Lasagna Roll-Ups

Do you know why Garfield loves lasagna? Because lasagna is absolutely amazing, that's why. (Nope, it wasn't a trick question.) How can you improve upon the nearly perfect dish that is layers of large noodles stuffed with cheese, sauce, meats, and more? Just put a new spin on it. Or in this case, a roll. "This is more challenging than traditional lasagna and takes a bit more time," says chef, food writer, and registered dietician Kristen Carli of Camelback Nutrition & Wellness, "but I would argue it is more fun."

And if making this beloved and classic dish a bit more fun means getting a picky eater (yes, meaning a kid) to try a bite or two, it's worth the extra work. Lasagna is a great dish because it's so flexible. These lasagna roll-ups let you take things even a step farther by customizing each individual roll for a given diner, something you could never do with a pan of the stuff. Sure, it means even more work on the front end, but when dinner comes around and you have one person enjoying a roll-up stuffed with spinach, another stuffed with sliced bell peppers, and a third with diced tomatoes, it will be worth it, because the operative word there is "enjoying."

For our purposes, we're working with a pretty direct recipe that you can spinoff as you please. Now, if you'll pardon a delicious pun, let's roll!

Gather your ingredients for lasagna roll-ups

Not surprisingly, what you need to make lasagna roll-ups is just the same as what you need for classic lasagna, here it's all about how you handle the stuff. 

For this recipe, you'll need a standard 1 pound box of lasagna noodles⁣, 1 pound of ground beef, 1 cup frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained⁣, 1 cup of ricotta cheese⁣, 1/2 a cup of Greek yogurt⁣, 24 ounces of marinara sauce, 1/2 a cup of shredded mozzarella cheese⁣, 1/2 a teaspoon of Italian seasoning⁣, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 a teaspoon of pepper. Now on to making those lasagna roll-ups happen. 

Brown the beef and boil the lasagna noodles

First things first, as with so many recipes, this one calls for an oven pre-heated to 350º degrees Fahrenheit.⁣ Next, in a greased or nonstick skillet, cook the ground beef over medium heat. Break up any larger pieces of meat with a wooden spoon and keep the beef moving, allowing it to cook until fully browned. Then remove the meat from the pan and set it aside.⁣

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions. Note that you can't use no-boil noodles here (or you can, but you have to boil them anyway) because they need to be softened and moist so they'll easily roll.

Prepare your lasagna roll-ups filling and prep the baking dishes

In a large bowl, add the spinach, cooked ground beef, ricotta cheese, Greek yogurt, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, and stir everything until it is well combined into the filling you will use in your rolled noodles. ⁣

Now grab two 9 x 13" baking dishes (or one much larger dish, if need be) and pour a thin layer of marinara sauce into each dish, spreading it out with the back of a spoon so that it covers the bottom of the dishes as evenly as possible. (You can lightly grease the dishes, too, but just accept that cleanup may involve some patient soaking and scrubbing here.)

Roll up the stuffed noodles

Here is the make-or-break moment of this entire dish! Take your time and use care. As Carli says: "Be careful not to overstuff [the noodles] or they will be tricky to roll up."

One by one, take a boiled lasagna noodle and lay it flat, then add a scoop of the cheese, spinach, and beef mixture to one end of the noodle and roll it up carefully. Place the rolled noodle seam side down into one of the baking dishes and then repeat this until all lasagna noodles have been rolled up and nestled in beside one another.

Top the lasagna roll-ups and bake

Once the baking dishes are filled with stuffed and rolled noodles, add a spoonful of marinara sauce to the top of each roll up. Next, sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and, if you'd like, add a pinch or red pepper on top there, too.

Now place the baking dishes into the hot oven and bake the lasagna roll-ups for 30 minutes.⁣

"I recommend pairing this with Caesar salad and grilled asparagus for a balanced meal," says Carli, but you can also serve these cheesy, meaty, spinach-y roll ups just like they are and still have a complete dinner on the table.

Lasagna Roll-Ups
4.9 from 27 ratings
Lasagna is already pretty awesome, but this upgrade adds a new spin on the classic dish. It's great for picky eaters and comes together in no time flat.
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
40
minutes
Servings
6
Servings
Lasagna Roll Ups
Ready in 60 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 lb lasagna noodles⁣
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained⁣
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese⁣
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt⁣
  • 24 oz marinara sauce ⁣
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese⁣
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning⁣
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F, and cook ground beef in a pan over medium heat, breaking bits up with a wooden spoon. Allow beef to brown and then set aside⁣.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook lasagna noodles according to package directions, then drain and set aside. ⁣
  3. In a large bowl, add spinach, cooked ground beef, ricotta cheese, Greek yogurt, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, and stir until combined.
  4. In two greased 9 x 13" baking dishes, pour a thin layer of marinara sauce to cover the bottom of the dishes. One by one, take a lasagna noodle and lay flat, then add a scoop of the cheese mixture to one end of the noodle and roll it up carefully.
  5. Place stuffed, rolled noodle seam side down into baking dish, then repeat until all lasagna noodles have been rolled and placed.
  6. Add a spoonful of marinara sauce to the top of each roll-up, then sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top⁣.
  7. Place baking dishes in a warmed oven and bake for 30 minutes before removing and serving up.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 692
Total Fat 29.9 g
Saturated Fat 13.7 g
Trans Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 99.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 68.0 g
Dietary Fiber 4.7 g
Total Sugars 9.4 g
Sodium 830.0 mg
Protein 35.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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