep-fry the lasagna pieces until they are a golden brown. Serve with a marinara sauce for dipping. Your guests will love this unusual but super tasty fried lasagna appetizer.
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- 9 x 13 baking pan
- deep fryer (optional)
- 6 cups marinara sauce (split) homemade or purchased, 4 cups for lasagna and 2 cups for dipping.
- ½ lb lasagna pasta homemade or purchased
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
- 3 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 stage breading
- 1 cup flour all-purpose
- 4 eggs beaten
- 2 cups bread crumbs Italian style
- oil for deep frying enough to cover the pieces
- To adjust the portions, click on the number of serving, and a slider will pop up. Adjusting the slider up or down will automatically calculate the amount needed for each ingredient.
- Mix the ricotta cheese with the egg and fresh chopped parsley. Set aside
- Cook the lasagna noodles until al-dente. About 6 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse with cool water.
Make the Lasagna
- Add 1 cup of marinara to the bottom of a 9 X 13 baking dish
- Add a layer of lasagna pasta and top with 1 1/2 cups of the marinara.
- Add all of the ricotta cheese by dropping spoonfuls of the cheese onto the sauce and then spreading it over the sauce.
- Top with 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese.
- Add another layer of lasagna noodles
- Top with the remaining sauce and cheese.
- Lightly spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray, cover the lasagna, and bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees. The cooking spray keeps the cheese from sticking to the foil.
- Once the lasagna is baked, chill in the refrigerator overnight.
- The next day remove the lasagna from the pan and cut into bite-size pieces. About 80 pieces total.
- Freeze the pieces of lasagna for a minimum of 2 hours.
Breading and Frying the Lasagna
- Put the ingredients for the breading in 3 seperate shallow containers.
- Remove a dozen frozen pieces of lasagna at a time and dip each piece in the flour first, then the beaten eggs, and lastly coat with the bread crumbs. It is ok if the breaded pieces defrost completely while you finish breading the rest of the pieces.
- Heat up the oil in a deep-fryer, or add an inch of oil to a deep frying pan. Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Monitor the oil temperature with an instant-read thermometer.
- Fry 4 - 5 pieces of lasagna at a time, until golden brown on all sides. About 1-2 minutes depending on how frozen the pieces are.
- Place the fried pieces on a rack to drain.
- Serve immediately with the 2 cups of warmed marinara sauce for dipping.
- Fried pieces of lasagna can be reheated at 400 degrees for 3 - 5 minutes, or microwave until hot in the center.