Who’s heard of Lasagna Rollups? Until recently I hadn’t. The Mellow Man loves Lasagna, and a few years ago my sweet mother-in-law told me about lasagna rollups. I’ve been told that they are easier and quicker to make than regular lasagna, but I certainly don’t see them as being a huge time saver in that regard. However, what the big advantage is the packaging of the leftovers. I always try to make a ton of lasagna so that the Mellow Man can take it for lunch. Now that the Big One is in the midst of his crazy adolescent growth spurt, lots of extra food is key. Now, when I go all out with lasagna rollups, I make my own sauce from scratch, but I’ve found that the Ragu Homestyle sauce is a wonderful substitute. It’s hearty and flavorful and a great substitute for my own “Homestyle” sauce.
Now, this is a recipe that I use that I add sautéed spinach too because I like spinach, and I want to increase the vegetables servings for my family. If you’d prefer to make it without the spinach that’s fine. Also, I use both pork-based Italian Sausage and ground beef. Some people don’t eat pork, some don’t eat beef, and some don’t eat either. You could change that up. I honestly don’t like only ground beef in lasagna– the meat tastes too “flat” to me, but that’s our family’s preference.
- 2 cups Baby Spinach
- 4-5 Cloves Garlic, separated into 3 equal amounts
- 1 medium sweet or yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 Lean (93%) Ground Beef
- 1/2 Italian Sausage, not in casing
- 1 Jar Ragu Homestyle Sauce (I used Thick and Hearty Roasted Garlic)
- 2 Cups Ricotta Cheese
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh Parsley
- 4 Tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh Basil
- 1 Cup Coarsely Grated fresh Parmesan Cheese
- 1 Cup Fresh Mozarella (Sliced into round pieces)
- 1 Package of Lasagna (you’ll need between 15-18 pieces of pasta), so a regular sized box leaves enough for ripped pieces or problems.
- Olive Oil, as needed for cooking)
Start by sautéing your baby spinach in a large skillet with one portion of the minced garlic and about 1 teaspoon olive oil. You might need a little more. Sauté until tender, and then set aside in a small bowl. Start your water boiling for the pasta.
In the same skillet, put another portion of garlic, your chopped onion, and another teaspoon or so of olive oil, and let the onion turn translucent and slightly yellow. (Again, you water shouldn’t be boiling yet, but check it.)
Add your meat to the skillet, break it up, and allow it to brown in the oil, onion and garlic. While it is browning, and the water is heating, prep your ricotta cheese. In a medium sized bowl, mix your ricotta cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, the last portion of garlic, Italian Seasoning, Parsley, and Basil. Stir well.
By now the meat should be brown, so pour in your Ragu Homestyle Sauce, and allow it to simmer for 10 or so minutes. The water should also be boiling so toss your pasta into the pot and allow it too cook. Make sure that the lasagna noodles aren’t touch and don’t stick together.
One the sauce is ready, pour about 2/3 of it into your dish, and go ahead and preheat your oven to 350. I use a pyrex pan, but you can use any shallow dish that works for regular lasagna. Save the other 1/3 of the sauce to cover the lasagna rollups. When the pasta is cooked, pour is out into a colander and rinse it to make sure that the starch is removed to avoid sticking.
Pat the pasta dry and then add a full tablespoon of ricotta cheese on the pasta, and then generously spread the spinach. Roll the pasta up from one end until it’s a tight roll, and place it in the dish with the sauce. Repeat this step until you have around 15 rollups.
Pour the remaining sauce on top of the rolls, and then put the rounds of fresh mozzarella on top of each roll up. Then generously sprinkle your freshly grated parmesan on top of the mozzarella. Put the lasagna rollups into the oven for 35-45 minutes, checking regularly so that the cheese doesn’t get overcooked.
The great thing about the Lasagna Rollups with the Ragu Homestyle sauce is that the are perfectly portioned. The young kids in your family can eat just one, and the hungry teens, like my Big One can eat 3 or 4. Then you can just portion the rollups into your plastic storage containers for the next day’s lunch. Lasagna Rollups are better on the second day! Just like chili!
If Thick & Hearty Roasted Garlic Homestyle Ragu sauce isn’t for you, never fear– there are 4 other sauces to choose from. Be sure to check them all out!
Now, I don’t find that rollups are a huge timesaver, but some people think they are. Have you made Lasagna Rollups, are do they save you time over traditional lasagna?