April 25, 2011 by Flora Dawn
Italian food is a huge hit at my house, especially with the kids. And although I do enjoy eating and making lasagna, it takes quite a bit of time to get on the table.
One solution is to make Lasagna Rollups. Basically, you roll up a couple tablespoons of filling into each cooked noodle, cover the entire pan with sauce and bake until heated through.
Not only does this shave off quite a bit of the oven time, but it allows you to make a couple different versions of “lasagna” in the same pan.
I am not advocating being a short order cook for the family, but if you have someone who really hates something, this dish can accommodate. My husband dislikes cooked spinach, so we were able to roll a few lasagna rollups sans the spinach just for him.
And the rollups are really fun for kids to help with. And I have noticed kids are much more likely to eat things like spinach and ricotta if they help prepare it.
Immediately out of the oven, these aren’t the prettiest. But once removed from the pan and plated, I think they are rather attractive.
We made ours meatless in honor of Meatless Monday and we thought they were great! They really are easy to put together; I did the prep, but my 4 year old did the assembly. This is very hands on, and a great dinner to make with the kids.
Spinach & Ricotta Lasagna Rollups
If using gluten-free noodles, boil the noodles until soft and pliable; but you don’t want to overcook them, or they’ll simply fall apart.
- 1 package lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions & cooled
- 3-4 cups of fresh spinach
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- about 1 cup ricotta cheese (cottage cheese would also work)
- 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning (or a combination of dried herbs, such as oregano, parsley, basil, etc)
- about 3 cups of your favorite pasta sauce
- 1 cup grated cheese for topping (mozarella or Parmesean work great)
- Grease a small casserole dish or 8×8 pan and preheat oven to 350.
- In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add spinach and cook until wilted; remove from pan and drain if necessary.
- In a large bowl, combine ricotta, cooked spinach, and Italian seasoning. Stir to combine.
- Spread out the cooked lasagna noodles, and working one at a time, spoon a couple tablespoons onto each noodle, spreading it out across the surface. Starting at one end, roll up the lasagna noodle and place into prepared pan.
- Cover with sauce and top with cheese. Bake in preheated oven until heated through, about 20-30 minutes; the cheese should be melted and the sauce should be bubbling. Remove from oven and serve.