Today we're talking about whether you can serve rice with lasagna. Or maybe you want to make lasagna using rice? We'll look at the answers to both of these curious cooking questions because we've done the investigating to figure this out!
Here's the deal, you can have rice with lasagna. What you eat is up to you. But you might want to throw in a vegetable side dish as well. Are you gluten-free? Then we have great news! You can make a rice lasagna that forgoes the gluten-filled noodles and substitutes rice for the pasta.
We'll look at both of these thoughts and discuss a few other things as well. We'll talk about what are great side dishes for lasagna, how far in advance you can assemble your lasagna before baking it, and whether you can eat pasta from a plate or bowl. So please keep reading, to find out all the juicy details.
Rice And Lasagna, Is It A Thing?
You love lasagna. You love rice. But can you eat them at the same meal? Probably the folks at the Healthy Eating Tribunal would say no. That's a big load of starch and carbohydrates, but who cares! They probably didn't know about Arancini. These cheesy rice balls are deep-fried then served with a dunking sauce of marinara and are a perfect Italian cuisine complement to your lasagna. There's a great recipe for them here.
No need to slave for hours making marinara sauce when there are so many great options available to buy off the shelf.
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You could also use rice as a base for a salad. Rice salads are a great way to blend fresh vegetables with treats like green olives, fresh basil, and tomatoes straight from the garden. A salad like this is a light and refreshing summer side that can often be made ahead of time. In fact, making rice salads ahead of time gives an opportunity for the flavor of spices to really marinate and soak in. Here's a great recipe for a delicious rice salad.
We love olives. And with online shopping and importing of food so easy, why not get some beautiful Italian green olives straight from Sicily for your rice salad?
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Can You Replace Lasagna Noodles With Rice?
Some people might say it's not actually lasagna, but rice lasagna is indeed a thing. If you're gluten-free or wheat sensitive, you may be looking for ways to have a dish similar to lasagna but without the noodles. And though there are certainly gluten-free lasagna noodles, sometimes the texture can be unsatisfying. With rice, you'll know what you're getting.
In most recipes, you simply substitute your layer of lasagna noodles for a layer of rice. You can stack each layer just as you would in a regular lasagna recipe. Here's one very simple recipe.
If you look for gluten-free recipes, there are so many different variations of rice lasagna available to you. This one is made with three types of cheeses for deliciousness and brown rice for extra healthiness and fiber. It even uses boil-in-a-bag rice for a quick 15-minute prep time. This is perfect for busy home cooks.
The recommended rice for this recipe is available on Amazon.
If you're going to be using a lot of rice in your lasagna dishes or for your sides, we highly recommend getting a rice cooker. These devices can be programmed for every different type of rice and ensure you have perfect grains every time. We have a post that goes more in-depth here: "What’s the Best Pot for Cooking Rice? [Size and Type]."
This is our personal favorite rice cooker. It's easy to program and even has cute little chimes that sound to let you know when your rice is done. It will cook up to 5.5-cups of rice for you, and there's also a 10-cup model available if you have a larger number of folks eating in your household.
Click here for this Zojirushi rice cooker on Amazon.
What Is A Good Side Dish For Lasagna?
When we think of the perfect lasagna dinner, we think of a nice tossed salad, a big hunk of garlic bread, and a couple of helpings of delicious lasagna. But there are other options as well if you're not a salad fan.
One of our favorite vegetables with Italian dishes is broccoli rabe or broccolini. This vegetable is similar to broccoli but has longer stalks that you eat and smaller florets at the head. It's easy to saute it up with some delicious olive oil, some fresh cloves of garlic, and a smattering of red pepper. Add some lemon if you like a citrus taste.
If you love tomatoes from the garden, why not cut up a few, add a few sliced onions, and spice them up. This is a nice alternative to a traditional salad that will also go very well with many lasagna recipes. Plus, it looks beautiful on the plate.
How Far In Advance Can You Make Lasagna Before Cooking It?
The general rule of thumb for preparing lasagna ahead of time to cook later is 24 hours. Assemble the lasagna in your cooking dish, then refrigerate it overnight and up to 24 hours ahead of time. If your pan is cold, put it into a cold oven and preheat the oven with the pan in it. Or let the pan come to room temperature before placing it into a preheated oven.
Can You Freeze Lasagna For Serving Later?
If you need to make your lasagna ahead of time but can't do it within the prescribed 24 hour period, then freeze it. Of course, assemble it first, then freeze it before baking. This will keep the noodles from getting soggy and the eggs and meat from going bad. Then, when you are ready to serve your family delicious lasagna, simply pop it out of the freezer, defrost it, and pop it in the oven.
Can You Serve Pasta On A Plate?
You can definitely serve lasagna on a plate, and it qualifies as pasta. But what about spaghetti, or penne, or macaroni? Can these shapes of pasta be served on a plate? The short answer is, yes, of course, they can be served on a plate. But here's the rub, if you've got loads of delicious sauce or mounds of aged parmesan cheese, you might want to serve it in a bowl to soak up all the delicious goodness.
Large shallow bowls like these are excellent for pasta. They'll keep your sauce from sloshing but make it easy to get those noodles worked around your fork. This set is dishwasher and microwave safe, which makes them even more fantastic.
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Who Doesn't Love A Great Carbohydrate!
Whether you serve lasagna with a side of rice or make a version of it with rice, you're going to have some satisfied customers. Who doesn't love a great carb on their plate? If you enjoyed this post here at KitchenSeer.com, please check out a few of our others below:
Can You Make Lasagna Without Cooking The Noodles?